Hootsuite is a social media management platform that helps brands keep on top of their social media activity across networks. Read on to find out how to set it up and use it successfully.
The social media management platform, Hootsuite helps marketers to remain on top of their social media activity by allowing them to manage all of their networks from one place.
Not only that does it mean businesses can amalgamate all social platforms and channels, it’s much simpler to monitor streams as it also acts as a central point, allowing multiple people to work on the same accounts at once. Read on to find out how to set up and use your dashboard, and how you can make the most of Hootsuite for your business.
How to get started with Hootsuite
These first steps will help you get started with successfully managing your social networks in the Hootsuite dashboard. First, you’ll want to create a Hootsuite account. Head over to https://hootsuite.com/create-free-account and fill in your details. Next, in order to publish and schedule content and to monitor engagement, Hootsuite will ask you to connect your social profiles, and will then ask for authorisation.
For example, any Facebook users with multiple business pages will have to manually select the pages they’d like to add to Hootsuite. You’ll need to add a minimum of two accounts in order to access the platform.
Finally, Hootsuite will ask you to fill out your company information and size, along with your industry and phone number.
Before you get started with streams, it’s a good idea to spend a little bit of time setting up your account. To do this, click on your avatar (this will look blank right now) on the top right, and select ‘Account and Settings’ from the drop-down menu.
You can change and personalise settings such as your profile information and image, authentication methods, language, alerts and notifications.
The Hootsuite dashboard: tabs and streams
Once you’ve optimised your profile and added your social networks, you can then set up streams to monitor conversations and engage with your audience. The streams dashboard is the central hub of Hootsuite, and where you’ll monitor your social networks.
How to schedule posts
You can post to one network or multiple at any time. These posts can either be published immediately or scheduled in for a specific time.
To schedule posts:
- Navigate to the ‘Publisher’ tab on the left-hand menu bar.
- Then click on the green ‘New Post’ button at the top, which will bring up a posting box.
- Select one or more social platforms to post to.
- Then, add your text and any links
- Hootsuite will give you the option to ‘Shorten with Ow.ly’ to save on character count.
- Don’t forget to include emojis and relevant hashtags!
- You can also tag other accounts by using “@” and then selecting from the drop-down menu.
- Adding media (either photos, videos or graphics) to your social post will improve engagement – you can add in images or videos from your computer, or use Hootsuite’s media library.
- Select your date, and then schedule in a time.
- Finally, click schedule!
The publisher tab lets you view all your scheduled posts in one place while also allowing you to view all drafts, those which have already been sent and any posts that require approval from clients or other team members.
The planner page gives you an overview of everything you have scheduled across all platforms.
From here, you can review, edit or delete any scheduled posts before they’re published:
- Simply click on the post you want to review.
- Click on the pencil icon to edit.
- Alternatively, you can click on the three dots, and delete, duplicate or move that specific post into your drafts folder.
- Don’t forget to save any edits!
The content page is where you would go if you were looking to view any drafts or posts you had scheduled in the past along with any that need approval.
Here, you can boost Facebook posts and sponsor LinkedIn posts to reach a wider audience. Hootsuite can also automatically promote your Facebook posts with the highest engagements.
Best marketing practices state that you shouldn’t post the same messages across each of your social profiles, instead marketers should mix things up and make them unique to each platform. This is because different types of content work best on various channels, and each has its own demographics and audience, so the same content won’t necessarily make the same impact on a different platform. Similarly, it’s important to keep an eye on, not only the content which receives the most engagement, but also the times at which your audience are most active. The best way to determine when your audience is active online is to look into the analytics section of each platform – for example, Facebook will show you.
Monitoring social media activity with tabs and streams
Other than being able to schedule your content in advance, Hootsuite’s main draw comes from its tabs and streams, which can be found on the main dashboard and allows for social listening – helping you to discover specific topics or conversations going on in particular social networks.
These tabs and streams allow users to keep an eye on social profiles and to interact with their audience. Where tabs represent each specific profile, streams show different aspects of your profile. For example, your Facebook profile is a tab and its streams can be the timeline, posts scheduled and messages.
To set up your streams, click the get started button on the main streams dashboard, and select which social networks you want to monitor, then add these to your dashboard.
To add a tab, simply navigate to the ‘+ Add Social Network’ button in your streams dashboard. Hootsuite allows 10 streams per tab, and you can even pull in lists from Twitter to better engage with your audience.
How to engage with your audience using Hootsuite
Engaging effectively with your audience is a challenge for any social media marketer, but Hootsuite helps to make things a bit easier. You can like, react and reply to posts and comments within your dashboard, reply via private messages and moderate comments on your business posts.
To comment on a post or video:
- Select the correct stream, then click on the tab hosting the stream.
- Click on ‘write a comment’ below the post, type in your comment then press enter.
To reply to a comment:
- Click ‘write a reply’ below the comment, or click ‘more actions’
- Click ‘reply’, type in your reply then press enter.
To reply to a Facebook comment with a private message:
Admins on a Facebook business page can reply to comments with private messages – but bear in mind that this needs to be enabled when setting up the Facebook profile on Hootsuite.
- Click ‘more actions’ next to the comment, and then click ‘reply with a message.’
- Enter your reply, and then click Send.
- These messages will appear in your Messages stream.
To hide or unhide comments:
We know that not all comments on social media will be positive, and it’s much better to resolve any issues quietly, and in private by hiding comments. This also helps you to maintain a good reputation online. Comments and replies that are hidden are still visible by the person commenting and their friends, along with page admins, but are not visible to the rest of your audience.
- Click ‘more actions’ beside the comment or reply, and then click ‘hide’
Other Hootsuite features
Hootlet is a free chrome extension you can download to write and schedule posts from any website. To install it, simply head over to http://www.hootlet.com/.
To share something, simply highlight the text, right-click on it and select ‘share via Hootlet’. The extension will tell you what people are saying on social media about your search.
The Hootsuite mobile app can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices and retains all the features of the man dashboard, so marketers can use it on the go.
Our top tips
While there’s no doubt that utilising Hootsuite can help to organise your marketing efforts by scheduling messages ahead of time, there are some easy mistakes to make. Ensure you’re logging in to the dashboard regularly to check any mentions, trends or activity. After all, this is social media we’re talking about, and audiences now expect instant replies and immediate responses.
The best way to learn something new is to try it yourself- so why not have a go! We’d love to know how you get on! Need a helping hand? Our social media team are experts at what they do, so get in contact with us now!