As a VA there are certain tasks that can’t be simplified. These are the tasks that take time and precision to ensure 100% accuracy and although may get easier with experience, there won’t be any quick-fix solution for completing them. On the other hand, when possible if we can find shortcuts or bulk schedule work to complete tasks quicker and easier then we should and must use them. Saving both time for us, and more importantly time and money for our Clients.
When it comes to social media, one tool that has saved me literally days is Hootsuite. You’ve probably heard of it since it’s been around for a while now, but I just want to reiterate its simplistic brilliance and tell you why I can’t live without it.
If you regularly undertake social media management (for you and/or your Clients) then this tool is for you. Hootsuite allows you to update and manage several social media websites at one time, as well as schedule future updates. You can literally sit down on a Monday morning with your first coffee of the day and get all your social media organised for the entire week!
What’s so good about Hootsuite?
1. Well for a start it has a really simple, easy to use dashboard. The layout is clear and light making it easy to read and all the buttons stand out well enough to be able to see at a glance what’s going on in each of your social media channels.
2. If like me you manage multiple social networks and accounts, you’ll find Hootsuite ideal for creating specific tabs for your different accounts, and then within those tabs you can customise the columns for ease of use within each network. Your columns can be customised with keyword tracking, search terms, mentions, lists, and messages, to make it really easy to see what’s going on across your accounts via a horizontal scrolling mechanism.
3. This is probably my favourite tool on Hootsuite (and I know it’s not the only one that does it, but I find Hootsuite’s layout so easy to use) and that’s the publishing feature. As you know, social media is all about saying something at a particular time based on your target audience. Hootsuite Publisher allows you to compose your message, set the date, time and social media channel and then will list them all on one page so you know what’s going out, where and when.
4. Hootsuite also gives you the ability to analyse your data in a basic or detailed format. Be careful though, some of these options aren’t free. However depending on the type of information you need you can really go to town getting insights into your Twitter Mentions by Influencers, Twitter Follower Growth, Facebook Daily Likes, Facebook Daily Page Activity, Google Analytics: Twitter to Web Conversion, Traffic Sources, and so much more. These analytics can be automated to email reports to you (and your team) daily, weekly, bi-monthly or monthly.
5. This is great one to drop in with your Clients to show you’re thinking about their website traffic stats – Hootsuite use Ow.ly link shorteners by default which means that any time you add a link Hootsuite (or Ow.ly) automatically 301 redirect visitors to your website passing on all the SEO benefits to your site. This is great news for you and/or your Client since no 3rd party source is benefitting from your information. (You can also upload files which Hootsuite will convert into a shortened Ow.ly with the same benefits).
6. For those of you constantly on-the-go, Hootsuite works really well with iPad, iPhone and Android mobile phones – so you can take care of your social media away from the office – a good one for when sitting waiting on a train, plane or just at your everyday appointments!
7. And finally if all the above hasn’t converted you into being a fan, Hootsuite quite simply increases productivity by incorporating an easy team workflow option (brilliant if you work with other VAs) and with its scheduler, analytics tracking and SEO benefits I’d be in social media management hell without it!
Are you a fan of Hootsuite, or do you prefer a different social media management tool? We’d love to hear what works for you to help us all chose the more practical option for our everyday work life. Please leave your comments below.