If you own a small business, running the day to day tasks are, as you well know, very time-consuming.  In today’s technological world, you may find it difficult to make time for all the things you need to do to promote your business.  Take, for example, social media.

With all the daily responsibilities you face, promoting your business is just as important.  Many people find it difficult to make time for posting to social media.  They have a difficult time figuring out what kind of content they should post that’s relevant to their business.

This is where Hootsuite comes in.  Hootsuite is a social media platform that allows you to access and connect your social media feeds to the Hootsuite dashboard.  This allows you to post all of your social media from one place.  Some of the key features of Hootsuite are:

  • Scheduling
  • Content Curation
  • Cloud Content Posting
  • Analytics
  • Monitoring
  • Team Management

The features you get with Hootsuite all depends on the plan you choose.  For the sake of our discussion, we will be reviewing how to use the Free Plan today.  The free plan allows for 1 user, 3 social media profiles, and 30 scheduled posts per month.

To sign-up for a Hootsuite account, you can visit their plan page and scroll down past the initial set of descriptions for the paid plans.  Below them, you will see a small section that says, “Try our limited Free plan.”  Click the sign up now link.

Once you’ve done that, you will enter your name, business email, and a password.  The next thing you will be asked to do is to connect the social media profiles that you want to connect.  Choose which one(s) you would like to connect to Hootsuite.  Click on the icon that corresponds to the profile you would like to add. Enter your login information and choose the groups, business pages and profiles you would like to add.  When you are finished, scroll down to the bottom of the window and click the “Done” button.

After you’ve added your chosen social media accounts, Hootsuite will ask you to fill in the following company information:

  • Name
  • Industry (choose from the dropdown menu provided)
  • Size (how many people you have working for you)
  • Phone number

After you’ve completed the information, you are ready to post!

To create a new post, you can click on the new post button at the top of your page, or you can click a block of time on the calendar. Note that when you choose a time in the calendar, it will give you the choice of a new post or new pin.

Once you have chosen the new post option, you will need to do the following:

  • Choose the social profile you would like to post to
  • Enter the text for your post
  • Add your media (pictures)
  • Choose post now, schedule for later or save draft

Now, we know that your schedule may be hectic, but we recommend that businesses post at least three times a week.  This isn’t always possible.  If all you can do is post about 1 topic a week, you can stagger your posts across platforms over the course of the week.

For example, say you have created one post for your business’ Facebook profile.  You can take that same post and alter it for use on other platforms.  Now, even though each platform is only posting once a week, you can still meet the 3 posts a week minimum.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to schedule each of those posts for the same day either.  You can choose to post to each of your profiles on a different day of the week.  For example, you can post to your business’ Facebook profile on Monday, Pinterest on Wednesday, and Twitter on Friday.  Staggering your posts allows you to keep your profiles active with a minimal amount of effort on your part.

Now, what if you’re the type of person who likes to plan out what they would like to post about from week to week?  This is where the save draft feature comes in.

Think about what topics you’d like to cover over the course of say…2 weeks.  You may not have the posts themselves completely formed, but that’s okay.  Choose the day on the calendar that you would like one of the posts to occur.  Put the topic you want to cover in the caption section.  If you already have a picture in mind that you would like to use, you can add that as well.  Since your post is not completely ready for publishing, choose “save draft.”  It will be saved to your content section to be edited once you’ve worked out what you want your post to say.

When your post is fully complete and you’ve checked it for errors, you can choose a day and time to schedule your post or select post immediately.

There you have it, a brief and simple walk-through of a tool that can help you promote your business.  We hope you’ve found this helpful.  Happy Hootsuite posting!

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