Give a Hoot!

Happy Friday everyone! Casey here! I hope you’ve had a great week.

One quick announcement – The Undead Space Initiative is on sale now! Thanks to everyone who purchased copies. I appreciate it!

I’m always looking for new ways to use my time more efficiently. I recently signed up for the free version of Hootsuite (thank you Jennifer Fusco for the tip). Now, I received this information a while ago from Madame Fusco, but I was reluctant to sign up for YET another social media tool. I’d tried Tweetdeck and was completely underwhelmed and gave up using it.

With another book release looming in my future (and a huge bout of indecision about promotion), and feeling disorganized and out of control, I did what I always do  -  step back, assess, and organize.

My solution: give Hootsuite a try. So I signed up for the free version and gave it a whirl. (And yes, I do love that little owl logo – see here for my admitted owl obsession).

After the initial set up (which took about two minutes because I had to create and document another new password), I was asked to choose the social networks I wanted to connect to. With the free version, I was limited to five. I had a tough decision to make because I also manage the Scribes’ Twitter and Facebook pages. And I belong to several Facebook groups too.

In the end I chose to use my own pages for the trial run. So I hooked up my Facebook profile, fan page, my Twitter account, and my WordPress blog. Once I did that Hootsuite presented all my information on a series of dedicated tabs and then asked me to choose the “streams” I wanted to view.

 

Basically that means – how much information do I want displayed? For example on Facebook, you can view wall posts, news feeds and events (to name a few). With Twitter, I can view lists, mentions, the twitter feed, and sent tweets.

The best thing about Hootsuite is scheduling messages. Hootsuite allows you to add photos, documents, and links. Then you can decide the date/time where you want them to appear (FB page, Twitter, your blog).

I have to say – it’s pretty sweet. With minimal effort, I can now schedule my tweets etc. for my weekly blog posts or announce my latest buy link therefore saving me time. If I were to upgrade to the full package ($9.99) a month, I could use their bulk scheduler, connect to an unlimtied number of social networks, and more.

Hootsuite has other free features like analytics that I have yet to explore, but I’m taking baby steps for now!

So far I’ve had a good experience with Hootsuite and I would recommend it for those of you who are time-strapped. Especially if you are on a blog tour or gearing up for your next promotion. The scheduling aspect is my favorite part.

Anyone else using Hootsuite? Any time-saving tips you want to share with the rest of us? And if not Hootsuite what other time-saving applications would you recommend?

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16 thoughts on “Give a Hoot!”

  1. Great post. I’m just now starting to use Hootsuite so I’m learning the ins and outs. It seems like an efficient way to manage my time. I’ll let you know if I learn any time-saving tricks.
    Thanks for the great info.

  2. Thanks for the info, Casey. I too was under/overwhelmed by tweetdeck. I could definitely use the Hootsuite features, but my techphobia is back to wreaking havoc with me again and I can’t seem to muster the guts to try one more tech-tool. I know it would save me time and effort in the long run, but its kind of like when my husband tells me to put something on a “spreadsheet”. I’m like, “Honey, the words “spread” and “sheet” should not be used as a technical term.” He gets a kick out of my humor, but shakes his head at my unwillingness to learn even the “simplest” applications. I’ve come a LONG way in the past year or two, but I’m definitely suffering from tech overload in my life. Maybe you and I can sit down and you can give me a tutorial:-)

  3. Thanks Casey, I did it! I signed onto Hoot, but I didn’t know the wordpress icon. I’ll have to go back to check it out. Thanks always for the great post.

  4. Thanks, Casey. With my debut novel, “A Pirate’s Ransom” coming out 8/22, I am starting to get frantic setting up blog tours. This little gem could really help. Thanks for the tip, I’m going to check it out today!

    1. Yeah, Tweetdeck is not helpful at all. It’s a Hootsuite wanna be. I have so many things cross connected now! I tweet and it goes to Facebook and vice versa. I blog and it goes to Triberr, Twitter, Facebook, Network blogs, and Tumblr. Whew!

  5. Good to hear everyone prefers Hootsuite to Tweetdeck. I debated over each and chose Hootsuite, but honestly haven’t used it much. Wish there was a ‘like’ button for PJ’s comment. She’s too funny. :-)

    1. Yes, I have to remind myself to use it, If I paid for the full version, I could post in more places (especially handy with all the FB groups I’m in). I might consider it.

  6. Great post Casey – thanks for sharing! We love hearing stories (like this one) of how people start using HootSuite and how it makes their lives easier. Have you checked out the App Directory yet?

    We really appreciate the kind words.

    -HootSuite Community

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