Today’s Social Media
If you live and breathe in the world of social media marketing, then you work across several different platforms. You may even have 10-20 tabs open in your browser at any given time. Or maybe you’ve tried to fix your open tab nightmare with software that can post your updates across all platforms at once. In this case, you may know about Hootsuite.
Hootsuite seems to be the industry leader in social media management. If you are sharing your latest blog post, you can send it to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram, with just one click. You can schedule posts, and even allow Hootsuite to pick the best times for your updates to post, in relation to your other activity as well as in relation to your audience’s peak times.
What about analytics, you might ask? Hootsuite’s Pro and Business plans give you reports as well as real-time data on engagement and conversions. And with the paid versions of Hootsuite, you can even build teams and delegate your social media tasks. So with all of these features, why would anyone use anything else?!
The problem with Hootsuite
There’s two, actually. When you post to Facebook, most of the time it is important to tag other profile or business pages. Those tags help to generate more attention and engagement. If your blog post is about Bar Americana, the new music venue down the street, you want to tag them in your post on Facebook so that they like and share. This tagging is a crucial part of a Facebook marketing strategy and it is unavailable on Hootsuite. I run into the same problem on Google+ as well. This might be a tactic employed by Facebook to encourage people to use their own site as opposed to 3rd-party software. Or maybe they change their code so often that it is hard for Hootsuite to keep up?
This isn’t an issue for Twitter and Instagram. However, if I do tag someone on Twitter (“A new venue called @Bar-Americana just opened!“) then that tag is going to look ugly on Facebook. You will see the @ symbol, yet the Facebook page for Bar Americana will not be tagged. So you will find yourself posting separately to Facebook, or editing your Hootsuite post after it already posted on Facebook. This is no longer posting across all social media platforms in 1-click. This is negates the primary value of Hootsuite.
The second problem is that your posts should most often be catered to each individual platform anyway. Too often I see companies put together a week’s worth of messages in the cue. They load them up, schedule them out for the week and wipe their hands clean of social media work until next week. These types of scheduled posts across all of social media are becoming easier and easier to spot and ignore.
The backbone of every businesses’ social media marketing strategy should be honest, open communication across all social media platforms. I’m not saying that using Hootsuite to schedule your social media is dishonest, but it can very easily come across as scheduled, “salesy”, automated minutia if you’re not careful. The goal of social media is engagement. When you set it and forget, your not engaged with your own social media, so how can you expect your audience to reciprocate?
As far as social media management software, Hootsuite is probably your most affordable option, and it will get most of the job done – technically. As far as having a solid, social media strategy, this kind of marketing automation could end up hurting you in the long run.