Managing Your Social Networking with HootSuite
HootSuite is a little different from TweetDeck and Seesmic. Billed as a “social media dashboard,” the program enables cross-network viewing and posting, as might be expected, but also facilitates team collaboration across social networks and helps you track the results of your social networking activities via social analytics. As such, it’s a valued tool for marketers who include social marketing as part of their online marketing activities.
HootSuite is available in two versions, both web-based. The Basic version is free, but limits you to five social profiles and displays ads in the interface. The Pro version costs $5.99 per month but offers unlimited social profiles, enhanced social analytics, and is not ad supported. Both versions let you connect to Facebook, Foursquare, mixi, MySpace, Ping.fm, Twitter, and WordPress blogs. Go to http://www.hootsuite.com to learn more.
Unlike the other social consolidation tools, HootSuite displays posts from each of your social networks on separate tabs. Within each tab you find multiple columns for different types of feeds and messages. You post new messages by entering your message into the Compose Message box at the top of the screen, selecting the networks you want to post to, and then clicking the Send Now button.
Figure 3 HootSuite.
In addition to this normal cross-posting capability, HootSuite lets you create a variety of reports to track your mentions on various social networks. HootSuite’s standard analytics include reports from Ow.ly, Facebook Insights, and Google Analytics; in addition, you can create a variety of custom reports. This is great if you want to see who’s talking about you in the world of social networking.