For those of us who use third-party utilities like Seesmic, Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to post to multiple Social Media accounts, there has always been a tradeoff between convenience and appearance. Hootsuite’s recent upgrade, in addition to making far better use of screen real estate, now allows your Facebook posts from Hootsuite to look just like they do when posted in Facebook.
Until recently, if you posted a link from any of these, you got a Facebook post that looked something like this:
There’s nothing at all wrong with that, but if you’re really looking to attract attention on Facebook, it’s worth noting that a link posted from the Facebook page would show you the headline itself and let you select an image from the page being linked. Here’s an example:
While I don’t normally shill specific applications, I felt this was noteworthy because it resolves an ongoing debate regarding use of third-party utilities for Facebook posts. One other advantage is the ability to track the number of clicks on your post. Like other third-party utilities, Hootsuite converts your link to a short URL on which clicks can be tracked. So at any time, you can see if anybody’s actually gone to the page. Sure, you can do the same thing by using one of the many “short URL” services like bit.ly, but Hootsuite makes it easier. When you look at stats on an individual message, you see something like this:
Finally, this also brings up the question of whether it’s better to use a desktop utility (such as Tweetdeck) or a site such as Hootsuite or Brizzly. This may change from time to time, but I have to note that the more applications you have running on your computer, the more likely they are to crash your machine. Sites can do that too, but rarely. I’ve run Tweetdeck and Seesmic applications on Windows XP, Mac and Linux machines, and honestly, they’ve never been stable. As long as the site does what I want it to, I’m sticking with it.