Hootsuite is a tool used to manage your social media marketing. It is one of the many tools referred to as a “Social Media Management” Tool or System (others include TweetDeck, Sprout Social, Buffer). For people who manage multiple social media platforms, Hootsuite enables you to monitor what people are saying about your brand by viewing many streams for multiple social networks quickly. Hootsuite has become a popular choice for Social Media Managers, Community Managers, and anyone who is responsible for managing their company’s social media marketing.
About Hootsuite Plans and Pricing: I use Hootsuite Pro which is $8.99 a month. Most of the features listed below are also available with the Free version of Hootsuite. The reason why I use Hootsuite Pro is to accommodate all of my social media profiles. The free Hootsuite allows up to 3 social profiles, where as Hootsuite Pro allows up to 50 social profiles.
How I use Hootsuite (a Social Media Management Tool)
1) Manage multiple streams (social networks, multiple accounts) in one place. Although Hootsuite does manage Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and others, I mostly use Hootsuite for managing multiple Twitter accounts. So instead of logging into 5-6 different Twitter accounts, I can login to Hootsuite and see all the Twitter feeds under one roof.
2) Save time with scheduling tweets or posts. As I mentioned above, I use Hootsuite mostly for Twitter. Facebook’s scheduling capabilities have made the scheduling Facebook posts in Hootsuite unnecessary, in my opinion. However, I do use Hootsuite daily to schedule tweets, especially for times in the day that I am not typically tweeting for business, such as evenings, weekends, holidays, and vacations. I have also found Hootsuite to be a nice option for scheduling to Linkedin’s Company profiles, as there are currently no scheduling capabilities within Linkedin to do this.
3) Reduce re-work by using drafts of tweets that can be saved. I have found multiple ways to use the newer “drafts” option in Hootsuite. For instance, if a common question occurs, the drafted message is ready to respond with. I have also found that certain tweets, such as reminders or hot topics are good to tweet multiple times. If you have a message saved as a draft, you can easily access it in the future to edit and/or tweet.
4) Curate New Content with “Suggestions”. Sometimes Hootsuite “Suggestions” can find great content for you to tweet out, use on other social networks, or even write a blog post about. You provide 3 topics (keywords) and which social account(s) that you want to publish it to. Then it will search the internet for articles related to that topic and create a tweet, article URL, and suggested time to send based on your preferences. Before scheduling anything, I always click on the URL and review the article to make sure it is relevant. Then, before scheduling, I edit the tweet and add hashtags.
Other Useful Features of Hootsuite
RSS Feeds: If you have a blog and you know that you want to get every blog post in front of your twitter followers quickly, adding the RSS Feed will automatically send it out. This is often just a nice reminder if you don’t get a chance to tweet right away. I still promote the blog with follow-up tweets that are more customized, mention the author’s twitter handle, an opinion on the post, etc.
Bulk Message Upload: With bulk message upload, you can upload a CSV spreadsheet of tweets and the time you want it to be scheduled. I have found this feature to be somewhat difficult to get formatted just as Hootsuite wants it, and I find the Hootsuite Scheduler to be pretty simple so I have just used that. But if you have a large amount of tweets that you want to schedule, the bulk message uploader may be a time saver.
Team Collaboration: At this time, I do not use Hootsuite’s Team feature. However, this could be very useful if you work for a large company and have multiple people responding to tweets. This can be especially handy if one of your primary reasons for Twitter is to use it to manage customer service.
Do you use Hootsuite or another Social Media Management tool? What features do you use most or save you the most time? I would love to hear about it – tweet me at @jkaufenberg or reach us at the Vivid Image Facebook Page.