Digital Workshop Center Trade School

HootsuiteThere are so many social media options available, it’s hard to know what platform is right for you.

Between Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and countless others, there’s at least one good outlet to connect you and your business to your interested and existing customers.

Creating a buzz on social media is more difficult than just posting a couple of funny cat videos or copying and pasting quirky quotes. It requires a detailed strategy for how you want your online voice to be heard. For our social media classes at the Digital Workshop Center, we always focus on this key principle to start.

Besides time to create the content for social media, you also need to factor in the time to analyze the response. Having a measurable analytic is just as important because it lets you know if what you’re saying online is successfully being received by those who you want to reach.

With all of this time needed to create an effective social media campaign, there are tools that have been developed to help alleviate some of the burden. HootSuite is an online management platform that can effectively reduce the amount of time you spend on social media.

Started in 2009, HootSuite allows you to manage all your social media from one convenient place. Using HootSuite allows you to more rapidly grow your audience, streamline team workflow and reach audiences with geotargeted features. In addition, HootSuite offers a vast array of analytic tools so you can measure your social media response.

One of my favorite things about HootSuite is how user-friendly the interface is. With little to no experience with social media, you can connect all your accounts into one happy place and quickly get started managing them all.

Pricing for HootSuite begins with a free package that includes connection for up to five social media accounts, basic analytics and some other fundamentals. If you want to upgrade to its Pro package for about $9 per month, you can receive a wider set of tools.

According to Jeffrey Gitomer, an expert on social media and strategy, “Social media is the new cold call.” If you’re going to get involved in social media to try and reach new customers, you need tools like HootSuite to help manage your time better.

But always remember that you have to first strategize on your voice and what you’re going to say before you jump into an ever-growing social media world.

[Originally published in the Coloradoan on 9/12/13]