Have you heard of Hootsuite ?

I recently attended a networking meeting in Fareham with a group called Business Builders  where  their guest speaker was Allan Beaton who is a “social media scientist” and  an expert on an application called Hootsuite.

For those of you who have never heard of Hootsuite, it is a “social media management system” which basically means that it is a tool that provides you with a single dashboard from which you can manage all of your social media accounts  (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+) in one place.

You can send your messages/posts/tweets and also you can monitor all of your accounts in it as well. You can post the same message simultaneously to all your accounts or individually if you wish and you can even set it to automatically post at set times if you wish so it even works when you are not around to do it yourself.

If you delve deeper into it there are also more tools which allow you  to monitor analytics  for your social media accounts (although you will have to subscribe to use these additional functions, the basic free account  allows you to monitor up to 5 social media profiles).

Most of you I’m sure will agree that when you have several social media accounts,  it is a difficult task to keep them all up to date and it is a real chore having to keep logging  into each individual user control panel each time you want to do something so having something like Hootsuite is a real bonus.

Using this tool, you can display and access them all together in one window. The size of your screen obviously dictates how many you can see at one time but on a desktop monitor you can display them all alongside each other quite nicely. You can also get Hootsuite apps to run on your mobile platforms.

Like most similar tools, it takes a bit of time and experimentation to work out how they work and to get the best out of them. Training sessions / workshops can help reduce the time it takes to learn them so I personally quite like to attend these as it saves me a lot of time and speeds up the learning curve.

Allan Beaton is actually running a Hootsuite workshop in Southampton shortly so I am looking forward to going along and learning about how to make best use of the tool to optimise the time I spend on social media and hopefully make it work better for my business.

Are you using Hootsuite or any other similar tools to manage your social media activities ? Do you think they help ?