These days, no matter how great your product, service, or business is, if people can’t find you on the web, it’s like you don’t exist. Social media has helped level the playing field for smaller businesses and you can now access low or no cost tools to market your business. However, you still have to take the time to cultivate relationships, and as we all know time = money.
If your company is just getting started with social media, one tool that helps you “be everywhere all at once” and save your precious time and energy is Hootsuite.
Here’s how Hootsuite can help:
1. Manage Multiple Networks From One Place
Hootsuite allows you to take control of multiple social profiles from one dashboard so you don’t have to log into each one separately. Mostly I pull in my Twitter and Facebook profiles, but you can also update LinkedIn, WordPress and more social networks using Ping.fm.
2. Web Access From Anywhere
Being a web-based platform, you don’t need to download a program onto your computer. You can access Hootsuite from any computer with a browser. Of course, you can also use an app for your phone, but what makes the web access important is, if you have other team members helping you manage your profiles, or your client profiles, then it’s easy to collaborate online.
3. Assign Tasks Within
Let’s say you get a request for a phone call, or there is a customer service issue, or you come across an interesting blog post you want a team member to reply to. You can “assign” tasks to specific team members and they can let you know via Hootsuite when it’s done. No separate to-do list required.
4. Monitor Mentions and Respond in Real-Time
If you can’t join them, find them. You can track Twitter conversations by selecting keywords in your search. Find out who’s mentioning your name, your company name, your products, services or even your latest blog posts (but haven’t credited you with an @reply). You can reply quickly because it’s like Google Alerts in real time.
5. Find New Business
A great way to start “talking” online is just noticing what others are saying and then thinking about: What value can you bring into a conversation? Create a Hootsuite “stream” (column) where you track key phrases, or just use the “search Twitter” function to see what people are talking about in real time. If people are asking questions about your key expertise – jump in and help them. You might just make a new connection that leads to new business for you.
6. Use a List to Build Relationships
Building a relationship takes time. It means showing up day after day and getting to know people. On Twitter, find the people who are interested in the same subjects you are, or the influencers and rainmakers for your business, and follow them on a list. That way you can see what they are interested in and how to help them. By giving first and giving more, you’ll find that it does come back to you in spades.
7. Grow Your Reach Worldwide
One way to get more people to notice your company, is to share more often! Hootsuite allows you to schedule tweets on Twitter and status changes on Facebook and LinkedIn. That way, even people across the globe can hear from you while you sleep or you can schedule multiple reminders for special events or promotions way in advance.
8. Share Blog Feeds Automatically
If you go to Settings, then RSS, you can share your blog posts automatically across your networks. Got multiple blogs? Want to share your friend’s blog? The free version allows you to share one blog, the paid version at $5.99 a month allows you unlimited blogs. What I like about using this function is that you can add 20 characters of text before each blog post. For example, you can add: “New from my blog:” which automatically appears before each blog post title, or “New post via @myfriend,” so they can see you are sharing their post. Of course, you want to share quality content that reflects your brand, so share other people’s content with care.
9. Track Your Analytics
I love that Hootsuite also shares analytics from one dashboard. You can see how many clicks your tweets are getting in the last 24 hours, week or over the month. You can also see which influencers and friends are sharing your tweets and how often. You can see individual message stats. You can view your site’s Google Analytics and your Facebook page insights. With all this info at your fingertips, it can be hard to leave Hootsuite! Which is probably what they intended
10. Use the Hootsuite Hootlet
When you aren’t in your dashboard but reading something you want to share with your networks, by having the Owl “Hootlet” in your browser’s toolbar, sharing is one click away. Just click on the owl and the title of the article you are reading as well as its URL are automatically pulled and ready for you to share.
If you’d like to learn more about Hootsuite, you can join their Hootsuite University to become certified and get access to monthly webinar tutorials from those in the industry – as an example I taught a class last year for the members on the topic “Generating Free PR.”
What about you? What social media dashboard do you use and why? If you use Hootsuite, what are some other tips you can share?
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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