Have you ever purchased an item because of all the wonderful things it can do, but once you get it home you only use its basic functions? Think microwave ovens and smartphones. Both are capable of changing the way we work and live, yet most of us use them only for simple tasks.
In this article, I’m sharing three ways to use HootSuite features that will increase your effectiveness without requiring more of your time.
What Is HootSuite?
In case you’re not among the 8 million users, HootSuite is an online social media management tool. It allows you to listen, engage, and participate more effectively–all from a single, customizable dashboard. It’s handy for personal accounts and can be a marketing boon to any business that wants to be more intentional with its online presence. There are other good tools on the market, like Buffer, but I keep coming back to Hootsuite because of the power of the dashboard. So let’s get right into those three features!
1. HootSuite Publisher helps you be more consistent and stay on brand.
The Publisher feature allows you to preschedule posts. Most HootSuite users already know about it, but I’m betting you don’t know that it can help you stay consistent and get really good with hashtags. Once you’ve filled up the scheduler, scan through all those beautiful messages for consistency. Are you focusing on the right topics? Are you happy with the time intervals between posts? Did you remember to add hashtags to each one? You can edit or change posting times easily from this screen. By the way, I don’t schedule all my posts in advance (social is best done live) but I do preplan most of my sharing. Using a scheduler means you won’t spam your followers with all 12 of those great articles you found on Saturday morning. If your followers are in different time zones, it allows you to repeat the best tweets so you catch your friends in the UK, your aunt in Australia, and your bestie back east.
2. RSS Syndicator App makes curation quick and easy.
The HootSuite Syndicator is an app you can add to your dashboard. I use it as my main reader because it pulls all my favourite content into a single screen where I can browse, read and share–or send it to the Publisher to post later on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. Organizing it is easy once you get the concept of setting up tabs and streams in the dashboard. You could have one stream for social media, one for clients, one for industry magazines, etc. Since I consolidated all my reading here, I don’t even miss Google Reader.
3. Klout filter – Find those influencers!
Klout scores are controversial–some believe they’re a vanity item, valued only by their owner. Fair enough. I admit that I love checking my score (I’m at 68 today). But let’s say you’re creating a social media plan for your company to help boost customer engagement and sales. One of your earliest activities should be to find influencers within your niche. Klout scores make it easy because Klout is a measure of influence.
The next screenshot is the same dashboard except I have now applied a Klout filter to my home stream.
To do this, simply click the down arrow at the top of the stream, select Klout, then set the slider to any value you like. I set it on 70 for this example, which means I won’t see anyone with a Klout score of 69 or below. This will help me select which Twitter connections may be the best ones to engage. This is a particularly powerful exercise to do on any lists you have in Twitter. The free version lets you apply a Klout filter to your home stream; if you have the Pro version, you can also use Klout on your Twitter lists.
Now it’s your turn. What tools do you use to keep your social media content flowing well?
Disclosure: I’m a HootSuite Ambassador for North America–so not exactly unbiased. This is a volunteer role. I do it to help others who want to learn how to use the tool better, and in the process, I learn more too.