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 Tabs and Streams, including how to set them up and your options.
Tabs and Streams
The HootSuite dashboard is a dense tool, which makes it somewhat intimidating to new users. The interface can be packed with information and updates, so it takes some getting used to. Hopefully this post and series will help you become more familiar with HootSuite, and thereby get more value out of your use of the tool.
The dashboard is divided by tabs, and each tab can contain streams. A Basic HootSuite account can add a maximum of 20 tabs per dashboard. A typical example of a tab would be for your Twitter account.
Within each tab, you can set up streams to monitor different kinds of information and activity. A Basic HootSuite account can have a maximum of 10 streams per tab. A typical example of a stream would be one that displays your Mentions within your Twitter account.
When you first get started with HootSuite and begin connecting social networks, each network will get its own Tab by default. While this may ultimately be the way you want your tabs to be organized, know that you can edit them, move them around, rename them, and add more.
To rename a tab, click the tab and then click the tab name again. This will allow you to edit the tab name. Particularly once you’ve added a number of tabs, you’ll likely want to adjust the tab names to be shorter and more meaningful for easier navigation.
To move tabs around, simply select and drag the tab you want to move.
To add a new tab, look for the + button to the right of your last tab. Once clicked, you’ll be able to name your new tab and then add whatever streams you wish.
So, once you have one or more tabs, it’s time to set up some streams. If you’re dividing your tabs by social network, you’ll most likely want to assign streams within each tab to monitor your posts for comments and activity, messages sent to you through that network, and other social actions your followers may take. The available stream options will vary from network to network.
Twitter – Home Feed, Mentions, Direct Messages (Inbox or Outbox), Sent Tweets, Favorite Tweets, Retweets, Scheduled Tweets, Searches, Keywords, Lists
Facebook – News Feed (Most Recent, Status Updates, Photos, Videos – all can be filtered by specific Friends or Fans), Wall Posts, Events, Scheduled Messages, Search
LinkedIn – My Updates, All Updates, All Discussions, Most Popular Discussions, Company Updates, Scheduled Updates, Job Search
Google+ – Home Stream, Sent Messages, Circle Stream (filtered by selected Circle), Scheduled Messages, Search
As mentioned earlier, you can set up as many as 10 streams per tab, so you can make sure that you’re monitoring your activity and your followers activity on all your accounts.
Tab & Stream Options
Certainly, you can go with the default tabs for each network and typical monitoring streams within each. One of the powerful features within HootSuite is the option to create saved searches as streams. You might include one or more within each network tab, or set up new tabs for specific searches and have the different networks as streams within each.
For instance, businesses should be monitoring keywords on social networks for opportunities to inject themselves into conversations, answer questions, and create relationships. I might set up a saved search on “Help with Blogging” and regularly check it for people who are actively asking for help with their blogging and content marketing. I can set up a Blogging Help tab and then create streams within it with saved searched on the networks I want to monitor, particularly Twitter and Google+, where most posts are Public.
Businesses and personal brands should also set up one or more tabs with streams to monitor networks for references of their name. This is referred to as Social Listening, and gives brands an option to respond to negative comments, or show appreciation for positive support.
Clients and Influencers
Part of the strategy for using Social Media to create and strengthen your relationship with clients, potential clients and influencers is making an effort to connect with and engage them. How do you do that? By following or circling them, paying attention to what they’re talking about, and chiming it at appropriate times. You might, for instance, set up a Circle on Google+ for influencers in your industry and set that up as a filtered stream. It would allow you to see what they’re posting and talking about and comment.
Since you can set up as many as 20 tabs, be creative! Set up different tabs for different purposes, and use your streams to feed you and your dashboard the information you’re looking for.
Next time, we’re going to cover how to create your first post within HootSuite to your social networks, and how to use the built in scheduling options.