Whether you are a blogger, an entrepreneur launching a startup, a social media marketing guru, or just about anyone living in today’s super-connected digital world, you have likely discovered that keeping up with all of your social networks can be a bit tedious. This is especially true if you are handling business accounts as well as personal, or managing social media for multiple companies or clients.
Enter Hootsuite. Widely regarded as one of (if not THE) top social media management platforms, Hootsuite allows you to monitor activity and schedule posts across all your networks from one dashboard. And it is SO easy to use.
If you are new to Hootsuite, here are some basic tips to help you get the most out of this valuable social media management tool.
Step 1: Add Your Social Networks
First, decide which version of Hootsuite best suits your needs. The free version allows you to manage up to five social profiles, or you can upgrade to one of two premium versions to get 50 profiles, or unlimited.
Once you enter the basic info to create your account, you’ll start populating your Hootsuite dashboard with your social networks. Choose the networks you wish to add, and follow the prompts to connect each one to Hootsuite.
Step 2: Add Streams and Tabs
Once you have connected your social networks, Hootsuite will guide you through adding streams of content associated with the various networks. For example, under your Twitter account you can add streams like “Home Feed,” “Mentions,” or “Scheduled Tweets.” For Facebook, stream options include “Wall Posts,” “Scheduled Messages,” and “Private Messages.” The streams will appear in your dashboard as you add them.
Once you’ve added the streams you wish to monitor for the first network, simply click the + button next to “My First Tab” to create additional tabs for your other networks. Click on a tab to rename it.
A common way to set up your Hootsuite dashboard is to create a tab for each social network associated with a particular brand or identity. So let’s say you want to manage social media for your personal networks, and you are also the administrator for your company accounts. You could create tabs like “Heather’s Twitter,” “ThinkBelleCom Twitter,” “Heather’s Facebook,” “Belle Com Facebook,” etc. Then, add the streams that you wish to monitor under each tab.
3. Track Activity, Trends and Mentions
You can use Hootsuite to keep track of more than just your news feeds and posts. Want to see when your company is mentioned on Twitter? What about following along with trending hashtags or industry-relevant conversations? Hootsuite offers a keyword feature in the “Add a Stream” box so that you can follow specific hashtags or phrases.
You can also get more specific with your tabs. Let’s say you want to see the activity that your posts are generating on Twitter. You could create a tab called “Twitter Engagement” and then add streams for “Mentions,” “My Tweets, Retweeted,” and “New Followers.” When you click on this tab, you will see only these three streams and have a quick snapshot of new activity taking place on your Twitter account.
You can even put streams from multiple social networks or multiple accounts together under one tab. Maybe you want to see all your Facebook activity from several different accounts, so you create a “Facebook” tab with streams for each account. Or, if you want to see all of your scheduled posts on all social networks for a certain brand, you can create a tab such as “Belle Com Scheduled” with streams for Twitter scheduled posts, Facebook scheduled posts, etc.
4. Share and Schedule Posts
One of the biggest time-saving features of Hootsuite is the ability to not only share posts instantly, but also to schedule them for later. To share or schedule a post, type in the “Compose Message” field at the top of the dashboard. Hootsuite has an automatic link-shortener, and you can also attach images.
Next, select the social network(s) on which you want your post to appear. If you need to remove a network, just click on the icon at the top and it will move back to the list of networks below.
Once you have composed your message, added links/images, and selected the social networks, your post is ready to share. You can click the “Send Now” button, or click on the calendar icon to schedule the post for later.
Also, be sure to install the Hootlet browser extension, which allows you to post content directly from any website without even opening your Hootsuite dashboard.
There is a lot more you can do with Hootsuite, but these basics are all you need to know to start posting, monitoring, and scheduling like a pro.
What is your favorite social media or tech tool? Let us know in the comments, and it may be featured in a future Toolkit Tuesday post.