Roni Krakover

Tag - HootSuite

Location-based Search on HootSuite

tel aviv bugrashov beach

The location-based search tool on HootSuite is one of the most valuable search features, and is especially useful if:

  • You are running a local business
  • You are looking for a job in a specific area
  • You are interested in local events and news about your community

 

Setting up a Geo search is easy. Here is how you can do it:

  • Go to HootSuite dashboards > add stream > Twitter > search
  • Type in your search term
  • Click on the little Geo icon to make your search local.

location based search on hootsuite

  • Your browser will ask you if you are willing to share your location with HootSuite. If you click allow, the search box will automatically be populated with the coordinates of your current location.
  • Once you click “add stream,” the stream will be created showing you results relevant to your search query in a radius of 25 km from your location.

How to Adjust Your Geo Search Parameters

  • To switch from kilometers to miles, simply replace the “km” at the end of the geocode with “mi”.
  • To change the required distance, you can write any number you want instead of the default “25” kilometers.

location based search on hootsuite

Get Results for a Location That Is Not Your Current Location

Let’s say that you are traveling to Barcelona and want to find out about events in the city through Twitter before getting there.

  • Go to Google maps and look for the address you are interested in – it could be for example the address of the hotel you will be staying in.
  • Click on the location showed on the map (mostly denoted by the letter A or B). Click on “what’s here” to copy the coordinates you found.
  • Insert these coordinates instead of the ones showing by default in your search box.

Social Listening Using HootSuite

Social listening and social media listening using hootsuite

One of the most valuable practices you can engage in with HootSuite is social listening, or social media listening, a.k.a social media monitoring or tracking. I would argue that it is perhaps even more important than “broadcasting” your message. Listening to what is out there, what customers are saying about your brand, can help you understand what kind of content you should share with them.

In this article I will share with you how you can use this powerful tool to get business intelligence, follow your competitors, and listen to your customers.

Engage and Monitor through Mentions Streams

Mentions streams are pretty straightforward. You can easily add a Twitter stream that will display all tweets mentioning your username. Having this stream helps you to easily engage with Twitter users who mention you without missing any of their tweets. However, relying solely on mentions streams can be a problem since:

  1. If customers are saying something negative about you, they will not necessarily want to communicate it directly to you -they might not use your Twitter handle when displaying a negative message (unless they are actually interested in getting your response)
  2. Customers may be mentioning you without even thinking / knowing that you have a Twitter handle, so they are talking about you without using it.

That is why using keyword and search streams are so important.

What Is the Difference between Keywords and Search Streams?

Keywords allows you to define specific words that you want to track, while search takes advantage of the Twitter search engine which involves an elaborate algorithm that takes into account factors such as searcher’s previous behavior, synonyms, influence, and more.

At the moment the keyword stream is only available for Twitter, while search is available for other social platforms on HootSuite as well.

Keyword Streams

Keyword streams search all Twitter content. You can use them to:

  • Find out what your customers are saying about you
  • Keep up with your industry
  • Look for a job
  • Follow topics that interest you

To add such as stream go to HootSuite dashboards > add stream > Twitter > keyword

A few examples of how you can use keyword streams:

  • If you have a real estate company in Toronto, you can use a few variations of the term “Toronto rentals” in order to cover as many related searches, for example Toronto Rentals, torontorentals, Toronto rent, etc.
  • For personal use – prepare searches regarding topics that interest you, for example: fitness tips, recipes, deals of all sorts: travel deals, freebies, etc., NFL updates, productivity tips.
  • You can use keyword streams to stay on top of your industry
  • Create keyword searches that deal with jobs in your area, recruiters and HR professionals

Click here to learn more about generating keyword ideas.

Note: HootSuite asks you to choose a profile, but as of January 2013 it doesn’t really matter, you will get same keyword results for your different Twitter profiles.

Search Streams

Add a search stream by going to HootSuite dashboards > add stream >Twitter/Facebook/Google +/else > Search. A few things you can try:

  • Use hashtags (#)
  • Compare searches with and without #
  • Click on “show examples” to get ideas for advanced search tactics
  • For example, use OR between alternate words , quotation marks to “lock the entire phrase”, etc.

I suggest that you experiment by adding all the streams mentioned above, so you get the feel for them and see which ones are most beneficial for you. Once you feel comfortable with these, your next step is to learn about advanced search tactics.

Using mentions, keyword, and search streams strategically will enable you to take full advantage of HootSuite as a social media management tool, and will help with your reputation management and CRM efforts.

Getting Started with HootSuite

getting started with hootsuite

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:

 

hootsuite-plans

Once you have opened your account, you can read about adding social media profiles to your dashboard and managing them effectively.

Adding Tabs, Social Networks, and Streams on Hootsuite

adding tabs and social networks on hootsuite

 So, after you have opened an account with HootSuite, it’s time to get to work and start importing your social media content to this powerful software.

You can watch the video tutorial or scroll down for detailed text and screen shots.

Your social data in HootSuite is organized in tabs and streams. Hootsuite tabs are similar to browser tabs and contain up to 10 streams (columns that contain all the content you’re interested in seeing from your social networks; see below).

