As a business-owner you probably lack the time to tackle the broad social media marketing plan we usually advise our clients to undertake. I can offer compelling reasons why social media is a must for your business but the biggest challenge for the business-owner is finding the time to tweet, blog, post and manage your online brand. A good option is to use HootSuite, a social media communications dashboard, which provides a browser-based dashboard that allows users to manage their online brand and publish a coordinated or timed message to websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkdIn, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress and Ping.fm. Additionally, you can use their valuable analytics to measure and analyze data to better understand and optimize your social media presence.
HootSuite is very user friendly and will definitely save you time. Here is a simple guide to get you started:
- Sign-up is easy (and a HOOT!) > just provide the required information.
- Add your social media networks >go to Settings select Social Networks and click the Add Social Network button
- Access HootSuite Launch Menu > go to Launch Bar. This is where you will decide what you want to access: streams, analytics, assignments, contacts, settings, tools and help.
Streams. “You mean I only have to log into one place?” “YES!”
- This is the default dashboard view where you will monitor your social media networks and can be customized to view mentions, searches, etc.
- When in Streams you can reply, directly respond or retweet to a message by hovering over the entry.
Updates. While Streams allows you to monitor Status Updates from others, you can also send your own by Updating Status.
- Type a message and click Send Now
- Decide if you want to send it to one Social Network or all of them (Facebook, Linkedn, WordPress, MySpace, FourSquare and Ping.fm.
- You can create drafts, schedule your updates etc.
HootSuite Social Analytics. Information is king, so make it count!
- This allows you to track Twitter brand mentions, measure Twitter profile follower growth, examine Facebook likes and demographics, overlay social link clicks and website visits from Google and select from over 30 report modules to plug into customizable report templates. In one word WOW!
Assignments. A more advanced application but useful information.
- If HootSuite is set up for team collaboration, team members will have the ability to assign status updates to each other.
Contacts, settings, tools and help. Pretty self-explanatory.
Twitter search. You’ll use this one A LOT!
- On the upper right hand side of your HootSuite screen is Search Twitter. Enter a search term in this field and then a window will pop up displaying search results from Twitter.
and as always…..IF YOU GET STUCK – you can always TWEET us for a consultation @boldthink!