It's no secret that I am a big fan of Hootsuite for Twitter (free, all devices, app2.me/2926). With this app installed on my iPad, it's easy to post to my multiple social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare. I can check the analytics of a post, re-tweet to multiple accounts, save, e-mail, and send to Instapaper—all things social people like me want and need.
The analytics included in the app are pretty good, but the Web version of Hootsuite (hootsuite.com) is a lot richer in that department. For example, it includes a summary chart of all posts for the last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, and a custom date range. The iPad app only gives you stats for individual posts for the last 7 days.
The thing that really makes this app stand out is its ability to schedule posts for future auto-posting. In general, you don't want to completely rely on scheduling posts, as Twitter and Facebook are social environments—built for interaction and conversation. However, sometimes there is something that needs to be said at a certain time, and for those situations you can use this scheduling feature guilt-free.
The Hootsuite app is free, but you have to sign up for a Hootsuite account. The Basic account is free and allows you to access 5 social network accounts. The Pro account costs $5.99/month and allows you to access unlimited social accounts. This how-to is based on the Pro version, but the same steps would be taken with the Basic account. The only difference is that you could only select 5 accounts. In addition, the steps below were tested using the iPad version of the app.
Schedule a post using Hootsuite:
- Open the Hootsuite app.
- Click on the Compose icon in the top right corner. This icon is a little square with a pencil in it.
- Type in your post.
- Select the accounts you want it posted to by touching their thumbnail images at the top of the composing box, as shown in this screenshot. A green check mark will now be seen on the accounts you selected (see screenshot). You can select up to five Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages, and foursquare accounts with the Basic version and an unlimited number in the Pro version.
- Click the Schedule icon to pull up a rolodex-type scheduling calendar. Adjust the day and time for your post to go out by sliding the columns up or down.
- Click the Set Date button. Now your post will go out to all those selected accounts at the appointed time.
A good marketing management system contains a set time each week when you schedule certain posts and thereby makes sure the week is covered with high quality posts. During the rest of the week, you can interact with your social media accounts in real time, enjoying the conversations as they happen.
Other key Hootsuite features
Hootsuite's multi-column, multi-touch interface is easy to use and customizable. In addition to scheduling posts, you can update multiple accounts at once; view searches, lists, and more; track statistics, share photos, import Twitter lists, and explore trending topics. Finally, if you are viewing an individual tweet or post, and click on the share icon, you have the option to send it to Instapaper (free, all devices, app2.me/117), another one of my favorite apps on the iPad!