We’re constantly beat upside the head with the message that social media is something we should participate in for one reason or another. Between Facebook and Twitter, it’s all I can do just to feel like I’m staying afloat with things let alone using it to my advantage while being able to conduct my business like I wish.
That was before I heard about an online application called Hoot Suite. Hoot Suite began as a way to manage Twitter feeds, and soon grew to include Facebook, LinkedIn, and others. Hoot Suite functions much like other social media management applications like TweetDeck: your viewing screen is split into columns, each representing a feed from Twitter or another social media application, and you are given tools to post content on those applications. The more I have used it, the more I have come to realize that Hoot Suite is a very important tool in my social media management.
There are several things I like about Hoot Suite. First of all, they are online based. I can manage my social media from anywhere I am, as long as I have access to the Internet. Some other services (like TweetDeck) require software to be downloaded to your computer, meaning you can only manage your account from the computer on which the software is installed. With simple Internet access, I can log into my Hoot Suite account and keep up with the different feeds available to me, as well as input my own content as I need to without having to be sure I’m at a specific computer or have a specific laptop with me.
Hoot Suite is also attractive because of its ability to incorporate several different types of social media in one platform. I use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn most frequently, and I can keep up with all three in the same application. I can post content to all three from the same place, and I don’t have to remember three different logins all the time.
This article is provided free to the travel agent community by:
But, perhaps my absolute favorite aspect of Hoot Suite is the ability to schedule posts on my social media networks. My main struggle with social media has been finding the time to get things posted; it seemed just keeping up with commenting on others’ postings was all I could find time for, but Hoot Suite changed that. I now have weekly Facebook posts scheduled from now until the end of 2010 on both my personal and business pages, and I know now that I have at least one post each week being made. That leaves me the rest of the time to be a bit more social, and post some of the odds and ends that come along through the week. For 2011, I plan to have at least two postings each week, all pre-scheduled. This makes it look like I’m heavily active on my social networks, when I’m really just maximizing my time and being more efficient.
In my next TRO Tips article, I will cover some of the add-ons available for Hoot Suite, as well as how to set up Hoot Suite efficiently.
Steve Cousino, ACC, CTA, LS is a four-year industry veteran. He holds Lifestyle Specialist designations in Luxury Travel and Gay/Lesbian Travel, and is known for specializing in cruises, Western European tours, group travel, and culinary-themed travel. He can be reached through his website at http://www.JourneysBySteve.com.