As professionals in the digital space, social media is one of the best tools we have to reach out to and engage with audiences. The rise of social media has been synonymous with the growth the digital sector has experienced. One of the shining stars in the social space has been Twitter; which has gone from strength to strength in the last few years.
Being the enterprising, engaging professionals we are, we’re always on the lookout for tools that greatly enhance our reach and frankly, make our lives as marketers a tad bit easier ☺
Enter – Hootsuite.
Hootsuite is a great tool which allows us to manage multiple social media profiles. While it’s an amazing one stop tool to use for a variety of social networks using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., I used it primarily for my tweeting activities.
To try it out for the first time, I tweeted about a recent story covering a development for a client in India’s fast growing telecommunications sector. I found that using Hootsuite had many advantages such as,
- The ability to schedule tweets for literally any time in the future. Also, there’s a feature called ‘Auto Schedule’ that allows you schedule your tweets for optimal impact.
- You can distribute your tweets 24 x 7, 365 days a year. For the free account, we can schedule up to 10 tweets throughout the day.
- I was able to tweet from five accounts using Hootsuite. I scheduled the tweets to be sent out at a specific time and created a custom tweet for each account.
All things these days come with a price. While the free version of Hootsuite is really great, there are some limitations. They are,
- You can get a maximum of 5 profiles. If you’re managing a brand, you really need more.
- Message scheduling is still quite basic when compared to what’s available in the pro and enterprise version. (More on that later ☺)
- We can subscribe to only 2 RSS feeds.
- We cannot archive any messages
- Vanity/Custom URL’s are a no-go.
While the free account offers some really cool features, Hootsuite also offers a ‘Pro Account.’ The pro account is a paid service priced @ $9.99/month. Some really cool features include,
- You can manage up to 100 accounts. Now bear in mind 100 is the sum total of all the accounts you have across multiple social media viz., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.,
- The pro version allows access for up to 10 people – enough for a small social media team.
- Mass publishing and scheduling – We can fill in a spreadsheet with our posts and the dates we want them scheduled and submit
- Ability to subscribe to unlimited RSS Feeds
- Advanced analytics reports – We can get detailed reports regarding the usage and reach of our social activity.
- Enroll in Hootsuite University – The video tutorials are incredibly educational and informative – they cover pretty much every aspect of social media, meaning even social media newbies can become social media experts in no time.
The best part about the pro option is that you try for free for 30 days. If you don’t like it (Highly unlikely), you can always return to use the free version.
The Enterprise Option:
- The most elaborate service offered by Hootsuite is the enterprise option. It’s a totally custom service that is catered to meet the needs of each individual client.
- You can have pretty much unlimited accounts.
- With this option, several customized solutions that cater to your needs are offered. These include competitor analysis across social media with an option to modify your service and offerings to ensure that your brand is ahead of the curve.
- Analytics Reports are customized based on the needs of every client and using this specific data, you can make decisions that maximise ROI.
- For us professionals, work scheduling and social media management becomes very easy. The enterprise version allows us to have the option of team collaboration so that the entire team can work together with respect to a particular activity or task. As a manager, you can even assign work and timelines.
- One of the biggest things you stand to benefit from is the dedicated support line for troubleshooting.
As we have seen, Hootsuite offers three services to manage social media profiles and each one has their own benefits with the paid versions offering significantly more to us marketers. We’re living in a time when social media is gaining an incredible amount of prominence, tools that help us utilize resources and run campaigns in a smooth, efficient manner are critical. Hootsuite is one such tool and boy, are we glad it’s here! ☺