You’re investing your time and resources into social media but you need an edge. You need to take your social media management to the next level. Hootsuite will help you do just that. If you’ve never even heard of Hootsuite or have but have no idea what it is or what it does, this post offers a brief introduction and also explains why it is a very useful social media management tool.
What is Hootsuite?
Hootsuite is a social media management tool. The ‘dashboard’ was created in 2008 and has since been the tool of choice for both social media agencies and individuals looking to keep their presence consistent. With an ability to add virtually every social media platform to your dashboard, keeping an eye on all your relevant accounts is made very straightforward.
What does it do?
Hootsuite has a number of very useful features. The three key benefits are:
- being able to manage all of your social media accounts from one place
- schedule posts for whenever you want them to come out and
- create streams of important search results.
Should I get it?
If you’re serious about generating sales and leads, Hootsuite is a must. The tool simply makes social media management so much more efficient and effective, especially if you’re managing multiple accounts. Being able to schedule content across multiple platforms around the clock, maximising the impact on your audience without having to be posting content live is invaluable. This consistency and the fact you can do all of your content management in an hour will save hours each week.
If you’re likely to leave your Facebook or Twitter account dormant for the duration of your two-week break or you’re going through a busy spell, having a good bank of content scheduled to go out whilst you’re not even there is a great way to keep cropping up on timelines and gain new followers.
We recently worked with an international brand, with an audience engaged 24 hours of the day. They were only posting content during 9-5 hours (UK time) missing out on thousands of engaged and active individuals from other parts of the globe. It is a shame that the ability to contact someone on the other side of the planet is not inhibited by the technology, but the inability to post content whilst you’re asleep! Furthermore, scheduling is perfect if you only have 2 hours per week to manage your whole online presence. Being able to provide your community with consistency is the key to creating a trustworthy and engaging account.
Here’s a great element of the tool:
Identify members of your target audience. You should have a set of specific social media goals and if these involve engaging with individual accounts, especially over Twitter, you’re going to need to set up a series of relevant keyword searches. Hootsuite will provide you a stream of tweets that contain your keyword or phrase within your specified location. This means you can identify members of your target audience easily and get in touch with them. Of course, you can run these searches manually on Twitter but it is very time consuming and you’ll simply not end up doing them, especially if you’re searching 5 key phrases.
Efficient management. Using the tab system you can manage loads of different accounts from one window – and not just Twitter accounts! Manage Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ all from one window. Think of the time you’ll save by not navigating between profiles and logging in and out. Think of all the interactions you’d miss if you were darting from one platform to the other – you need them all in one, manageable space. If you don’t use Hootsuite, you will inevitably begin using certain platform less and less and reduce your influence over your social sphere.
Let’s do a quick comparison:
Hootsuite vs Tweetdeck
Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are the two most well-known social media management dashboards. There’s no need to own both, so which one is best for your needs?
An age old question, but fear not; be assured that there is no wrong decision. Both tools are widely used and are fairly user-friendly. You will drastically improve your social media presence as soon as you begin using a scheduling tool so the most important thing is to just start using one! We’re not going to push you either way.
On a side note, if you are trying to sell yourself to clients as a social media manager and you don’t have either Hootsuite or Tweetdeck – get one of them now! If you’re applying for jobs with ‘social media’ and, especially, ‘social media expert’ on your resume, you’ll need to get to grips with one or the other as soon as possible. You can’t effectively manage commercial Facebook and, particularly, Twitter accounts by only posting live and without search result feeds!
We don’t want to get deep into exactly which one is better and why, they are similar products but in general, we find that users are most comfortable with Hootsuite. This is simply down to user-friendliness and its appearance. The tab system Hootsuite uses makes social media management logical whether you’re looking after 1, 5 or 20 accounts or profiles.
But you’re a social media agency, which do you use?
Okay, you got us now. We must admit that we do use Hootsuite. The tab and stream layout coupled with the speed of the system make it a relatively obvious choice for the serious marketer. It also has some extra features over Tweetdeck as well as being able to add more platforms like G+ pages and LinkedIn, which our clients need. Even though Hootsuite is an incredibly advanced tool, it remains very good value as an absolutely fundamental tool to your online presence.
Quick update [Spring 2017]
Hootsuite seems to have had several problems over the past couple of years in terms of plugging into Twitter’s API. Hootsuite has become less able to drag in tweets it has found into your stream. As a scheduling tool, it still works a treat, and we continue to use it alongside tools like Buffer.
However, in terms of searching Twitter, we’re increasingly using Twitter’s own advanced search for the most accurate results.
Remember that you can use Hootsuite for free and I’m sure you’ll see how much easier and effective it makes you as a social media marketer.