Hootsuite is a really powerful and useful tool, but are you using it to it’s maximum potential?
Over the last couple of years, I have tested out many tools and I’ve tried alternatives to Hootsuite but I always end up returning to it. The fact that it provides so much great functionality is too hard to resist!
There are some features you may not be using but should be. If you can pick out one item to implement out of this list today, it will have been worth writing this post.
Hootsuite provide some help with Hootsuite university but here is a Hootsuite review of 7 features you should be using.
1. Setting up Hootsuite Tabs
Organizing your content effectively with Hootsuite will help you get a lot more out of the service. One way of organizing your content is to set up multiple tabs.
In the example below, there are several tabs set up:
- My personal Twitter account
- My company Twitter account
- Google +
For each tab you set up, you can set up streams (columns of information). In the example above, it shows a tab for Facebook and, within this, you can see two streams. The first one shows posts made to the wall by the Facebook Page’s administrator and anyone else who posts there. The second tab shows private messages.
Would multiple tabs help you to organize your content? Would it help to set them up for Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn?
Setting this up will help you to streamline your social media content and updates, with everything in one place.
2. Geosearch – Targeting Based on Location
A very useful feature within Hootsuite is the ability to define a specific area to target.
For example, imagine you had a courier service and you did pickups/deliveries within a 200km radius. You can set up a filter to view any tweets that have the word ‘Courier’ in them that are within a 200km radius of your office.
The first thing you need to do is find the coordinates of your location. Go to Google Maps or similar and enter your location to get the geo code for where you are based.
Go back to Hootsuite and select the ‘Add stream’ option.
Select the search and enter the co-ordinates, followed by the radius you want to cover.
Note: In the bottom right-hand corner, you’ll see a cross-hair image. This is meant to retrieve your co-ordinates automatically but it does not work for me. So, you might not want to rely on it without making sure the details are correct.
You’ll then see a stream with all your geo-targeted tweets!
3. Setting up Hootsuite Filtered Streams
A stream is a filtered view of content displayed in a column.
When you set up a stream, you have several different options for filtering the content. One very useful one is to use filters based on keywords.
Here’s an example of the type of filters you can apply. This was based on a Twitter stream:
razorsocial since:2014-10-19 – This filter will display tweets created October 19th. You may only be interested in seeing tweets for a particular time frame.
razorsocial OR “Ian Cleary” – Create a filtered stream for your brand name and also your personal name.
Here is information provided by Hootsuite on the types of searches you can do:
4. HootFeed for Live Twitter Streams
If you are planning an in-person event, you will want the attendees to be engaged on social media. This helps to promote your meeting or conference, raises awareness of your brand, and provides really useful feedback to you, too.
A growing trend is to have large screens displaying the tweets that people send about the event, in real time. This reminds people to engage with your hashtag and can provide useful social proof, too.
Hootsuite’s HootFeed functionality is designed to enable this kind of engagement. You can easily customize the content that is displayed on the screens, and it has important features like profanity filters to avoid any embarrassment! HootFeed livestreams can be shown on screens of any size and they can be customized to fit with your brand.
To set up a HootFeed for your event, go to https://hootsuite.com/hootfeed and fill in the boxes, then allow permission from your Twitter account.
5. Hootlet for sharing
The Hootsuite Hootlet is one of those tools that, once you’ve installed it, you’ll wonder how you ever coped without it.
When you install the Hootlet as a Chrome extension or Firefox plugin (link), you can share webpages quickly and easily without having to navigate to your social media networks or even to Hootsuite itself. You just click on the owl and a window pops up, offering you the option to share to different networks or accounts.
So, if you wanted to share this Mashable article, you would just click the owl and the following dialogue appears.
Then, it is easy to select the network you want and share the page with your followers.
6. Monitor Social Conversations Using Hootsuite Apps
One really useful feature of these apps is that you are able to monitor social conversations on a wider range of social networks. If you want to track a hashtag that might show up on Instagram, Flickr or LinkedIn – as well as in your Twitter and Facebook tabs – you can do this using the apps for these networks.
To access the app directory, which contains over 100 different apps, you hover your mouse on the left side of the screen and a menu will be displayed. From there, click on App Directory.
You will be presented with a searchable list of apps and you can click to find out more information or choose to install them. Then, you can set up streams for the apps and your key search terms.
By keeping an eye on your chosen keywords on a wider range of social networks, you will be able to reach out to more people, carry out more comprehensive market research and really stay on top of the social buzz. The more information you have, and the more quickly you can access it, the better.
7. Hootsuite Publisher
At first glance, the ‘Publisher’ link on the left-hand menu shows a list of all your scheduled posts. However, it actually has a lot more functionality than that.
You can schedule messages in Hootsuite itself, or by using the Hootlet, or by uploading a .csv file with all your planned messages and their dates and times. It can be easy to get confused about what will be shared and when, especially if there is a team of people preparing the updates that will go out.
So, the Publisher allows you to see a list of the updates, which networks they will go out on, and when. In the top right of the screen, you can also choose to see the same information in a day, week or month format, which offers a more visual interface. You can drag and drop messages to change their times and days and, by selecting different IDs at the top of the page, you can also filter them by network or by account.
Many people use Hootsuite to manage their Twitter account, using the different columns to track mentions and search terms. However, this is a tool that offers far more functionality than just that. As we have shown you, you can use it on a wide range of networks and there are added tools and apps to integrate different tracking and account management systems, all within the Hootsuite interface.
Do you use Hootsuite? What is your favorite feature? Which of the above will you try?
Tools image by Shutterstock