Last week, HootSuite updated of its Hootlet for Chrome and Firefox, allowing users to auto-schedule tweets while they surf the web with a simple browser extension. For Twitter power users and any brand that needs to keep their Twitter account authentically and efficiently active, auto-scheduling while you browse is a must. This new Hootlet feature patched a hole in the social media management tool that had some users moving on to BufferApp in order to schedule their tweets.
So which service should you use to schedule your tweets, BufferApp or Hootsuite’s Hootlet? That depends on how you use Twitter.
Do You Need to Schedule Tweets for Multiple Accounts?
So you tweet for your brand, yourself and other similar professional accounts. This is where efficiency comes into play more than anything. The difference between scheduling for multiple accounts on BufferApp and Hootlet is just a few seconds. If you’re tweeting a lot for multiple account, then those seconds can add up. BufferApp’s simple interface makes it much easier to quickly schedule a tweet for multiple accounts.
Answer: If you’re not sending many tweets for multiple accounts, you’ll be fine with Hootlet. But BufferApp is better for more frequent scheduling with many accounts.
Do You Want Control Over Your Scheduling?
HootSuite is touting “smart scheduling to maximize reach and impact of your social messaging” with the release of Hootlet auto-scheduling. That means instead of choosing a regular schedule ahead of time, like you do with BufferApp, Hootsuite picks the time it thinks is best for your Twitter account. That also means that you may send a cluster of tweets a few minutes apart, and then another cluster at a later time.
BufferApp on the other hand doesn’t send a cluster of tweets unless you want it to. The on-time manual scheduling means you know how many tweets are going out on your account. It also means that you’re less likely to empty your queue. My own experience with Hootlet auto-scheduling has been that I had to put more effort into my accounts. That’s why I stopped using HootSuite’s old scheduling tool in the first place.
Answer: If you just want to rely on HootSuite’s optimization and send a few tweets a day, then go with Hootlet. But if you want a reliable schedule that allows you to efficiently manage your accounts, then BufferApp is the way to go.
Do You Need to Build a Regular Analytics Report?
You’re always going to need analytics with your auto-scheduling tool. You need to see what content works so that you can provide your followers with better information. But some of us need to deliver a report to a boss or a client to show the account’s success. Both BufferApp and HootSuite’s provide analytics, but only HootSuite allows you to create a PDF report with a click of a button.
Hootsuite’s analytics are more reliable, too. Because BufferApp uses bit.ly click stats, sending out a tweet over more than one account combines the click-through number. So if you’re a marketer who tweets for your brand and tweets the same content on your personal Twitter account, your stats are going to be inflated if you use BufferApp. You can quickly figure out where the difference is just by checking the tweets that aren’t sent on both accounts, but that’s not something you want to try an explain to your boss.
Answer: Hoolet is the only option if you need an easy to create analytics report, but if you’re simply scanning for observations, then BufferApp will do.
Do You Reply to Retweets or Comments Someone Makes on Your Tweets?
Hootsuite has always had an issue with showing all retweets and mentions. To get around this, I always recommend setting up a Twitter search stream in Hootsuite with your Twitter handle, rather than just relying on the “Mentions” stream.
BufferApp doesn’t appear to have this issue. It also displays information about a user who uses the newer retweet style on your tweets, whereas Hootsuite just shows the number of rewteets without user information.
Answer: BufferApp is better for active responses. But if you’re not worried about replying to a retweet or comment, the Hootsuite will do.
BufferApp is easier to use and more efficient than Hootsuite. For auto-scheduling you are still better off using BufferApp instead of Hootlet (unless you need analytics reports). If you simply want an all-in-one solution and are willing to sacrifice efficiency, control and user experience, then HootSuite users, Hootlet is your tool.
But I still use both. Hootsuite is where I go to monitor Twitter and send non-content related tweets, but BufferApp is where I go to share blog posts and news stories. HootSuite might streamline in the future. BufferApp might expand to a robust social monitoring tool. Today, that’s not case. I’m fine using both. If you’re not, then you have some information on whether to invest in BufferApp or Hootsuite.