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Why You Should Give a HOOT

Hootsuite social mediaHoot it Loud for Your Small Business

In a world where we are constantly inundated with social news – be it tech gadgetry, new applications, small business solutions, what’s hot, and not; it wouldn’t be unfair to assume that the inflow of online information can be daunting, especially in the world of small business.

On a typical day, you may find the small business owner running errands, checking phone messages, picking up office supplies, dealing with office administration, putting out small fires – all before their first client meeting – tossing in online engagement with social media – small business owners often throw their hands up in frustration; wondering who truly has the time to deal with all that “online nonsense”

In today’s business world, it’s important to incorporate “old school” and “new school” with your marketing strategies…ensuring you reach your existing AND potential clients in ways they can relate to.

More importantly – your competition is online engaging – therefore, YOU need to be online as well.

Without getting into how being online in various social capacities can increase your SEO, or influence the way people visualize your brand (which Social Media CAN do) – it’s important to realize that even in today’s world, it’s still all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION….And the WWW is one of the best locations you can find.

Dashboards are not just for cars anymore

A few years back, if you had Googled the word Dashboard, you may have found slick vehicle dashboards for the newest models of BMW, or Mercedes, however nowadays – the term Dashboard has taken on an entirely different meaning – with the same general practice:  A control panel that monitors key data.

When you think about making your voice heard, or finding key information that can help you and your business get engaged a Social Media Dashboard is the perfect solution.  When set up correctly – you can monitor multiple networks, view analytics, utilize several applications, and incorporate teams for controlled collaboration (no more multiple posts by unaware staff, or team members).

If you’re a ‘lone wolf’ in your business – a social media dashboard will make it easier to post, see relevant Tweets or Comments, and find out who’s responding to your online activity…It’s simple to filter out the noise, and focus on what is relatable to you and your business.

OH Canada!

Enter Hootsuite, the king of social media dashboard(ing), launched in 2009 in Vancouver, BC by Ryan Holmes.  Hootsuite is not only delightfully Canadian, it’s also a user friendly, dashboard that enables us to develop, implement, and monitor social campaigns; and with access to multiple platforms, applications, and analytics – Hootsuite can really help any small (or large) business owners navigate their limited time online with ease.

At first, the Hootsuite dashboard can appear to be incredibly daunting but their blog, website, help section, and Hootsuite University make navigation a snap. Like anything new, learning a new social platform can take time in the beginning, but will save you countless hours down the road.

So what’s so great about Hootsuite?

I may be biased because it’s Canadian, but having delved into TweetDeck a few years back, I found Hootsuite to be more welcoming, and easier to navigate. It also offers a three tiered system of services depending on your needs.  I’m a Hootsuite Pro user, and truthfully – it’s one of the best 10 dollars I spend a month, as it allows me not only to update Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but it gives me the ability to post and schedule on Google Plus, and Facebook Pages.  Hootsuite Pro also gives me the opportunity to monitor other third party applications like Instagram, Constant Contact, Foursquare, WordPress, YouTube, Flickr and more. To see for yourself, check out Hootsuites additional social network features.

The number one reason I use a dashboard for my #SoMe needs is to track what others are doing in industries where I may have a vested interest.  Sure you can create lists in Twitter, but to have them run effectively in your dashboard allows you to monitor what’s happening, who’s saying what, and where the buzz is….All things that are extremely important for your small business.

Time is on your side

When every moment counts in small business, and everything is of the utmost importance – it’s important to look at time saving applications, devices, and systems that will keep you from pulling your hair out – Hootsuite is one of them.  Seriously, check them out today, and if you are not already using a dashboard – do it…Your eyes, brain, and business will thank you.

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