Okay, this is gonna sound like an ad for Hootsuite. But it’s not. Well, it’s not intended that way!
But the more I play around with Hootsuite, the more I find it’s a terrific tool for managing your social media efforts at tradeshows and events.
First, everything is in one place. And I mean everything! You can load up several accounts from Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Ping.fm and others. You’re able to set up several members of your team with access to the dashboard, making it easy for them to schedule tweets or posts ahead of time. This is a great tool when you consider the chaos of the tradeshow floor, and you know that you’ll want to be able to take care of people in the booth as well as mix in the occasional live tweet or Facebook posting with your scheduled tweets or posts.
Let’s say you’re planning a tradeshow appearance. You can schedule various activities in your booth, such as guest appearances, product promos, demonstrations, etc., and set up tweets and posts ahead of time. It takes some time to put it all into place, but once you’re at the show, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that all of those tweets and Facebook postings are going to show up at their scheduled time. And if something changes in mid-stream, such as guest getting caught in traffic and having to delay his appearance, it’s easy to log on to Hootsuite and make the changes in the scheduled posts.
When Hootsuite first came out, I grabbed a free account, and bounced back and forth between that and Tweetdeck (I wouldn’t count Tweetdeck out yet – I hear Twitter purchased the software and is working to add more capabilities to it). Then I drifted away. But now I’m back, and as I mentioned, the more I use it the better it gets. The coders behind Hootsuite keep adding more bells and whistles, making it more useful all the time. In fact, there’s so much there that I probably won’t ever use all of its capabilities.
As an event manager, your biggest social media advantage is the ability to get ahead of the curve on being able to set up pre-scheduled tweets and posts. This software is the best at doing that, and it’s web-based so you don’t have to download and install anything.
And don’t forget the mobile platform. There’s a Hootsuite app (which I rarely use because I prefer the web approach) that is also available if you prefer to do it from your smartphone.
Have I said enough? I could go on, but you might think I’m trying to suck up to the dudes at Hootsuite. Naah, it’s just a cool tool.
Hootsuite is available in both a free and premium version. The premium version, for just a few bucks a month, offers ore detailed analytics and deeper tools – well worth the modest monthly cost.