How To Use Hootsuite: Advanced Tactics To Increase SMM Efficiency

by Anish Sah May 14, 2018
How to use Hootsuite

This is the second post in a 2-step comprehensive how to use Hootsuite guide.

If you have read the previous post, you know that in that one, we covered how to use Hootsuite for beginners.

In this post, I will go into a lot more detail about how you can make use of the more advanced Hootsuite features to manage multiple social media platforms for your business.

Let’s start with the different ways to increase engagement on your social media platforms with Hootsuite.

Lesson 1: How to use Hootsuite for Engagement on Social media

How to use Hootsuite for Twitter to create lists 

Twitter is filled with conversations, and there are more and more people using the platform every day. That means that to communicate with your current and potential followers you have to move as fast as the conversations.

Twitter lists give brands an opportunity to group like-minded people together so you can learn about topics of conversation and participate in discussions. You can create separate lists for industry influencers, for your followers and another private list comprising your competitors.

You can simply import existing Twitter lists on to your Hootsuite Dashboard. For that, just add a stream helper and select the list that you want to add. Then press ‘Create A New list’. You list will need a name, and you can also add a description if you want to.

The platform gives you an option to make your list private or public. You can also add a new user to an existing list by clicking add to list.

How to use Hootsuite for Engagement with the YouTube community

In the previous post, I touched upon briefly on how to use Hootsuite YouTube publishing. In that post, I also mentioned various ways to engage with your audience through comments. Let’s discuss in more detail other advanced ways to engage with followers on your YouTube Channel.

There is arguably more video content on YouTube than there is on any other platform. That means that you have to focus on creating new and fresh content for your YouTube channel regularly while still managing time to respond to subscribers. This can be a challenging task. But with Hootsuite, you can engage with comments and find relevant content with ease.

Engage with comments

Like you did with Twitter, add a ‘Published Comments’ stream for your YouTube comments on your dashboard. You can remove inappropriate comments and mark them as spam if needed. In case of continued inappropriate behaviour, you can also hide a certain viewer’s comment on your channel as a whole.

You can create separate comment streams for specific videos to make monitoring comments easier. Just go to ‘My Channel’ stream, click the ‘More’ button and press ‘Create Comment Stream’.

I have mentioned how you can vet inappropriate comments using Hootsuite on your YouTube videos in my previous post. Read it here.

Find relevant content on YouTube

Owing to the volume of content that gets posted on YouTube on a regular basis, content that might be useful to you might get lost in the clutter. And your target audience, too, might not find the content that you create with a lot of love and care.

I touched upon YouTube’s search stream functionality already. With the search stream, you can input search terms that are relevant to your niche and find popular content on YouTube. As simple as that!

How to use Hootsuite YouTube

Whenever you find a popular video you can share it directly via your other social accounts. For that, create a search stream with your brand name. You can also subscribe to other YouTubers whose content you find interesting right from the dashboard.

How to use Hootsuite Geo-search to find relevant conversations?

If you run a local or community-based business, it is important to know what’s being said about your business or about the industry in that locality. But how do you find out whoever is talking about your brand or your niche in a given geographical area?

Using Hootsuite’s Geo-search feature! You can listen to the conversations your target audience are having. Then you can centre your social media efforts on what your audience is interested in.

For instance, if you are an SEO entrepreneur, you might want to find people looking for SEO services in your area. Perform a geo-search and find people in your area that are looking for the services you are offering. You can build connections with them via the digital platform. This is a great way to track potential customers and convert them into real ones.

How to use Hootsuite to perform a geo-targeted search? Add a Twitter stream first and select the ‘Search’ option. Input your search terms, which in this case would be SEO. You can find Twitter conversations mentioning SEO within a 25-km radius.

Now I am sure you are thinking what if I need to monitor conversations happening somewhere else?

It’s just as simple. Just go to Google Maps and enter the area that you want to search for relevant conversations in. Right-clicking on the exact location will give you various options among which you have to pick ‘What’s here’. Then you can copy the geocode for the location you have inputted.

Paste the geocode in the search stream followed by a comma and the radius that you want to be monitoring as shown in the photo.

