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Managing Social Network Accounts with HootSuite

2010 Sep 18 19:42   category: Technology   author:  
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If you’re an active user of social media in your marketing campaigns – and most small businesses are these days – then you’ll certainly want to check out what HootSuite has to offer.

HootSuite enables you to track and manage an unlimited number of social network accounts from one console. Networks that can be handled include Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare and WordPress (currently only the .com service). Just being able to view all these accounts from one place is a huge advantage but HootSuite allows you to do much more.

Probably the next feature that will appeal to users is the ability to send updates to more than one account at the same time. Perhaps you have several twitter accounts and would like the same update to go out to more than one of them – easy to do with HootSuite. Simply create the message in HootSuite, select the accounts you’d like to update and send.

Of course you’ll be wanting a url shortening capability as you compose your updates. HootSuite uses url shortening, which includes two cool features. First, you can easily append parameters, such as Google Analytics tags or affiliate referral IDs, to the end of your urls before they are shortened. Different parameter sets can even be saved as presets for future use making their attachment far speedier. Second, any url shortened in this way can be tracked and the clickthrough stats viewed from your HootSuite dashboard.

Another powerful HootSuite feature that you might find useful is the ability to schedule your updates. Everything can be set up just as described above but instead of pressing ‘send’ you select a future time and date (months in advance if you like) and press ‘schedule’. At the appointed time your update will be sent just as if you’d done so manually. If for example you have a predefined calendar of events for which you wish to send out reminders you can prepare and schedule these ahead of time and eliminate the need to worry about when the next one is due.

Finally, you’ll most likely want to check out the automated rss based updates. Select the rss feed from which you wish to extract updates, the network accounts you want them to feed and the frequency with which you want this to happen and, hey presto, HootSuite will automatically generate those updates from that point on.

We strongly recommend a visit to the HootSuite website where you will find they offer a free, ad supported, version with a 5 social network limit which should accommodate most individual or small business needs. Simply sign up and get started. We think you’ll quickly be hooked once you start to see what HootSuite can do.

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