hoot

Social Media can be one of the best tools for spreading knowledge of your brand. A single post that goes viral could suddenly mean your company name is on the lips of millions of potential customers. However, a poorly managed channel can be a thorn in your virtual side.

The benefits of social media

Having a social media presence grants your company a number of benefits that may not be evident straight away. These include;

  • Audience reach – By growing our audience, social media gives you the potential to reach a vast amount of people for potentially minimal expense. With users generally in the hundreds of millions, no other channel has this kind of coverage.
  • Brand monitoring – Social media can be a constant source of feedback on your brand. By monitoring the most popular channels you can keep an eye on trends with your audience as well as their views on your company.
  • Customer interaction – Many social media sites allow two-way communication which gives you another channel which you can interact with your customers on. By offering your customers more choice of how they get in touch, you are increasing both engagement and customer perception of your brand.
  • Interactive marketing – As well as traditional advertising messages, social media allows a potential level of interactivity with your marketing. This can increase your audience’s engagement with them.

Those are just some of the immediate benefits of using social media, although it is certainly not an exhaustive list. Companies are constantly finding new and innovative ways to use social media to promote their company.

If you are going to enter into the world of social media for business, you are going to need the right tool. You need look no further than Hootsuite.

A wise choice for social management

Hootsuite started life in 2008 when founder, Ryan Holmes, found that there were no social media management tools that met his requirements. Together with colleagues Dario Meli and David Tedman, they created the first version of the system called Brightkit. Originally a standalone twitter platform, the platform was very popular and started its evolution into the system we know today.

Hootsuite, named after it’s owl mascot, is now used by over 10 million users worldwide and can connect to over 35 popular social networks. These include the most popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. So even if you have several channels on different networks, you can still manage them all from one place.

Monitoring and responding

hoot3
Hootsuite places customer interaction at the core of its system. From it’s main dashboard you get a great overall view of all of your channels in an easy to understand column based view. Each column could represent a channel or an aspect of it. So you could have a column for your Facebook wall, another for your twitter mentions and a third for all the results for a search term you are keeping an eye on. Using this view, you greatly reduce the chance of missing an important post or tweet.

Of course, it’s also important that you can reply easily as well. With Hootsuite, you can quickly reply to any post directly from the dashboard by clicking the relevant link. It will also take relevant factors into consideration automatically, such as the 140-character limit for Twitter posts. If you have a plan for your posts, you could also take advantage of the useful scheduling system which allows you to pre-load your messages for publishing at a later time. Perfect for posts that need sending outside of office hours.

Getting information on your audience is essential to keeping your social media campaigns relevant and interesting. Hootsuite comes with an in depth analytics package which can show you a whole host of interesting insights into your campaigns. These include growth charts, social demographic information and sentiment metrics.

Great for solo users and teams

For the companies with large teams, Hootsuite comes with a whole suite of collaboration tools. Using these will allow multiple users to look after your social presence with less risk of work overlapping or being repeated.  Workflows can be created and tasks can be assigned to the people who will be best at resolving them.

For security, individual permissions can be granted to users, so it is possible to clarify exactly which channels staff have access to. All of this can be done without having to share the passwords for the actual social media platforms, significantly reducing the risk of channel abuse by a member of staff. Hootsuite also offers a double approval system which can reduce the chance of incorrect or offensive posts being published.

Security and integrations

hoot2System security is also at the forefront of Hootsuite’s agenda. Impressive HTTPS settings mean that your passwords and data are kept secure, even when being used over WiFi. There are also integrations with Nexgate, Social Safeguard and Global Relay which helps meet messaging standards set by bodies like the FINRA, HIPAA and others.

Knowing how many diverse systems an office has, Hootsuite has engaged with many companies to create apps for their system. Currently there are over 150 different apps available through the Hootsuite site which allow instant connections for services like Microsoft Sharepoint, Salesforce, MailChimp, YouTube and a whole host more. Using these apps makes Hootsuite even easier to integrate into your current infrastructure.

Social media at the best price, free

Hootsuite has a flexible pricing structure and, perfectly for SMEs, starts off as free. While this is only a basic package it will have everything you need to kick off your social media campaigns. As your team grows, so too can your Hootsuite presence. The premium services come with even more features and the ability to field larger teams.

Hootsuite remains one of the most popular platforms on the market. Many large companies, including Orange, WWF and MailChimp all use it for their social media management. So whether you are a sole trader just starting off, or a huge multinational, Hootsuite has you covered.