What Every Social Media Marketer Should Know About Hootsuite

HootSuite bridges social listening and publishing tools with customer relationship management functions to launch marketing campaigns, identify and grow audiences, and distribute targeted messages across multiple channels. Using HootSuite, teams can collaboratively schedule updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress and other social networks via web, desktop or mobile platforms plus track campaign results and industry trends to rapidly adjust tactics.
After the jump – what you need to know about HootSuite.
The application in a sentence
HootSuite is a social media dashboard which allows organizations to schedule and publish messages to multiple social networks, monitor and filter conversations and track results to rapidly adjust outreach tactics.
Ways the product benefits social media campaigns

  • Find influencers: HootSuite can help companies discover people who are influencers on a relevant topic by using Klout score and keyword filtering. This is especially helpful when looking for campaign outreach candidates.
  • Track results: HootSuite gives users the ability to monitor click-through statistics associated with the built-in URL shorteners – ow.ly and ht.ly. Additionally, users can see clicks per individual post as well as breakdowns by country. Users can export the stats to CSV and PDF. There are also custom URL parameters for tracking and deeper link analytics.
  • Collaborate with teams: Manage multiple accounts with multiple team members from a single centralized dashboard and assign posts to other team members for follow-up. Teams can share columns, draft messages plus view all assignments in a comprehensive view.
  • Spread messages: Post to selected individual accounts or broadcast to multiple networks at once. HootSuite also includes the ability to forward messages via email, reply to all and re-tweet using old-school “Twitter native” style re-tweets.
  • Track mentions: Monitor activity on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc. Set up searches for your brand name including misspellings, industry related terms and even competitors, plus track specific #hashtags for conferences, campaigns and topics. Also create shareable columns with the search results.

Coolest features

  • For customer service teams: message assignment / e-mail post
  • For marketing teams: stats / analytics / custom url parameters
  • For PR agencies: track mentions / search keyword streams
  • For everyday users: drag and drop files like images or PDFs from the computer to the message box

User profile
HootSuite works best for those managing a company or brand’s online presence in some capacity, such as in-house teams/departments, agencies, bureaus, publishing houses and customer service desks.
Recent user campaign
A few campaigns have made a splash by using Klout to identify influencers and then reach out to them with their offers. One example is Virgin Airlines who tracked down high-Klout-ers in San Francisco and Toronto and offered free flights to promote the airline’s new service between those cities. One participant was Social Media Club’s Chris Heuer who used his flight to host a club meeting in Toronto:
Pricing
At the moment, the HootSuite web app is free. The publisher will be introducing a “freemium” model in the next few months where enterprise users will be able to have additional features and support at a monthly rate. An estimated 95% of users will continue to enjoy the free dashboard.
HootSuite for iPhone and Android both offer free ad-supported versions and paid ($2.99 USD) versions.
Compared to competition
According to the company, “We aren’t really about slagging the competition but rather like to point out our benefits. HootSuite offers a comprehensive feature set which allows social media managers to perform most of their tasks from one location without switching screens, tabs and apps. This differentiates HootSuite from any erstwhile competitors.”
With an ever-increasing number of social media marketing options, brands and agencies are searching for solutions to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their campaigns. This series reports on significant product releases and updates to assist in selecting the most appropriate tools to meet individual objectives. We recently presented the Involver AMP and NetVibes.Com social media marketing dashboards and Context Optional Social Marketing Suite.