Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Why I like Hootsuite.

Keeping on top of all your social media accounts can be a bit daunting and rather time consuming. For maximum impact you need to spread out your posts over the week but spreading your time out across the week can distract you from other tasks and hamper your productivity. Thankfully there is software out there that can help you manage all of this. There are a few options out there including TweetDeck and Seesmic but the one I personally use is Hootsuite. It allows me to see several different social media platforms at once, it allows me to see stats on things like links clicked on and it allows me to schedule posts to appear anytime in the future. Best of all the basic version of this software is completely free.

The ability to schedule posts is particularly useful as you can set up what you would like to post for the week (or the month, however long you want) in one big chunk without all of it appearing on your pages at once. While it remains really important to continue to monitor what is going on on your pages so you can engage fully with your followers this can make posting to social media a much more efficient process.

The free version of Hootsuite has a few options around reporting as well. They are not nearly as in depth as those of the full version but it can show you how many people have clicked on specific links that you have posted. While limited it is always good to be able to get some feedback on which content your followers like the most.

Another neat feature is the link shrinker. This is especially useful for Twitter with its character limits on posts but it can also be really useful if you want to post a long, messy looking link. Put it on the link shrinker as you can see I have done below, hit the "shrink" button and you'll have one much shorter link.

I have not needed to use any of the pay features so far. I think for a small or medium business the free version of Hootsuite is more than enough. I could see the full version becoming much more useful when you have multiple people working on your online social presence and catering to a large audience. The best way to find out more about it is to sign up and try it out. It has loads of features that even I don't use due to the nature of our community but some of you out there might find really useful.

Have a look at to see if you might find this tool useful for your business. For anyone that does give it a try I'd be really interested to hear how you find it and what you use it for the most. Just send us an email or leave a comment below.