To schedule, or not to schedule?
Lloyd Jones explains how you can get the most out of Hootsuite.
As accountants in practice, you should all be familiar by now with the benefits social media can bring your business. But, as you know, doing it yourself can be extremely time-consuming, not to say frustrating – so could a scheduling tool work for you?
There are a few of these around, but for your specific practice purposes I’ll focus on the market leader: Hootsuite. It’s a tool you might already be aware of within your marketing circles, but you may be wondering what it does, and if it’s worth using.
Put simply, it’s a social media management add-on that will allow busy professionals like yourselves to schedule updates to any of your social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, WordPress and many others, all from the same user-friendly dashboard.
So, what are the benefits?
Scheduling your content in advance: This allows you to pick specific times and dates for your posts; being able to both manage and analyse responses to these. Knowing the time of day you get the highest engagement means you can develop a more informed social media strategy.
The ability to post and monitor multiple feeds in one place: If you have, say, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds to update then the Hootsuite platform allows you to publish identical content throughout, all at the same time.
Alternatively, you can edit this content to gain further engagement for separate platforms, using the tagging function for each and using the appropriate trending hashtags for each. Maybe you’d like to expand more from a short tweet to a longer article or blog on LinkedIn? You can do that, too.
Managing speedy responses to customers: Within Hootsuite there is the option to store all responses and queries from all your streams in one place – with the added option to save commonly asked questions (such as opening times, office location, etc).
Delegate your social media across your team: Most scheduling software allows multiple users to log in from separate accounts and locations. Hootsuite is no different; however, you’ll have to take a premium subscription if you wish to manage more than three social platforms simultaneously.
So, if certain members of your team are more knowledgeable about certain aspects of your business, or even if you just want to share the load, this option may be for you.
So, so far so good, eh? Except, as ever, there are some downsides…
Price plan confusion: It’s important to bear in mind that their pricing structure is confusing to say the least, so do your research before committing to the plan that will best suit you.
Also, don’t be afraid to haggle with them. I’m trusting the fine readers of Accounting Practice to keep that secret. You ain’t seen me, right!
Possible reduced engagement: It’s important to not just post everything to your scheduling software of choice, then sit back and think your job is done for the day.
You’ll need to be logged in to all of your various platforms, either via app or desktop, to engage with possible responses, mentions and questions. Studies have shown that engaging with your followers within your chosen platform app has a direct correlation to your engagement levels.