Marketing with Hootsuite

One of the questions I most get asked is how can professionals and small businesses use social media effectively. After a while I began to understand is they were really asking, “How can I use social media for marketing and sales?”

Great question. The easy answer is to listen to a need and fill it.

Here’s some tactics that I’ve employed on social media to help me market myself and our digital communications agency.

Listen. What are people asking for? What are they complaining about? What are potential customers saying and how can I help them?

Provide value. Are you filling the needs that you’ve identified while listening? Share with these people tips, best practices, and content they can use to enrich their own lives.

Lead them to the promised land. After you;ve provided value based on needs (over time) you will begin to earn trust with them. And this is where you can then suggest to your online community the actual products and services that you have available to them.

And how does HootSuite help us execute these simple steps: Simple. The HootSuite tool and dashboard allows me to listen to conversations on various social media channels and helps me to publish (provide value) content to these channels and accounts. I can also use the easy-to-use reporting and analytics tools to measure how effective we’ve been on social.

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Listening with HootSuite

One of the reasons I started using HootSuite was so that I could keep track of specific conversations. At the time I started using Tweetdeck and then HootSuite I was working for a company whose clients were real estate agents. I understood that Twitter allowed me to promote and market my company and our services. What I also appreciated was the ability to follow conversations via “#hashtags”.  I call this listening.

Listening on social media can mean a number of things. For some it can mean literally listening to what people are saying in general or specifically about you or your brand/company. For me, it means this plus listening for opportunities to insert myself in a conversation.

However, using Twitter to keep track of mentions, specific people and conversations proves difficult. Which is where HootSuite comes in:

HootSuite helps teams engage with audiences and analyze campaigns across multiple social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ Pages from one secure web-based dashboard.

I started using HootSuite to track mentions in Canada of keywords such as #commission, #realestate and #advance. I noticed that there were many real estate agents using these keywords. And thus, there were opportunities to build trust with them and hopefully earn their business. Another thing that occurred to me was that I could also use these keywords to market our company too via what I call “marketing tweets”. These are tweets that are  pure marketing such as: “I have #cupcakes to sell. Come see me! #Toronto”

I wrote about using search in HootSuite on our social media agency blog not too long ago.

The simplicity behind HootSuite

I have been personally using HootSuite for more than 3 years. Probably closer to 5 years. I remember before HootSuite I was using Tweetdeck to send out tweets and keep track of certain conversations and people I was personally interested in.

However, for a number of reasons I soon switched over to Hootsuite to manage my personal online conversations. Ever since I have used HootSuite for work and business. And with all the other options out there (see HootSuite vs Buffer) I intend to continue using HootSuite and recommending HootSuite to anyone willing to listen.

For the rest of this week, I will write about HootSuite and it’s various functionalities. If you’re a professional or own a small business, this series is meant for you.

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