How to Hone Your Social Media Skills Using HootSuite University

How to Hone Your Social Media Skills Using HootSuite University

HootSuite is a tool for social media management that we've talked about and referenced many times. I am a Certified HootSuite Solution Pro, which means that I have been trained on not only how to use HootSuite, but how to help business owners understand how they can use HootSuite to manage and monitor their social media accounts. We are continuing our series on How to Make the Most of Your HootSuite Account by reviewing how to use HootSuite’s suite of webinars and courses, HootSuite University, to strengthen not only your understanding of the HootSuite tool, but social media marketing in general.

Who Should Consider HootSuite University?

Social Media Managers

First, anyone who is charge of managing social media for a business should strongly consider going through a series of courses, and HootSuite’s is a great option. Social Media Managers may include dedicated company employees, or outside contractors like myself that a business may bring in as-needed or on a monthly retainer basis.

HootSuite Consultants

Anyone interested in being a HootSuite Partner and helping other businesses to set up and use HootSuite needs to go through these courses. While HootSuite doesn’t require it, I think having this knowledge and the certification of being a HootSuite Professional should be a requirement for any business considering hiring someone to help them with HootSuite. And the reason is simple: there’s more to using HootSuite than just connecting some social profiles and sending out social media updates. I’ve actually outlined a lot of the uses and techniques in the other articles in the series, but many businesses still aren’t using HootSuite for social listening or prospecting or customer service - or any other number of possibilities.

Social Media Professors

HootSuite seems very interested in partnering with professors and colleges to help educate college students who are looking for a career in social media and internet marketing. For professors, HootSuite offers complimentary access to the University along with a number of additional materials and access. Professors are given sample curriculums and their own community.

Enterprise Teams

HootSuite has a number of courses (listed below) that are specifically geared toward the Enterprise user. While social media managers as well as Enterprise Teams will use HootSuite for many of the same purposes and goals, the introductions of Teams to environment adds additional levels of functionality and complication, like assigning tweets to other team members, having internal chats and conversations to determine official responses, and other advanced tactics. Making HootSuite University available to all team members is a great way to ensure that everyone responsible for social media within the Enterprise are on the same page and have the same skill set.

If you’re interested in jumping into an enrollment, you can start here (HootSuite University costs just $21/month per user, and I appreciate you using my affiliate link).

What Courses Are Currently Offered Within HootSuite University?

HootSuite Certification Courseware

  • Getting Started with HootSuite
  • Advanced Tactics with HootSuite Pro

HootSuite Enterprise Training Courseware

  • HootSuite Enterprise for Team Members
  • HootSuite Enterprise for Admins
  • Advanced Tactics with HootSuite Enterprise

Social Media Courseware

  • SCMD 110: Setting Up Your Social Media Profiles - *NEW Google+ Lesson*
  • SCMD 115: The Dos & Don'ts of Social Media Etiquette
  • SCMD 120: Introduction to Social Media Across an Organization
  • SCMD 121: Introduction to Social Networks for Organizations
  • SCMD 140: Growing an Online Community

Lecture Series

1. Social Network Specific Education

  • The Google+ Playbook: Building Engagement on G+ Pages & Communities with Scott Wilder
  • Brand Management using Twitter and HootSuite with Twitter Representatives, Mark Stockx and Wendy Tapia
  • How to Strategically Grow Your LinkedIn Network with John Hill from LinkedIn
  • Do you have Klout? Understand and Grow Your Influence Online with Joe Fernandez, CEO of Klout
  • Klout for Business: leveraging influence for your brand with Joe Fernandez, CEO of Klout
  • 5 Best Practices for New Facebook Pages with HootSuite University
  • Relationships that Drive Results: 5 Key Steps to Engaging Followers on LinkedIn
  • How the Best Brands Tell Stories Using Tumblr with Ari Levine
  • Building a Powerful Community on YouTube with Ryan Nugent
  • How to Amplify Your Paid & Earned Social Media with Storify
  • Facebook Brand Pages: Rules of Engagement with Jason Li

2. Becoming A Social Business

  • Securing Your Organization in the Social Era: An Approach to Social Media Governance, Guidelines, and Education
  • The Shift to Social Business with Michael Brito, SVP of Social Business Planning at Edelman Digital
  • The Redefinition of Traditional Media Models with Todd Defren
  • Selling Social to the CEO with Greg Verdino
  • The Collaborative Organization with Jacob Morgan
  • The New Social CMO: 5 Ways Your Competition is Not Leveraging Social, Yet with Ian Wolfman and Mark McKinney
  • The Business of Social with Matt Switzer
  • Tips from the C-Suite: How to Build a Social Friendly Enterprise with James Amos and BJ Emerson
  • Reorganize Your Social Business with Ben Watson

