Have you ever wondered how you create a brand on yourself on social media? How your different profiles on different platforms appear? Is there a consistency in the way you portray yourself on these platforms? And how maintain a consistent profile across platforms help you?
This consistency is of the utmost importance for companies using digital marketing and media. It helps them manage your brand and convey the message to a user on each platform effectively.
So how about a platform which can help you managing consistency and hence ultimately your brand? The answer to these questions is HootSuite.
What is Hootsuite?
Hootsuite is a platform for managing social media, created by Ryan Holmes in 2008. The system’s user interface takes the form of a dashboard and supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and many more.
Hootsuite is a “Social Media Management System” or tool. It helps you keep track of and manage your many social network platforms. It can enable you to monitor what people are saying about your brand and assist you to respond instantaneously.
With so many networks for businesses to fare, it’s no doubt Social Media Management tools are so popular today and are used by a lot of big companies. Hootsuite is the leader amongst them and over 20% of companies are using it to manage their social media empires.
How HootSuite Connects with customers more smartly and quickly?
1. Monitor multiple platforms at one place
One of the most captivating reasons to use Hootsuite is that it allows you to manage various social networks. Hootsuite currently allows you to manage:
- Facebook Profiles & Pages
- Google+ Pages (not personal profiles)
- LinkedIn Profiles & Pages
- WordPress blogs
- Vimeo, Tumblr, Evernote, Flickr, Slideshare,
- Many more!
You can also add more than one of the same network. This can be useful if you manage multiple accounts. You can even post to multiple channels at the same time. However, you must be cautionary here since the type of audience and thus the content and varies from network to network.
With HootSuite, you can measure how your social campaigns are performing and this will help you to make better decisions. Suppose a campaign failed, HootSuite will update you regarding the lesser reach and impressions so that you can revamp it in time
3. Managing services on Twitter
Twitter is becoming a very active ground for customer service. If your primary reason for a social presence is for managing customer service on Twitter, then Hootsuite probably is the best tool for you. It allows them to give customer messages to different team members and these can be managed by an administrator.
Another useful feature is that Hootsuite allows you to store draft messages that you can post when you receive a frequently asked. Also, a lot of times when multiple people handle a response to Twitter, the password has to be shared among them. Sharing of the password is not a thing as per security is concerned.
It also entails risks from members leaving the team or organization. Hootsuite eliminates this problem, as the password for the twitter account need not be shared, each user can use his HootSuite account to respond and provide services.
If you have more than one person managing the social media front, it becomes difficult to track who is working o which part and if someone is already in the process of responding to a query or question.
Hootsuite helps in this situation as it delegates the messages amongst team members. Thus the exclusivity is maintained. It also provides a messaging/chatting application within itself to ease out the process.
Ideally, there should not be a lot of people working on Hootsuite as it is an expensive thing and is not economically viable for small and medium-sized enterprises.
5. Managing presence on Google+
Google’s social layer, Google+ is an important network for businesses. Not only does it help with SEO and the authorship of your website, but it has astounding features such as Communities and Hangouts that can help you reach your customers. Currently, the only way to post to your Google+ profile is by using the Google+ website or mobile app.
But when you want to manage your business page, Hootsuite will come extremely handy here. The Google+ API is very limited in that it currently only supports pages and not personal profiles. Full access to the page API has only been given to a few partners, of which Hootsuite is one.
6. Completely cross-platform
Hootsuite being ideally developed as a web application works on almost on operating systems such as Windows, MAC, Android, etc. This feature of being cross-platform makes its use more comfortable and easier for all.
In addition to it, there are specific apps for HootSuite for operating systems like Android, windows. So people not comfortable with using web application can use the specific app for a better experience
7. Get Free Reports by Email
If you use Hootsuite to manage your Social networks, the weekly analysis report will be very useful to you. Each week, Hootsuite sends you an email with a pdf attachment of your click summaries. Hootsuite gives you graphs showing:
- Number of clicks per day
- Geographical information on the people clicking through
- Top referrers
- Most popular links
This gives you an overview of how you are doing every week and thus you can take corrective actions before things go out of hands. But the report will only work for you if you always use Hootsuite to manage your networks.
