Over at the work that I’m doing for ODHEG, I was asked for a simple guide to Hootsuite, so here we are. Hootsuite is designed to enable you to tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc without having to log in and out of each account (the free account allows you to connect to up to 5 accounts, whilst there’s a charge of $5.99 per month if you choose to add more accounts). The main benefit most of you, however, are likely to enjoy, is the fact that you can pre-schedule tweets (e.g. sit down on a Monday for half-an-hour and set up several days tweets), although you will still need to check in to respond to any further engagement. Don’t forget that we earlier looked at setting up a Twitter account – please do let us know how you are using it!
Sign up for an account
Go to Hootsuite.com:
Sign up through your Facebook account, or the simple instructions where it says ‘Sign Up Now’, and follow the screen prompts. Note that when you return to login, the button is just above, in the top right – so do remember your password!
Add Social Networks
The software is likely to encourage you to add a social network as you sign up, but if not/once you have set up your first account, you can add further by looking to top-left and ‘Add Social Network’
You can add up to 10 ‘streams’ per account. For Twitter, dy default the first will be the usual Twitter feed you would see on Twitter, the second your ‘mentions’ (where others have used your user name in a tweet), your ‘Direct Message’ inbox and outbox, sent items. You can then add streams tied to hashtags, which is incredibly useful for conferences.
This is an incredibly simple process (so long as you remember that shorter is sweeter!).
Simply start typing in the box, tick for the appropriate social network(s) (don’t default to all social networks, think about the different audiences you have for each). Most of the time this may be all you want but:
- Link: Simply copy and paste a long link from elsewhere on the ‘net, press ‘Shrink’, and a shortened link will be included.
- Clip: Add a Photo/File (from your hard-drive, although if you’re using this as an app on the phone, straight from the phone).
- Schedule posts: I quite often use the ‘Autoschedule’ function, and it spaces them out as it deems appropriate. Otherwise choose a date/time, and press schedule.
- Location: Click if you want your location added to a tweet (especiallygood if you’re somewhere exotic!)
- Privacy: Works on networks such as Facebook which have different privacy settings, e.g. show just friends/work colleagues.
Checking What You’ve Scheduled
Look to the left-hand menu for ‘Publisher’:
Is there more?
There’s always more in these apps, but the above information should keep you going for most of what you want. Don’t be afraid to poke around and experiment, knowing that you can always return to ‘Stream’ to read/post, and check out the Hootsuite ‘Help‘ if required.
Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture in the third sector (especially faith). Author of ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.