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Why I don’t believe in AutoSchedule in Hootsuite

I am a real fan of Hootsuite. Since 2-3 years it is my favorite Social Media Dashboard, the place, where I feed my different Social Media Channels. Through the Hootsuite client I have access to Facebook, Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare WordPress and Google +-Pages. Absolutley a great way to manage all these accounts. And even better: Hootsuite is not only available on my Mac or in the browser. I am working in the same environment with mobile clients on my iPhone and iPad.  The only shortfall I am experiencing for a while is on the iPad. When I use the Hootlet-AddOn (the integration into the Firefox- and Safari-Toolbar), I always get the message on the iPad to install the Hootsuite-client, although this client is already there. De- and re-installimg doesn’t help. Ok, not very comfortable, but I can live with it.

We are using the tool on an European level to manage our different  IBM Social Business Social-Media-accounts, monitor and assign tasks to the team members. People just love it: Multichannel-support, mobile support and integration in the browser are just my personal top features. And I was very excited, when Hootsuite announced their Autoschedule-feature. The promise is great:

Whether you’re sharing a webpage, an image, or your own witty musings, AutoSchedule determines the optimal posting times for your favorite social networks. Maximize reach without swamping your followers.

via Easy Scheduling ~ AutoSchedule in the Dashboard – HootSuite Social Media Management.

What a wonderful world. The system thinks for me and publishes the information at the appropriate time to reach a maximum of recipients. But … I have my doubts. I am using the feature for a while and I believe it has a few holes. In particular it has to fight with different language posts and location of the author. I am sitting in Germany posting messages in English and German language. Obviously the German language messages are intended primarily for a German language speaking audience. And this audience is awake and reading most probably at Central European Time. So it doesn’t make sense, that Hootsuite schedules messages later in the evening. The other way around I quite often get the feeling that English language messages are being published to early, in the morning European time, where most of the Americans are still asleep. So an intelligent autoscheduling needs to take care of language, location and intended recipients and their preferred time zone(s)

For me the Autoschedule seems not yet to be a Game Changer, as stated on SocialMediaToday. Guys, don’t want to be unpolite, but there is a world beyond the Americas, in particular in time sof Social Media and the „Social Age“  … ReadWriteWeb did a test of autoscheduling features. They recommend Buffer over Hootsuite and seem to have similar doubts like I have. Both tools are meanwhile integrated in SocialBro, a free service for managing and analyzing Twitter followers and traffic. I haven’t tested Buffer yet due to our committment to Hootsuite in the team. A feature both tools don’t seem to have, is scheduling a message more than ones. This could take care of different time zones and this could raise the awareness for a Tweet or a Facebook-posting.

Do you have any experience to share, in particular around the international requirements I am describing?

Filed under: English language articles, Soziale Medien & "das Netz"

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... arbeitet in Communications bei Kyndrl Deutschland, dem weltweit führenden Anbieter zum Management kritischer IT-Infrastruktur. Den gelernten Journalisten hat seine Leidenschaft für das Schreiben, Beobachten, Kommentieren und den gepflegten Diskurs nie verlassen. Diese Passion lebt er u.a. in seinem privaten Blog StefanPfeiffer.Blog oder auch als Moderator von Liveformaten wie #9vor9 - Die Digitalthemen der Woche und Podcasts aus. Digitalisierung in Deutschland, die digitale Transformation in der Gesellschaft, in Unternehmen und Verwaltung oder die Zusammenarbeit am modernen Arbeitsplatz sind Themen, die in leidenschaftlich bewegen. Vor Kyndryl hat Pfeiffer in der IBM im Marketing in unterschiedlichen internationalen Rollen gearbeitet. Seine weiteren beruflichen Stationen waren FileNet und die MIS AG. Auf Twitter ist er als @DigitalNaiv „erreichbar“. 

3 Comments

  1. Hi Stefan,

    DaveO from HootSuite here with a few thoughts and observations.

    1) My Community department interacts with users all around the world like you and we pay special attention to feedback from non-North American users as we keep growing.

    2) HootSuite AutoSchedule uses a proprietary formula, so we can’t give away our algorithm but I can share a few things:
    – AutoSchedule posts relative to your local time that is set by your computer
    – The timing takes into account the different social networks, so different networks will have different times
    – There is no frequency control at this time
    – There are no timing parameters that can be set (Ex. you cannot customize AutoSchedule to work from 9am – 5pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

    3) We’ll continue to improve and evolve the tools to take into account various use cases like you’ve identified.

    4) Did you see we released a localized German version of HootSuite recently? It’s not perfect but again, we’ll keep evolving and improving.

    5) Please feel free to ping me @daveohoots or my team @hootclub with any other ideas, requests or feedback from your perspective.

    Danke,

  2. Dave, appreciate your comments and your offer to discuss ideas. Unfortunately the world is quite difficult, some of my Tweets are in German for a German speaking audience, some English for everybody … Please be sure that I do understand the challenge.

    Thank you & have a great week.

    (And of course I saw the German version. Thx)

    ((Are you in touch with is about integrating IBM Connections MicroMessaging?))

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