Monday, August 11, 2014

What is Hootsuite?

Barn Owl
By Laurie Epps

What is Hootsuite? In my opinion, it's the most valuable tool in your social media tool box. But, to understand how valuable it can be, you've already established yourself at least on Facebook and Twitter. Hootsuite's a valuable tool that keeps you from making social media a part-time job. Hootsuite can free up your time to do more writing.

To learn the basics, we'll continue to work with my mentor, Edie Melson in her book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. We're focusing on pages 119-120. 
Owl taking a look at Hootsuite

The Basics: Hootsuite 101

Hootsuite creates a social media dashboard that facilitates scheduling of your posts and tweets. There are other programs too, like Buffer, but Edie & I recommend Hootsuite.

The Good News is that there's a Free version of Hootsuite. (Edie & I both use the free version.) The Free Account Includes:

  • Five Social Profiles
  • Basic Analytics
  • Two RSS Feeds

Here's a short list of what we like about it:

  • It's easy to use, and schedule your Tweets & Facebook posts.
  • You can cut and paste Tweets into the update window with ease.
  • It has two options for URL shortening.
  • It keeps a running track of your @contacts making your tweeting easier.
  • They even have an easy to follow, get-acquainted video to teach you how!
Side-note: Are you leaving town or going on a vacation? Well, Hootsuite can make it appear like you're there.

Working on Vacation?
Every morning, Edie spends about 30 minutes scheduling her tweets for for the day. I admit, for me this summer, this practice has fallen by the wayside, but I can tell you that it does work. Question is: what are you going to tweet & post about? Here's some helpful tips from Edie:

  • Search your inbox for interesting articles from your favorite sites.
  • Post updates from your regular blogs you read. For Edie, they're all related to writing, but this list can be related to things you want to write about too.
  • Highlight your friends blogs, at least the ones who've updated recently.
  • Most days, she includes something about her blog or books, but lately she doesn't have to.

During the day, Edie checks Hootsuite to see who's re-tweeted or mentioned her. Try to do an @reply to anyone that's highlighted something you've done. This accomplishes two things: it gives them a mention and it publicly tells them thank you.

Has it been beneficial to Hootsuite? Absolutely! Edie has stats like a social media professionals and has the magic 2000 number of followers on Twitter.

Connect Activity:

Don't have a Hootsuite account? Then get one! Spend some time on it getting acquainted. For your convience, here's a link:

Can't get enough social media? Check out Edie's Social Media Mondays column at:

Next week, we'll be talking about why you should cherish your signature line.

Laurie Epps is a recent graduate of Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet. A seeker of beauty and world traveler, Laurie hopes to grow into a career in travel writing illuminating the many stories that make us human despite our differences. Currently, Laurie also has a Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.

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