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Give a HootSuite

By Sherry Harris

The first time I heard about HootSuite was when Barbara Ross asked Julie Hennrikus for a lesson. All I could think was yet another social media site that I’m unfamiliar with. But Julie explained it is a tool to help manage social media sites. So I poked around HootSuite’s website. It looked like it might be helpful but I decided to go to our resident social media expert and asked Julie what she thought about HootSuite.

How long have you been using HootSuite?
A few years. Almost as long as I have been using Twitter.

Which HootSuite plan do you use?
Right now I use the lowest level. It’s free for just yourself, but if two or three people use it for managing the same account, you need to go up a level.

How has HootSuite helped you?
I use Twitter for myself (@JulieHennrikus), @SinCNE, @StageSourceBos, and @WickedCozys. HootSuite helps me be able to keep track of all four accounts. It also allows me to track lists, search keywords (like #CrimeBake) and manage the “noise” so I can go on for a few minutes a day and feel like I am keeping up.

How will it help authors?
It can help you focus, and get rid of the “noise”.  Here are some examples:
If you have a twitter list, you can make it a “stream”. That list could include agents, or authors, or press sites you want to make sure you keep track of.
You can create another stream with keywords. Like #CrimeBake, or #AmWriting, or #SinCNE. Again, it helps you make sure you don’t miss anything. [A word about hashtags. If you put “#” before ANYTHING it becomes searchable.]
You can also keep track of anyone who mentions you, or if your tweets get retweeted. It’s a great way to thank folks.
At conferences, you can keep track of conversations by using hashtags.

What social media websites do you use HootSuite with?
Right now I just use it for Twitter. I am going to look at other platforms. I suspect I am not using HootSuite to its maximum potential.

Would it post things to my website?
It could possibly. You can link WordPress to Twitter and Facebook. And you can also have feeds show up on your website.

If you only use it to focus your Twitter world, that is enough. And it is a perfect tool for that–it lives in the “cloud” so you can have it on your phone, and all your computers. I really makes twitter manageable–I promise!

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