Hootsuite, Seesmic, Sprout Social or Tweetdeck: Who Has the Best Social Networking Client?

I posted an article a couple of weeks ago (CLICK HERE TO READ) talking about the importance of engaging your online community and the importance of using social networks to keep your community informed about things that they will find relevant, but will also help you drive business. This can be difficult to do if you have Facebook, Foursquare, Linked In and Twitter pages, like Alloy Productions does. I know it can get confusing and be a pain in the butt to run around and post a status update to all of those pages! I’ve had to do that. However, technology can help with that! There are 4 major players in the game that are offering software dashboards, online dashboards and mobile apps that allow you to manage them all in one place. In this article, I plan to breakdown how these clients work and state, in my opinion, which of them I choose to use and why.

These social clients (that is how I refer to these different social media dashboards) allow you to connect multiple social network profiles (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to the client so you can send a single status update to the client, which then pushes that update out to all the connected profiles. In simpler terms, you only have to post once, rather than going to each page and posting the same update over and over again. The other upside to these social clients is the ability to schedule updates to automatically post in the future. I’ll give you an example using the Alloy Productions Twitter page.

I posted a new event here on the blog recently (CLICK HERE FOR THAT) and knew that I would forget to send out regular updates reminding people about the event via Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. So I used my social client to schedule those posts to happen automatically, every so often. Here is one of the Tweets that went out using that functionality:

This update was sent automatically to Facebook, Linked In and Twitter, all at once, without performing any action after having scheduled the update. It is set to happen a few more times before the event as well. This can be a very handy tool for businesses or anyone else looking to their online audience engaged, because you can do so without even being at the computer or thinking about doing it.

First, I want to give you a basic rundown of how each social client works. This will explore their various interfacing capabilities (how you use them) on your computer and on the go, which mobile devices their apps work on and which social networks they can connect with.

Hootsuite:

Cost– Free with Optional Upgrade to Pro for $5.99 /month

In Depth Analytics– Yes to Both, but the Paid Version has more Options

Available Interfacing

  • Downloadable Software Dashboard
  • Web Based Dashboard
  • Mobile Applications for Android, iPhone and iPad

Social Network Connectivity

  • Facebook (Profiles and “Like” Pages)
  • Foursquare
  • Linked In
  • Mixi
  • MySpace
  • Ping
  • Twitter
  • WordPress

Multiple Team Members– Yes, but Only with the Pro Plan

Seesmic:

Cost– Free

In Depth Analytics– None

Available Interfacing

  • Downloadable Software Dashboard
  • Web Based Dashboard
  • Mobile Applications for Android and iPhone

Social Network Connectivity

  • Facebook (Profiles and “Like” Pages)
  • Linked In
  • Twitter

Multiple Team Members– No

Sprout Social:

Monthly Cost– Pro: $9, Small Biz: $39, Deluxe: $59 Premium: $899

In Depth Analytics– Yes; On All Plans

Available Interfacing

  • Web Based Dashboard
  • Mobile Applications for Android, iPhone and iPad

Social Network Connectivity– Apparently, Everything Except Google+

Multiple Team Members– Yes; Additional Costs May Apply Depending on Plan

Tweetdeck:

Cost– Free

In Depth Analytics– None

Available Interfacing

  • Downloadable Software Dashboard
  • Web Based Dashboard
  • Mobile Applications for Android and iPhone

Social Network Connectivity

  • Facebook (Profiles & “Like” Pages)
  • Linked In
  • MySpace
  • Twitter

Multiple Team Members– No

A couple of things to point out before I get to my opinions. Noe of these services allow posting to Google+. I’m not sure if that is a problem on Google’s end, or on the other, but I find it annoying. Alloy Productions has a Google+ page, and I can’t post to it unless I’m sitting at my computer. There are no clients that post to Google+ and the Google+ mobile app doesn’t allow you to post to Business Pages. That’s probably more of a beef with Google than any of these clients. Also, you may not be interested in some of these features, such as posting to obscure social networks or analytics functionality. In which case, some of these aren’t for you. On with the clients (that’s right; I actually use two) that I use and why.

Alloy Productions uses the free version of Hootsuite for all of its social networking needs. I like the fact that I can use the analytics to see which updates are performing the best (getting the most clicks) and from which social network. This way I know which time of day is best to post updates to get maximum visibility. I also appreciate the interfacing capabilities, as Hootsuite is the only free client that has an iPad app. I use a combination of computer, iPhone and iPad to post to Hootsuite, so having apps that are compatible in all of those formats is awesome. I also run my personal Twitter through Hootsuite.

However, I also use Tweetdeck for one of the other sites that I run, which is a Stephen King Fansite. The primary purpose of this is not that I prefer Tweetdeck’s functionality over Hootsuite, but the convenience of not having to sign out of one Hootsuite account and then into another one on my phone. I do appreciate how it runs and don’t believe that, for that site, I need all those bells and whistles.

In Summary: I think, if you are a blogger or run a business and are looking for a social client, Hootsuite is the way to go. The free version is awesome and the $5.99 a month plan is affordable and provides enough additional features to justify the cost.  Should you just be a person that is in a band looking to keep your fans up-to-date via Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, Seesmic and Tweetdeck will work great for your needs. The only reason I would EVER sign up for a Sprout Social Plan is if I needed the mondo functionality that a major corporation would, or if they make posting to Google+ an option, and then I would sign up for the $9 /month plan.

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About Alloy Matt
Happy Husband | Beardsman | Blogger | Dreamer | Wholigan | Drinker of Coffees | Tweeter of Hashtags | Gamer of Table Tops | Amature Astronomer | Fanboy of Apple

2 Responses to Hootsuite, Seesmic, Sprout Social or Tweetdeck: Who Has the Best Social Networking Client?

  1. fabamy says:

    I think it’s great that you can’t post to G+ with any of them. In fact, you should be posting to Facebook with any of them, either. Hello, EdgeRank???

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