The Basics of Using Hootsuite

Try using a scheduler like Hootsuite to save you time.Hootsuite's mascot - Owly

Sometimes we get busy and forget to post content to our social media platforms. What could you do to make sure that you are getting your message out socially and still run your business? Try using a content scheduler like Hootsuite. It used to be that third party tools like these were dinged by the platforms because the content wasn’t posted directly. Recent research by others in the industry say that is no longer the case.

Here is how you might use the tool:

  • On Sunday afternoon, you may sit down after your weekend activities are complete, and schedule your posts for the week. (We all know that when we own our own business, the work week is never really done.)
  • During the week, you are reading your emails, run across some industry articles that you would like to share. Click on the icon in your Google Chrome browser to share your article. Let Hootsuite auto-schedule it for you. Hootsuite will pick the best time based on when your audience click on your posts.
  • Thursday afternoon you are preparing for your vacation the following week. Take a few minutes to schedule the weeks posts, including the Monday and Tuesday for the week you return.
  • You have an event coming up. Create a few draft posts that you can share on the fly or schedule in advance – a few weeks in advance.
  • Have a post that you want to share now? You can do that too! It even counts your characters so you can stay under 140 for Twitter.

There are other options included with the tool, take a look at this video to see the basics of how to use the scheduling tool:

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Another Facebook Change

How will this Facebook Change impact your use of third party tools like Hootsuite?

This time the change isn’t directly on Facebook, but affects your use with third party sources like Hootsuite. Read this article Owly

What the article boils down to if you don’t have time to read it is:

  1. You will no longer be able to see your personal feed in the News Streams.
  2. Only group administrators will be able to post to groups from third party tools (of which Hootsuite is one.)

Most of the time this will not affect most people, but if you manage a number of platforms through a third party tool, this means that you won’t be able to use it to manage your personal Facebook. It doesn’t appear to be affecting company pages, YET!

One of the things that I love about Facebook is that almost everyone is using it. The thing that I hate about Facebook is that it is always changing. Sometimes not for the better. Sometimes I think they change just to change. Sometimes I think they change because they are trying to please their stockholders.

No matter the situation, if we want to play in their field, we have to learn to roll with the punches!!

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Changes to Hootsuite

Hootsuite updated the way you save drafts.hootsuite

If you use Hootsuite to schedule any of your posts or monitor your social platforms, be aware that they have made some changes to the drafts option. Once you have imported all of your previous drafts, using the saved drafts function is just a bit different. Watch the video below or follow these directions:

  1. In the left dashboard menu, select Publisher, then Drafts.
  2. Sort or filter your drafts by selecting a specific profile.
  3. If you don’t want to keep a draft, delete it with the X.
  4. Select the draft you want by clicking the pencil, you can edit it or add additional platforms like normal.
  5. Send it now, or schedule a date for the post. At this time, the Auto-Schedule feature doesn’t work with the drafts.
  6. To save the draft for future use, check the box at the bottom right to “Retain copy of draft message.”
  7. Either X the top right corner to close or “Clear” the compose box.

Watch this video.

What I like about this new option is you can sort by platform. Since I manage multiple business profiles, I can select the company for which I want to post and see all of the drafts that are available. This also allows an easier way to edit and save drafts. One thing I don’t like is the lack of the auto-schedule feature. That could change. Another thing I don’t like is I can’t see when I have other things scheduled when I am making the post. I will have to do some mental note taking or paper note taking to make sure I am not doubling up on a scheduled time.

If you want to read all of the details check this article.

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Using Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a great tool to use for scheduling posts!

I wrote an article a while back about adding a LinkedIn company page to your Hootsuite scheduler. You can take a look here.

Hootsuite keeps adding great options to make it a time-saver when posting to social media.  Their phone app isn’t as robust, but the desktop version is a wonderful tool.

If you want to add company pages to your stream you can view a video of how to do that in the link above, but here are a few still shots for your review:

1. Log into your account

2. Click on your image on the left side

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3. Click on your name

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4. Find your “My Social Networks”

5. Hover over and click to add a social network

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6. Pick the platform that you want to add.

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7. Connect your personal profile

8. Add the group, profile or page that you want to post in or follow.

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9. Once added, go to the streams and modify what appears in a stream!

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Only 10 LinkedIn Company pages or showcase pages are available.

The one challenge to Hootsuite is you cannot add your personal G+ feed, and if you have more than 10 company pages including the showcase pages, you may not be able to see the company page that you want to add. That is something that Hootsuite needs to fix.

 

 

 

 

Let me know if you have any other social media questions! I offer one-on-one consultations or small group classes. Take a look at all of my services here.

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What is Hootsuite?

Last week my post about adding your LinkedIn company page to Hootsuite turned into a Do you Use Hootsuite? post in the groups to which I belong on LinkedIn.  One group member asked – Please explain the basics and advantages of “Hootsuite” to one that is not familiar with the concept.

Owly says “Hoot – suite”

I thought it might be useful to provide an explanation on my blog.

First let me say that there are other options, but I have found Hootsuite to suit my needs the best.

Hootsuite is a a social media management system for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one secure, web-based dashboard. For free you can have up to 5 profiles in one browser window. For each profile you can have multiple streams from that profile – for example from your Twitter account you could include the Tweets of the people you follow, tweets that include a mention of your Twitter handle, and any direct messages to you.  For this purpose it is a great customer service tool.

There are some limitations with a few of the profiles options, but in general this is a good one-stop location to follow most of the platforms on which you would have a profile.  Hootsuite is pretty responsive to the requests from the users and new options become available periodically.

Another major benefit to Hootsuite is the ability to schedule posts.  This is useful if you will be on vacation, in a meeting, on a webinar or otherwise unavailable to post at a particular time.  There is even an auto-post feature that Hootsuite will post at the best time for your fan-base.

Drafts is another feature.  I have found this useful when I was trying to promote a particular program or limited time feature on a product.  To me this would be more beneficial in Twitter than some of the other platforms.  The repetitive nature allows you to say the same thing and perhaps only change a word (a fundraiser would be a good example to use this).

Hootsuite also offers a team option – this is a paid feature.  If you have a team of individuals who would be addressing customer service issues, you can forward a post that you see to that individual for that person to address.

Some of the platforms don’t give as much “credence” to the third party applications like Hootsuite, so your posts may not have the same visibility (in Facebook especially) as if you post directly to the platform, but they are still useful.   If you want to manage your social media yourself, but need to be about the business of your business, sometimes, using a tool like Hootsuite is the best use of your time.  Remember that even though you may schedule a post, you still need to keep an eye on your social media platforms to be able to respond to comments or messages that followers may post that you don’t “see” right away in Hootsuite.

Nothing is perfect, but we need to make use of the tools and products that help us to our best at the time.

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