Hootsuite is a useful tool for social media mavens

Social media has become a crucial tool in almost every business field, both as a way of getting messages out and as a way of listening in on what competitors and influencers are up to. And it keeps evolving.

It can be easy to set up Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, start following key accounts, and leave it there, but smart entrepreneurs are constantly updating their strategy and jumping on newer platforms with new types of content.

Hootsuite is a great way to stay on top of all this. It’s a central dashboard that connects with all the above platforms, as well as YouTube, WordPress and Google+. Individuals who want to boost their profile on three or fewer accounts can sign up for the free version of the service, which can be accessed online or through a mobile app. They can then send out messages to multiple accounts simultaneously, schedule them in advance, and monitor many different, tailored information streams from a single window. The design is a little confusing and cluttered, but once you’ve wrapped your head around it, it’s definitely a timesaver.

Teams who are serious about social-media strategy and have a budget to dedicate to it can upgrade to a US$9.99-a-month Pro account, which allows them to manage 50 social profiles and get some basic analytics reporting to track growth and engagement. For more extensive, real-time analytics, they’ll have to opt for the full Business account, which is significantly more expensive – an exact quote is available on inquiry. This upgrade also allows teams to work together, delegate tasks, approve drafts of posts, and get certified as expert users.

There are a few services operating in this space, but Hootsuite is one of the oldest, most powerful and most trusted, and it’s continuing to improve. In April this year, it became possible to manage video uploads from the dashboard, and another recent improvement is an integration with online storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, so that assets can be published straight from the cloud. It’s not cheap, and there isn’t much help or support unless you start paying, but it’s worth a look if you’re looking to boost your social media game.



Jessica Holland

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