I’ve been using HootSuite [affiliate link] for both work and personal for a couple years now and I’ve always been a fan. It’s very straightforward and allows for a diverse array of functionality.
If you use Twitter regularly, there are several things you should know about HootSuite and how it’s much more resourceful a social media-management tool than simply accessing Twitter from the web. There’s several other similar tools such as TweetDeck and other industry-specific options; this is just the one I happen to use and with which I am am most familiar.
I’ll elaborate on these details in future posts, but here are some basic reasons HootSuite is a must-use social-media management tool:
- You can manage all of you accounts in one place. You can link Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more to this one single location, so you don’t have to jump around to various different places.
- Similarly, if you manage multiple business Twitter accounts, you don’t have log in and out of one to the other; you can have them all linked in this one place, and skip from tab to tab with a single click.
- You can set up columns to view all of each account’s information in one place rather than having to click around. For example, when you access Twitter from twitter.com, you’re only either able to view the stream containing your feed, or you mentions, or your DMs, etc. You’re not able to look at everything at one time. Here, you are. You can add as many personalized streams as you’d like; from your inbox, to your outbox, to your mentions, pending tweets, to RTs, etc., etc., and have them literally all right in front of you in one place.
- Going off that point, you can also create additional personalized streams of anything of your choosing. For example, if I work for a CA city called Smithsville and so my job is to promote the city, I could set up streams for “Smithsville,” “Smithsville CA,” etc. If there’s any particular landmarks or attractions in the city people might mention, I can set up a search for those things as well, so that I’m always able to be on top of conversations relating to my city and customers. I can then monitor these streams their tweets to find content to RT, to find people to interact with, to answer questions people may have, etc. It’s AWESOME customer service for a business to respond to someone’s inquiry without being expected to do so, and this provides an easy way to do that.
- You can schedule tweets. There’s some mixed opinions about scheduling, but as long as you have an even degree of genuine interaction, scheduling informational content or even RTs can be beneficial. Here’s why: If you work the between the hours of 9-5 and are thus only tweeting for your brand during that time, you are only reaching the audience that is online at that time. Most tweets have a very small shelf life and are only seen by those whom your tweet happens to appear in their stream right around the time it is sent. So, if you’re only tweeting during the day, on weekdays, you’re missing out on the evening and weekend audience. I used to do this before I began using HootSuite, and I noticed that, when I began scheduling for my non-work hours, I started gaining new followers because a new range of people was seeing the information I was distributing, then sharing it, and thus reaching a whole new slew of people.
This is just a brief introduction; I will elaborate further in future posts. If you have any specific questions, though, please don’t hesitate to ask 🙂