My first thought was – you have got to be kidding me! This dashboard is like mission control for someone with a job in social media. With Hootsuite you can set up various streams for social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress, mixi, and yes – they even have MySpace! Once you have added a social network to your account, you can easily click through the various tabs to see all of your social media activity (in real-time) at a glance. You can see your news feed, mentions, wall posts, sent tweets, events and just about any other type of activity you would have for any of the social networks.
In addition to being able to see all of your social media content from a single site, another advantage of Hootsuite is that it allows you to schedule messages to be sent out. Simply schedule it and forget about it! This is sounding more and more like my kind of tool. Yet, I don’t know when the best time to schedule my message is. If this tool has all my social media history, why can’t it tell me when to send out my updates so I can get the largest possible reach? Now that would be a useful feature!
Hootsuite also offers analytics. Now, I must confess that I am only using the free version of the program so unfortunately I don’t get the reports with all the bells & whistles. However, I was not terribly impressed with the reports that I could gain access to. It seemed like there were a lot of reports specific to Twitter and I could also get access to Facebook Insights (which I can already access through FB) so I’m not really sure how valuable these reports are. Seems like it would be more helpful to have a consolidated view showing highlights of all your social media channels combined. This could help tell you which channels may need more focus.
In short, this tool does have some useful features (aggregation of social network feeds + message scheduling), but I think it still has a ways to go to before it could become the de facto standard for social media publishing AND analysis.