Sorry to say this, but here’s why Hootsuite sucks.
I am a social marketer, and I’m very good at it. I have used a lot of different tools to manage social networks, and I have had to settle on Hootsuite because of a serious lack of applications like it in the ecosystem. I have liked Hootsuite for a long time, but I’ve never loved it, and it gets harder and harder to love it as time goes on at this point. Here’s why:
It can’t do the simple things
- HS seems unable to do simple things that even the windows 8 twitter app does well, like telling you when someone favorited or Retweeted your tweet. This is inane.
No popup notifications
- HS has no popup notifications, like Tweetdeck had in it’s heyday. It’s refresh interval is terrible, it has no auto stream, and it makes it nearly impossible to really interact with people who post about search terms you run searches for. For those of us who actually understand what social marketing is, we know this is important.
No desktop application
- No desktop application, further exacerbated now by the fact that Fluid is apparently not supported, and so HS can’t work in a dedicated web app window. Again, useless for those of us who are serious about what we do and need a window open 24/7 for monitoring. I don’t want to open a separate browser window for HS. I want an application. It is incredibly stupid that this is now blown out of the water – PS, HS themselves suggested how to make a desktop app from a webpage using Chrome for a long time. They’ve now broken this.
No Auto URL shortening
- No auto URL shortening. Seriously? Oh, and no easy way to use any shortneners besides ow.ly. Lame. I’d be ok with this, if the auto-scheduler actually used the ow.ly interaction data to create good posting times and schedules, but it can’t do that (I’ll get onto that in a sec). As a result, ow.ly is just another shortener that isn’t really any good at giving us useful information.
No uniformity between mobile and desktop apps
- Mobile and desktop apps lack functionality between them. The mobile app has a shorten URL button, but desktop doesn’t? Really?
Scheduling is still crap.
- Scheduling system still feels like it’s from 1997. Sorry, it’s true. The only way anyone who really knows how to schedule with HS can do so is if they use a third party solution, like Hootbulk.
Social Media Monitoring? Not really.
- HS doesn’t really give you tools to effectively monitor your social brands and interact quickly. For those that have used Sprout social, you know what I mean. Social marketing and engagement is about speed and agility. HS lacks this terribly. There is no quick notification system to tell you that someone is shitting on your brand on a social network. If you market, you know that if you don’t catch that shit in minutes, you can lose thousands of customers.
Twitter list integration is janky.
- Twitter list integration is still garbage. I can’t edit lists from multiple accounts, I can’t even EDIT those lists properly.
No inline photos in streams.
- I know that Twitter isn’t a photo browsing application, but even twitter profiles allow you to easily see images posted at this point. Hootsuite can’t even do this; you still have to click on an image link to see it – the UI is not robust at all.
There is literally no easy way to search for ONE user profile in Hootsuite. You have to search for that username over ALL of Twitter, then click a found result, and maybe get the info that you wanted. Or you could just go to Twitter.com and do it there in one step. And not bother using Hootsuite at all.
Auto Scheduler really doesn’t work as it’s supposed to.
- Auto schedule does not do what it is supposed to do, near as I can tell. Auto scheduling should mean that HS would take analytics from post data, compare interaction, and then auto post your post at the time that gets the best interaction. Not so. I run many social networks, and I’ve used auto scheduler many times, only to find that it posts a bunch of garbage at 6am MST when NO one is going to see it. I know that my interactions don’t happen then, and my analytics would show it. Therefore, HS should not post at that time. However, auto schedule doesn’t learn. It just dumps posts at times that it “thinks” are prime times, but rarely ever do. I’ve done the math on this, kids, it doesn’t work, not like HS touts that it does — “Auto schedule to get maximum post exposure!” – yeah, to the ten people browsing your profile at 6am in Saskatchewan. Nice intelligence, Hootsuite!
Reports are expensive.
We really have to pay out the nose for report “points” to be able to create different social interaction reports? Social market
Ouch, that hurt.
I really do like HS, and unfortunately it’s the only player in the game in the long run for a real social desktop application, but that would mean, you’d think, that there would be improvements. There have not been in quite some time, from what I see, and it’s getting really old waiting and waiting for these things to happen.
C’mon, Hootsuite. You have potential, but I fail to see how you’re a real social management dashboard. Posting lots of messages? Yes. Running reports with flashy diagrams? Yes. Real CRM? Not at all, sorry.
I deeply wish I was savvy enough to create a social media management application that I really love. If I had the resources, I would. However, Hootsuite HAS those resources. They recently raised $167 million dollars:
And apparently, they can’t put any of that money towards really creating a serious social media desktop application. Sad, really.
Now, what else should we use to seriously market? Sadly, there isn’t anything else. Sprout social lacks some serious features, and is insanely expensive, Tweetdeck sucks (it just sucks, I don’t have to expand on this, it SUCKS), and everything else has been bought by other companies and shuttered or destroyed.
Who wants to develop a real social media dashboard app with me?