Hootsuite 101


Don’t you wish there was an application to keep all your social media accounts in order? And don’t you wish that something could just schedule posts for you so you didn’t have to spend so much time during your already busy week trying to play the part of the social butterfly?

Well then I guess you haven’t been introduced to Hootsuite yet. If you use more than 2 social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.) then you should be using Hootsuite. I have been and it’s been one of the most helpful and time saving tools in my freelance writing career. I’m going to discuss the top three things I use it for today and will post subsequent blogs later to delve deeper into this great application.

1) Linking all your social media in one place – Hootsuite lets you connect most of your social media accounts under the Streams tab so you can check up on your social status across the board. I have Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram all connected. When I click the Streams tab I see all those feeds at once. Not only does this cut down on the time I spend navigating to those sites, but I can skim and read at a much faster pace. This cuts my social media “trolling” to a minimum. You can still comment, like, favorite and share from the Streams tab – just like you would in any of the individual platforms.

Courtesy of Hootsuite Tutorial Page

2) Scheduling posts and comments – this is the best thing since sliced bread. On the Publisher tab you can compose messages, schedule them for any day and time, as well as post to several platforms at once! I typically take one afternoon, or even an evening (I try to keep it under an hour) and schedule a multitude of my posts. It is such a time saver. For instance: I already have a post scheduled for November 27th with a little Thanksgiving message. And I have several scheduled for the days leading up to Thanksgiving about being thankful, how to cut and carve your bird and some cute ideas for the holiday. Especially around the holidays this lets me put down my phone and concentrate on my family instead of checking the web and putting out posts every ten minutes. I still have a social media presence, but I don’t have to actually BE PRESENT to do it.

When I’m done writing this post, I will go to Hootsuite and compose a message for the post and schedule it for the day I want it to go out. I’m actually writing this on November 7th, but I won’t post it until November 10th. Sometimes I get responses to my tweets and I think “Oh yeah! I totally forgot I posted that!” because I had actually scheduled it weeks in advance. Of course, you can’t schedule everything and spontaneity is still good, but this helps to show a good media presence without taking multiple hours per day to do it. You can even do bulk scheduling of the same message, but I don’t because I like things to look like I’m posting them in real time and I hate for my followers to see the same message over, and over again. (read: boring) (Even though now you know my secret! But I do post spontaneously occasionally too.)

Here’s what the scheduler looks like:

Courtesy of the Hootsuite Tutorial page

3) Post tweets and share articles while you’re surfing the web – Hootsuite has a great little app that you can download for your computer called Hootlet. It puts a little owl icon at the top of your web browser. Anytime you see something online you want to share with your followers and friends you just click on the owl and it brings up a comment box for you to send it out. This is great for sharing articles (like this one!) with your friends easily. You don’t need to open up another application, you don’t need to login to your other sites and you don’t need to usually even type up a comment – it does all that for you! To learn more about Hootlet – click here. (PS – Pinterest has a button like this too!)

Now that you know a little more about this terrific program, I hope you’ll give it a try and see how it saves you time and effort. Because couldn’t we all use a little more time in our day?



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