How to use Hootsuite for Twitter

Remember to check Google maps features from time to time before you conduct a geo-search since Google updates the features periodically.

Lesson 2: How to use Hootsuite Publishing’s Advanced Features

Apart from the fundamental features that allow you to compose and post messages, there are plenty other sophisticated tools that Hootsuite offers for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest; you name it! My personal favourite among Hootsuite’s advanced publishing features is the ease of planning posts afforded by the calendar view.

How to use ‘Publisher’

As a social media manager or a brand owner, you have to constantly publish posts so that you can maintain a steady presence in front of your followers. And because you have to post across numerous social media platforms, that number can come up to a few hundred messages every month or so.

That makes it hard to keep track of what messages you have published already and what you yet have to post. That’s where Hootsuite publisher comes in. You can review your messages, edit them and post them to several platforms easily from the dashboard.

To schedule messages with Hootsuite, you can either use the Compose box, use the ‘Bulk Message Upload’ option or you can schedule posts from within the publisher calendar.

Hootsuite Tutorial

Compose box

For an easy preview, you can view your posts in a list format. Within the publisher calendar, you can view the posts by day, week or month. That makes it much easier for you to prioritize messages that are more urgent and schedule them so as not to overwhelm your followers with a barrage of posts.

Being able to view the posts day month or week makes your work much easier especially if you are a social media manager. You can upload your messages in bulk for a month. You can then click on the week- or month-view to see bulk posts for multiple clients.If you need to, you can easily filter the messages by social accounts, revise and edit the post or change the posting time. That’s not all; you can also look at ‘Past Scheduled Messages’ or auto-scheduled messages by clicking on the options provided in the sidebar.

Messages colored red are the ones that failed to send. You can see what went wrong and fix the problem by clicking on the message itself. If you prefer, you can also opt for email notifications every time a message fails to send.

To activate email notifications, just go to Settings> Notifications> When a scheduled message I wrote fails to send.

How Hootsuite helps with social media

Turn on email notifications

How To Use Hootsuite To Schedule Bulk Messages

It is a tedious and time-consuming process to log in and out of accounts to make multiple posts. But it’s something all and social media managers have to do if they want to reach a large customer base.

It is, however, made much easier by Hootsuite’s bulk composer feature. With some knowledge of how to use Hootsuite publisher, you can schedule some 350 messages at once. Much better than scheduling messages one at a time!

When you click on the Publisher button, it gives you a ‘Bulk Composer’ option. Click on that and you can add messages you want to publish. You have to add the messages in a CSV format.

What is Hootsuite

That allows you to input into a sheet the messages and date and time when you want the message to publish. You can also add links on the third column in the sheet.

Once your CSV file is ready, you can easily upload it to the bulk composer. Select what social media accounts you want the make the posts on. It also gives you the option to shorten links and recheck the date format you have used to be sure.

You can then ‘Review Messages’. If all the messages are ready to be published, just click ‘Schedule All Messages.’ If, however, you want to review and edit individual messages—text, time and media—you can do that too. You can add or remove links or replace links with an image and preview the post on various social networks.

When scheduling bulk messages with Hootsuite, avoid the following mistakes:

  • Incorrect time format
  • Duplicate message
  • Going over Twitter’s character limit

You can revise the error in a message by simply clicking on it and make the required edits. If the error can’t be resolved, you can discard or deselect the message. After the revision, the messages can be scheduled easily by pressing ‘Schedule Selected.


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Here’s The Hootsuite Encyclopedia!!

Hootsuite Tutorial for Drafts and Photos

When it comes to creating an impressive social media presence, one-off messages here and there without images don’t work at all. You have to maintain a steady and appealing presence by writing well-crafted posts with plenty of images and media.

It is especially useful if you are running social media campaigns or promotional activities. But crafting such messages all the time is both time-consuming and difficult to manage.

However, if you know how to use Hootsuite, you can easily embed images in your messages in different, interesting formats from within the dashboard. You want to post images in a gallery style? You can do that by attaching four images in the ‘Compose’ box to post four images at once.

