By Rachel Schwarz

Today is the first of a series of blogs taking on the evolution of social media. My first challenge was HootSuite, a website that acts as a hub for your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, etc.

HootSuite is certainly user-friendly. It allows you to keep tabs inside your HootSuite window of each media site. You can post a status update to all of your sites simultaneously simply by checking a box next to each social media outlet where you want your message to be posted.

In the Twitter section, you can see your own home feed, mentions, and direct messages in three separate windows. This makes it easy to retweet others’ thoughts, respond to any tweets directed at you, or simply post your own new tweets. This is the most convenient part of HootSuite.

However, there are a series of drawbacks that reveal themselves in HootSuite immediately. Your updates are limited to 140 characters, which, while effective for posting to Twitter, isn’t ideal for blog posts or longer plans. Also, in Facebook and LinkedIn pages, you can only see news feeds and post your own updates. You don’t have the same versatility that you do on the actual website for these media.

For those of you interested in giving HootSuite a try, visit  http://help.hootsuite.com or http://learn.hootsuite.com. This will help you set up your own HootSuite account as well as give you a chance to enroll in “HootSuite University”, a step by step guide to hone your skills and utilize HootSuite to its full potential.

Next week, be on the lookout for my take on TweetDeck, HootSuite’s big competitor. Other thoughts on HootSuite? Comment here!

 

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