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 the actual ways businesses can access HootSuite from a technical perspective – web, mobile, app and extension.
HootSuite via Web
Accessing your HootSuite account using any of the available web browsers on your computer is certainly the most common way to use HootSuite. It gives you access to all of the available features, as well as easy access to your account, settings and the App Directory.
One of the reasons I use the web interface most often is that I can use multiple browsers to have multiple HootSuite accounts open for myself and any clients for whom I am actively monitoring their social media activity. I’ve found Chrome to perform the best, though there are no major differences in functionality or appearance between browsers that I’ve noted.
HootSuite via Mobile
HootSuite does offer a mobile app. It is a dedicated and native app that is specifically available for iOS or Android, and not a mobile-version of their site. HootSuite specifically does not use a mobile website so that you can always choose to access the full “desktop” version if needed.
The mobile app is designed to give you easy access to the most commonly needed features, namely monitoring and posting. As a result, it is somewhat limited. The mobile app supports multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook profiles and Pages, LinkedIn profiles and Foursquare. It does not support LinkedIn Company Pages, Groups or Google+.
“Tabs” are displayed in a series of groups, with Streams listed within each tab. Just as with the full version, you can add more tabs and multiple streams within tabs, and you’re not limited to one network per tab. You can create search streams for multiple networks within a single tab, or combine multiple Twitter accounts, or whatever configuration works best for you.
HootSuite via App
What many may not realize is that HootSuite also offers a dedicated application that can be installed on your computer and run separately and independently of your browser window. It is essentially a stand-alone Chrome browser that is dedicated to HootSuite. If you’re only worried about your own HootSuite account, this is probably not necessary, but if you manage more than one HootSuite account, this offers you an additional logged in instance.
HootSuite via Extension: Hootlet
One of the coolest options for HootSuite users that I’ve reserved for last is the Extension: Hootlet. While limited only to Chrome and Firefox users, it’s a particularly handy tool. Once installed, any time you’re on a website or article, you can choose to click the HootSuite icon in your toolbar to open a HootSuite Compose box and share the post using HootSuite, allowing you select your connected social networks and even AutoSchedule the post.
And HootSuite has recently updated the Chrome Extension so that now, whenever you click a share button on an article for Twitter or Facebook, a new button appears on the share dialogue that you can use to open a HootSuite Message dialogue box. The button looks like this:
What’s great is that this takes a simple Facebook share button and adds the capability for you to use HootSuite to share to multiple social networks, and even schedule the share for a later date and time. While you had that capability all the time thanks to the Hootlet, this button is a great reminder!
If you’re using Firefox, you can add a new toolbar that brings even more ease and functionality to your browser. With the Hootbar, you can send a tweet with a link to whatever page you’re on, as well as begin composing a tweet and then send it to the Hootlet for further customization and additional social networks.
These are the four (plus a bonus) ways businesses can access HootSuite to maintain a consistent presence on social media that provides real value to your followers and potential customers. If you haven’t yet signed up for a HootSuite account, you can get a free trial here, and you can contact me if you would like additional training and support.
Next time, we’ll get into how to Bulk Schedule posts using HootSuite.