A Little Background
As an advertising student in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska, I had the opportunity to take a little class called Digital Insights and Analytics. Under the tutelage of Valerie Jones, (former media strategist and senior manager for Starcom Worldwide, and more recently, head of Insights and Analytics at Swanson Russel) I learned a wealth of information about how to develop and track digital media strategies. Throughout the course Valerie “volun-told” us to get certified in a variety of online tools like Google Analytics and some scheduling service called “Hoots..omething-or-other.”
“Great,” my ramen noodle addled brain thought, “one more thing I have to pay for on top of tuition, books, student fees, rent…” But I soon realized it wasn’t just another academic book scam, but a tool I would carry with me the rest of my life and put on my resume – one that would help guide me to success in the digital age of advertising.
In the past I’ve ran, curated, and produced content for several small blogs – my favorite of which was a hobby blog I originally created for my Dungeons & Dragons gaming group. The site sort of accidentally turned into a niche resource/forum for other gamers before I got busy with other things and buried it out yonder under a sycamore tree. R.I.P Whiteoak Gaming. But I digress.
To the Point
The reason I bring this up, is because even curating and creating content to post three times a week on a hobby blog turned into a major chore. If you have done any research on how to be successful with a blog or social media, you know that everyone says the key to success is content, content, content – consistency, consistency, consistency!
This is true to a point. You won’t get a very large audience if you have one piece of content that comes out quarterly. There’s no reason to go back and look if it’s never updated. I’m an advocate for quality over quantity myself, but that’s a conversation for a different column. The point is that it’s daunting, to say the least, to take on the task of posting consistent content for your; blog, business, non-profit, etc. This is where Hootsuite comes in. So, without further ado, here’s six ways Hootsuite can make social media a breeze:
Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. LinkedIn. Google+. YouTube… to name a few. These are all platforms from which to spout your valuable information (or just for fun gibberish) from the metaphorical rooftops. Except it’s better than a rooftop because you can reach hundreds of thousands of people. It all sounds great until you’re trying to juggle all of them at once. Which one do you concentrate on when you can’t concentrate on all of them?
Eventually certain platforms may fall to the wayside and some groups or businesses may just use one they’re familiar with. I’m not saying that you must have all of these to be successful. For certain, depending on what your area of expertise is, some forms of social media may be better than others, while others still may never make the cut. It doesn’t matter though, because with Hootsuite you can put them all in one place. You can post directly to each site from a central control panel, and even set your workspace up to monitor feeds from each platform – including competitor’s feeds… Which brings us to number two.
Hootsuite gives you a dashboard to centrally monitor all your media platforms. What does this mean? Well for starters you don’t have to open fifteen tabs just to see what’s going on with your online public relations portfolio. Additionally, a key to being successful with your social media is quick and efficient consumer feedback.
From the Hootsuite dashboard you can display all your current goings on and be immediately aware if somebody shares or likes a tweet, comments on a blog post, or sends you a direct message with a product inquiry. But it’s not just for monitoring your own modes of connection. You can also pin windows to your dashboards of competitors or like-minded bloggers to keep up to date on what’s new and what’s trending.
If you’ve ever tried to share one of your blog articles or Facebook posts on twitter, you may have noticed that it often will come up as an ugly little shortened link. This is not engaging or intriguing to anyone unless you have the EXPLOSIVE, INSTENSIVE, EYE-BOGGLING, CATCHY headline ever… But really let’s not try to rely on that. Wouldn’t it be easier if the picture or video just showed up?
The answer is yes – and Hootsuite does this by using URL shorteners that allow these videos and blog pictures to show up – it’s essential if you don’t want to spend hours recreating each post for each platform. Did I mention you can make all these posts in advance? Oh, right. Not yet…
With Hootsuite you can schedule posts across all your connected profiles way in advance. It may not sound like much to the layman, but it gets tedious going back in over and over every time you want content to go out. You may think to yourself… “Wait, I can schedule posts to publish whenever I want from the WordPress blog dashboard.” Yeah. One. At. A. Time.
With Hootsuite you can use a CSV file and schedule up to 300 posts at a time. This makes curating and scheduling content so easy. And turns a daily chore into a simple process of organization. Not only that, but you can also set it to post your content over a set period to have as little or much as you want. You could do something like Monday through Friday. But for people like me, I prefer easy mode (see next section).
If you’re reading this post, then you’ve probably at some point or another come across another blog post that states the most optimal times to post content – something like *cough Mondays at 11 AM cough* or something along those lines. Well, yes. Blog traffic is high at the beginning of the work week when all us drones go back to the office and play solitaire and peruse the internet instead of actually being productive. You just looked at the bottom right corner of your screen to check what time it is didn’t you?
Well if I was right, then that adds to my credibility. If I’m not, then good, because not all consumers are created equal, and not all content is created equal. Depending on your audience, traffic flows in and out at different times. Luckily, at the click of a button you can schedule your posts to publish at these times. Hootsuite measures the traffic that flows on and off your various platforms and websites and the auto schedule feature (aka easy mode) lets Hootsuite post your content at whatever time is optimal for you.
This is by far the largest benefit to adding Hootsuite to your arsenal. And not only if you have to prove to your boss that you actually do things. Being able to track the efficiency of your various posts is essential to being successful. It allows you to see what works, what doesn’t work, where you should focus more of your time, and it informs the direction your social media, advertising, and public relations campaigns. If for no other reason I’ve mentioned – get it for this!
Just a Little Clarification
I don’t want to seem like a salesman. This is not an affiliate marketing post. Just some advice from someone who knows. And I won’t lie, there is a cost associated with Hootsuite and a bit of a learning curve – but if you can persevere through the minor troubles, it’ll be well worth it in the end.