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Twitter is an awesome social networking tool, if you know how to use it (check out the Complete Guide to Twitter PDF Guide Twitter: Best Practices and Tips Twitter: Best Practices and Tips Read More )!  One of the first issues I ran into in my use of Twitter is how to follow so many people and actually keep up with what they are saying.  Come to find out, there are many tools out there to help sort out the noise and organize your followers and those you follow.

If you have no idea of what I’m talking about, check these posts out:

* 9 Ways To Use Twitter “No Website Necessary” 9 Ways To Use Twitter - No Website Necessary 9 Ways To Use Twitter - No Website Necessary Read More
* 4 Tools for More Productive Twittering 4 Tools for More Productive Twittering 4 Tools for More Productive Twittering Read More
* 3 More Cool Twitter Tools To Do Your Tweeting With 3 More Cool Twitter Tools To Do Your Tweeting With 3 More Cool Twitter Tools To Do Your Tweeting With Read More
* 4 Good Alternatives to TweetDeck & Seesmic Desktop (Twitter Desktop Clients) 4 Good Alternatives to TweetDeck & Seesmic Desktop (Twitter Desktop Clients) 4 Good Alternatives to TweetDeck & Seesmic Desktop (Twitter Desktop Clients) Read More .

One such web-based tool is HootSuite. Yes, it’s web-based, meaning you can sign in almost anywhere there’s an Internet connection, unlike TweetDeck which is a desktop program. These days, there are many different web-based Twitter clients being made so I want to go through what perhaps sets HootSuite apart from the rest.

hootsuite


The first thing that makes HootSuite worth trying out is how easy it is to personalize.

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hootsuite

There are so many ways you can tweak HootSuite to make it suit your needs such as the ability to have personalized columns. Adding columns is as easy as hitting the “Add Column” plus sign.

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And up pops the option box!

hootsuite beta

You can have columns for almost anything you can think of including DMs, mentions, sent tweets, and even keyword tracking and  searches.

Keep an eye on your brand! If you ever want to know what people are saying about you, your business or your brand on Twitter, you’d probably head over to search.twitter.com and run a search for your company’s name, your name, or your brand. You’ll then get a list of the latest tweets containing that information. HootSuite makes it a whole lot easier! By setting up a column searching for your name or brand, you can keep an easy eye out for those tweets!

hootsuite beta

One cool way columns can help you organize all of those twits you want to follow is groups. Adding twits to groups is as easy as clicking on the avatar and dragging it into the desired group!

hootsuite beta

Want the columns in a specific order? No problem! It’s as easy as dragging them to the desired slot!

hootsuite beta

Another cool thing you can do with search columns (columns you are running a search for keywords, etc.) is you can embed them into you website or blog!  What I see as a downside is that this option seems to only be available for search columns. I’m not sure why. Still cool anyway, right?

Just look for the code symbol.

twitter client

Customize the widget to your liking.

twitter client

Copy and paste the code into your site.

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Viola! You’ll have an updating Twitter search widget for your site or blog!

twitter client windows

There is only so much screen real estate that we have to deal with. If you are like me, you’ll end up with many different columns and there’s just not enough room! That’s where tabs come in!  Help organize groups of columns with personalized tabs!

twitter client windows

How refreshing like a warm spring breeze blowing in the window! Organize groups of columns with tabs, naming them any way you want! You can have a friends tab and have columns such as “hometown”, “college”, and “church”. Then you can have a news tab with columns such as “local”, “regional”, and “national”. Whatever you want.

HootSuite also makes working as a team really easy by letting you do things such as assigning others to access and tweet and control several different Twitter accounts, all in one HootSuite account!

twitter client windows

You can choose which twitter account you want to tweet a message with, or you can tweet the same message across several, reaching all of your audiences at once!

twitter clients

I only have one Twitter account, but you get the drift!

There is so much more that HootSuite allows you do such as, URL shortening using Ow.ly, click statistics to see how many clicks you get on links tweeted, and the infamous Hootlet for your link posting pleasure!  It even allows you to set a future time for your tweet to be tweeted! Give HootSuite a whirl! You may actually be able to get a handle on what’s going on in this Twittersphere we keep hearing about!

What tools do you use with Twitter and why?  What makes it better, worse or different from HootSuite?

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