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Tools Of The Trade: HootSuite Online



As we approach our 2 year anniversary as Thedroidguy (we started out tweeting about Android on a more personal twitter account), we wanted to start answering some of the questions we get asked about what we use everyday to make thedroidguy tick.

We are FAR from an engadget or techcrunch but Thedroidguy is still a full time venture and often 7 days a week.

Whenever the “what twitter app” do you use for Android comes up I personally recommend some of my favorite twitter apps for most Android users. Unfortunately because we make it a policy to reciprocate 90% of our followers it makes our timeline unmanageable on some of the really good twitter apps.  Our recommendation though for “normal” Android twitter users are: Plume, Seesmic, Tweetcaster and Twicca.

I was at a point where I was ready to start recommending Twidroyd again but then when Uber got suspended we backed off.  The Twidroyd UI is still not where these others are.

Today we’re going over Hootsuite Online. We use Hootsuite Online and Hootsuite mobile because of the way it syncs our categories back and forth. We use the pro versions of both.

Some people will comment on twitter or on this post that Tweetdeck is just as good, and I like Tweetdeck I’m used to Hootsuite and like using Hootsuite.

Learn more after the break

Hootsuite Online is laid out pretty well.

The top portion has a tweet or update box, the social media selector and a search box.  Once you put a message into the update box you can decide what social network you want to post it to or select all of them. Next to our send now button are icons for our Rovingtweet twitter account, Thedroidguy twitter account, Thedroidguy Facebook account and Thedroidguy Linked in account.

For now you can only post to Twitter and Facebook via the Hootsuite mobile app but you can post to Linked In on Hootsuite Online.

Below the line the screen is divided into Tabs and each tab can have up to 10 streams.

The tab we look at most is featured and it has streams for:

The search term: “Thedroidguy” we use that over an @message search because a lot of times twitter, hootsuite and tweetdeck miss @ messages. This search stream will also pull bit.ly links originating from thedroidguy.com, simply put using a search string of “thedroidguy” over @mentions means you see everything in this line. Unforatunately it moves VERY quickly.

Our next stream in this tab is “Pending Tweets’ that’s where the scheduled tweets go. We keep it there because if we get an email alert, DM or other notification from someone that a story we are tweeting out is debunked, changed or updated, we can pull it out of the schedule or revise it.

Our next stream is the hashtag #android. In addition to our RSS feeds, Google Alerts, ninja tips, and email tips, I am constantly checking the hashtag Android for breaking Android news. There are a bunch of twitter users over seas that tweet with the hashtag Android and break news so we have a Google Translate page open 90% of the day.

The next stream in our “featured” tab is the hash tag for #CTIA, although South By Southwest (SXSW) is the next event we are attending CTIA is the next big wireless event and good news is floating through Twitter about it.

Each individual tweet in each stream has a quick button for reply, retweet, direct message and a pull down menu which includes; reply all, favorite, send to email and assign.  All of the functions are self explanatory.

Tweeting

When you tweet you can send that update to any of your social networks (as described above). Hootsuite has easy access to a couple of other nifty things. There is a shrink box where you can shrink a long link into an ow.ly link right below the tweet box. The paperclip is for uploading a picture or other file. Those files are also shrunk to the ow.ly short link system within hootsuite.

The calendar button is the scheduling button, you can schedule as many tweets as you want as far out as you’d like. Also within the scheduler you can opt to bulk schedule (with pro) where you can upload a simple csv spreadsheet you can make in Google Docs with your tweets. Just remember Twitter doesn’t allow you to post the EXACT same message so you have to change it up a bit.

The draft button allows you to make as many drafts as you’d like and come back to them later.

Team

One thing that Hootsuite does very well is team management. Through HootSuite you can assign team members to tweet on your behalf via their Hootsuite dashboards and without compromising your Twitter password.

Search

The HootSuite search box is much more thorough than the one on twitter.com. There is a compass in the right side of the box that even allows you to search for tweets in proximity to where you are.

So there you have it. We use Hootsuite, almost always, to manage our Twitter feed.  In the rare instance that HootSuite is down we do use Tweetdeck and the original Twitter page to manage the Twitter feed.

Try Hootsuite Pro free for 60 days or get the original version free forever

HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard

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