Just about every business out there has at least one social media outlet up and running as part of their internet media marketing program. You would probably find it hard to find one that’s not on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.
The ability to quickly share information bites at the most opportune times has become invaluable for businesses looking to make a connection with their followers online. It’s fast, easy, and entertaining as long as you can generate good content.
Using HootSuite to Manage Social Media
One way to automate your content online and via social media is with HootSuite. This is an incredible user-friendly tool that makes life much easier for marketing and business professionals. HootSuite has functionalities to share content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ so if your brand or business has a presence on all these platforms, HootSuite might be the choice for you.
Scheduling Content at Optimum Times
Another reason to consider HootSuite is that allows you to share content according to a schedule. Brands and marketing professionals can create content that includes links, photos, etc and then decide how to share the content. Everything can be sent out straight through HootSuite either right then or at a later scheduled time.
Not sure when to schedule your content? HootSuite also features a way to schedule your posts automatically, with an algorithm that chooses the time for you to maximize the opportunities.
Use HootSuite to Share the Work with Team Members
HootSuite is a popular platform for many reasons but one of the most popular is that it allows you divide the workload among members of a team. No matter how many people are working on a given project, you can share the work and everyone can access the back-end the same. You can change permissions specific to different teams, projects and team members.
Track Your Progress via HootSuite
Not only does HootSuite have a great user interface, it also packs some powerful tools for charting your social media activities and keeping track of your goals. Any good social media plan includes a way to see where you started and track where you’ve come. So don’t forget these features as you are using HootSuite.
Getting Signed Up for HootSuite
Not currently using HootSuite? The first thing you’ll need to do is sign up. After signing up, decide how you’ll most likely use the platform. If you will use it from a mobile device, be sure to download the appropriate app for your smartphone, tablet or device.
How to Choose the Right HootSuite Plan?
Before jumping in with HootSuite, you will need to determine which plan to use. There are different plans that meet different needs. Some users choose the free plan which is fairly basic. It provides the option of connecting anywhere from one to five social networks plus one or two RSS feeds.
Then there’s the Pro plan. It lets you manage anywhere from six to 50 social networks. You’ll get the same level of customer support, but this plan lets you keep all your social media accounts in one spot, if you have more than 5 to manage.
Finally, there’s the Enterprise plan. With no limit to the social networks you can link up, this plan provides a way to connect multiple users plus offers helpful resources and learning tools that can help you navigate the whole experience.
Before you choose a plan, you might want to sign up for a free trial. This will let you get the feel for HootSuite before committing to a payment plan.
Connecting Social Accounts to HootSuite
Once you’ve selected a plan and signed up for HootSuite, it’s time to get started.
The next step is to connect your social accounts. Each social network that gets linked up must be authorized. But this is an easy process. Just make sure you have your login information and passwords handy for all accounts.
You can add connections by clicking on your profile member dashboard. By choosing the “Add Social Network” setting, you can pick the network you want to connect. Not only does HootSuite make it possible for you to connect the common platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, but you can also connect with YouTube and Flickr using the apps function.
Sharing Content on HootSuite
After your account on HootSuite is up and running, it’s time for you to begin sharing content. You can set your content, whether they are Facebook posts, Tweets or whatever, to publish immediately or later.
To Automate or Not to Automate?
Automating social media through Hootsuite can make scheduling your tweets over the course of the day an easy process. If you don’t have the option of spending small blocks of time on social media throughout the day, Hootsuite’s scheduling feature is perfect for you. You have the option to schedule manually, auto schedule (wherein Hootsuite uses algorithms to find the best time to post), and bulk schedule.
HootSuite’s Manual Posting
The manual method is pretty obvious. Set a date and time on the calendar to post future tweets. You can also choose to “view date in publisher” which lets you see what else is scheduled on that date. This avoids over posting and gives you a reliable view of your schedule for editing.
What is Auto Schedule on HootSuite?
The “AutoSchedule” option does your posting for you. Once activated, all your posts get scheduled by Hootsuite. It uses algorithms to determine the optimum time for your posts until it’s deactivated.
“Bulk Schedule” is another great option for brands using HootSuite. This feature lets you build a spreadsheet of up to fifty posts at a time. Once uploaded, the spreadsheet shows the date/time for a post, links, and your text.
Having the capability to automate your posts can be a great asset. But don’t let it become a robotic, inhuman process where your old content is blasted out shotgun style at your followers. Re-cycled content should be posted with care. You don’t need content about last Easter showing up in November like it’s new.
People can see right through blatant automation if it’s not handled carefully. However, if done right, sharing old content can make connections with new followers by educating them about your business. Old content has to be relevant to be well received.
Sharing content is often informative and helpful, which is exactly what you’re looking for. But you had better have something to offer, too. You need to able to add something relevant to it. An experience, commentary, or some kind of input that makes your contribution relevant to what you’re sharing. If you can’t, your followers will just bypass you and head straight to the source.
Auto Responders for New Followers
If your business gathers a huge following, it may no longer be possible for you to personally greet every new follower with a personalized message. Using an automated direct message is definitely a viable option, but be sure it’s welcoming and makes your new followers feel appreciated.
There are some camps of people who say auto responders are terrible, but if you provide something of value, it can be another touch point to strengthen the relationship.
If done right, a direct message can nurture good communication with new followers quickly. Don’t try to sell anything, get sign ups, or post a litany of links to anything.
Make your automated direct message to new followers be about showing your gratitude for their interest in what you have to say. Make them want to be part of your network. And no matter how many followers you have or how busy you are, you have to check your direct messages regularly. Communication is what social media is all about. Keep that in mind and respond to messages. As many as you can.
It’s all about communication. HootSuite is a valuable tool and it can save you lots of time as you automate and become more efficient. But there’s a lot of automated interaction out there today. Be sure yours is worth your followers’ time.
Ultimately, you want to use social media to speak your audience’s language. Share amazing content and they will want to keep the flow going, thus more engagement for your brand. And if you need some extra help with social media or anything else that has to do with Internet Marketing, please feel free to get in touch with us.
Contact us or leave a comment and we’d love to help!
If you would like any help or have questions, contact us anytime.
Oliver and Sam
Co-Founders and HootSuite HotShots
Loud Media Solutions
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