Social media’s presence is ever-expanding and today’s cleaning business owner will have to keep up with the rapidly changing pace or risk fading away. The good news is there are a broad range of tools and platforms out there that will help the business owner manage their social networks and media presence.
One such management tool that helps us manage our company’s numerous networks is the social media manager called Hootsuite. It allows us to track and post across our social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Linkedin. With the various social media networks that we need to update, post and monitor on a daily basis, Hootsuite provides us with the features we need to keep process simple and to keep attracting new followers.
What is Hootsuite?
Hootsuite is a social media management system. The service is commonly used to manage online brands and to submit messages to a variety of social media services, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Companies and organizations known to use Hootsuite include Facebook, the Obama administration, HBO, Martha Stewart Media, Sony Music, Virgin Group, Panasonic, Zappos, and The Gap, according to Wikipedia.
How would Hootsuite benefit your cleaning business?
- You will have the ability to create content and post it later (schedule up to 350 messages to post automatically).
- There is an AutoSchedule function that allows you to pre-schedule release times of your social network posts.
- Provides analytical data that is easy to understand and you can create reports from that data with simple drag and drop tools and widgets.
- You can have multiple people (teams) manage your social media so you can delegate tasks and set permissions within your team.
Some of the key features and benefits that we have found to be most useful using Hootsuite as our social media management service are:
1) Management of All Social Media Networks
Hootsuite allows you and/or your social media management personnel to efficiently and effectively manage and post across all your social profiles from one convenient place. If you have multiple pages or channels, you can post to all of them at the same time (see figure 1). For example, if you have several Twitter, Google+ or Facebook pages, Hootsuite is a convenient way for you to post to them all, at once, from one website. This is a big time saver.
But be cautious when doing so because the posts that you want to appear on your business Facebook page may not be the same content you want your Twitter audience to see, and vice versa. We also found that because Twitter only allows 140 characters for posts, we are not able to broadcast the same messages to our Twitter accounts, even if we wanted to.
Hootsuite allows you to connect with more than 35 popular networks. Here is a list of just some of the top networks that Hootsuite currently allows you to manage:
- Facebook Profiles, Events, Groups & Pages
- LinkedIn Profiles, Pages & Groups
- Google+ Pages (currently not personal profiles)
- WordPress blogs
- Vimeo, via.me, reddit, StumbleUpon, Instagram, edocr, tumblr, evernote, flickr, get Satisfaction, mailchimp, slideshare, storify (via 3rd party apps)
- Just to name a few!
2) AutoSchedule Function
The autoschedule function allows you to manually select what time you want to schedule or post your social media messages. You have the capability to manually schedule, auto schedule, or send now (see figure 2).
3) Social Analytics
Hootsuite has many analytic options for you to choose from so that you can track and test your efforts (see figure 3). It gives you the information to decide what has worked in the past, which enables you to best determine your next course of action. You will have the data to create reports including weekly emails from Hootsuite with a pdf attachment of your click summaries including number of clicks per day, geographical information, top referrers, and most popular links. Some of the analytics features may cost you extra depending on what package you are in
4) Team Management Facility
This feature allows for more than one person to manage your business’ social media networks. It allows you the option of delegating to different people within your media team. Your media team personnel can log in and see what tasks have been assigned to them and respond accordingly. For example, if you have a customer service employee who is knowledgeable on the products and service you offer and most of your tweets are questions pertaining to those products and services, you can assign the tweets to that person for follow up. Team members can also send private messages to each other. This comes in useful if you have personnel working from other locations, such as home.
5) Other Benefits
You can save drafts (messages) in Hootsuite and comeback to them later when you are ready to share and post them. There is also file sharing. You can upload your files and photos directly to Hootsuite and share them via a simple shortened link.
Hootsuite has apps for most devices including Apple, Android, and Blackberry.
There are a variety of plans that you can purchase from Hootsuite that will fit your particular prerequisites for social media management. As of this writing, you can start with their 30 day free trial starting at $9.99/month (it supports only one user and five social profiles, for instance).You will not be charged for anything if you cancel your account before your 30 day free trial expires. You can upgrade, downgrade or cancel at any time.
Hootsuite offers help support via the online help desk as well as educational resources such as 200+ instructional videos, 50+ webinars, and the Hootsuite certification (there is a small fee to enroll in Hootsuite University).
Hootsuite allows us the convenience of only having to visit one website to complete almost all of our social media tasks. We use it to send and check messages as well as keep our followers informed of any new products and services we are launching. It helps us to manage marketing campaigns and keeps us noticed and relevant. After all, that is where our customers are.