HootSuite Basics and Updates

Those of you who know me, know I’m a big fan of HootSuite, the social media dashboard, as a tool for research, filtering and engagement. When I began using HootSuite, my productivity soared! However, it’s not the most intuitive to learn and recently they added some updates. The following is a basic tutorial on how to begin with HootSuite and a review of the recent changes. Don’t forget to download the free app for your smart phone – no jumping through extra hoops here. Once you set up your dashboard the app will automatically appear as a duplicate on your phone.

Create Your Account

  1. There is no download to do, simply go to www.HootSuite.com and click on Sign Up – choose the FREE version.
  2. Enter your email address – the one associated with your Twitter account is best.
  3. Connect your Twitter account. There are three accounts included with the free version (btw…HootSuite considers LinkedIn Profile and LinkedIn Groups to be two networks, so if you are active in LinkedIn, choose your Profile and a Group along with Twitter and that’s three).


Set Up Dashboard

  1. The default will take you to the first tab – it’s called MY FIRST TAB, click into those words and change it to TWITTER.
  2. You’ll notice a column (called a stream) will pop up. Click on the HOME tile. See below.
  3. Do the same with the following subsequent streams: Mentions, and Retweets.

HootSuite Stream

The next streams can be hashtag searches, twitter lists you already created, or lists you’d like to create. When it’s done you should have a dashboard view of your Twitter filters: people who Mention you, your List feeds, and topic/hashtag searches you care about. Here is a snapshot of mine below:

HootSuite Stream

This may look daunting, but it’s actually categorizing the tweets as they come in. It’s my way of easily accessing the content that matters to me and filtering out the rest. When I look at a particular stream, my brain knows, “this is my ‘thought leadership’ stream”, therefore all these tweets are coming from people whom I deem thought leaders. Or, if I’m looking at my “Profitecture Team” stream, I know these tweets are coming from my fellow Profitecture team members.

Next to the Twitter Tab you just created, click on the “+” button and create a tab for LinkedIn or another network you’d like to connect (Facebook, Instagram etc. but remember you are limited to three with the free version). Follow the same exercise for LinkedIn – you’ll see your Connections’ updates in the HOME stream, and you can see YOUR updates on the next stream.

Updates to HootSuite
HootSuite made it easier to view the Engagement Icons and Comment or Reply.

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They also have nested the comments and replies so you can see the conversation.

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You can now assign messages to yourself or team members with the Team function.

Social media management is time consuming and most people who are new to social media have difficulty finding the time. With HootSuite, especially on your phone, you can check in from anywhere, anytime (doctors office, grocery line, kids’ school parking lot). This is the convergeance between work life and personal life. And there are bigger implications to that issue which is another blog post for another day.

About Denise Bahs

Denise is inspired by the study of human behavior, specifically as it relates to the differences between the generations. Gen X and Gen Y do things differently. Social media has had an impact on the banking and payments industry and the generational differences play a major role in where things are headed. These are the trends that get Denise out of bed in the morning. Denise has worked in the banking and payments industry for nearly 20 years with an emphasis on marketing. When social media first came on the scene, she found it intriguing which led to her starting a blog and networking in the start-ups realm. Denise is a professional coach and public speaker and in her spare time enjoys many forms of exercise.