Engaging target audiences on any combination of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursqaure takes a good deal of time. If done separately, it takes a TON of time; logging in and out of each site, monitoring numerous sets of data, and communicating with specific sets of followers.
If only there was a tool one could use to manage all of these social media campaigns at once. Wait, there is! In fact there are a few out there that do just that. One of these, and one we like to use here at CAWOOD, is called Hootsuite.
Hootsuite is a communication dashboard used to simultaneously maintain and monitor all of your social media channels.
After the simple process of linking Hootsuite to each of your channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), you now only need just one log-in (for Hootsuite) to manage them all under one roof.
Hootsuite’s dashboard is easy to navigate, with a tab dedicated to each of the channels you’ve linked. By clicking on each tab, you are taken to a screen with a row of columns which you can tailor to meet your management requirements.
For example, I am using Hootsuite to manage each of my campaigns, including Twitter. When I click on my Twitter tab, up pops the columns I’ve designated for this channel – Home Feed (tweets from those I am following), Mentions (tweets that mention me or are directed my way), Direct Messages (private messages directed to me), Sent Tweets (my tweets), and Pending Tweets (tweets that I have scheduled to send at a later date).
This last column, Pending Tweets, highlights one of the most useful of Hootsuite’s management tools – scheduling your tweets or posts. For instance, if your business is introducing a new product on August 1 and you want to announce this to your followers and fans on that date, you can write your tweet or Facebook post, and use the calendar tool to schedule that announcement in advance. No more setting reminders or worse, forgetting to post important announcements!
Hootsuite features its own built-in URL shortener, called Ow.ly, so that if you are placing a particularly long link in your post, the characters in said post will not completely impede on your tweet’s 140 character limit.
To help monitor your data, there is also a reporting dashboard where you can review Google analytics, see traffic statistics on links you’ve posted, and many other performance metrics.
While there are both free and paid versions of Hootsuite available, many users (including myself) find that the free version meets their social media management needs.