Tech Tools: Hootsuite – Your Go-To Social Media Tool?

Social media management requires the ability to stay organized and on top of things. This is why applications that help you do both are greatly appreciated, provided they have the features you need. As one of the more popular social media management tools, Hootsuite has definitely gained a respectable following. But is it the one for you?

hootsuite-logo-dashboard

Image courtesy of clearbusinessdynamics.com

Hootsuite in a Nutshell

Hootsuite is a web-based application with the selling feature of allowing you to control your social media streams all from a single dashboard. Some of the features that you can do straight off this dashboard include:

  • Writing, sending, scheduling and tracking multiple posts from multiple accounts
hootsuite schedule

Image courtesy of staenz.com

  • Adding team members and assigning work flows
hootsuite manage members

Image courtesy of courtneyengle.com

  • Monitoring social media performance and analytics
hootsuite analytics

Image courtesy of blog.hootsuite.com

  • Directly replying to different posts and accounts
hootsuite engagement

Image courtesy of hootsuite.com

What To Love About Hootsuite

  1. Single dashboard management. If you manage a lot of accounts, it is so much easier to attend to social media tasks through one dashboard instead of through multiple open windows in your browser.
  2. Works with the most popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, ping.fm, Instagram, vimeo and more.
  3. Allows you to work, collaborate and manage a team. Tasks can be assigned, marked as done and more so you can be sure that everyone is on top of their responsibilities.
  4. Has a social media monitoring function. It tracks what people say about your brand and you can read everything they say through a search term-based feed of public mentions. It does not have extended features when it comes to this function, but the fact that it also offers this is already a big plus.
  5. Allows you to store ‘draft tweets’ of commonly asked queries so you can pull this up and use it to respond to multiple customers who ask the same thing.
  6. Works with all browsers and extends functionality on smartphones, tablets and phablets through the mobile app.
  7. Sends automatic, weekly analytics reports to your email so you are updated on your accounts’ performances. These emails include graphs that show key metrics (for ex. clicks per day, most popular links, geographical information, etc.) that business owners will definitely find handy.

Some Hiccups About Hootsuite

  1. Hootsuite limits URL shortener to ow.ly. You are unable to use bit.ly with it, nor any other kind of URL shortener. This means if you add links through other services (like Buffer, for example) you cannot track it through Hootsuite.
  2. Integration with Facebook analytics is not smooth. If you use Hootsuite to post new Facebook content, that information is not tracked on Facebook’s own analytics.
  3. Lack of CRM system integration. This limits profile building because you cannot build one detailed enough to better engage people.
  4. Slow response. When it comes to refreshing feeds, Hootsuite can sometimes be slightly slower when compared to other applications.
  5. As with Facebook, integration with Twitter API is not exactly topnotch. You will discover that some interaction data does not get picked up, such as tweets that have been favorited through Hootsuite.

A Silver Lining, and the Bottom Line

Perhaps one of the things that make Hootsuite a crowd favorite is the fact that, despite some hiccups, its free version is permanent and working. Even if you do not have the means to buy a paid plan, the free one will not bog you down with any required upgrades. Given all of these, it can be safe to say that Hootsuite remains an attractive option for individuals or small businesses that need a cost effective solution to managing social media. For those who are tasked with managing enterprises, the paid version – with its wider spread of features such as detailed analytics may be the road to take. Whichever option you choose, for as long as its features align with your needs and budget then you will surely find Hootsuite to be an indispensible tool for strengthening your social media presence.

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