Developed in 2009, CEO Ryan Holmes took social media to another level by creating Hootsuite, a social media management system that allows businesses and organizations to send campaigns through multiple social networks. From Facebook and Twitter to Foursquare and LinkedIn, Hootsuite is able to support all of your businesses social media needs.
How Hootsuite Evolved
Holmes came up with the idea while he was working for the company Invoke Media. Needing a program that was able to manage multiple networks, he realized that there was nothing that would serve his needs. He then collaborated with his associates and created a Twitter dashboard which was called BrightKit, and essentially had taken care of his social media needs.
Realizing that he was onto something that could benefit people all over the world, He decided to rename the platform Hootsuite and after funding from big named companies such as Blumberg Capitol and Hearst Interactive Media, created the platform that is now being used by over three million members.
How it Helps
There are so many social media sites, and more are popping up every day. It can be hard for companies to manage all of their business needs, and sometimes very confusing. With Hootsuite's Social Analytics, you are able to receive custom reports such as Facebook insights, which allows you to manage your fans and feed, and see your trends over time.
Google analytics gives you the ability to trace revenue and give you site traffic data. Twitter will track your followers and mentions, as well as Google+ analytics. Companies are able to share the updates with any Hootsuite user, making it possible to keep everyone up to date.
Hootsuite Teams gives you the opportunity to organize your business by incorporating your real life teams into your social media management. Built both for large scale companies and small businesses, Hootsuite Teams will give your team the inclusion that they need and will make it easier to manage permissions for the different levels of employment. Send messages to specific teams or company-wide with Message Assignments, making it quick and easy to keep your team members informed.
With Hootsuite Conversations, you are able to chat with teams right inside the Hootsuite dashboard. Whether you need specific people or if it needs to be a company-wide conversation, you are able to invite anyone, making it convenient to discuss matters at any time. You are also able to send messages to internal conversations, this way teams are able to discuss strategies and share across their own social networks. Best of all, this is all able to be done within your Hootsuite dashboard, making it convenient and worry free.
Hootsuite gives you the most efficient and easy publishing features such as message scheduling and a bulk CSV uploader, as well as RSS feeds and Geo-targeting for Facebook posts. With the ability to search by hashtag and @mentions, you are saving valuable time that will allow you to focus on other important aspects of your company.
The Ow.ly URL shortener gives you shortened links and file sharing, while also giving you tracking and site visit information that will help you see what messages are most effective with your audience. Hootsuite's mobile app is available through the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Keitai, making it even easier to stay on top of your business needs no matter where you are.
With a platform like this it is important that information be kept private and secure. Hootsuite's security allows you to login and out from any location so that you do not have to download or save any valuable information. You do not have to share passwords with your teams, keeping the information that needs to be secured safe.
Hootsuite's Membership Levels
There are three different levels of membership to Hootsuite. The free version will allow you to have up to five social profiles, message scheduling, quick reports, and 2 RSS/Atom feeds. Hootsuite Pro, which is now being offered with a free 30 day trial, gives you unlimited profiles, message scheduling, 2 users, 1 Enhanced Analytics report, Google Analytics integration, Facebook Insights integration, and unlimited RSS feeds.
After the 30 days, Hootsuite Pro is available for only $9.99 a month. Hootsuite Enterprise gives uncapped team members, unlimited social profiles, social media security, enhanced analytics, unlimited analytics reports, tier 1 enterprise support, and unlimited RSS feeds. Hootsuite Enterprise starts at around $1500 a month. There are no long term commitments so you are able to cancel or adjust your options as you need to.
Awards and Accolades
Hootsuite has won multiple awards including Best Social Media Management Tool 2010 through the Mashable awards, Best Application at Shorty Awards 2009 and Canada's Top Digital Companies through The Digi Awards 2011. Companies such as McDonald's, Sony Music, Pepsi Co, and many more are currently using Hootsuite.
While Hootsuite does offer many features that may help your companies social media needs, there are some con's. While there is a free option, it does limit the user to what they are able to accomplish using that particular version. Even at $9.99 a month, users are still not able to take advantage of all that Hootsuite has to offer.
Posts do not stream as they do with an individual feed from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Instead, they have to be manually updated every time you want to refresh them. There are also many options and tabs to navigate through so it may be hard and confusing for someone to use that is not familiar with it.
Analytics reports can also be very expensive, giving you only one free report per month, and each report after that costing an additional $50. You are, however, able to get free reports from Ow.Ly. Using a custom URL shortener is also expensive at $49 per month, and that is on top of the amount that you are already paying for the plan that you chose.
Is It Worth It
Hootsuite may be expensive in some aspects, but one really has to think about the amount of their time is dedicated to managing multiple social networks to aid in their company's success. This is time that can be spent focused on other aspects that needs attention, and can create an ease in your company.
You have to ask yourself how important something like this is to your company and how will you and your employees benefit from it. While you may end up spending a little money, you are also allowing your company to advance to the next level in technology, showing customers and employees alike that you really do care about the business and its needs.
By taking advantage of the free 30 day trial, you will be able to see the advantages of Hootsuite, and find out if it is really something that will help you and your company in the long run. As a Pro member you will also receive prioritized responses to any questions you may have or any help that you may need, giving you piece of mind that you will be able to navigate and learn the ins and outs of Hootsuite in no time. The variety of platforms that are supported make it so that no one will be left out when it comes to creating teams and keeping people in the know.
A big part of a company's success is reliant upon social networks, making it crucial to ensure that you have a program that you can rely on. Hootsuite is constantly working on ways to improve performance and make it easier for companies to take advantage of all that social networking has to offer. Do not let your company be left behind.