HootSuite: A great tool to quickly update and manage your social media tools
May 9th, 2011 by Monika Jankowska-Pacyna
HootSuite is 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 have set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, StumbleUpon and other sites to stay in touch, share information and connect with others. But managing those sites isn’t easy and can get very time consuming.
Imagine this scenario:
You have an announcement about a report that you just published and you want to share it with the field. Outside your regular website and news tools, you might want to share it with your followers on Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools you might be using. So you:
- Log in to your Twitter account and post a tweet.
- Log in to Facebook and post a message on your wall.
- Repeat the process again with LinkedIn.
Three sites and three accounts later (all assuming that you remember your usernames and passwords) you have shared your message with your followers.
That’s a lot of time and stress (especially if you don’t remember the passwords) to get this information out.
Now imagine going to HootSuite dashboard, preparing the message and clicking on icons representing Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in order to tell the system that you want to add this information to those sites. You click Submit and you are done. All three sites are automatically updated. Much simpler, isn’t it?
Explore Laubach Literacy Ontario: Updating Twitter and Facebook accounts with one click to learn how HootSuite is used in the 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.
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 tweets and retweets (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
Check out this HootSuite Video Tour: