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January 5, 2012 / carlispina

Manage Multiple Social Media Accounts with HootSuite

As social networks continue to proliferate, it can be difficult for organizations to remain active and engaged on all of the relevant networks. This can be a particularly difficult task for libraries since social media engagement is often an important part of outreach efforts but is also just one of many job responsibilities that need to get done. HootSuite is a great tool to streamline this process. Available in both free and paid versions, the service allows users to view and post to multiple services simultaneously, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Ping.fm, WordPress, MySpace and mixi. Posts can be scheduled for any time or date in the future, making it easier to schedule posts for the times when they will reach the desired audience. Additional social networks can be added using HootSuite Apps and Hootsuite Enterprise customers can also manage Google+ accounts. Once accounts are set up in the various tabs of the HootSuite dashboard, there are also options to create analytics reports or, for certain levels of subscriptions, to assign activities to team members. Mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry let users manage their accounts even on the go.

Having used a free HootSuite account to manage Twitter and Facebook accounts for a student group, I can definitely see advantages to the service. It is fairly self-explanatory and has a useful Help Desk. While I did experience occasional issues connecting to social networks when the social network made changes to their API, these problems were generally promptly resolved. The ability to schedule posts is particularly helpful since it makes it easier to fit social network use into your spare moments while still posting messages at a reasonable time of day. HootSuite is definitely worth a look for anyone looking to manage multiple social media accounts for a single organization.

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