Both HootSuite and SocialOomph provide features for managing Twitter and Facebook (and other accounts). The services are very similar, and I’ve been a fairly loyal user of SocialOomph for several months now. But, recently downtime at SocialOomph led me to re-explore HootSuite and I’ve been using it as my primary tool for the past week or so. There are still some things that I prefer about SocialOomph, but overall I’m fairly happy with HootSuite (at least for now). Let’s take a look at the details:
User Interface: Advantage = HootSuite
The design of HootSuite is all about the user. Yes, there are ads, but they’re out of the way at the bottom of the window. Whatever page you’re on, the “tweet” box is always at the top – which makes it super easy to update the status on Twitter (or Facebook or LinkedIn). Everything is very clearly marked and fairly easy to find – with the exception of scheduled “tweets” which I had to check the FAQs for. One other minor annoyance is that the short URL box is separate from the update box – be nice if you just put the URL in the update box and then it found it and shrunk it.
Scheduled Updates: Advantage = SocialOomph
If you’re just talking about scheduling tweets, SocialOomph has the most flexibility – allowing you to schedule either by a specific time, or by so many minutes, hours, days, or weeks ahead. With the professional account, you can also bulk upload tweets for easy scheduling. Once you have tweets in the system, you can also distribute them over specific day and time ranges. The pro account also let’s you mash up and schedule tweets from various RSS feeds.
URL shorteners: Advantage = Neutral
SocialOomph uses bit.ly and HootSuite uses it’s own shortner (ow.ly). Both are equally good. By using it’s own shortener, HootSuite is able to provide awesome stats (see below). But bit.ly also provides stats and you can use it for any purpose – making it nice for overall social media strategies.
Statistics: Advantage = HootSuite
If you want numbers, HootSuite will give them to you. Big, bold and beautiful (not to mention useful). How HootSuite did statistics originally was one of my biggest complaints about their service – not enough info in a way that was easy to dig into. If they didn’t listen to me, someone else must have had the same brilliant idea. Unfortunately the stats only apply to Twitter accounts right now – but hopefully they’ll integrate stats with the other social network soon.
For each Twitter account, you can see the number of clicks – in the last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days or by date range. You can also see where those clicks come from geographically, who the top referrers are, and what the most popular tweets were by clicks. For each individual tweet, you can see the individual number of clicks – I’d like to see them expand on the stats available for individual tweets – so you can see top keywords and time of day, etc.
Additional Social Networks: Advantage = HootSuite
HootSuite allows me to update several Twitter accounts, my Facebook account, my Facebook business page and my LinkedIn account. You can choose which to update with each new message. SocialOomph also allows multiple accounts and social networks, but only with the paid account. I considered the paid account, but most of the features weren’t particularly useful to me. The Facebook page and LinkedIn options are big for me.
Multiple Accounts & Multiple Users: Advantage = HootSuite
HootSuite makes it easy to add multiple users and control which accounts they can update. For each user, it also keeps track of their timezone and whether you want initials to show up with updates. SocialOomph also has these features, but only with the paid account.
Twitter Follower Features: Advantage = SocialOomph
If you want some control over your followers – who you follow back, whether you unfollow people who unfollow you, and auto-DMs, etc. – SocialOomph provides some nice ones in the free account. I’m not a big fan of auto-DMs – I think they’re spammy and a bit insincere – but I do use the vet followers function. Vetting followers gives you a list of who has recently followed you and then lets you decide whether you’ll follow each back. For each possible follower, you can see when they started using Twitter, how many tweets, followers and followees they have, plus their twitter profile and how many other SocialOomph users have followed or ignored them. You can also set it to pre-set followers based on keywords, time started on Twitter, etc (for example, I don’t usually follow back people who just started in the past week unless I know them). I like to take a personal look at each new follower and SocialOomph let’s me do that right from their interface – clicking on any website attached to the profile and seeing the last 10 tweets or so – very useful and easy to use.
Extra Credit – Cute Icon & Useful Twitter Interface: Advantage = HootSuite
Who can resist a cute owl icon? More importantly, HootSuite’s Twitter client rivals TweetDeck (biggest feature missing is TweetDeck’s Groups) – keep track of what’s going on while you’re working on your updates. Win-win!
Conclusion: HootSuite Wins 5-2
So far I’m sticking with HootSuite for updates, but still using SocialOomph’s vet follower feature. I just like the combination of features and statistics HootSuite offers – and being able to update multiple social networks from a free account is a super win. For users who are managing multiple accounts and want to manager multiple users as well, HootSuite is very handy.
But don’t take my word for it. What do you think?