3. Social Media Best Practices

  • A Guide to Content Curation: How Social Media Changed the Game with Cameron Uganec
  • Social Security: Protecting Your Brand Against Social Media Hackers with Mark Risher
  • Tactical Tips & Tricks for Social Media Success with Josh Ochs
  • How to Get Your Life Back: 4 Tips & Tricks on Effective Social Media Management with Susan Murphy
  • Where Context Meets Content with Gary Vaynerchuk
  • How to Use Social Video to Drive Results with Cameron Uganec
  • Return on Influence: Personal Power on the Web with Mark Schaefer
  • Science of Social Media: The Design and Engineering of Contagious Ideas With HubSpot
  • 5 Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty with Jeanne Bliss
  • 5 Advanced Tactics for Engaging your B2B Audience with Gord Hotchkiss
  • Elements of Perfection: A Social Media Case Study with Whistler Blackcomb
  • The Palms Hotel Case Study Review with Josh Ochs
  • Digital Defense: Online Reputation Management in the Digital Age with David Krejci, EVP of Digital Communications at Weber Shandwick

4. Social Media Education by Department

  • Rethinking Recruitment: Building NPR’s Employment Brand with Lars Schmidt
  • The Social HR Imperative: How to Establish an Internal Social Media Philosophy & Brand with Ambrosia Humphrey
  • 7 Steps for Sales Teams Going Social with Julio Viskovich
  • Social Media for Event Marketing: 6 Tips to Boost Awareness & Attendee Participation with Lorien Henson
  • Be Local Everywhere - Growing Your Online Community with Dave Olson
  • Social and SEO: Two Peas in an Inbound Pod with SEOmoz
  • Customer Service in a Social World with Sharad Mohan
  • Streamlining Social Support: Turn Conversations into Value with Get Satisfaction
  • How Small Businesses Can Stand Out and Hire the Best People with Don Charlton, CEO of The Resumator

5. Industry Specific Education

  • 3 Steps to Social Success in Entertainment: How MTV's The Buried Life is Growing a Loyal & Engaged Audience with Penni Thow
  • 7-Step Guide to Social Media Success in the Healthcare Industry
  • How the Real Estate Industry is Leading the Way in Social Media
  • Social Media Security & Compliance in Financial Services with Amy McIlwain
  • Teaching Social Media to Digital Natives with Dr William J Ward
  • Driving Admissions through Community Building: Best Practices for Higher Education with Inigral

What Other Benefits Are Included With HootSuite University?

As you can see from the course list above, HootSuite University offers more than just a few “How To” webinars on their tool. If that’s all it was, I wouldn’t be recommending it. The courses are very comprehensive and cover a wide range of social media topics, and include online testing for verification of knowledge.

The University also includes a Lecture Series featuring Industry leaders as you can see from the list above. Experts like Mark Schaefer and industry experts like HubSpot and SEOmoz are included, and HootSuite is regularly adding new lectures to the list.

Anyone who completes the HootSuite Certification Courses will be listed on the HootSuite University site as a Certified HootSuite Professional (as I am).

Students also gain access to HootSuite’s social media job boards.

What Are the HootSuite University Courses Like?

So the real question many of you have is what are these courses actually like? It’s one thing to read through all the benefits and course offerings - most of which you can get from the official website or brochure.

Most of the lectures are in this format, with a great slideshow presentation and voiceover dialogue from the presenting expert. Some utilize Google+ Hangouts, and all are presented within the HootSuite University framework.

The courses include combinations of outlines, workbooks, videos, presentations and exams. The videos also include internal playlists so if you want to review a specific section, you can jump right to that frame.

Overall, they’re very well done and extremely informative. Whether you’re just getting started in social media, or have been doing this for years, I’d strongly recommend reviewing all of the courses and lectures.

At just $21/month per user, HootSuite University represents a tremendous value to social media managers and professionals. Since it’s a monthly fee, you can run through all the courses and lectures, or complete them in your own time. Enroll here. (affiliate link)

These are the ways businesses can use HootSuite to listen to the conversations taking place on social media, whether about the brand or the industry, and look for opportunities to connect with and engage customers and potential customers. If you haven't yet signed up for a HootSuite account, you can get a free trial here (affiliate link), and you can contact me if you would like additional training and support.

Next time, we'll get into how to measure social media ROI using HootSuite. 



Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner

Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.

Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."

Advanced Social Media Marketing from AgoraPulse

The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management