Recently I’ve been researching the various tools that are available to help businesses manage their Twitter accounts. We have now reached a point at the agency where we have a number of consultants working collaboratively on Twitter accounts for numerous clients, so we really need to look at using something more sophisticated than TweetDeck.
HootSuite and CoTweet are the two obvious contenders in this area. Both tools provide a browser based console that makes it easier for teams to work together on one or more Twitter accounts, but there are some clear differences which I think make them suitable for different roles.
CoTweet has some good workflow features, which help you to assign responsibilities to team members and stay on top of responding to comments and enquiries. This makes it ideal for organisations which want to use Twitter for customer service and need to respond to a large number of enquiries in a timely fashion.
HootSuite doesn’t have the advanced workflow features of CoTweet, but it does offer an excellent reporting feature which provides detailed analysis of how the Twitter community responds to web links you’ve posted. From a PR and comms perspective this is great stuff. Most people working in the social media space are obsessive about measurement, so this kind of detailed, real-time stats reporting is like gold dust. One small issue is that the detailed stats only work if you use HootSuite’s built in URL shortner, rather than something like bit.ly, but this really isn’t much of a a problem.
Obviously everybody’s going to have their own requirements for these kinds of tools, but after spending some time investigating them both I’m leaning towards HootSuite as the best system for managing PR activity on Twitter.