Become a Social Network Ninja with CoTweet

Here at Web.Appstorm, we love social networks and we love the web apps that help us manage our networks. Be it for personal or for business use, it is very useful to be on top of your social network. That is why we have this ongoing series to help you become a “Social Media Ninja”.

Today we will be reviewing one of the hottest startups in the Twitter ecosystem that serves the business or enterprise segment. Right from its launch, CoTweet has declared itself to be a “Social CRM” that helps businesses manage their brand identity on Twitter. Well do they really? Let’s find out.


Overview

Overview

Sign Up

CoTweet has a simple and hassle free sign up process. No email activations are needed.

Sign Up

Sign Up

After filling in the sign up form, CoTweet brings up a window which explains in brief what you can do with the service. Instead of hiding details like in a hidden Terms of Service page, CoTweet are very straightforward when they show these details before logging in for the first time.

Getting Started

Getting Started

Clicking continue, you can add your Twitter account via OAuth. Again, the Twitter login details like user name and password are not stored with CoTweet.

Twitter Account Integration

Twitter Account Integration

Settings

After successful integration of the Twitter account, CoTweet redirects to the settings page that lets you add more accounts or users.

Post Twitter Integration

Post Twitter Integration

Twitter Accounts

Let’s go ahead and start inviting users to handle the Twitter account you have integrated just now. Select the People and Permissions tab to send invites to people whom you want to manage the Twitter account alongside you.

Adding a new user

Adding a new user

You can send multiple invitations for the same Twitter account. The way in which CoTweet lets owners to control user invites from a single window is nicely done.

User Invitation Options

User Invitation Options

If for some reason (spam filters, email restrictions, etc) the user did not get the invitation, you can copy and send the invitation link from the People and Permissions tab.

User Invite Link

User Invite Link

You can integrate your other third party Twitter application API’s for enhanced functionality. CoTweet supports Bit.ly URL shortener and Ping.fm APIs from the Integrations tab. Just toggle the on/off control and enter your API key info to initiate the integration.

Intergrating Third-party API

Intergrating Third-party API

CoTweet account deletion, reset and Twitter profile tweaks can be done by selecting the options under the Edit Settings button.

Account Management

Account Management

Adding a new Twitter account

To add a new Twitter account in addition to the one you have integrated already, click on the Add new account link and CoTweet will display the number of Twitter accounts you have already integrated and the number of accounts that can be added in future.

Adding new Twitter account

Adding new Twitter account

New Twitter account integration is same as before via OAuth and we are then brought back to the CoTweet dashboard.

Twitter account count

Twitter account count

The newly added Twitter account also has its own set of controls, options and users. You can see the sharing status of the Twitter accounts, ie. if somebody else is also allowed to manage the same account from the Twitter Accounts tab.

New Twitter account integration

New Twitter account integration

New Twitter account in the dashboard

New Twitter account in the dashboard

Notifications

You can choose to receive emails whenever you get an @reply or direct message from the OnDuty menu. CoTweet lets you select the intervals at which the emails can be sent.

Email notifications

Email notifications

CoTweet being the social CRM app it is, allows you to receive email notifications whenever a message is assigned to you or when the assignment given to an user has been completed. Though it is not a full fledged workflow trigger like in conventional CRM software, this is a good start.

Assignment Notifications

Assignment Notifications

OnDuty can also be enabled/disabled from the dashboard profile pic. The toggle option is a bit dark but is gorgeous anyways.

User List & OnDuty toggle

User List & OnDuty toggle

OnDuty Toggle

OnDuty Toggle

General Settings

Personal Information, themes and the default Twitter account on the CoTweet stream can be changed from the general settings menu. In comparison with competitors like Hootsuite, the general settings lacks features.

General Settings

General Settings

The USP of CoTweet is allowing multiple users to tweet for the same Twitter account, similar in concept to multiple authors posting from a single blog. Now to identify the user who tweeted the message, you can use CoTags. These CoTags are short signatures, like Jt for Justin. The downside is that CoTags are also counted in the 140 character limit of a tweet.

CoTags

CoTags

User Interface

CoTweet has a Outlook like interface which is extremely streamlined and simple. There is absolutely no clutter in the UI. In fact there aren’t many icons or menus in the main dashboard.