This is because it tracks the click-through using Hootsuite’s in-house URL shortener. If you use other apps such as any click-through rates will not be shown.
8. Multiple services together
One of the most astonishing features of HootSuite is that it can support a large number of networks. Although it is not the greatest idea to put at once across all the networks, it can help small businesses to save time, effort and money.
Hootsuite allows you to post a quick update to multiple networks like Twitter accounts, Facebook page and profile, Google+, LinkedIn profile, company website and group and a lot more. This is extremely useful if there is urgency and the message has to reach all the networks irrespective of what purpose it serves.
Hootsuite also has a scheduling feature that will come handy in putting the posts on different networks either together or at different times.
Although Hootsuite adds a lot of advantages to business, we need to be careful while using it.
Limitations of Hootsuite
1. Be wary of the cost involved
Using Hootsuite is an expensive affair. The analytics reports are free only for the first two reports and others are to be paid by a defined system.
Also, ensure that only a few people are handling the social media accounts because as the team size increases.
2. Use of Owly
URL shorteners are of great importance since there is a limit on characters especially on twitter where word limit is just 140 characters. They are used to add links without using a lot of space.
They also help track no. of clicks and thus help in calculating the reach. Hootsuite has its URL shorteners- ow.ly and ht.ly. That’s great, but you are forced to use them unless you have a customized shortener which is quite expensive and difficult to manage.
1. Follow People who are talking about the Right Things
It’s sometimes a challenge to know who to based o what their profile says. After all, if you sell automobile maintenance software, you’re probably not going to find many profiles using the word “automobile maintenance software” in the bio.
The correct way to follow is to track people based on what they are talking about you are looking for entrepreneurs and startups you can set up a stream for anyone mentioning one (or all) of the following:
Now whenever anyone uses these keywords, it will appear in your HootSuite stream and you can follow them and also respond to them. Thus HootSuite helps you getting target people who are interested in the same field as you are and provides a means to communicate with them.
2. Follow Those that Mention You
You also need to keep a track on who mentions you as they will most probably your intended target audience. If you are getting mentioned on social media, it is a very good sign. I appreciate the mention by a quick response or thanks.
This will help you build rapport. Support them by interacting and thus ultimately creating an image of yourself. I would like to quote an example here from my own experience. On friendship day, Dairy milk held a campaign #Madfie.
We had a friendship day event in our college and people tweeted and posted on Facebook their pictures with dairy milk. Dairy milk immediately tweeted thanks to us for holding the event and making them a part of it. This is the kind of relationship management you can achieve by using HootSuite.
3. Cut through the Noise
I am sure a lot of us follow a lot of people, pages on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks. Of these, we are genuinely interested in a very few and rest we just follow due to an instinct of following it.
Many times we then feel our Facebook wall irrelevant and not showing kind of feed we will be interested in. This is due to the presence of noise created by following not so important topics/activities.
You need to ensure that you are not distracted by this noise, you can’t also unfollow them. Hootsuite comes to rescue to help you do this noise elimination. You can create individual streams for separate people like
- Existing clients
- Past clients
This makes it easy to cut through the chaos and respond to what’s interesting.
4. Consistency is Key
Hootsuite can help you grow and manage your social media activities. But you need to ensure the consistency. Consistency has to be maintained in two forms:
- Within the network: You need to take care of updates, its content, relevance as well as the frequency of updates according to the time and phase of the business cycle.
- Across different networks: You need to ensure consistency across platforms so that a unique message about the product and brand is communicated across the networks. This helps in the building of a reputation and a qualitative brand image.
Now, as you have understood how well you can manage the various social platforms and the innumerable advantages of doing so using Hootsuite, the social media management tool, go and explore the various options to enhance your brand on social media.
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