So, you’re ready to brand yourself on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and all the other places where properly timed pictures and witticisms garner an audience. According to a study from Social Media Examiner, the majority of marketers are spending less than 10 hours a week on social marketing efforts. Sprout Social recommends spending at least a third of your social media time engaging with and responding to the audience. So, how do you cram content creation and scheduling into those other few hours? For some, the answer is integrating HootSuite into their social media marketing strategy.
What is HootSuite?
It’s not a hotel room—it’s a suite of online and mobile applications that help you gain efficiencies with social media marketing. You can use HootSuite to manage platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ from a single location, scheduling posts ahead of time so you can use your marketing time to the best benefit.
What does it cost?
You can sign up for a free personal account to get basic message scheduling for up to three social profiles and two RSS feeds. The free account comes with basic analytics and app integration and access to HootSuite’s educational materials.
A Pro account is $9.99 per month, but you get a free 30-day trial to check out the action. You can manage up to 50 social profiles or pay extra for up to 100, get advanced message scheduling, and add team members to your account. HootSuite also provides a coach to walk you through setting up an account. Larger organizations can work with HootSuite to set up an enterprise account to manage unlimited profiles. The Pro or Enterprise solutions would work well for content companies that manage profiles for numerous customers.
How does it work?
A basic HootSuite account lets you create posts for various social media accounts and schedule them to post anytime in the future. You can attach pictures and links to posts, and you can schedule posts to hit multiple platforms at the same time if desired. You simply use the HootSuite interface to write the post, much like you would on social media, and select the day and time for publishing.
What are the benefits?
With HootSuite, you can make posts in targeted time slots without having to remember to log-in and create them. For example, if your audience is college students, late night posting might be optimal. By scheduling posts, your accounts get action after midnight and you don’t have to forgo any sleep. You can also put your marketing hours to work most efficiently by crafting posts during one or two sessions a week and scheduling them in advance.
HootSuite also offers engagement, analytic, and campaign-management tools that help you add value to your posts.
While scheduling posts ahead of time is handy, don’t forget the importance of engaging with your audience. Make time to login and respond to customers or clients daily.
Writer Bio: Sarah S is a content writer and self-taught social media user. She Tweets a lot in the wee hours, which isn’t generally the optimal time for marketing.