Imagine that you’ve just written a brilliant blog post for your business, or you’ve stumbled across a great article that’s incredibly relevant to current events in your industry. You know that the best way to get more people to read this (and check out your site) is to broadcast the post on your social media channels, so you log onto your business’ Facebook page and share it. And then you log into Twitter… and LinkedIn… and Google+…
Managing multiple social media accounts can be headache-inducing and, quite honestly, a big waste of time. Regularly updating your social media pages is an important part of content marketing—that’s something that I’ve written about frequently. However, you’ll have a much better experience with your social media marketing if you learn how to work smart instead of just hard.
[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B00KJTCOCE” cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”onlinmarke0c9-20″]That’s where Hootsuite comes in. Hootsuite is a free social media management tool that allows you and your marketing team to share posts across social media platforms, without logging into each account separately. Think of it as the central headquarters for all your social media activity.
What Hootsuite Looks Like
Once you’ve set up Hootsuite and connected all your social media accounts (which you can learn how to do here), you’ll be able to see the streams for all your accounts (essentially the content you post) set up as columns. You can set up these columns to include more than just your posts, too. Depending on your preferences, you can direct mentions in general, mentions sent to your profile, hashtags, keywords, and updates from selected followers. If you choose to display a lot of different followers, hashtags, and keywords, your Hootsuite page may look chaotic at first, but it can be a helpful way to get a sense of what your target audience is talking about and how you can engage with them.
Of course, Hootsuite does a lot more than just let you see other people’s posts. One of Hootsuite’s most valuable features is its scheduling capability. Instead of wasting time every single day posting social media updates, you can sit down maybe one day a week and schedule updates for all your social media accounts for the following days or even weeks (as long as you’re sure your posts will still be relevant at this later date). All you have to do is enter your post in the box in the upper left corner of the screen, then click on the calendar icon to schedule it for a later date. You can also choose to use something called Auto Schedule, which schedules your posts to be published at the time that they are most likely to get more shares and views.
Collaborating on Hootsuite
If your business is relatively small, you may be comfortable managing your company’s Hootsuite account on your own. However, if you’re part of a larger organization or have a particularly ambitious social media marketing plan, you may want to have a team of people managing Hootsuite. Fortunately, Hootsuite allows you to do this relatively easily with their collaboration tool.
Within your account, you can create teams and add team members so that others have access to the Hootsuite account without having to share one password. Team members can share streams and search columns, schedule posts, and even give each other assignments. For example, one team member may be in charge of responding to all question or complaint pings the company receives. This is the kind of thing that can be incredibly helpful if you’re trying to expand your social media presence and bring in more followers.
A word to the wise, though: while the basic version of Hootsuite is free, you’ll need the $9 per month Hootsuite Pro version to access team features, so carefully evaluate whether it will be worth it for your business.
Measure Success with Hootsuite Analytics
Not only can Hootsuite help you streamline your content marketing, it can also help you determine how successful your content marketing is. Hootsuite offers a number of different report templates, including Facebook Insights, Twitter Engagement, Google Analytics, and Ow.ly Clicks (clicks on the URLs within your posts). You can even create custom reports based on the data Hootsuite collects, which can be a valuable visual tool for marketing consultants who need to give presentations to their clients—and for businesses that are continually tinkering with their social marketing strategy to make it as effective as possible.
The best way to learn more about how Hootsuite can help streamline your content marketing is to set up a free account, link up your social media accounts, and get started. Hootsuite is a relatively simple tool, but it can help you get organized and free up a lot of time to dedicate to other projects.