HootSuite – managing social media channels from one location

June 26th, 2013 by Monika Jankowska-Pacyna

HootsuiteAs the popularity of social media increases, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit HootSuite, a social media dashboard that helps you to consolidate, update and track what’s going on in your social network circle – all from one single location.

Many literacy practitioners and organizations are becoming active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, but managing multiple social media channels can get a bit overwhelming and time consuming.

Created by Ryan Holmes in 2008 and based in Vancouver, BC (Canada), HootSuite is a one-stop dashboard that allows you to prepare the message and quickly select on which social media channel or channels (for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or all three) the message will be posted. You click Send Now and you are done. Your channel or multiple channels are now automatically updated. Much simpler, isn’t it?

HootSuite can be used to update Twitter, Facebook (including pages), LinkedIn (including pages and groups), Google+, Foursquare, Myspace, WordPress and mixi. Additional integrations are available via HootSuite’s App Directory, including Instagram, MailChimp, Reddit, Storify, Tumblr, Vimeo and YouTube.

Explore Laubach Literacy Ontario: Updating Twitter and Facebook accounts with one click to learn how HootSuite is being used in the literacy field.

HootSuite is free (premium options are also available), and you don’t need to install any software on your computer because it is available online. If you set your computer to remember your username and password, you don’t even have to re-enter them when accessing the site.

When setting up a HootSuite account and adding your social media sites to it, you enter the username and password for each social media site and the system remembers them. After the set-up, HootSuite will seamlessly update these sites with your latest posts.

The HootSuite dashboard helps you see all the information at a glance.

For example, to help manage your Twitter account, HootSuite shows you:

  • Home Feed – tweets posted by users and organizations you follow (allowing you to retweet them)
  • Mentions – who mentions your Twitter name or post and when (useful to see who is retweeting your tweets)
  • Direct Messages (Inbox) – if someone wants to connect with you directly
  • Pending Tweets – displays the tweets and/or retweets you have scheduled to be posted in the future

You can even have team members to collaboratively manage the social media tools with you. One free seat is included with the free set-up, and more are available with a premium account.

HootSuite also provides tools to:

  • quickly shorten the length of a website link (very useful when posting to Twitter as it only allows for 140 characters)
  • attach files and images
  • schedule future posts (helps you spread the content throughout the day and/or week to avoid overloading your followers with multiple posts in a short time span)
  • save messages as drafts
  • automatically feed information from other sites using RSS feeds
  • use Apps to post updates via hand-held devices

Useful links

Step by step information on basic set up and posting to social media networks
HootSuite Blog
Consolidate your Social Network with HootSuite
Adding RSS feeds
Automatically, Post Blog Articles to Facebook and Twitter Using HootSuite
How to Manage Your Social Media Platforms: HootSuite
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