If you are a standard CoTweet user, you have probably heard that on February 15, 2012, ExactTarget will be replacing the free service CoTweet with the premium service SocialEngage - with a free trial for 30 days. To help those of you that may be scrambling for an alternative, we did some leg work for you. Below you’ll find a comparison of features and functionality across SocialEngage and other popular social media management tools in the interest of deciding which alternative is best for standard CoTweet users. The factors considered in this comparison include the ability to pre schedule posts, view messages and replies, as well as multiple user and team members support, and of course, pricing.
Billed as the next chapter for CoTweet, SocialEngage has the same general interface (single column display with sidebar navigation) plus many new features. Pricing for SocialEngage is not available online. To find out more about SocialEngage you must provide an email to download a digital brochure and then speak with a salesperson for a price.
Creating and scheduling posts are simple tasks with HootSuite. It features an intuitive interface using tab navigation for each profile, multiple columns for displaying streams (feeds, mentions, messages) and a side toolbar to access features. HootSuite also features custom analytic reporting and supports adding profiles from most social networks.
TweetDeck is available as a web or desktop application and is very easy to create and schedule posts from multiple profiles. It features a simple multiple column interface and a top toolbar. You may add multiple columns and assign feeds, mentions, messages and more from unlimited social profiles. Unfortunately there is no team member support.
MarketMeSuite has an interface that is very similar to CoTweet; and offers similar functionality with the addition of adding profiles from LinkedIn and Facebook, but currently not Pages. MarketMeSuite is in beta with some additional functionality still in development, including analytic reporting.
Creating and scheduling posts is not a quick process with Roost. The wizard-like interface walks you through 4 steps to create a message. The application encourages you to create a campaign for the an entire week and has a feature that recommends content based on sources you choose. Team members are not supported.
Seemic offers a plethora of apps for web, desktops, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. The simple interface uses multiple column display and sidebar navigation - similar to TweetDeck. Seesmic supports unlimited social profiles, but there is no team member support.
Buffer is an interesting and different paradigm from CoTweet. The idea is that when you come across something you like, simply add it to your “buffer” - a queue from which Buffer publishes at established times of the day. Adding posts in Buffer is very straight forward, however, you do not have the ability to pick individual date/times for your posts. Adding posts from web or mobile device to Buffer is a snap, with browser plugins available for most browsers, Android and Google Reader.
Recommended Alternatives for Standard CoTweet Users
In consideration of all the factors used to compare these services, MarketMeSuite is the only service that offers all the functionality of CoTweet for the same price: free. CoTweet users will find the interface to be very familiar, while offering some additional features. MarketMeSuite is a beta service and some of the functionality is still in development, so some change is expected. For more information, MarketMeSuite has provided a Getting Started Video.
If you would rather avoid using a beta service and are willing to pay a premium, HootSuite is the most affordable option. It offers all the same functionality of CoTweet plus custom analytic reporting and support for most social networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.
We hope this has been a helpful overview of some of the popular social media management tools available for those standard CoTweet users trying to decide on the best alternative.