Twitter Tool Tuesday: HootSuite

By Christopher Bakes, SPI Intern

We are excited to announce a new blog series about our favorite Twitter resources. The series – named “Twitter Tool Tuesday,” or #TTT – will help you maximize and grow your station’s Twitter network. Best of all, we’re only highlighting free tools. Now, onto our inaugural post!

This Week’s Twitter Tool: HootSuite

HootSuite mobile app for tweeting on the go!

What: A scheduling and analytics powerhouse that bridges nearly every social network.
Where: It’s for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and WordPress (to name a few).
When: Save time by scheduling posts across all your social media platforms.
Why: This is one of the more well-known tools for Twitter. Even if your station is already full of Hootsuite mavens, read on for some handy tips and tricks.

Why We Love It:

1. Schedule Tweets Now, Save Time Later
We’re all juggling a million tasks at work each day, and breaking up your day to post something pithy is a serious hindrance to productivity.

Solution: Schedule your tweets. In the upper left corner of your account you’ll see a box containing the gray text, “Compose message.” Click it. See the little calendar icon? Click that too. You can quickly schedule a tweet to go live in minutes, days, or weeks into the future. The “schedule tweets” tool lets you think about a refined, cohesive messaging strategy for your Twitter account. Notice that a tweet you scheduled for next Friday would actually fit better in the repertoire of tweets scheduled for Tuesday? No problem – you can shift your tweets like a puzzle. As you begin scheduling tweets, you can map out weekly features you want to make regular. Or if your station is promoting an event that lasts for a set period of time, you can schedule a few messages on that topic for each day – for example, promoting your membership drive or the premiere of a new program.

2. Consistent Content
How do you make sure your content is consistent but not identical across platforms?

twitter tool tuesday
Photo courtesy of Danilo Ramos
Solution: Beyond Twitter, you can sync your station’s Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ networks to HootSuite, to name a few. Plan ahead so users who follow you on multiple platforms don’t get tired of your content, but rather want to stay engaged with your station to get a new take on each item you promote.

3. Analytics, Analytics, Analytics
How do you know if your messages are meeting your goals?

Solution: Shrink your link. When typing a message in HootSuite, you’ll notice a field below the “compose message” box with the text, “Add a link.” Paste a link there to shrink it. This not only saves you a few characters, but it also creates a link HootSuite will track for you. To access the analytics tool, click the bar graph icon in the vertical bar on the left side of the page. From there, you can track click-thrus by date.