Friday, 29 March 2013

Social Media Tools - Part Two

In the last post I looked at TweetAdder, a very useful tool for gaining additional followers, without being over aggressive. Now I'm going to turn my attention to the tool I use on a daily basis to manage my tweets, namely HootSuite. One of the key advantages of HootSuite is the ability to manage all social media on one platform. On one dashboard you can manage Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ as well as other sites such as FourSquare, WordPress, MySpace and mixi.  

Let's start by looking at how incoming tweets can be managed. The Twitter element of the dashboard has a number of feeds, either already set up, or those that you can add later. The first feed is the 'home feed', which is the same as Twitter itself, in that you can see all tweets sent out by the people you follow. Once your following runs into hundreds, managing this feed becomes almost impossible, but more about that in a moment. The second feed is your 'mentions'. These are all tweets being sent out by other people, but which include your Twitter handle. This again you can view on Twitter, but you need to keep jumping around and changing pages to see this information. With HootSuite it's all there in front of you. Next in line are your 'direct messages' - DMs, then next to the DMs are the tweets you've sent out. So four feeds of data on one screen. Much more practical than using the Twitter site. But it doesn't stop there. You can now add your own feeds, enabling you to cherry-pick from the overactive 'home feed'. This part of the system can be as bespoke as you want it. For example, let's say you join The Independent Author Network and want to follow tweets which include their hashtag #IAN1. With HootSuite you can set up a feed to do just that. This would then sit neatly next to the other four feeds I have just described. Once the number of feeds increases, as you add to them, some will begin to move out of sight on your screen. However, it is simply a case of scrolling across the screen to look at them. So that is a quick overview of the incoming tweets.

HootSuite: Improve Your Social Media Efficiency 

The other element of HootSuite is of course sending out tweets. This can be done one of two ways. Manual or automatically. You can also set the time the tweet will be sent, depending upon when you believe your target audience is most likely to see it. I'm based in the UK, so if I have tweets specifically for a UK audience I don't want them going out in the early hours of the morning. You can schedule future tweets by using the HootSuite Publisher. HootSuite Publisher also allows the bulk uploading of future tweets. This will require the use of very specific CSV files. If you would like a tutorial on how to create these, then please visit my author website which describes, step by step, on how to build a HooteSuite Bulk Uploader CSV file. Using the CSV file I developed, I can now upload tweets in bulk, and it only takes a few minutes each day. So your presence on Twitter can remain, even when you are sleeping.

So that is a quick whistle stop tour around HootSuite. Happy tweeting!

HootSuite: Manage and Measure your Social Media

1 comment:

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