If you are one of the 78% of Twitter users who rely heavily on Twitter.com to access tweets and timelines, chances are you’re missing out on some pretty important features of the microblogging service. That’s where HootSuite comes in. We’ve got the tips and tricks you need to make the most of this third-party Twitter management tool so you can get the most out of your Twitter experience.
What is HootSuite?
HootSuite is a web-based, third-party social media management tool, best known for its Twitter support. Using HootSuite, you can manage multiple streams of content and different Twitter accounts at once. This is especially effective if you are in charge of more than one Twitter account – say a personal and a business account. However, even if you have only one Twitter account, HootSuite is a great way to access more information on Twitter at once.
How to get started using HootSuite
You can start using HootSuite in a matter of seconds. Simply navigate to their homepage at www.hootsuite.com and click “Sign Up Now”. We suggest you start with the free, basic plan, and only upgrade if you have a social media team or you want to integrate advanced statistics.
After entering the required information, you will be taken to your HootSuite Dashboard. You’ll be seeing a lot of this, so take some time to understand how it works. For now, start by adding your Twitter account to the Dashboard. You can do this most easily by placing your cursor in the search box at the top of the Dashboard, and the clicking the “+” sign on the lower right-hand side of the box that appears.
You can then click “Connect with Twitter” in the popup that appears, and your Twitter account will be added to the HootSuite Dashboard.
Basic HootSuite techniques
After you’ve integrated your Twitter account with HootSuite, the fun starts.
You’ll notice that the main window in the Dashboard has several columns that display tweets. The default columns are your Home Feed on the left, followed by Mentions of your username, Direct Mentions, and Pending Tweets.
The timeline is what you would see on Twitter.com as your default Twitter stream. This is a chronological list of all of the tweets that the people you follow send out. The @mentions are any tweets that include your username, and are usually people who retweet your content or who choose to interact directly with you in some way. Direct mentions are private messages between you and a single other Twitter user, and pending tweets are any tweet that you have scheduled to go live in the future.
Using these four columns is often enough for the beginner HootSuite user. They show you what the people you follow are talking about, as well as any conversations that people want to have with you personally. Although Twitter.com has this functionality as well, HootSuite combines all of the different streams of tweets you are involved in on a single screen.
Try adding your lists in columns, scheduling tweets, and checking out HootSuite’s analytics tool to get even more out of Twitter.