HootSuite How-to Sign-up After signing up, you will be greeted with the HootSuite welcome page. To get started, click on the Add a Social Network tab. Add the appropriate social network – most likely Twitter and Facebook. Once you have allowed HootSuite permission for a social network, the site will add a tab. With Twitter, it includes sections, or streams, for your home feed, mentions, direct message and pending tweets. Facebook includes a news feed and pending posts. You can add more streams for each network, if you like, by clicking the + Add Stream button. These include things like retweets. Adding a Facebook Page To add a Facebook page to your HootSuite stream and enable it for scheduling posts, click on the Add Social Network from the home tab. Click on Connect with Facebook to allow permission and select the appropriate page. Important note: The free version only allows one person to use a Facebook or Twitter page. If you plan on using HootSuite to schedule posts, you are the only person who can do this – unless you plan on sharing your account and password. Scheduling Posts The blank bar at the top of the page is where you can compose a message. Click on that, and it expands to something a little more elegant. At right, there should be small icons representing your social networks. Click on the ones you want to send your post to. (Note: If your pub’s Facebook page is connecting to your pub’s Twitter account, it will not cross post. You will need to select both networks for a post.) If you’re linking to a story, you can then paste the link into the smaller bar below the message bar. Then, click “shrink.” For Facebook, it will create a message preview. From there you can compose your message in the above bar and either send right away or schedule. To schedule a post ahead of time, click on the small calendar icon. It will expand and give you a date and time selection. Choose when you want to send your post and click OK. HootSuite should now have a beige bar running across the top to tell you when your post will send. To verify where you’re sending and what, you can always look at your network tabs for the Pending Posts/Tweets stream. Analytics This is pretty neat. There are many reports on here, but I believe most of them are paid. What I have found most useful is the Ow.ly Summary Stats report. To get there, click on the button that looks like a graph bar on the left side of the page, just below the home icon. Then click on the Quick Analytics menu and select Ow.ly Summary Stats. From here you can easily see what posts are most popular and the times. I’ve found out that people click on things most often in the afternoon, and they really like checking out the front pages of the newspapers a day early. How I Use it I’ve found that HootSuite is best used when you’re updating the website late at night, and you know you shouldn’t post a story to Facebook/Twitter because most people won’t see it or click on it. Also, you can schedule your posts so they’re throughout the day, maintaining a presence. So after you update the website, you can grab your links, schedule your posts and not worry about remembering to post to Facebook/Twitter the next day.