Workbench Wednesday: Hootsuite

What if I could give you an extra hour each day? In life, one of our most valuable assets is time. It’s also one of the biggest obstacles that keep organizations from effectively using social media. Unfortunately, God hasn’t yet granted me the power to add an extra hour to the day. However, we do have tools that help manage social media accounts and save time. Hootsuite is one such tool.

Workbench Wednesday: Hootsuite

My Hootsuite Story

Hang in there with me on this background story.

I found myself in a tough situation a few months ago. I work for a non-profit agency. One of my many job responsibilities is to manage our field office’s social media accounts. Currently, we maintain a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account. Social media is just one part of my job. I also do lots of other types of outreach, attend events and meetings, and even facilitate trainings. I have a limited amount to time to invest in social media.

As I stated, one of the social media platforms that we use is Twitter. We made a big mistake early on in our approach to our Twitter account. It’s actually a fairly common mistake. We assumed that people would see what we posted to Twitter. What you have to remember about Twitter is that it’s totally chronological. Tweets don’t last long. One source suggests that the average life span of a tweet is only 24 minutes. That means for the most part, only the people who use Twitter withing 24 minutes of your Tweet will even see it. It seems obvious, but when social media is just part of your job it’s easy to miss certain details.

I had to shift our strategy. Instead of posting content in the beginning of the day and expecting people to see it, I had to be intentional. I had to post and repost the same information throughout the day at the times where it is most likely to be seen. That’s not easy to do when you’re picking up food for an orientation stuck in a subway tunnel on your way to a meeting downtown. Enter Hootsuite.

Hootsuite is an web and phone based tool that allows you to manage multiple social media accounts. You can link Twitter accounts, Facebook profiles and pages, LinkedIn accounts, and various other accounts from different social media platforms. What does “manage” mean? You can view your social feeds from Hootsuite. You can also post to your accounts and even schedule posts. Hootsuite also offers a bunch of other features and services. I have to admit that I haven’t really used most of them because many are associated with the paid premium plans. However, for me the real benefit of Hootsuite comes with a free account: scheduling.

I mainly use Hootsuite to schedule for Twitter. I can set an ideal number of tweets per day and an ideal time range (for example, from 7am to 7pm). With the auto schedule feature, Hootsuite will analyze my followers habits and decide on an ideal time to post my tweets. I can also manually schedule a time for tweets to post. I don’t recommend scheduling all your tweets. You should always have spontaneous content. However, scheduling is a great way to make sure that you fill in those spontaneous moments with constant content.

I’d know about Hootsuite for years before, but I had never really taken advantage of it’s features. There’s no real reason for this except for a personal lack of focus. Take some time to map out what you want to say and schedule some content. At work, I prepare a general monthly content calendar and then write out 30+ tweets at the start of each week. I use my Mondays to schedule each tweet on Hootsuite. This way I know that at the very least there will be some basic content on our account, even if the week gets a little crazy.

Hootsuite and other content scheduling tools are great for those of us who do social media as part of a larger job.

 

Workbench Wednesday: HootsuiteThe Particulars

  • Tool name: Hootsuite
  • Description: A social media management tool
  • Recommended for: Non-profit leaders, outreach coordinators, ministers, and others who must do social media as one of many other time-consuming responsibilities
  • Where to get it:
  • How to use it: Link your accounts, set up your feeds, and schedule your content

 

Do you have a tool you’d like to see featured on Workbench Wednesday? Do you need help managing your social or digital media? Have you used Hootsuite? Let us know what’s going on with you by leaving a comment below.