Most people engaged in social media management will tell you the same, you should use dashboards (like Hootsuite which I am focusing on here) and other tools to make your daily life easier. With an ever-growing base of tools and social networks, having one place to rule them all (or some of them at least) does make a lot of sense when looking for efficiency. Managing several profiles across just as many social platforms can become near impossible – or, at least, seriously time-consuming – if not using dashboards like Hootsuite.
Hootsuite main features: social media 101
I have been using Hootsuite for years now and I keep recommending it, especially to beginners, because the tool’s features also act like a tutorial for social media management. From the ability to shorten links to the scheduling of content or the analytics attached to your activity.
Here are a few top Hootsuite features – and must-do – for every social media manager.
Hootsuite: Mobile and Web App
Hootsuite is available on various devices, through the web or apps. Although they may not offer all the same features, your accounts are still synced so no matter which device you’re using, you’ve got the most up-to-date information. The most important feature of the mobile app is the notifications. From a strict community – or social media – management, you can be alerted to tweets and messages even if being on the go.
This may sometimes create some hassle but it is also crucial from a customer service and experience point of view.
Firstly, please note that scheduling is not automation. Strict automation, for example having an automatic direct message (DM) sent to every new follower on Twitter should absolutely be banned.
Why? Do you really like to get dozens of spams everyday in your mailbox? Question answered.
Scheduling, if not mandatory, is a major time-saving functionality. And a strategic tool.
You can not shoot all your content out at once when you are online. At the same time, you can not be available 24/7 on all social platforms. Hence, for the sake of spreading out your content, saving time and reaching a larger audience, the need to schedule it. Hootsuite gives you this ability to create a tweet or a post (LinkedIn, Facebook, …) and define a specific time for each tweet/post to be sent. To make it even easier for beginners, there is an auto-schedule feature which allows you to create your content and let Hootsuite ensure posting it at the best time to reach the most of your followers. Magic!
Shorten your links
Back to basics, shorten your links!
Twitter only allows 140 characters; why spoil some of these on posting full urls? Hootsuite has a built-in link shortening option (ever seen some ow.ly links?) available when composing your post. Just paste your link and shorten. Not only does it save space for your content but also adds analytical capabilities (Hootsuite analytics coming next) and you can also customise the links to make them easy to remember and share or even for tracking purposes.
Big data and Analytics
We live in a data world. Whether you are speaking growth hacking, data science or just social media strategy, data are at the core. Base your decisions on actual facts and figures.
With Hootsuite, you have a range of reports available, some for free, some through paid options, covering everything from your Twitter following (the one vanity metric) to clicks on your links (see previous chapter).
One of the challenges of social media being reporting and ROI, make use of every opportunity to gather data and use them to assess your goals/results and make educated decisions for the next steps to take.
Last but definitely not least, searches. It is in fact the most important feature on Hootsuite – and advice for social media. Search and explore. Keep track of tags, mentions, topics or people in your circles.
You may see the people speaking about “listening” being even more important than sharing or posting on social networks.
This is a rule of thumb. Do not go out making noise when you do not know what you are talking about.
Create Streams for hashtags or keywords
This is one of my favorite features of Hootsuite: the ability to save a search as a stream. Like the Twitter timeline, the feed keeps updating.
The uses of this feature are numerous. Whether you use it to keep track of your competition, a specific hashtag, things happening in your industry, in your region, etc. You can also use it to stream the tweets from people you have gathered in a Twitter list.
Twitter lists will certainly become a massive tool for you as you progress too.
Why? As your account(s) grows, so do usually the number of accounts you follow, creating a fast-running timeline which becomes increasingly difficult to read and curate.
Twitter lists do allow to create boxes/folders making it a lot easier to cut through the overall noise.
Having used and tested a fair amount of tools, I have become a Hootsuite ambassador and keep recommending it for the same reason: it is the Lord of the rings of social media.
The one tool to manage them all.
And a tool you get get started with for free, prior to accelerating and going pro.
You’re now set and ready to go. Open you Hootsuite dashboard and start going professional on social media.
Join the Hoot gang and get in touch anytime!