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hootsuiteThis is the second post in a series about how to effectively manage your social media assets.

This week we’re going to be exploring the basics of online management tool HootSuite.

Like TweetDeck it lets you access different social networks all in one place and updates instantly, so you can keep on top of everything without having to use different accounts, browsers and platforms.

However, unlike TweetDeck, you don’t need to download HootSuite, instead it’s a web interface that you can easily sign up to and then log-in to using just your browser.

When you first use HootSuite, you’ll be greeted with a home page that allows you to add your social networks:

Hootsuite Home Page

Although HootSuite is a very popular Twitter tool, you can add a range of networks, including LinkedIn, WordPress and MySpace.

From there you can access everything you need from the very simple and easy-to-use sidebar.

HootSuite Sidebar

You can then go on to customise your HootSuite management preferences. For instance, if you use Twitter you can add search columns, keyword columns and new lists in the same way as TweetDeck.

However, HootSuite has a lot of different features that make it stand out which have only just recently been added.

The HootSuite sidebar has an analytics tab which has many different options and allows you to create your own custom reports and measure the success of your online activity across most of your platforms.

Here’s a video made by the HootSuite team to show just how much freedom you can have with the analytics function:

HootSuite Social Analytics from HootSuite on Vimeo.

Quick Analytics

This option allows you to make small, quick reports about your online activity.

  • summary stats tells you how many people have clicked on links that you’ve included in your tweets.

  • individual URL stats breaks down each link to show you more detailed stats about that one specifically.

  • Facebook Insights is only available to HootSuite Pro users, but it allows you to integrate Facebook activity into your HootSuite reports.

  • Google Analytics is again only available to HootSuite Pro users, but it provides users with simplified statistics from Google that you can add into your reports.

Custom Analytics

This option lets you change elements of your reporting and have more choice when creating a final document. You can add any element you wish from the above list, as well as other stats, logos and basic information, like numbers of followers.

HootSuite Social Media Dashboard

This kind of simple social media dashboard would be perfect to show people the value of investing time in social media.

HootSuite Basic is free and you can add up to five social networks with this option. However, if you feel like you need more space and want more detailed analytics and reporting options, you can get HootSuite Pro for $5.99 a month.

Here at Codastar we know a lot about social media and the best ways to manage your online activity. So, if you’d like us to help you set up your own online presence and manage it for you, or would just like a tutorial explaining how you can take the reigns yourself, then please get in touch.

Images via HootSuite.

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