Now that you have been working your social media platforms for a while, it is time to think about adding Hootsuite to your list of go to places. This is not a place where you need to post…though you can, more about that later, but we recommend Hootsuite to track you success and obtain the needed information that lets you plan you social media strategy.
What is Hootsuite?
Hootsuite was originally a catch all posting site where you could manage all of your social media networks and platforms on one page. It was a great option for early adopters of social media who quickly found out how much time and skill it took to manage more than two social media networks. What we have found over time about Hootsuite, is that it is a great way to gather statistics about your social media, monitor your social media networks and watch your performance. As a posting platform, we give it a thumbs down, but as a statistical and monitoring center we give it two thumbs up!
What you can do on Hootsuite for free
Like any of the dashboard services, there are different levels of service, free, paid for and expensive. The free services that are offered through Hootsuite are the following:
- link to your networks and build a screen that displays up to five of your primary social streams, choosing from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ping.fm, WordPress, MySpace, Foursquare
- view multiple social networking streams on the screen at the same time without opening new pages.
- post updates, retweet, share and comment. (we are not a fan of this portion of the service but it is available
- monitor each social media platform in real time to see what is being said or monitor your staffs progress
- schedule posts and tweets if you need a little post to your time management
- one basic free report
- 2 RRS feeds (for content management)
What you can do on Hootsuite for a very small fee
The next level is the Hootsuite Pro level and is very reasonably priced. At 5.99 USD per month you can add the following benefits to your Hootsuite account:
1. Unlimited social media networks can be posted to your Hootsuite account
2. Free enhanced reports
3. Many reporting tools (information provided in real time but not sent as report) including Facebook insights, Google analytics, and influence scores
4. Team member added to the dashboard (two people can log into the dashboard and use the platform)
5. Unlimited RSS feeds (great for content management about destinations, customers reviews and content for posts)
Once you see the advantages of Hootsuite, you can add on additional packages to your Pro account. This is a new option from Hootsuite and we think a great option. Upgrade your pro account to include one or all of the following options:
Additional team members (so more people can review and manage your social media stats), Hootsuite university classes to enhance your learning of social media stats and options, archiving of information and more analytics! Each of these options have a different price tag so review each separately.
Why is having a social media dashboard important?
Posting and commenting, retweeting and reviewing others comments is one job of the social media marketer. The real facts, the real truth, the real success comes with analyzing what is happening on the networks! Let me give you an example, a metaphor. Lets look at a social media progress like a diet, everyone has been on a diet at one point in their life. There are three phases to a diet, the actual changing of food, making good food choices and eating of good low calorie food. That is the basis to any diet, like posting, retweeting or commenting is to any social media strategy. But your diet does not end there. There is the hopping on the scale, the measure your success of the eating the right foods. The scale does not lie, and it will tell you if you are eating the right foods to reach your diet goal. if you lose weight you will know by the amount on the scale and let you know you are getting closer to your goal. If you gain weight, you know the nachos you ate are not the option for you to reach your weight loss goal.
Social media dashboards tell you the same information as your scale does. The statistics don’t lie. If you are posting well, retweeting, tweeting and commenting well, the dashboard statistics will let you know. You will know if photos and videos are getting a better response than text posts, you will know if your latest promotion captured attention. You will know by the statistics if you are getting closer to your social media marketing goal! And if you are not, then change your strategy. If you are not losing weight by eating nachos, don’t eat nachos or eat them less!
See what we mean? And if you don’t have a goal, then what are you working towards? What is your motivation?
Review how to plan your social media strategies here and start your goal oriented, stats driven social media plan for success!