This is a Social Media 101 post

I can still recall the day I started using Hootsuite.

It was late 2009 and I was working for the South Australian Tourism Commission. I was Digital Content Manager at that time, mainly charged with editing websitesand managing a database team. But I also had the opportunity to venture onto social media channels. Those were the sparkly days when the state government wasn’t overly aware or concerned about how social media might be used or abused.

Hootsuite
Hootsuite

I’d been using Twitter for a few of our tourism entities – mostly events including the cycling race, the Tour Down Under. And the bulk of that work was of course via twitter.com

Then I read about a new social media dashboard which could help draw in several Twitter accounts. Published reviews looked good. I signed up to take a peek. Then I asked my colleague David Pyatt (@digitaldavo) to give it a whirl and tell me what he thought.

I’ve been using Hootsuite ever since. Clearly, I like it.

Why Hootsuite?

  1. The display in Hootsuite is more useful and efficient than the display you see in Twitter.com on PC. Hootsuite has columns you can scroll across, and you can tailor and set up these columns to suit you. At one glance, you can see your home feeds (newsfeed), mentions (replies), sent tweets , DMs and sent DMs. You can add streams for almost whatever you like: search terms, hashtags, a particular Twitter account. This is starkly different to Twitter.com, where you need to click and refresh to see your replies (Connect), your DMs and so on. This different display in Hootsuite is immensely useful.
  2.  Hootsuite enables you to draw in more social networks than Twitter alone (thought that’s the platform I find it most useful for). You can manage Facebook, LinkedIn, G+ and more via Hootsuite. Beware however that the more you do within Hootsuite, the more likely you need to go beyond the free model and begin to pay.
  3. You can schedule posts in Hootsuite. That’s handy when you have news or links you want to share at a particular time, or want to resend a regular message. You can also schedule posts to go out to platforms like LinkedIn!
  4. You can shorten your links in Hootsuite (though I must say I still use bit.ly for this)
  5. If you take up a Pro or Enterprise account on Hootsuite, you can assign team members to the account and Hootsuite keeps track of ‘who replied’ so you can track team involvement.
  6. Hootsuite provides analytics. At the free level, this is just basic, but at Pro and Enterprise you can run more advanced reports to track for example your Twitter or LinkedIn performance.

Hootsuite has other features; the list above contains the stand-out reasons for why I’ve been using it for so long.

See the Hootsuite clip below, which has a good overview of the platform:

p.s. Hootsuite has apps for smartphones and tablets, too.

Are you a Hootsuite user – or will you try it now?