Twitter Tools for School PR: Tweetdeck vs. Hootsuite

Tweetdeck has long been my tool of choice for managing Twitter. When a friend who is a social media manager for a local organization raved about Hootsuite, I decided to explore my options.

After a couple days of noodling around with Hootsuite, I found that each had its advantages:

Tweetdeck:

  • Provides easy access to retweets and favorites for each tweet, while Hootsuite only lets you see the retweets
  • Displays Twitter’s new quote tweet format, while Hootsuite requires you to click through to see it
  • Has clean design and intuitive navigation, including shortcuts to jump back to the top of columns
  • Is free, while Hootsuite Pro costs about $10 a month

Hootsuite:

  • Allows you to divide your columns into sections under separate tabs, named however you like
  • Includes an analytics tool, while Tweetdeck users must use the separate Twitter Analytics site (which I like better)
  • Provides Facebook integration, although it doesn’t have all the functionality of directly using the Facebook site
  • Has a more robust scheduling feature, although I rarely schedule ahead in order to keep my content more timely

So far, I’m leaning toward sticking with my free Tweetdeck. What is your preference?

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About Nicole Kirby, APR

Nicole Kirby, APR is the director of communication services for the Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Mo. She is a past NSPRA vice president for the South Central region and a past MOSPRA president. She was named one of NSPRA's Learning and Liberty Legacy Leaders, and she received the NSPRA Frontrunner Award and the MOSPRA Professional of the Year Award.

7 thoughts on “Twitter Tools for School PR: Tweetdeck vs. Hootsuite

  1. I have used Tweetdeck and Hootsuite for years… but this spring we made the switch to Sprout Social. There’s an advanced scheduling/queue feature, great analytics, keyword monitoring, etc. We have found it to be a very useful tool!

  2. Unfortunately, I have to use both, plus some others to truly get full functionality. It doesn’t seem like there’s one perfect platform that has it all.

    – Tweetdeck’s interface is the most intuitive and simple for monitoring Twitter. Hootsuite’s interface just seems clunky.
    – Tweetdeck now integrates with Buffer (at least within Firefox using the Buffer extension). Buffer’s queue scheduling seems superior to Hootsuite’s
    – In Tweetdeck you can schedule posts with images embedded. Hootsuite requires you to pay for the Pro version to do this.

    However…
    – Hootsuite has a calendar-view for scheduling posts. You may schedule posts in Tweetdeck, but you can’t visually see in a calendar how the posts are spread out. (This is probably the number one reason I use Hootsuite.)

    I know I’ve done a trial of Sprout Social, but I don’t remember liking it. Maybe it’s time to try again.

    • Great thoughts! How much do you schedule out? We plan ours but schedule very few. My concern is remembering to cancel a tweet if something happens to make it inappropriate.

      I looked at Sprout Social after I saw Amy’s recommendation. Without actually trying it, it looks great but expensive.

      • I think the reason I dislike Sprout Social is that I prefer the columns layout to organize my feed and lists. I cannot live without it.

        As for scheduling… I schedule out usually a week ahead. For some things I schedule out up to a month ahead. Usually these are reminders about surveys or resources or upcoming workshops.

        Using Hootsuite, Buffer and the native Facebook scheduling tool has a ton of advantages that I couldn’t live without:

        – I’m not able to be posting to social media throughout the day or even every day. Scheduling keeps our messages and retweets spread out so they’re not lumped together at the time of day when I’m able to dedicate time to post.

        – I can schedule the most important messages to be posted at optimal times of the day when the highest number of our followers are online (9 p.m. for Facebook!).

        – If I see a bunch of tweets I want to retweet, I can queue them in Buffer instead of bombarding our followers all at once

        – For really important topics (i.e. redistricting, strategic plan, kindergarten registration) I can schedule multiple reminders at once.

        Is there a risk of a post seeming inappropriate if it goes out at a bad time? Perhaps a very small risk. But I ultimately think the benefits outweigh the risk. If we had to rely on live tweets only, our social media content would be cut in half.

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