If you live in the world of social media, you have probably heard about the HootSuite software before. If you haven’t, it’s about time! HootSuite is the most extensive social media management platform; it does social media marketing, social media monitoring, social CRM and social media analytics. Even though the social media management industry is growing fast and there are some good alternatives to HootSuite, such as TweetDeck, Seesmic, SocialOomph, and CoTweet,HootSuite remains the leading service at the moment.
Who should use HootSuite?
Basically everybody that is trying to stay on top of their game professionally, or is running a few different social media accounts and feeling overwhelmed with social media on a personal level. It is widely used by social media agencies and is most efficient for brands and organizations, but if you feel that you would like to increase your reach and influence on a personal level as well, HootSuite could be right for you.
For example, if you have more than one twitter account, you know that you can’t be connected to both in the same browser at the same time. You have to log out to switch users. When using Hootsuite, your dashboard can simultaneously display and post to all your twitter accounts.
What does HootSuite allow you to do?
- Manage all your online social media accounts in one place
- Analytics – get statistics about the reach and engagement created by your content
- Stay on top of news in your field
- Keep up with your competitors
- Provide proactive customer service
- And more …
HootSuite has many functionalities, and it takes time + trial and error to see which of these functionalities are the most conducive to your business. There is no “one size fits all” formula, and I advise you to try as many ideas as you can from my posts, in order to see which ones work for you.
For example, when I started working with HootSuite, I had streams (columns of content; we’ll talk about them soon) that showed my own tweets, but with time I realized that they were not very useful to me – I don’t really need to see my previous tweets on a daily basis, they only interest me for the purpose of statistics.
Some Logistics when using HootSuite:
- I find it works best with the Google Chrome browser. When I tried using HootSuite with both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, the main functionalities worked, but some of the apps did not load well; this is true as of December 2013; I hope and believe that soon HootSuite will be 100% compatible with other browsers as well.
- You can log in to HootSuite using Twitter or Facebook. You should not hesitate too much in doing so, in this case, since you’re going to give HootSuite access to twitter, Facebook, and additional networks anyway, in order to be able to run all of your social networks from the HootSuitedashboards.
- However, when working with HootSuite, you will probably want to install some independent applications from the apps directory. Many of them will require that you open an account and will suggest that you log in using your Twitter or Facebook account. I recommend that you check what permissions they require; these are third-party companies and sometimes they will want access to things that you don’t necessarily want to allow.
Choosing a plan on HootSuite
You can always start with a free account and play with it a little to see if it fits your needs; if you have a few social media accounts, however, that you are running and want to explore some of the more advanced features of HootSuite, I recommend taking the 30-day free trial of the Pro account. Put a reminder in your calendar a few days before the free trial expires to log into HootSuite and decide whether you want to continue with the Pro account (at this moment, December 2013, it is about $10 monthly) or go back to the free account. If you don’t do this, HootSuite will start charging you monthly as soon as your free trial is over.
Below you can see the different plans:
Once you have opened your account, you can read about adding social media profiles to your dashboard and managing them effectively.