Hootsuite: Automation and Monitoring Social Marketing

In which I interview Sue about the tool Hootsuite which Ausoma uses to automate some aspects of an author’s marketing, and to monitor interactions online. You should listen to the audio, but if you prefer, a transcript is below.

Joel: Hi this is Joel.

Sue: And Sue.

Joel: And we are Ausoma.

Sue: Authors’ social marketing.

Joel: Today Sue is going to tell us about Hootsuite. It’s a tool I don’t use and she and her team use it all the time. Take it away, Sue.

Sue: Hootsuite is a vital part of what I do for my clients. Anyone can go to Hootsuite and get a free plan, however they’re very limited. They are only able to monitor three social media accounts with it and they’re limited to creating and scheduling thirty messages at a time.

For my clients, as many clients as I have, to be able to manage them all from one dashboard I have purchased Hootsuite Pro. My team and I use that. It allows me to have basically an unlimited number of social media networks that I can monitor for each of my clients and I can have my other team members go in and monitor their accounts as well, all from my Pro dashboard.

So we’re able to monitor Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, even Pinterest and Instagram as long as it’s a business account which I do encourage all of my clients to have a business Instagram account. They can have a personal one if they want but that is separate from the business.

And then in Hootsuite we can create streams for social media network. That’s very helpful because in addition then to seeing what tweets we have already out we can see what tweets we have scheduled. We can monitor mentions so we can see if a client has been mentioned by anyone and then make a reply or thank that person for mentioning or letting a client know “Hey somebody mentioned you and had this question.”

We can also monitor hashtags. If a client has a particular hashtag they’s like monitored to see if other people are using it we can monitor that. I use that a lot also for events. When the client has an event and they’ve created a particular hashtag for that event, especially if it’s a live event that we’re monitoring in a particular day and want to see who all is using it, make sure that we’re replying to their tweets about that. We can monitor that as well.

Joel: I remember it has multiple columns. You can have columns open for various hashtags, different accounts, so you can see everything that’s happening in a client’s social media life at a glance.

Sue: Yes. Even though you’re limited to ten streams within an individual tab I can have as many tabs as I want so if I needed additional streams for a client I can just create a new tab for them and monitor additional things.

Another great thing that we like to monitor for Twitter in particular is lists. We encourage clients, and actually create for them, lists. Usually each client has a list of what we call influencers. Those are people within their particular industry that also share information that they would like to share with their audience. So that influencer’s list we monitor and retweet something from that list on a regular basis. We also thank the people who have retweeted and we can monitor that in Hootsuite as well.

With LinkedIn we can watch for updates, mentions, company updates. On Facebook in Hootsuite we can monitor if people have messaged their business page and let them know about that. Then we can see what’s been posted or been scheduled on Instagram, for example. That way we can just at a glance see if perhaps we need to schedule something or move something around. You can easily edit from a stream as well.

I do still encourage everybody to log into their own accounts at least weekly and see if there are comments or messages there. Just automating isn’t enough, particularly with Twitter and Facebook, if you rely only on Hootsuite you might be missing some messages, particularly on Twitter; direct messages are no longer showing up in Hootsuite so you have to log into your Twitter account to find your direct messages.

Joel: Any other particular limitations Hootsuite has?

Sue: It doesn’t create content for you.

Joel: Okay.

Joel: All righty then.

Sue: So we can talk about that. That pretty much wraps it up and explains why and how we use Hootsuite to help monitor our clients’ accounts.

Joel: This can happen in real time. You have a team of people who are helping, so the clients’ accounts are being monitored so that important connections don’t slip through the cracks. We all hate it when we discover ten days later that someone was in our neighborhood and we could have met for coffee or they were having an event we wanted to go to, or they asked “Where can I buy your book?” and now it’s been ten days or two weeks and we didn’t say anything. So that that monitoring is really important for the social part of this.

Sue: Yes.

Joel: Useful tool. Great! Thanks for sharing all of that. I didn’t know all those things about Hootsuite.

We’ll be back again with something else fun

This is Joel.

Sue: And Sue.

Joel: And we are Ausoma.

Sue: Authors’ social marketing.

Joel: See you next time.

I Can’t Spend All My Time Marketing!

And you don’t have to. You shouldn’t. Marketing, rather than being a flood of information about you and yours, should be a steady drip, drip, drip, like watering a delicate plant, not hosing down an elephant.

I’ve spent my adult life working with automation and efficiency using computers so any time there’s a task with repeatable steps, I look for a way to make those repeating parts automatic. It allows me to spend my time on the unique bits, the parts I can do better than a computer because they require creativity or special knowledge.

Automating and scheduling your online marketing is smart. Create messages (that’s the ‘unique to you’ bit) and schedule them in a single monthly session. (We use and recommend Hootsuite but there are a number of social media automation tools available.)

You still have to check in daily to interact with the real human beings who touch your social media messages, but you don’t have to be online 24/7 to keep your message (remember those 80/20 principles, both of them) in front of potential readers and fans.