User Interface

User Interface

The Twitter stream is split into two sections – Inbox and Outbox – just like the web interface of an email account.

Inbox

The inbox groups tweets under messages and Friend’s updates. Messages section lists both Direct Messages and @replies, which I found to be very inconvenient. There could have been atleast a small tag or a much brighter color scheme to distinguish between DMs and @replies. Updates from friends are neatly stacked with profile pics on the left and your tweets with profile pic on the right. Subtle, but very effective unlike the DM & @replies mix up.

Friend's Updates

Friend's Updates

Each tweet has its own sets of tiny icons for common tasks like retweet, DM, reply, assign etc. For power users, the Gmail like hotkeys will be a huge time saver.

Tweet Options

Tweet Options

Outbox

The outbox organizes the tweets you have sent and tweets you have scheduled to be published at a later time. Except for deleting the tweet, there are not much options here. Curiously, all the sent messages are marked ‘Sent to @yourusername’. Even the ones I sent to @webappstorm or @wordpress are marked the same way. Not exactly sure why though.

Outbox

Outbox

All the tweets assigned to you will show up under the Follow Up section.

Tweeting

Posting a new tweet is as easy as clicking the New Update button at the top of the stream. The tweet composer window has the standard set of features we are used to see in all Twitter apps. CoTweet uses the http://cot.ag URL shortener by default. Unless you add the Bit.ly API key, you won’t be able to get statistics of the clicks on the links you tweet.

New Tweet

New Tweet

I selected @stravarius to be the default Twitter account at the beginning of this review. However, when composing a new tweet I was forced to use the drop down to select a Twitter account every single time. Very irritating experience indeed.

CoTweet supports tweet scheduling. Not many apps support tweet scheduling and the CoTweet scheduler is the prettiest one I have ever seen.

Tweet Scheduling

Tweet Scheduling

When replying to tweets, conversations are threaded in a very nice way. I hope Twitter adds this design idea to their core product.

Public Reply

Public Reply

Threaded Tweets

Threaded Tweets

Saved Searches

For Enterprise users, feedback on their product or service is very crucial. Understanding this clearly, CoTweet has a robust saved search functionality that keeps track of keywords. With Google like search operators – using quotes, OR, -, from – CoTweet has absolutely nailed the search functionality.

Creating a saved search

Creating a saved search

The searches are precise and are listed in the same email inbox type layout. You can create multiple searches for multiple accounts. The only problem is the inability to see multiple searches side by side, arranged in columns without have to move from one search link to another. That’s where the Searchpad option comes in.

Saved Search Window

Saved Search Window

Click on the Searchpad option on the top right hand corner and enter the keywords you want to track. Search results will be shown side by side in real time. However, I wonder why the already saved searches are not shown when you launch Searchpad for the first time. It will immensely help users if CoTweet merges both these ideas together in future.

Searchpad

Searchpad

You can get tweets for a particular keyword via RSS feed by clicking the Subscribe to this query link.

Lists

Lists can created on the fly from the CoTweet dashboard itself. Lists created can be kept private or public.

List Creation

List Creation

User Profile

Clicking on the small contacts icon near the profile name or on the name itself brings up a sleekly designed user profile column.

User Profiles

User Profiles

The column has tabs listing out the tweet frequency, lists, time line, updates etc. of that user. You can also add notes on the user for future reference. However, if you click to see who are following the user or who he/she is following, you will be taken to their original Twitter profile page.

Final Thoughts

I could not figure out the real purpose of selecting a default Twitter account. The default Twitter account is not prioritized much anywhere in the web app. Come to think of it, there is not much of a point in selecting the default account. Also, for a web app that boasts itself to be a Social CRM, there are simply not enough features to support that claim. I have been using and deploying multiple CRM platforms for a couple of years now and I find this claim to be extremely misleading.

Except for being a decent multi user, multiple account Twitter client, there isn’t much else to talk about in this web app that scored 7/10 in my review.


Summary

Helps teams manage one or more Twitter accounts by providing tweet assignments, notes, and on duty status.

  • CoTweet  | 
  • Free  | 
  • CoTweet, Inc.
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