Automating Your Social Media: Hootsuite to the Rescue

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Do you really need to use those automation tools to save you time on social media? After all, how long does it take to type out a status update? Let’s pretend for a second that I’m sitting down with you, taking a look at ways your business can be more profitable and you can spend less time working. Sounds good, right? I’m standing over your shoulder, watching how you use social media for your business.

You start typing an update to your Facebook profile and hit “post” to publish it immediately.

But then, after you type it out, you see in your news feed that your best friend just posted engagement pictures! Then, 15 minutes later (after you’ve clicked through, “liked,” and commented on all of her pictures), your computer dings because mom just opened a chat with you about dinner plans later this week. Before you know it, 3 hours have gone by and your “quick” status update has turned into a huge time waster. Weren’t you supposed to send out some invoices this morning?

Sound familiar?

This is why it’s important to automate as much of your social media content as possible! Thankfully, there are free & easy tools that will help you save tons of time on social media and keep you focused and productive.

This week, we’ll cover our LKR favorite, Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a tool that will help you in several ways.

1) Its easy-to-set-up RSS feed publisher will automatically post any newly published posts from your blog to whatever social media networks you prefer. Imagine writing a blog post, hitting publish, and never again needing to remember to post a link to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc!

2) You can schedule your posts to go out (to all of your social networks) in advance – helping you with product launches and any other content that is time-sensitive. Simply write your post once, select which account(s) where you want it published, and hit the clock icon to select the day and time you want the post to go out.

Don’t worry about trying to “stagger” your posts, meaning to publish the same thing multiple places, but at different times. It’s highly unlikely that:

a) at the exact same moment, your audience is logged into both Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn.

b) and, even if they are – it’s even less likely that they’ll judge you negatively, simply because you’re being productive with your time and posting the same content everywhere at once.

Just write your post, select your networks, and hit “publish” or “schedule” to send it out when you want it to go.

3) You can manage your conversations and engagement right from inside Hootsuite. Simply check your Twitter stream and Facebook notifications right on your Hootsuite dashboard and hover over the tweet or status update/comment you want to reply to. This helps minimize distractions that tend to arise when you’re on the actual social network sites.

4) You get instant analytic insight from Hootsuite into what kind of content is performing well (i.e. getting the most likes, RTs, comments, etc.). Don’t you want to be sure that what you’re sharing online is actually working to drive customers and prospects over to your website? Hootsuite has an easy-to-understand analytics page to show you exactly which updates are getting you the best results. You can even link up your Google Analytics account to Hootsuite and view Facebook insights to see all of your data in one place. Once you see what kind of content is getting the most response, you can share more like it!

So, using Hootsuite gets you:

  • Automatically publishing links to your blog posts on your preferred social networks
  • Scheduling your status updates in advance and keeping you away from the Facebook/Twitter time waste zone
  • Engaging in conversations right from within Hootsuite’s dashboard
  • Valuable analytic data to help you optimize what kind of content you share online.
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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.

Comments

  1. Gracjana Kulig says:

    Totally convinced! :)

  2. 100% believer in automation. Are you using anything like IFTTT? I found this recipe https://ifttt.com/recipes/63213 for posting new blog posts from your wordpress blog to hootsuite.

    IFTTT= IF THIS THEN THAT

  3. How about using one hootsuite account for managing multiple businesses’ social media profiles? Do you think it’s ok? Or may get too confusing?

  4. Great post!

    Just want to point out that another tool you can use to schedule posts is called ContentDJ (http://www.contentdj.com). It has an editorial calendar feature built in. It als helps with finding quality content based on a few hashtags.

  5. Nicely written Laura, thanks for the kind words and your compelling recommendation for our humble little dashboard.

    Automation is a touchy subject for some who believe it to be disingenuous, but the reality is that brands and busy professionals can save tons of time using some of the tricks you outlined… powerful stuff!

    Hoot on!

    -Connor and your friends at HootSuite

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