So, what do Hootsuite and TweetDeck offer that has kept them firm favorites for so long?
In this post, we will compare TweetDeck vs Hootsuite and look at their features to help you to decide which to use.
On the surface, Hootsuite and TweetDeck work in a similar way. They both manage Twitter accounts and they have a similar appearance, where you can add side-by-side columns for streams, searches, lists, mentions and so on.
TweetDeck used to be available as downloadable software, but they withdrew the desktop TweetDeck app in April 2016 so it is now a browser-only tool.
But, once you get beyond this, what are the similarities and differences between Hootsuite and TweetDeck?
The visual appearance of TweetDeck and Hootsuite is similar. Both are used in a web browser such as Chrome or Firefox, and both tools let you add columns so that you can easily follow different social media streams, Twitter lists and searches. You can scroll from left to right on the screen to see all the columns you have set up.
In Hootsuite, you can also use tabs to separate your columns into themes. So, you might want to have one tab with all the columns related to one Twitter account, or a tab with all your ‘mentions’ columns. This makes it easy to see related updates in one place.
Many people feel that TweetDeck has a more sleek, streamlined appearance, but Hootsuite has made some recent changes that have improved the way it is displayed.
A big difference, when looking at Hootsuite vs TweetDeck, is the social networks that can be managed.
A few years ago, TweetDeck allowed users to manage Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts but, after Twitter acquired the software, it reduced these options. Now, you can only manage Twitter accounts on TweetDeck. On Hootsuite, on the other hand, you can manage Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ (pages only) and WordPress accounts, and you can add integration with other networks such as YouTube, Instagram and SoundCloud.
For TweetDeck, there is no limit to the number of Twitter accounts used. With Hootsuite, only three accounts (this can be three Twitter accounts, or three different networks in total) can be managed with the free account.
Social Media Scheduling
Is social media scheduling easier on Hootsuite or TweetDeck? Well, both make it easy to schedule Twitter updates, and Hootsuite lets you schedule updates for the other social channels it supports, too.
Scheduling on Hootsuite
There is a range of ways to schedule a post on Hootsuite.
Via the Compose Box
Click in the ‘compose message’ box at the top of the screen and enter your update. Then, choose the ‘calendar’ icon or press ‘autoschedule’.
Via the Hootsuite Hootlet
Install the Hootsuite Hootlet. Then, on the webpage you want to share, click the Hootlet button and a box will pop up.
Select the networks you want to share to and schedule the message with either the calendar icon or AutoSchedule.
That shows the most obvious ways to schedule updates on Hootsuite. However, Hootsuite also offers further options for scheduling messages that can help to streamline your social media management.
Via ‘Suggested’ updates
Here, you enter three key search terms and Hootsuite searches for news stories and blog posts that you might want to share. The ones you choose are added into your next free time slot.
The posts and articles Hootsuite suggests can be a bit mixed in terms of relevance and quality, but this is a feature to keep an eye on as it could be a real time saver for content curation.
Via a CSV file
Hootsuite Pro users can also upload .csv files to schedule tweets.
These files have to be formatted in a specific way, with dates and times for posts, text content and links in separate spreadsheet columns.
It can be a bit time consuming to prepare updates this way, especially compared to how easy it is to add updates to Buffer through a service like BulkBuffer.
Hootsuite also limits users to uploading 50 scheduled updates at a time with a .csv file. However, this can still be an efficient way to add a long list of updates to your Hootsuite schedule.
Scheduling on TweetDeck
To schedule a message in TweetDeck, click the message icon in the left-hand sidebar and enter the post into the text box.
Select the Twitter accounts you want to share the update with.
Then, under the message text, click on the time and date and a calendar will show. Choose the date and time you want and click ‘Tweet on [date]’ to schedule the tweet.
In TweetDeck, you can set up a column to view all your scheduled tweets. In Hootsuite, you can view scheduled tweets in a list or a calendar format. In both tools, the scheduled messages send whether you are online or not.
Streams and Notifications
Both TweetDeck and Hootsuite let users set up columns to manage streams of information. This helps you to monitor social media conversations.
You can set up a stream for:
- your main timeline
- Twitter lists
- search results
- Direct Messages
- scheduled tweets
- sent tweets.
To set up a new stream in Hootsuite, select the correct tab and then click the ‘Add Stream’ button in the top left.
This box will pop up.
Choose the network you want, then click the + button for the stream you want. To add a new column in TweetDeck, click the + sign on the bottom left of the screen. This box will appear.
Different options appear depending on what you choose here. Each will lead you to create the new column you need.
Streams behave a bit differently in TweetDeck and Hootsuite. In TweetDeck, the streams flow constantly, updating live, in real time. In Hootsuite, the streams remain static and you need to click on a link at the top of the column to see new, unread messages.
Some people find it easier to keep track of the streams in Hootsuite, others appreciate the live, real-time action in TweetDeck – this is mainly a matter of preference.
A key difference when looking at TweetDeck vs Hootsuite is that you can set up audio and pop-up notifications with TweetDeck, as long as you allow these within your browser.
Notifications can show when new messages appear in a column.
Don’t set them up for your main timeline, that would quickly become annoying!
But they can be really useful for columns that get occasional messages that you want to know about right away.
Perhaps you have set up a search for people looking for services like yours in your local area, or you want to be instantly alerted when somebody uses a relevant hashtag. In this situation, TweetDeck’s pop-up or sound alerts mean you don’t need to keep manually checking for new posts.
You set up notifications in TweetDeck for each column individually. At the top of the column, click this symbol. You will then see a range of options to customize the column. Click the arrow next to ‘Alerts’, then choose whether you want sound alerts, pop-up alerts, or both.
When looking at Hootsuite vs TweetDeck in terms of mobile apps, there’s literally no competition.
That’s because TweetDeck withdrew its mobile apps in 2013, favoring the native Twitter apps for iOS and Android. Hootsuite does have mobile options.
Hootsuite for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is available in the App Store, and Hootsuite for Android can be found in Google Play. Hootsuite also has an iOS app designed specifically for its Suggestions feature, allowing users to see curated content related to their niche and add it to their scheduled-update queue.
TweetDeck is completely free to use, and you can add an unlimited number of Twitter accounts to your TweetDeck app.
Hootsuite is free to use for three social media accounts, and professional Hootsuite prices start at $9.99 a month for more accounts and features.
Tweetdeck Versus Hootsuite – which is best?
Both Hootsuite and TweetDeck are well-respected and very popular tools, and the one that is best for you will depend on what you need.
- If you just want a tool to manage one or two Twitter accounts, the main difference is your own preference. Do you prefer pop-ups? If so, choose TweetDeck. Or do you prefer to take advantage of AutoScheduling rather than manually scheduling posts? In that case, Hootsuite is more suitable.
- If you have lots of Twitter accounts to manage and want a free service, TweetDeck is probably best. But if you want to manage Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more, Hootsuite caters for these options.
- There is also the option to combine tools. So, if you prefer the TweetDeck interface but would love the AutoSchedule feature, you could combine TweetDeck with a tool like Buffer to get what you need.
Both tools can be tried for free, so if you are still unsure, why not test them both for a month and see which you prefer?
Do you prefer Hootsuite or TweetDeck?
Tell us which you prefer, and why, in the comments!