If you’re serious about your social media efforts then that probably means you have multiple accounts to manage. In that case, you need to know about Hootsuite.
What is Hootsuite?
If you’ve never heard of Hootsuite before, then this is how they describe themselves in their own words:
“HootSuite is a social media management system for businesses and organisations to collaboratively execute campaigns across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ Pages from one secure, web-based dashboard. Advanced functionality includes tools for audience engagement, team collaboration, account security and comprehensive analytics for end-to-end measurement and reporting.”
What that mouthful basically means is that from one webpage, you can manage the most popular social media sites you use. You can tweet on Twitter, post a status update on your Facebook page and attach images too all without leaving Hootsuite.
How It Looks & Works
Below is a screenshot of my Hootsuite window for the @ArmshouseGroup Twitter account. The different columns or ‘streams’ you can see are for the home feed, mentions, direct messages, retweets etc. Hootsuite lets you choose how many streams you want to see and which ones.
Above the streams is a row of tabs which represent the different accounts linked to Hootsuite. So in my example I have the Armshouse Group Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as some others for clients I manage. This makes it really easy to switch between Twitter and Facebook without having to log-on to each of those sites.
Save Time & Schedule
One of the nifty things about Hootsuite is the ability to schedule tweets/posts for a future date or time. If you’ve got a busy day and you can’t be online updating your feeds when you’d like to, you can write them in advance and have Hootsuite send them out for you. You might be wondering why you might want to do that; after all, social media is meant to be social and automating tweets may seem like it goes against that principle. The simple answer is that social media for business is a different beast entirely than when used for your personal life.
As part of your social media strategy, you should be looking to keep in touch with your followers regularly. Scheduling updates in advance means you can do this when you might not otherwise be able to get to a computer or use your mobile. Also, some people have a following from all over the world and daytime here will be night elsewhere. Scheduling lets them keep connected with their further audiences too.
What Does It Cost?
The best thing about Hootsuite is that it’s free to use. Some features require you to upgrade to a monthly plan, but the free offering should be more than enough to handle most of the things you’re likely to want to do and it allows you to link up to five different profiles (Twitter, Facebook etc.) so that’s pretty generous.
What’s The Catch?
There isn’t one really. The only thing I would say is that for some tasks, it’s still easier to log-on to Facebook; uploading photos in bulk is one example of this. Hootsuite will let you attach photos to tweets and posts, but the full range of tools available on Facebook for sorting and organising photos is far more comprehensive. Hootsuite is more about the written content and saving you time by being more productive and it certainly does that well.
If you’d like to give Hootsuite a try, then head over to their website at www.hootsuite.com and register for a free account. There’s also lots of help and advice on their site to get you started. If you’d like more detailed assistance with your social media strategy, we have more information about how we can help you on the Social Media section of our website.