Hootsuite is one of the titans of social media management software. Hootsuite has clearly had a successful run thus far, receiving $246.9 million of funding from 11 investors in total. You don’t get the backing of major investment firms and over 10 million users of a product purely by luck. The reason I have a sudden interest? Basically it comes down to one thing…curation, which is currently a time consuming process. What do I need?
- Simplify the inbound and outbound data feeds I am plugged into. All I want is to spend less time monitoring and looking at social media, while still getting all the information…easy, right?
- Have one source for analytics related to my online presence(s).
Currently I’m using Twitter, Medium, WordPress, and LinkedIn. After clicking around the website and looking at a few of the training courses, the first criteria can be easily satisfied.
Within Hoosuite’s web-app there is an interface that can be easily used to consolidate some of the sources I identified above. WordPress, Twitter, and LinkedIn can all be consolidated through the use of this tool. Unfortunately Medium is not supported. Three out of four isn’t too bad…
Once the Twitter, LinkedIn, and WordPress accounts have been added to Hootsuite, all the standard streams that would be available on the separate sites are available within Hoosuite, in one page. There is also an extremely useful feature where pre-selected search terms and hashtag streams from Twitter can be added, which saves me time on typing out “data” and “BI” repeatedly. That’s a check on the first use case.
Hootsuite comes with a few pre-built reports for Twitter, WordPress, and LinkedIn, but custom reports appear to be were the real power is. Using a custom template, a single page that combines different measures, charts and graphs from multiple webpages into one report can be made.
As a side note, it appears that there is a severe limit when using the free tier. Building one report used up all the resources I was allocated for the month…So unless all the analytics needs fit into a single report, I will have to start paying. Definitely not a plus…
Hootsuite had many of the capabilities I expected. Combining different social media streams, aggregating information, building visualizations, etc. seemed to be present in this tool. What I was surprised at was the complexity of the tool and getting it set up with all my accounts. Honestly, I was expecting a more user friendly use product. This may not be entirely Hootsuite’s fault…
Going forward, I’m curious what competitor products are available. Would these other products meet my use case better? A quick search reveals that the social media management space is packed full of products, many of them free. For now, Hootsuite has met one of my use cases I was originally looking to solve. Going forward I full plan to examine different tools, and choose a tool that is…freer? Also being compatible with more websites would be a plus.