Adding tabs

So, the first step is opening a new tab. Simply click on the + sign near the home sign in the HootSuite interface. If this is the first time you’re using HootSuite, you will also see the “create your first tab” button in the middle of the page.

 

adding tabs hootsuite

Adding social networks

Now you can start populating your tabs by adding social networks. Think of social networks as the profiles that you have. For example, if you have a Facebook account with a personal profile + a fan page, they would be considered two social networks. If you have two twitter accounts, they will be considered two social networks. The free version of HootSuite only allows you to manage five social networks, so if you have a personal profile + a fan page on Facebook + 2 twitter accounts + a Google+ page and a LinkedIn profile, you are looking at six networks – if you want to manage all of them using HootSuite you will have to use a Pro account. If that is the case, I advise you to click on this link to get 30 days free trial of HootSuite Pro, so you can explore the full benefits of the software and decide whether or not you want to stay with the paid version longer.

add social networks on hootsuite

To add a social network, simply click on the “add social network button” in your dashboard. A dialogue box will open up, offering you a choice between seven different social network platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, foursquare, mixi, and WordPress (note that this is WordPress.com and not WordPress.org. I will later explain how to integrate HootSuite with WordPress.org).

Whenever you click on one of these social networks, HootSuite will ask you to connect with the network. Input your username and password so HootSuite can pull the relevant content from the social network and display it for you on the dashboard.

When you choose to add a Twitter profile, note that underneath the button saying “connect with twitter” there is a checkbox that offers you to “follow HootSuite on Twitter for updates and announcements”. If you leave it checked, in most cases HootSuite will follow you back.

 

add social networks on hootsuite

Adding streams

When you’re done adding social networks, it’s time to add streams. Streams are columns of content that you can customize to show you what you want. When you click on ‘add stream’ you will find a choice of the different networks HootSuite integrates with. However, you will only be able to add streams for the social networks which you have already connected with HootSuite.

add streams on hootsuite

Classic examples for twitter streams are:

  • Home feed
  • Mentions
  • Direct messages (inbox or outbox)
  • Sent tweets
  • Favorite tweets
  • My tweets, retweeted
  • Scheduled tweets (more about this in future posts)
  • Tweets from new followers

Classic examples for Facebook streams are:

  • Wall posts
  • Events
  • Scheduled messages
  • Private messages

Classic examples for Google+ streams are:

  • Home stream
  • Sent messages
  • Circle stream
  • Scheduled messages

When you click on each of the networks in the ‘add stream’ dialogue box, you will see that each one of the networks has little tabs with additional options (other than the classic stream’s). Twitter, for example, also has search, keyword, and lists. Facebook and Google + have search in addition to the classic streams.

search and keyword streams on hootsuite

Those additional streams give you great options to monitor your business environment and competition; we will get into those advanced streams more in future posts.

Advanced Search Tactics on Hootsuite

advanced-search-hootsuite

I wrote this article following a more basic article about HootSuite keyword and search streams, to suggest some advanced search tactics after you’ve mastered the basic ones.

Use Negative Search Terms

Using negative search terms allows you to see search results for certain expression while omitting search results that contain your “negative” expression. When used correctly, this feature can help you narrow your search results effectively.

Let’s say for example that you want to see competitors for your snow removal business. You want to see only results that deal with the actual service and don’t want to see results regarding snow removal equipment. Thus, your negative expression is “equipment.”

In the search dialog box you will insert the minus sign ( – ) before a word you want to exclude from your search results. The search query for the example given above will look like this: snow removal -equipment.

Read more about generating keyword ideas including negative keywords.

Searches for the Past

Sometimes you want to define a specific time for search results in the past – very useful if you want to check reaction to a past event or campaign. For example, let’s say you opened a new restaurant and now want to examine the community’s engagement around the time of the official opening. This can easily be done by adding time to the search. Right after the search term, inserts one of the following options, while replacing the yyyy-mm-dd with the relevant dates:

    1. since: yyyy-mm-dd
    2. until: yyyy-mm-dd

Search for Questions

Enter a question mark (?) to conduct a search for questions. This type of search will help you find customers that are asking questions that you can answer. For example, if you are a running coach in Los Angeles, it would be priceless for you to get notified every time someone posts on Twitter something along the lines of: “any recommendations for a good running coach in Los Angeles?” To see this question in your search stream you simply have to type in the search dialog box “running coach ?” And set the location to the Los Angeles area.

In a less explicit case, you can get notified when someone is asking “how long will it take me to train for a 10K run?” (given that you set the search query for something like “run ?” Or “10K ?”). Then you can step in to offer your expertise and start developing a relationship with the asker

Location-based Search, A.K.A. Geo Search:

Click on the little Geo icon to make your search local. This is a great tool if you are in a local business or offer your services locally. You can perform a Geo search for any location in the world; thus, for example if you own a business in New Jersey and are thinking of opening a branch in Cincinnati, you can narrow your search results to social conversations only in the Cincinnati area in order to assess the market there. Click here to learn more about how to use location-based search.