The Basics of Using HootSuite

Momcomm Monday is my weekly series to help you become a better writer, blogger and social media geek. If you missed last week’s post, catch up on Guest Post: Driving a Spike in the Railroad of Blogging.

Every time it comes around to talking about social media on Momcomm Monday, I can’t help but talk about Twitter. It’s my favorite tool for connecting with my readers, learning new stuff, interacting with fellow bloggers and more.

I get a lot of comments from people saying that they just don’t get Twitter. And I get that because I didn’t have a clue when I started Twitter either. I think part of the issue is how to make sense Twitter (it’s a cocktail party, without the heels) and wondering what to tweet about.

In addition to that, it’s the Twitter interface that scares people away… and for good reason. I can hardly stand to use Twitter from, EVEN with the new Twitter. It just isn’t easy to follow Twitter on Twitter. Crazy right?

So how do I keep up?


HootSuite is an amazing platform to keep up with Twitter (and Facebook and LinkedIn and… oh wait, let’s no go there. Let’s just talk Twitter). It makes having conversations on Twitter a cinch.

So, in order to fully show off HootSuite, I thought I’d do a little video for you! You get to hear my slightly Southern drawl tell you the ins and outs of the basics of HootSuite. I won’t admit how many times I re-did this video but I blame at least five re-takes on my dog (slurping water in the background, barking in the middle of the video, THEN WAKING THE BABY- UGH!, coming over to me and panting, pawing at the door to go out, etc.).

First things first. If you haven’t downloaded HootSuite, then head over to their website and sign up. HootSuite is a web-based application BUT you can also use it as a desktop application too. Just click on the owl and go to “apps and plug-ins” then pick one that says “desktop.”

This video will cover:

  • Using columns
  • How to tweet
  • Following conversations
  • Basic Analytics

So without further adieu, here we go! (this is my first video ever so be nice. really nice)

As if the video isn’t enough, I actually forgot to show you something! When you compose a message and want to mention someone, HootSuite will automatically fill in their name if you’ve used it once before in HootSuite. For example, if you’ve mentioned me before using HootSuite, the next time you can just type @ad and it will bring up any Twitterer you follow whose name starts with @ad. Just select @adventuroo and type your message!

I’m SURELY going to have to do more HootSuite videos so we can dig in even deeper (if you’re interested). In the meantime, do you use HootSuite or a similar application (TweetDeck, Seesmic)? Do you think it would change how you use Twitter?

Wanna talk about a Momcomm post on Twitter? Ask a question? Retweet something useful to other bloggers? Then help me get the new #momcomm hashtag off the ground! See you over on Twitter!

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      • says

        I do, but I use the old version :) The new Twitter does not show the date/time of the person’s last tweet, in the follower list. I use that to weed-out DM spammers (someone is following me and they have not tweeted in 2 months?). With the new Twitter, you have to click on their ID to see their last tweet in the sidebar – an extra step.
        Roy Scribner recently posted..Photographing Outdoor Family Memories

  1. says

    There is NO WAY I could follow anything on Twitter without using my TweetDeck! I love it. But you have peaked my interest about HootSuite. I didn’t know you could also have FB on there! Also, how do manage new followers- I have SO MANY emails from Twitter and it takes me forever to click on each one and see if I want to follow that person back. Any tips?
    Rachel {at} Mommy Needs a Vacation recently posted..My Open Sky Shop!

    • melissa says

      I love using it with Facebook, but I try not to tweet @ and # because it’s confusing as hell to people who don’t speak Twitterese.

      I wish I had an answer but you but I go to Twitter for that too! Do you have the NEW Twitter yet? Because I found it’s a lot easier to lot at bios and follow people on there than the old Twitter. If I find a better way, I’ll definitely let you know!

  2. says

    Ah ha! Thanks Melissa for this post — I recently signed up for HS, and this information you’ve provided is exactly what I need to get a step up and into getting the darn thing to work! (Actually it’s me that needs to know how to work the control panel!).

    Happy Monday! I am loving your Momcomm posts!

    • melissa says

      Awesome! Once you get used to looking at Twitter in columns, it’s tough to do anything but!

