PSA: The Slippery Slope of Hootsuite

All right, so the title’s a little insouciant, or at the very least gratuitous; Hootsuite is serious business for those of us who want to manage our Twitter accounts, not be managed by them. I’ve dabbled with other platforms, but by now I wouldn’t want to run a business or personal account without it.

See, Hootsuite is for everybody:
hootsuite-owls-united

Still, even this admittedly free service has pitfalls amongst its many charms.

A colleague of mine, Susan Wright-Boucher, loves Hootsuite as much as I do, and is under no illusions about it either. If you use this platform and have noticed a rather disappointing feature, namely that Hootsuite doesn’t show you WHO retweeted your wonderful tweets, then read this to find the workaround.

Thus ends this PSA.

HootSuite’s New Publisher Tab

I fired up HootSuite this morning as I always do and found–a new tab!

Replacing the Pending Tweets column, the new Publisher tab (button?) sits below the Home tab on the left. All of your scheduling now takes place here.

HootSuite claims this is an easier and more effective way to manage your messages. There’s a Calendar in beta for Past Scheduled tweets, an option for RSS Feeds (which I don’t know why, yet), and filters for profiles and team members.

The problem? Maybe I’m just too used to the ease and flexibility of seeing my Pending messages right there with the rest of my core columns–but maybe that’s the point. I do a lot of retweeting–there are a lot of great people out there with great resources to share–and if I’m scheduling tweets to pop off throughout the day, I’m going to be looking for them in my Home Feed on my core page or popping over to my custom keyword tabs. It’s not intuitive for me to set up a tweet and then go off to a tab on the left just to see what time I should tweet it. And if I’m sending a “real time” tweet, I certainly don’t want it to go at the same time a previously scheduled one goes. My memory’s not that good!

ETA: As of June 16, Publisher has active URLs and hashtags in scheduled messages.
The second thing I don’t like is you can’t click on the URLs or hashtags in your “Scheduled” messages in the Publisher tab. Every so often I get paranoid and am compelled to double-check my links. Or I’m not sure if the hashtag I just made up really exists. The old Pending tab let you click on both URLs and hashtags right in the tweet to ease your mind. The new Publisher tab doesn’t. You can, of course, use your mouse to copy and paste the URL in a new tab or window, or open up Twitter Search for the hashtag. Extra steps added to an already busy day.

ETA: As of June 24, the Publisher and Pending stream are now interchangeable.
And perhaps the third thing is we don’t have a choice to keep the Pending tab in lieu of the Publisher.

The whole reason I use HootSuite for my corporate account is not for the set-it-and-forget-it mentality, but so I can schedule informative and hopefully useful tweets to go off during the day while I have to be busy doing other social media/community manager things. This allows me to pop in and out of the Twitter realm and respond to people and have a good time engaging and learning around the automated stuff. Using ow.ly gives me access to some good free analytics as well. And the one up side so far for Publisher is it updates without me having to refresh the tab.

But I use Tweetdeck for my personal account, and if it weren’t for their lack of built-in analytics, I’d think they were superior for business purposes, and not just because I can still see everything at a glance.

Is the new Publisher tab something that makes sense if you have a lot of people on your account, or multiple accounts? Should I as a sole user give it a fair chance? Or should I grumble my way to Tweetdeck? 🙂