Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media and marketing digital dashboard. In a nutshell, it’s an online tool that allows users to post, schedule, measure and monitor social media messaging across multiple platforms all in one place.
There are numerous social media management platforms to choose from: Sprout Social, Loomly, Buffer, Sendible, Meet Edgar, MavSocial, Tailwind, Iconosquare, and Post Planner, among others.
Some tools work across all major social media platforms while others focus on one to three. Some are more compatible with certain operating systems (Apple iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, macOS) while others work well across the board. Most require a monthly subscription and prices vary considerably. A good place to start is to clearly identify what your organization needs most and eliminate any platforms that don’t offer what you need, or at a price point that you can afford.
Hootsuite has been around since 2008, originally released as Brightkit, a free tool focusing on the management of multiple Twitter accounts. It quickly evolved into the subscription-based platform we see today, with more than 16 million users. Key features that have made Hootsuite one of the top social media management platforms include the ability to:
- Monitor multiple social media streams from one dashboard (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, WordPress blogs, etc.)
- Schedule social media posts in advance, with a planning calendar for at-a-glance visuals.
- Get real-time analytics that illustrate social media engagement, or lack thereof. It also provides user information, top referrers and most popular links shared, among other data points.
- Save time with the Hootlet plugin. Add to your browser bar and share information to selected social media streams with one click. No need to login to Hootsuite or your social media channels.
- “Listen” to social media outlets. Hootsuite can track repeat and key phrases across social media platforms, proactively detecting new opportunities for you or your organization to engage.
- Streamline customer service. Receive and respond faster to comments, questions and issues from one dashboard.
- Shorten URLs. Hootsuite’s ow.ly shortner saves characters, giving more room for key messages.
- Collaborate. Hootsuite allows multiple users, tracking who posts what and when. This feature avoids a single point of failure when “the social media person” is out sick or quits, taking all of the login information with them. It also allows other users to delete a user and update passwords as needed to protect against backlash from a disgruntled employee, for instance.
Pro tip: Check out Hootsuite’s Twitter feed, as discount codes are offered for extended free trials. Business prices vary by the number of channels and users, ranging from $29 – $599+ per month.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how your social media measures up.