SilverDisc Blog

29th November 2013

Product Review: Hootsuite

Using social media well can help build brand identity, allow you to engage with new and existing customers and turn that engagement into sales. Whilst there are so many things that a brand or business can be doing on social media, it’s all about the bits that you’re not doing that will add value to your social marketing. Such as social listening, are people talking about you? What are they saying? Is it positive or negative? Do your customers value offers or lifestyle posts more? What is the best time to reach your customers? The list can go on and on, in the same way that we analyse website traffic, we should be doing the same with our social to understand its influence and use that knowledge to develop and build a social strategy.

As companies start to invest more time and resources into social media, it becomes apparent that there is a need for a tool to manage social channels. The amount of social sites around are at dizzying levels, but even if you were only to focus on the main few: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram that is still 7 channels that you need to create content for, post, respond, engage with customers and maintain.

There are several social media management tools on the market nowadays with Social Sprout, Tweetdeck and Hootsuite being among some of the favourites. Here at SilverDisc we’ve been using Hootsuite Pro for a few months and wanted to share a few of the pros and cons of this tool.

The Good

  • Allows scheduling of posts across all main social channels (including Google+ and LinkedIn).
  • Search functions across all social media channels which is useful for many reasons but particularly for lead generation, as it also has a radius filter.
  • Search functions with attitude indicators, so you can monitor if people are speaking positively or negatively about your brand.
  • Ability to ad other apps to incorporate more social channels.
  • Hootsuite analytics provides good basic reports immediately, without having to go through and create your own, although this option is available.
  • The organisation structure is great to be able to mirror your internal structure and assign work and tasks.
  • Ability to publish in bulk using the ‘Bulk Uploader’.

The Bad

  • When using the Hootsuite analytics it will only show website referrals from Twitter and not any other social media sites, this can be frustrating when putting together a report and you have stronger performance with other social media sites.
  • You have limited functionality with LinkedIn and Google+ until you upgrade to enterprise.
  • The organisation structure is confusing to begin with, and there is little to explain it, although Hootsuite do provide free support and Hootsuite coaching for your first 30 days with a pro account.
  • When paying for pro, you’re not actually paying for two pro accounts; you are paying for one pro account and 2 seats within an organisation. This means that you are limited to the number of accounts you can upload.

Overall it’s an indispensable tool which will only gain in value as more social sites emerge. The ability to have multiple accounts on one dashboard is great, but this tool offers so much more, making it easier to understand social interaction with your customers.

If you would like any help with you social media, give us a call on 01536 316100 and we’d be happy to talk it through with you.

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