  3. says

    Tis true…Twitter via does suck and is pretty much useless. The only time I get on there is to see if I have new followers.

    I use TweetDeck, and it looks very similar.

    I am a HUGE Twitter fanatic! Words to all – if you aren’t tweeting, you are missing out on a wonderful chance to network and drive more traffic to your blog. Some days, I’d rather tweet than blog :)
    Natalie recently posted..Here- There and Everywhere!

  4. says

    I’m still relatively new to Twitter, and using Tweetdeck…but now I may have to try Hootsuite! It can certainly get addictive…

    Thanks for all of your awesome advice and help! You make me feel like I’m not a techno-dork for not “getting” some of this stuff.
    Sherri recently posted..How-To Book- Not available in stores

    • melissa says

      I switched back and forth from TD to HS a number of times. Once I found out HootSuite had a desktop option, I switched again and never looked back.

  5. says

    I am SO outnumbered here, but I only ever use Twitter from (::ducks and covers::) I’ve tried different Twitter interfaces before, and I don’t know what it is – I just can’t get used to anything but the web-based experience. I *may* follow your lead over to HootSuite, if only because I respect your opinion. ;) Thanks for sharing today!
    Stacey @ Tree, Root, and Twig recently posted..Saturday is the New Monday

    • melissa says

      Totally! You may find TweetDeck and HootSuite similar. I think that in HS I can see how many people clicked on my links where as I have to go to when I used TD. There are probably a couple of other advantages but I think TD is a good choice too!

  6. says

    Thank you!

    There are many things about twitter that are at least *kinda* *sorta* intuitive — or easy enough to accidentally figure out if you poke around enough.

    When you really get going, (read: start tweeting so much you’re doing it in inappropriate places, at inappropriate times, and getting made fun of) clearly you need to manage your twaddiction.

    But, you can’t actually *ask* how to manage twitter because that would be so uncool. Lucky for me I found your blog post so I don’t have to. Awesome post!

  7. says

    i love HS but i’m using TweetCaster on my phone. anyone have any tips on cleaning up my followers & who i’m following? i used to auto-follow but i’m really not diggin it anymore. i’m looking for some more personal, interactive use on twitter so it’s time to get rid of some dead weight! is there an EASY way to do this??
    kirstie recently posted..Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp – Week 2 Tasks

  8. says

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am setting up Hootsuite right now! I was so overwhelmed with basic twitter that I stopped using it and opened up a new account and have seriously limited how many people I follow. Now I can use twitter like I WANT to be able to and not be so overwhelmed!

  9. says

    Thanks for the info. I just set up HootSuite as a test at work this morning and spent the evening figuring out how to start using it.

    I have to admit that I’ve been tongue tied on Twitter, but HootSuite let me schedule a facebook status update in advance and that’s pretty cool.

    I also got 2 boys growing into little hikers, so finding this was a double win. Thanks again.
    Martin Pepper recently posted..Today is National Common Sense Day- a day celebrating common sense in business and in life — on Will Rogers’s birthday Rogers said- “Common sense ain’t all that common” On this day- don’t ignore your common sense- rather use it Consider doing at least one thing your common sense tells you to do Whats on your agenda

  10. fdgtgrl says

    Thank you for directing me here from SITS …
    That’s defenitely great info … Very useful !!!


  11. says

    Thank you for your video! I use tweetdeck a little bit but have heard about hootsuite and was trying to decide if I should invest my time into it. You made up my mind. From the looks of your video hootsuite has much more to offer. Thanks!

    • melissa says

      Great! Hope you end up liking HootSuite… I especially love it because I can post to my Facebook fan page so easily. Good stuff!

  12. says

    Great post Mel. I have just started using Hootsuite. You showed how to follow people from the streams by clicking on their @. Do you know if there is a way to search/add people you want to follow directly via Hootsuite, instead of via the streams? So far, the only way I’ve been able to do this is via the site, and I rather be able to make Hootsuite my one-stop social media management page.

  13. Megan says

    Hey Melissa! I loved the post and used it on my how to use hoot suite toolset on you should check it out! Love what your doing and your big and little boys are so cute!


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