Twitter is a stream of information that whips by users with startling speed. That means you need to be strategic about what you tweet and, more importantly, when you Tweet it. That’s why finding a solution to getting your tweets out at the right time is crucial—it’s simply impossible for most people to establish a work routine that involves tweeting in real time at peak hours for Twitter, which fall between mid-afternoon and late evening.
Hootsuite solves this issue by allowing you to schedule tweets once a day, allowing them to trickle out throughout that critical peak time. Typical Twitter users check their feeds periodically throughout those peak hours, so spacing out your tweets is important—you always want to be among the most recent few dozen tweets so users will see what you have to say.
Though its generally agreed that peak hours hit later in the day, your audience could be a little different—maybe your blog has a lot of European or Australian readers, for example. That’s just one reason why monitoring your tweets is important, which brings us to the next reason to use Hootsuite.
Hoot Suite offers URL shortening using its ow.ly domain (I know, hilarious). This URL shortening allows Hootsuite to track all the folks clicking your links—the redirects act as a sort of virtual turnstile.
Though your current site analytics solution may see incoming traffic from Twitter.com, it can’t differentiate between traffic generated by bookmarks, email links, or links clicked on from Twitter clients like TweetDeck or Seesmic Desktop. Because all of these types of incoming traffic essentially drop a link into the address bar of a browser and load a site, they all appear as “direct traffic” to traffic measuring tools.
By using HootSuites measuring tools, you’ll see what portion of your direct traffic is being generated by your efforts on Twitter. In most cases, you’ll find that traffic from Twitter.com makes up only a small percentage of your total traffic generated through Twitter. With so many Twitter users accessing the service via mobile clients—another source measured as direct traffic—this isn’t surprising.
Hootsuite will also allow you to generate new tweets by submitting an RSS feed, so that new blog posts or other kinds of new content will be added to your Twitter feed. The title of your new content will become the text of the tweet and a shortened URL link to the post will be add automatically.
It’s important to note, however, that while RSS-to-Twitter tools are a time saver, they may not be the best strategy. Making your tweets conversational and ensuring that they’re the most relevant items of the day is the bare minimum for sustaining an audience—this isn’t likely to happen if your only strategy on Twitter is to dump your RSS feeds into your account. Instead, consider offering accounts that are solely RSS-to-Twitter powered for those who use Twitter as a substitute for RSS readers, but be sure to maintain a hand-crafted account for users who have a general interest in your organization.
Thankfully HootSuite can also help you keep your Tweets interactive and conversational. By taking full advantage of HootSuite multi-column layout, you can easily track direct messages, mentions, and retweets along with your pending and sent tweets.
This combination of scheduling, tracking, RSS-to-Twitter, and multi-column control panel makes HootSuite the most powerful and full featured Twitter client on the market.