You can also save your complete messages as drafts—with images, text, links. Just go to the dropdown ‘Save’ menu and click ‘Save as Draft’. View the draft when you need to schedule it throughout your campaign period.

How to use Hootsuite RSS Feed to curate content

Adding an RSS feed is unquestionably the easiest way to share content via your social networks; you don’t have to do anything yourself. Every time someone you follow posts some content, such as a blog post, Hootsuite RSS feed will share it via the social network of your choice.

Go to a website that you follow and whose content you would like to share. ‘Copy the link address’ off of the website.

How to use HootsuiteOn the Hootsuite ‘Settings’, you’ll see an ‘RSS/Atom’ option where you can add a new feed by clicking the ‘+’.

How to use Hootsuite or Twitter

Paste the link address in the ‘Feed URL’ box, pick the social media account where you’d like to post content from that website, and customize the time you’d like Hootsuite to check for new content on that site. Hootsuite will check the website or blog periodically depending on the time period you’ve set up.

You can also pick yourself how many posts you’d like to make from any website depending on how frequently said website publishes content.

Of course, the platform lets you add some text of your own every time to share someone else’s content from your feed. If you have a lot of content of yours to post and want to break from sharing other people’s posts, just pause the feed by switching the off button.

How to use Hootsuite to set up vanity URLs

Vanity URLs help your brand be remembered every time you attach your link to your posts. The only catch is that you need to upgrade to pro in Hootsuite to be able to set one up. You also need a registered domain name from a legit web host to set up and install your vanity URL.

You can install a vanity URL like you did an RSS feed, by going to the settings menu and selecting ‘Vanity URL’.

Hootsuite Tutorial

Click + and that option will give you a box where you can type in your vanity URL.

What is Hootsuite

In another box input your root redirect URL, which is the website that you want the vanity URL to lead to. To be able to create a vanity URL, you are going to need an organization with multiple teams. You can then, in the window I was talking about before, add the organization and share the URL with your teams.What is Hootsuite

Your vanity URL should be approved in 24 hours. You can then start using the URL when making posts. If you are wondering how to use Hootsuite app to make posts with your vanity URL, it’s pretty simple. Just paste a link in the compose box, and select the vanity URL from the ‘URL shortener’ icon like you would with a desktop dashboard.

There are even more advanced link features that Hootsuite offers. You can use link settings that have been created previously or you can customize the link settings yourself. The advanced link settings allow you to track your links and see how they are performing.

You can pick what you want to track with, for instance, Google Analytics. Then you need to add values to the given parameters—source, medium, content, and so on. These parameters help track your posts in terms of the values that you have provided across several social networks.

How to use Hootsuite

Lesson 3: How to use Hootsuite Analytics

We often spend a lot of time, money and energy designing and running a campaign. But what use is that campaign if it doesn’t do what it’s intended for; in this case, if it doesn’t help your brand reach more social media users and engage with them?

That means that it is essential to figure out whether or not your social media campaigns are producing intended results. How do you do that? With Hootsuite Analytics.

How to use Hootsuite for Twitter

What is Hootsuite Analytics?

While individual social media provide their own analytics, if you are managing many accounts at once, it is difficult to assess the performance of your campaigns across several platforms.

With Hootsuite, you can view the performance of your social media efforts in real time. For that, press the ‘Analytics’ button. That’ll give you ‘Overview’ and ‘Boards’ option.

With the overview feature, you’ll be able to see analytics in terms of posts, increase in the number of followers, engagement and traffic on your website. To view the analytics, just select what social network you want to analyze and for how long.

How to use Hootsuite


The ‘Overview’ gives you insights into the time frame you input and the previous period too. That helps you understand the fluctuations in performance compared to the time frame before.

These stats are really important because it helps you understand how your content is performing. Whenever you notice a sudden increase or decrease in any of these stats, you’ll know what activity—a different content format, social media campaigns—caused it. This information is essential to understand if you need to shake up your social media efforts.

Boards, on the other hand, don’t give you aggregated analytics for overall social media performance. Boards provide you detailed insights on the number of clicks on your post, Twitter Publishing, Facebook Engagement, among other things. Even within those categories, the data is categorized to identify demographics—gender, age, clicks by referral—of your social media followers.

