24/7 Social: Getting Started with Hootsuite

Managing one social media platform for a business can be daunting, let alone managing multiple accounts! It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re trying to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the latest flavor-of-the-week platform. Don’t despair. A simple program called Hootsuite can help you manage all of your platforms, 24 hours a day.

Hootsuite is a social media “dashboard” that allows you to post to several different social media accounts from one place. You can also schedule posts so that your social media channels are active, even when you’re not. Even though you’re fast asleep in Miami, someone in London might be logged onto Twitter, looking for a business just like yours! Hootsuite helps you reach them.

Once you’ve signed up for a free account, you’ll be taken to what’s called your Dashboard. The first thing you’ll want to do is Add Social Networks.

You’ll be prompted to select from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare, WordPress and mixi. You can log in to your account by entering your username and password for that platform. You can add up to five social media platforms for free, and additional platforms for a monthly fee.

Got it? Good. Now it’s time to schedule a post. At the top of your Dashboard, you’ll see a white box prompting you to ‘Compose message’. Type the text of your post here. To the left, select the platform you want to post to from your list of social media accounts.

If you hit ‘Send Now’, your post will automatically be published. But if you select the icon that looks like a tiny calendar, you can schedule your post to appear hours, days or even weeks into the future! This makes it super simple to plan a strategic social media calendar, sharing new content even when you’re away from your computer.

A few more helpful hints:

  • Schedule posts when other brands aren’t online. Nights and weekends see statistically lower numbers of posts from companies, but exponentially higher interaction from users.
  • Share different content on different platforms. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but it’s nice to switch up your content for users who follow you on multiple platforms.
  • Don’t forget about your global audience. Remember, it may be the middle of the night in your time zone, but the other half of the world is up and running!