Tips and techniques for optimizing Hootsuite
Social media is a time-intensive endeavor—you know this just from personal use. Now consider the shop resources required to maintain a social media presence for the business. Still, social media is critical to your brand and marketing.
The primary challenge is posting on a regular, yet random basis to appear “authentic” to your audience. The second challenge is when the shop has multiple social media, which requires you to post for multiple audiences. This month in floriology, we chat about a great tool to help with both challenges: Hootsuite.
SIGN UP FOR HOOTSUITE!
Do you manage up to three social media? Visit www.hootsuite.com and sign up for a free account. Plan to pony up $9.99 a month for a Hootsuite Pro account if you have more, which allows up to 50 social profiles and adding one staff to help manage the account.
Quick security advice: if you’re handing off duties to someone else, open the Hootsuite account with your own business email (florists have lost control of their social media as a result of disgruntled, former employees).
Once signed on, Hootsuite sends a polite email to you to get you started. Click the button, which takes you to a special page featuring videos on basic processes such as: “connect your social networks” (make sure you gather login info), “compose and share your first message” and “create your first tab and streams.” Keep this email as reference to access videos on more advanced features.
EXPLORE THE DASHBOARD
Next, click the “Dashboard” button at the top which launches Hootsuite’s web interface—we suggest you use the Chrome browser and download the free Hootsuite “Hootlet” extension allowing you to access all Hootsuite’s features within a browser. Dashboard is the primary value of the service. You are able to monitor and manage all social media just in one window.
Take a look at the left side of the Dashboard. You’ll see a few icons; first focus on the Publisher (paper airplane icon). This is where you’ll spend time drafting messages to post and schedule. If you manage other team members, you can review and approve their messages here. Another useful tool is “Suggestions” where you grab ideas from other sources to post to your feed.
Next is Analytics (bar chart icon), which connects to statistics for social media you’ve imported. You can also import Google Analytics data from your websites. Although useful, it costs $40 more per year. We recommend opening another browser window, logging into Analytics for FREE!
The last icon is Campaigns (the star/certificate icon) where you deploy ready-to-go campaigns on a variety of social media to collect lead information, display content on social media (such as photo galleries) and run a contest. Most options prompt you to publish the campaign to a special webpage hosted by Hootsuite or publish in Facebook tab.
Let’s talk scheduling. Post messages in Hootsuite by typing them in the box at the top that says “Compose message.” At the bottom corner, click the calendar icon that allows you to schedule when the message will post. You can post the same message on multiple social media on future dates.
I agree that scheduling is unauthentic, but let’s be real. Scheduling is supremely practical for a busy florist! Rather than interrupting to post, you now spend an hour or so once a week to write all posts to schedule. When we say random, we mean it! Schedule Posts at 11:23, or 1:06 or 8:21 rather than 11a.m., 2:30 or 5 p.m.—you get the idea.