You can create unlimited boards yourselves to suit your organization’s reporting needs and to report to different stakeholders.

To create a new board, just press ‘New Board’ in your dashboard and either use the existing templates or create custom boards.

How to Use Hootsuite

The templates, too, can be customized by changing the widgets, the arrangement of boards, the social media network being monitored or the graphical representations of data. Once you get a better understanding of which metric is important to your brand, you will be able to create a custom board from scratch.

With the use of templates, you can get information in three main areas: audience, engagement and publishing. Templates are a great way to get started with boards if you are not yet sure how to use Hootsuite Analytics.

Any data that you need at any time, be it about KPIs or demographics, you can get it in real time with boards, as these boards constantly update themselves.

With just one tool, you can evaluate the performance of your social media efforts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and all your other social media accounts. Learning how to use Hootsuite Analytics will reduce considerably the time and effort you expend getting social media insights.

How to use Hootsuite Analytics to Share and Collaborate?

The metrics you get from Hootsuite Analytics about your social media performance have to be shared with various stakeholder groups. Hootsuite Analytics doesn’t only make data retrieval hassle-free, but one can also easily share the reports with relevant people right from the Hootsuite platform.


You can share individual boards with different people and give them continued access. That gives stakeholders the chance to change the performance metrics being analyzed if needed.

Just use the ‘Sharing’ button once you have created a board to share it with your team members. In the ‘Add Teammate’ box enter their name or email address, and you can add as many teammates as you want to.

How to use Hootsuite 2018That’ll keep your entire team updated on your social media performance without your having to constantly report important findings to them. Team members can look after their individual social media roles right from the dashboard and develop social media strategies accordingly.

You can choose to give authority to your teammates to just view or to edit the board. To do so, click ‘Can read’ and ‘Can edit’ respectively. If some teammates don’t need access anymore, you can also remove them from the board.

Because you can create and share unlimited boards and others might share their boards with you too, it can be hard to keep track of the boards that you need to pay attention to. For easy visibility of and access to boards, you can pick from ‘My Boards’ and ‘Shared With Me’.

How to use Hootsuite 2018

Lesson 4: How to use Hootsuite App for Team Collaboration

While in my last guide I talked about how to use Hootsuite App for making and scheduling posts, in this one we’ll discuss the more advanced features of the mobile app. Essentially, it covers how to use Hootsuite to manage assignments and collaborate with team members with the app.

Your Facebook followers, or your teammates, cannot keep waiting for you until you get to a desktop to respond to messages or monitor campaigns. That makes it super important that you be able to collaborate with your team on the go. And you can do just that with Hootsuite mobile app.

Remember the ‘Engagement’ stream that I mentioned in the previous guide? With the Hootsuite App, you can share the engagement stream with other people in your social media team.

The collaborative feature provided by Hootsuite App lets your team monitor if messages have been replied to and by whom. For every message, you can tap the ‘More’ button on the message and then ‘Assign to’ whoever is knowledgeable on the topic of that particular message.

The app also lets you add a note to whomever you are assigning to monitor and respond to certain messages. The dashboard will show you colored messages if they have been assigned to a person or to a team. You can easily view the assignments from your dashboard too, which makes it easy for you to monitor the activity even when you switch between devices.

The mobile app also lets you approve, delete or edit messages posted by your teammates if you have the authority to do so.

Final Thoughts

It is totally understandable if you think this information is too much to digest at once. Just take these one step at a time and learn gradually. Once you teach yourself all the intricacies of how to use Hootsuite, it will only get easier to manage social media platforms.


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Manage All Your Social Media

Here’s The Hootsuite Encyclopedia!!

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Avatar for Anish Sah
Anish Sah

I am an Internet Marketing and SEO Learner, Social Media Analyst and a young Entrepreneur. In this blog, I share proven Internet Marketing and SEO techniques that I’ve learned over the years. I hope my success stories will help anyone start making money online, or scale up if they already are making money online. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get updates on the latest techniques.

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