In last weeks’ post on our Build Your Brand series, we gave you one week to go and become part of Hootsuite. Did you do that yet? If not, stop what you are doing and go do it, RIGHT NOW!
Hootsuite is super easy to use and it is user friendly. Before using hoot suite I would have 5-6 tabs open with my Etsy for promoting my store: one for Facebook (both personal and business pages), Twitter (both personal & business pages), Google Plus, and Pinterest. Well not anymore!
Before I get started in the basics, please know that HootSuite is NOT yet partnered with Google Plus. I do not know if this will ever happen, but I sure hope it will as it will make promoting my small business easier and far more effective in outreach.
So how do we use HootSuite? It’s very simple. When you begin using HootSuite, you will see a screen that looks like this. This is your landing page. You can choose to not see this page (through your personal settings). I rarely use this page, but to be honest, I love being connected to it and having that adorable owl say, “hello” to me all the time. To get started using Hootsuite, you have to add all your links. To do this, use your landing page and click “Add Social Network.” This being said, I use the FREE version of Hootsuite and it only allows you to connect up to 5 social networks. You can pay for Hootsuite and get far more features. But I want to keep the cost of my overhead low, so it’s just one more thing that I choose NOT to pay for.
Once you have added in all of your social networks, you will see a box at the top left of your screen. Use this box for everything from your “social tweets” to your business promotion. HootSuite makes promoting to all your social networks at one time quick, easy, and efficient. No more copy and paste, no more wasting time.
Then, choose the social networks you want your message to post to by clicking the picture associated with each social media source. This will post a green “check mark” for each network you choose.
As we all know, twitter only allows us to type something in 40 characters or less. So, most often, you direct links will not fit. All you have to do is click the “shrink” button to the right of the link you typed. (If one of your chosen social networks was Facebook, a graphic & text box will appear. This box allows you to add a graphic that the software found on the website you entered. To pick your graphic image, simply click on the arrows to the right of the graphic.)
Now, you will also notice something else in the graphic above. A red box with a “t” in the middle. This is a warning from Twitter that my post has too many characters. So, now I have to tailor my original post.
With a quick edit to my post, I now have a beautiful post that is ready to go live on the networks I have chosen. Click “Send Now” at the bottom of this screen for your post to go live immediately.
Remember that one of the things that we have talked about so much in this series is not being “spammy.” So, if you have already tweeted a lot of things, posted a lot onto FaceBook, don’t overwhelm your target audience. Simply schedule your post for later on. Do this by clicking the little mini “calendar” icon below your message.
A new window will pop up. All you do is decide on a time and date that your message will be sent to your networks. But I want you to notice something. Every time you add a feature to your message, Hootsuite adds it to the bottom. See at the bottom of the window where it says “Attaching” and then the name of my URL? If you decide to get ride of this, simply click the “X” or close box to the right of that feature. When you have chosen the time & date of your post, simple click “schedule” at the bottom.
So how do we check and see if our posts have gone out into the cyberspace network we chose. Click the link of the social network you want to view at the top of your page. Here’s a sample of my Twitter page from the Hootsuite point of view. For every network that you add, there is the option to “Add Streams.” A stream is what you see at the top of my page here “Sent Tweets” is a stream; “Scheduled Tweets” is another..etc, etc, etc. For each network there are different kinds of streams. Explore their features and get started today on this easy and efficient way of making the most of your time online.