Friday, July 29, 2011

Facebook Friday: Hootsuite

Wednesday we talked about Google Reader saving time for reading blogs.  Today I have to share another time saver, this time for Facebook as well as other social networking applications: HootSuite.  If you don't know about HootSuite, then it's time you learned.  HootSuite is a social media dashboard.  In other words, it's a FREE application you can download on your desktop or phone and then manage several social media networks from that one place, such as Twitter, Facebook, 4Square, and LinkedIn. If you've used TweetDeck, HootSuite is like that, except so much better (I'll get to why in a minute).  
I must pause to tell you right now how I love HootSuite. I so love HootSuite.  When I first discovered HootSuite for use with my clients, I think I did an hour long happy dance.  So what is it that I love so much about HootSuite? Well, let me tell you five reasons:
A screenshot of HootSuite 

  1. One place to do all my social networking. Like I mentioned before, I only have to log in to one place and I can see all my social networks at once. TweetDeck does this as well, but it doesn't allow updates of Fan Pages and that's crucial. At least it didn't the last time I checked it out which was a year ago now. Though, to be fair, TweetDeck looks cooler.
  2. Can manage multiple accounts without having to sign-in and out. Once I downloaded the app to my phone and my desktop, I could do it all with one sign-in.  This is probably not relevant to many writers, but I can also see other accounts.  For example, not only is my Facebook page on my HootSuite deck, also several clients Facebook and Twitter pages are there.  You can also use HootSuite with multiple users and share management of an account.  So if a bunch of people are part of a Writer's Group, for example, you could all you HootSuite to manage one Twitter account for the group. You can also use HootSuite to automatically feed your blogs to all your social networks.  As I've mentioned before, I use RSS Grafitti for my FB page, but I use HootSuite to get my blog posts to Twitter.
  3. I can write a message one time and post it to multiple places at once.  This feature is awesome. Especially when managing many accounts.  Also, if you drag the Hootlet to your toolbar, you can VERY EASILY post pages you are reading to all your social media accounts.  Seriously! Does it get awesomer than this? Actually it does. Read on.
  4. Great traffic stats reports.  I'm in marketing.  I'm into looking at the stats of my accounts.  Who came where from where and when they did it.  All that's cool to me.  HootSuite offers 30 different analytic modules to create your own reports including Google Analytics.  Downside here is that you have to upgrade to the Pro version ($5.99 a month).  So I still log-in to Google Analytics on my own, but I love that HootSuite could do it if I wanted it too. 
  5. and the best reason of all, I can schedule posts for the future. This is why I truly love HootSuite.  TweetDeck does not offer this feature, by the way, or it may have swayed me with its eye-catchiness.  I can schedule posts anytime in the future for any of my social media accounts. I do this for clients - I schedule posts a month out at a time.  You know, not the spur of the moment kind of posts, of course, but things like "Two Days until the greatest contest of all time!" and that sort.  Maybe my book is being released at the end of the month.  I can do a countdown everyday on my FB and Twitter accounts, which could be a real pain in the butt if I didn't have it all entered in at one time and scheduled through HootSuite.
Try it. Love it like I do.  And yes, this isn't really a post for just Facebook, but HootSuite makes Facebook so much easier so I felt it was valid to include it here. I promise. One final thing to note about HootSuite: I don't even use the program to a quarter of its potential.  It is an amazing app. Truly.

Did I convince you to give a Hoot? Do you already use it? Are you a TweetDeck fan instead? Is this the first time you've ever heard of this apps? I'd love to hear from you.


E.R. King said...

Wow, a website that does all that? What a time saver. I'm going to check it may get an email from me asking you a dumb question if I can't figure it out. You have been warned.

Laura Barnes said...

There are no dumb questions when it comes to computer applications. They can truly be confusing! But HootSuite shouldn't give you a problem. It's pretty user friendly. Let me know what you think :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura!

Sounds mental - bit too much for me personally. HOWEVER, I think this would be awesome for work. Being able to schedule things ahead of time has won me over. As a comms person at work, we have a facebook page and it would be great to pre-schedule posts for when me and my fellow team are away. Brilliant! Thanks!

Jen Daiker said...

I'll have to check this website out. I have so many applications on my phone I don't know if I could handle one more. I am curious how the webiste works though. However I use my iPhone for Twitter & facebook. Blogger and writing is only what happens on the laptop.

Michelle Fayard said...

The part I liked best is about being able to write a message one time and post it to multiple places at once. Thanks for sharing!

JRo - Jaye Robin Brown said...

Going to check it out, thanks! I'd seen the name but never explored it.

Laura Barnes said...

Yes, Freya, I have to admit I mostly use HootSuite for work. BUT I am trying out using it more for my personal networks to see if it makes life easier. I do like that I can schedule my own things in advance if I'm going to remind people about an event, etc. And I like the multiple posting.

JRo and Michelle - come back and let me know how it works for you.

Kate Larkindale said...

I use Hootsuite at work too. Makes things so much easier.

I've just given you an award on my blog, Laura!

Samantha Clark said...

Hey Laura, great post. I use Hootsuite and it is very useful.

If you're marketing a book or any other product, you really have to be on every social network, and Hootsuite makes that much easier.

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