Streamlining social media activities is a challenge for pretty much every marketer and blogger. The better you understand the range of tools available, and the pros and cons of each, the more informed recommendations you can make in whichever company you work for.
Over the years, I’ve tried a number of tools – they all continue to add new features and evolve, so it’s been worth keeping an eye on them. Lately, I’ve been delving deeply into Hootsuite – and here’s what I’ve found!
Hootsuite – a comprehensive social media dashboard
I have used the free version of Hootsuite as a social media dashboard for a while, but got chatting online with Adel de Meyer, one of the awesome, Brisbane-Based Hootsuite Ambassadors, about the Pro version.
I had also been considering signing up for Hootsuite University, Hootsuite’s online training and certification program. Adel was kind enough to give me a 2-month trial to both Hootsuite Pro and Hootsuite University – and I’ve been working though it for the last few weeks.
Hootsuite University – best practice social media training
Hootsuite University is well worth the investment in time (it’s $21/month at full price, which is still excellent value).
The certification process is straightforward, and you simply complete an online multiple choice quiz after each module.
Once you complete all the modules with a pass rate of at least 95%, you get the Hootsuite Certification badge. It took me about a week to watch the material and work through each exam, although it could be completed in a couple of days.
As well as explaining in depth how to get the most out of the platform, it also provides excellent general training about social media, best practices, how to set up and optimise various social profiles, an introduction to social selling, how to generate and share content and how to grow your online community, and much more.
For marketers, entire marketing teams or anyone who wants a better understanding of how social media works and how Hootsuite can help you to do that, Hootsuite University’s training is straightforward, informative and practical.
Practical social media training for spokespeople
For marketers, I also recommend this training to anyone who you may be considering making a social media spokesperson for your company, or getting a newly formed marketing team on the same page about best practices in social media. In that case, the Enterprise modules are particularly relevant.
Other alternatives to Hootsuite
As well as Hootsuite, I still currently use Buffer, Feedly and Coschedule to manage various aspects of highflyingmarketers.com and the related social media activities. There’s much of overlap between each of the tools, and they each have their own strengths and limitations.
If I were starting from completely from scratch, Hootsuite would be excellent, because it does most of what the combination of the other three tools do. And while I have well-established routines for Buffer, Feedly and Coschedule, Hootsuite will sit nicely amongst those tools to provide a central dashboard.
If I were introducing social media into a new company or client, I would definitely start with Hootsuite, because it has similar news aggregation features to Feedly and social post scheduling and posting as Buffer.
I’d love to know which social media management tools you use and what you love about them.