Hootsuite is a leading social media management tool that lets users manage all their social media accounts from a central dashboard. Hootsuite was launched in 2008 in the form of a Twitter dashboard named BrightKit. It was one of the first social media management solutions to hit the market.
Renamed as Hootsuite in 2009, the product was expanded to offer LinkedIn and Facebook support. As social media plays an increasingly important role in business, tools like Hootsuite consequently grew in popularity. By 2013, the company could boast some 8 million users. Today, Hootsuite employees over 1,400 people and provide a much more advanced solution than their original Twitter management tool. At its core, Hootsuite is still a social media management solution but it now incorporates features like analytics, social listening, influencer identification, and a wide range of integrations.
To help you figure out if Hootsuite is the tool for you, we have analyzed each of their key features to produce an in-depth review. Our Hootsuite review includes the following sections:
- Getting Started
- Assignments, Contacts, and Campaigns
- App Directory
- Hootsuite Academy
- Final Thoughts
Hootsuite Review: Getting Started
Hootsuite is a web-based tool so there is no software download needed to get started. Simply navigate to the Hootsuite website, sign up for the plan of your choosing, and connect your social accounts to get started. You can connect to any of the following platforms:
- Facebook (Profile, Pages, and Groups)
- Google+ (Page and Profile)
- LinkedIn (Profile, Groups, and Companies)
Once you are connected, choose streams from the left nav and select the type of streams you want to add.
You can track everything from private messages to mentions, retweets, and even more from your networks here.
To publish updates, select the social profile picker on the top left of the screen. Here you can choose which networks you would like to send an update from. You can update all your networks at the same time. You then have the option to compose your message and to publish immediately or to schedule. Click the file icon to add an image to your update. Finally, click into publisher on the left nav to see all your scheduled updates.
With the basics covered, you should be up and running with Hootsuite. If you need more detail on any aspects of getting started with Hootsuite, check out the following guides:
- How To Use Hootsuite
- 7 Reasons Why You SHOULD Use Hootsuite
- How to Use Hootsuite for Powerful Social Media Management
- How To Hootsuite: A Step-by-Step Tutorial
- The Beginner’s Guide to HootSuite
- How To Use HootSuite For Social Media Management
- How to Use Hootsuite Effectively to Boost Your Social Following
- A Beginner’s Guide to Hootsuite
- How to Set Up HootSuite Tabs and Streams
- How to Use Hootsuite More Effectively
Hootsuite comes with in-depth analytics on all your social networks. Clicking “Analytics” on the left nav brings you into a high-level overview screen with some nice visuals.
This overview screen provides users with common metrics like audience growth, engagement, site traffic, total posts, the number of followers, and even more. In addition, you are also presented with an overview of inbound messages by sentiment which will help you see how your brand is being perceived on social media. The overview screen does not require any setup but really only covers the basics in terms of analytics. If you want to take a deeper dive into social analytics, you will need to click on “Boards” at the top of the screen where you have access to even more detailed, real-time metrics sorted by network.
Boards can help you show the ROI on your social media investment. Boards has a flexible, interactive interface where users can drag and drop any number of widgets which display a specific metric. You can then share your boards with anyone who needs access. Hootsuite has developed a number of template boards around the most commonly sought after report data – including publishing, engagement, and audience – to help you get up and running quickly. Choosing “custom boards” lets users create the type of report data they need from scratch.
Above all, boards is a nifty feature which lets you analyze social data at a detailed level. You can also break out the different types of reports you might need to present to the various sets of stakeholders at your company. However, access to reporting and boards comes at a price and is not included in the Pro price plan.
Finally, to learn more about Hootsuite’s reporting capabilities, check out the following posts:
- How to use Hootsuite’s new Analytics features
- Hootsuite Updates its Analytics and Offers Additional Reporting
- Hootsuite rolls out new analytics beta
Assignments, Contacts, and Campaigns
Hootsuite also has a built in team collaboration feature called “Assignments”. There you can assign social media related tasks to team members. Once the task is complete, users can resolve them. Filter by name here to easily see the tasks that you own.
You can also manage your social media contacts straight from Hootsuite. Follow, unfollow, mute, or block the people who follow you and the people you follow.
The Campaigns feature is a really convenient way to create contests and other social media campaigns like sweepstakes and photo competitions.
Because there is a range of ready-made campaigns to choose from, you can launch a mobile-ready and multi-network campaign in no time. Simply choose the type of campaign you would like to run and customize as you see fit. Scale campaigns as needed, and leverage the Hootsuite tech support team if you run into any trouble here.
For more info on Hootsuite Campaigns check out these posts:
- How to Run an Amazingly Simple Contest with Hootsuite Campaigns
- Hootsuite Offers Free Version Of Hootsuite Campaigns For Lead Generation
One of the reasons Hootsuite continues to grow is their App Directory. There is now a sizable library of partner apps and integrations allowing users to customize their dashboard. There is 156 apps in total including leading software solutions like Salesforce, Dropbox, AdEspresso, Microsoft Dynamics, and Slack. The App Directory is where Hootsuite really demonstrates its value opening up new and innovative ways users can get even more out of the product.
If you need any help deciding which apps you should download from the App Directory then you should check out the following guides:
- Hootsuite Apps: 5 Extremely Useful Apps for Hootsuite
- Top 5 Hootsuite Apps You Should Definitely Install
- My 5 most favorite HootSuite apps
For those uninitiated in the ways of social media or even for those who want to hone their skills, Hootsuite certainly has something for you in their Academy. Hootsuite provide in-depth training and certifications on a wide range of topics. New users who just want to get used to Hootsuite can learn the basics while social media aficionados can learn about advanced social media strategies. Hootsuite certification costs a one time fee of $99 and will never expire.
To learn more about Hootsuite Academy, check out the following posts:
- How to Hone Your Social Media Skills Using HootSuite University
- Hootsuite University – Final Verdict
- A review of Hootsuite and Hootsuite University
- Hootsuite certification study guide
- A Hootsuite University Program Reflection #Freberg15
There are four different price plans to choose from:
- Professional: €19/mo – 10 profiles, 1 user
- Team: €99/mo – 20 profiles, 3 users
- Business: €499/mo – 50 profiles, 5 users
- Enterprise: Contact for Pricing – custom solutions
Hootsuite Review: Final Thoughts
Hootsuite can definitely help users boost both the efficiency and the effectiveness of their social media campaigns. With a wide range of integrations, Hootsuite continues to expand on the range of tasks users can perform. Hootsuite is not cheap, but if you find you are spending a lot of time publishing and analyzing your social media campaigns, then it really makes sense to think about signing up. Finally, Hootsuite will help you to save valuable time and ultimately create more effective and engaging social media campaigns.