A Smart Guide To HootSuite's social media dashboard

A Smart Guide To HootSuite

guide to hootsuiteUsing social media to promote your business is an excellent and cost effect way to market as well as interact with your audience. Being on as many social networks as possible means you get a full range of people who can access your business. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus or others, you need to be able to harness it’s power. Keeping up to date with your wall posts, private messages, @mentions or Direct Messages can be time consuming. This is why it’s useful to look into social management platforms which allow you to store your important data in one place

HootSuite is one such platform. The juggernaut of social media platforms, this brand allows you to streamline all of your social media activity into one easy to use interface. With access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (depending on your account), Google Plus and FourSquare, you have all you need to be a social media savvy business in one place. It operates a “freemium” option as well as paid accounts, so you can find something to suit your needs.


Getting Started

create account on hootsuite


  • From there, fill in the data file with your email address, full name and create a password.
  • Connect your desired networks:

add social networks to hootsuite

Setting Up Your Profile

Once you have added your networks, you can start setting up your dashboard.

  • To create a stream, simply click on the “Add Stream” option in the top tool bar:

set up your hootsuite profile

  • From there, you can decide which network you want the stream to be for. If you want a social network stream, click on networks options down the left side of the tool bar. Once you have done that, you can then apply the options applicable to that network, whether you want your @mentions, DM’s, news feed photos, etc. If you want a stream dedicated to keywords, the simply click on that option in the top tool bar.

add stream to hootsuite


  • You can delete streams by clicking on the small X on the right hand side of the column tool bar at the top.
  • You can also refresh your feed by clicking on the circular arrow in the column tool bar to see new content.


Compose An Update

Once you have set up all your streams for the content you need, you can start exploring how to post updates and respond to others.

  • To post an update, simply scroll over the “Compose” box and you will get a pop up box to write your message in. From there, you can choose which network/s you wish to publish to by clicking on the network options down the left:

compose an update in hootsuite

  • You can attach a link to your updates by clicking on the option as pictured in the shot above.
  • You can also attach a location to your update if you wish to by clicking on the location bulb. The second icon from the right.


Schedule Updates

Scheduling updates is so simple with HootSuite.

  • You can schedule your updates to go out at specified times and dates directly from the compose box. Click on the calendar option (as pictured in the above image, second icon on the left) and set up the data as required:

schedule updates using hootsuite


NB: if you have a paid HootSuite account, you can use the bulk upload scheduler to schedule multiple messages at once. This option is not available on the free account.


Keyword Searches

Being able to search for the keywords relevant to your business needs is a very important social media tool. HootSuite allows you to search for keywords and set up streams to be able to see them easily and respond to them as required.

  • Click on the “Add Stream”, just as you would when adding a social network feed. Click on the “Keyword” option along the top of the tool box.

tracking keywords in hootsuite


  • Enter the word of choice into the text box and click on “Add” followed by “Add Stream” to create the column. You can repeat this for as many keywords or phrases as you need.
  • You can use this keyword search to also search for relevant hashtag updates.



HootSuite really is an excellent tool for any business looking to create a power base on social media.  Being able to have every network, every core feature and every possible column for all your feeds, really is important in saving you time and ensuring you do not miss a beat when it comes to social  marketing.



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Nikki is a freelance writer and blogger, specialising in social media marketing. Having worked at a social media company for nearly two years, she learnt first hand of the power of social marketing and is keen to share that knowledge to help businesses and individuals grow and expand. Occasionally, she can be found writing about other topics such as music, food, travel and relationships.

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