If part of your jobs involves a lot of social media updating and interacting with followers, you may have wondered what social media management platform might be best for you and your team. Two of the most popular options are TweetDeck and HootSuite.
But which one is best? I’ve used both, and while I wouldn’t say that one is better than the other, they both offer a variety of different options. Here’s a quick comparison of the two platforms.
Both TweetDeck and HootSuite have similar layouts. They use dashboards with separate columns for you to organize your streams, @mentions, messages, tracked hashtags and so on. You can add as many columns as you want to either platform and scroll from side to side to view all of them.
TweetDeck: TweetDeck has a neat little pop-up box that appears in top right corner of your screen every time an update is posted. The one thing that irks me about TweetDeck’s layout is the white text on black background. In older versions, there used to be an option to choose different layouts, but since it was acquired by Twitter, many of those options were taken away. The button to post triggers a pop-up box in the middle of the screen (much like Twitter via web) along with all the social profiles connected to TweetDeck so you can post to multiple profiles.
HootSuite: HootSuite has color themes you can choose for your dashboard if you don’t like the light text on a dark background. You should also notice a pretty extensive menu to the left side when you roll your mouse over any of the icons. That’s where you can adjust your settings, get your analytics and much more. Unlike TweetDeck, HootSuite does not offer a pop-up box in the corner of your screen for live updates. The post box is located at the top of the screen, along with a section directly beside it to choose the profiles you want to update.
It’s also worth mentioning that TweetDeck has desktop applications for both OS X and Windows, whereas HootSuite only works from inside your Internet browser. Both services also offer mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
Social Profile Integration
There’s a big difference between what TweetDeck and HootSuite can handle in terms of social profile integration. TweetDeck is quite limited, but HootSuite offers a lot more options.
TweetDeck: TweetDeck will only connect to Twitter profiles, Facebook profiles or Facebook pages. That’s it. It used to include other social networks, but those were taken away after Twitter acquired it and updated it. You can connect an unlimited number of Twitter or Facebook accounts, but if you also want to update Google+, Tumblr, Foursquare, WordPress or anything else, you won’t be able to do it with TweetDeck.
HootSuite: For updating accounts other than Facebook and Twitter, HootSuite is a better option. HootSuite can be integrated with Facebook profiles/pages/groups, Twitter, Google+ pages, LinkedIn profiles/groups/companies, Foursquare, WordPress, Myspace, and Mixi accounts. And as if that wasn’t enough, HootSuite also has an extensive App Directory you can use to connect to eve more profiles like YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram and so many more. Although HootSuite can connect to many more social networks than TweetDeck can, a free account with HootSuite will only allow you to have up to five social profiles. You need to upgrade to a Pro account if you need to manage more than five profiles.
Social Management Features
Although updating your social profiles from one convenient place is handy, it’s always nice to get access to some extra stuff to make updating easier and understanding your social presence better. Here are some additional features TweetDeck and HootSuite offer.
TweetDeck: If you press the little tool icon in the upper right corner of your dashboard and click “Settings,” you’ll see all the extra things you can do with TweetDeck. It’s definitely quite limited. You can add or remove accounts, choose your link shortener or picture sharing platform, and create filters to help clean up your stream from unwanted topics. That’s about all you can do with TweetDeck.
HootSuite: HootSuite is the clear winner here when it comes to extra features. All you have to do is explore the menu of the left side to figure that out. You can get a full analytical report of your social interaction, create and manage assignments with other part of your team, participate in conversations with team members directly through HootSuite and so much more. When you upgrade to a Pro or Enterprise account, you get even more.
TweetDeck or HootSuite: Which One?
If you’re a Twitter or Facebook power user looking for a free option to help make updating and interacting easier, TweetDeck is a great option. However, if you want more profiles to work with or need a social management service to use for business purposes, you may be better off with HootSuite.