Marketing has shifted from a one-way communication effort from marketing firms, towards a seamless conversation between the company and its target market. Social media has made marketing a fluid, transparent public relations effort that should not be ignored. However, there are many social media platforms available and businesses find it difficult to stay active on all relevant channels. Hootsuite aims to solve this problem through its integrative feature set.
Setting Up Hootsuite
Hootsuite is free to use if you plan on managing 5 or less social media profiles. Users who are looking to add more profiles should opt for the Pro Plan, which costs $9.99/month with a 30-day Free Trial. Once you have created your account, users will be presented with their Hootsuite Dashboard. From here, you can add all of your social media accounts from Hootsuite’s wide range of supported platforms, including:
- Google Plus
Streams: Monitor Social Activity
The Streams view of Hootsuite is your window into your target market’s activity. Click “Add Stream” to monitor a specific keyword, group, mention, etc. This tool is pivotal in replying to users’ questions and joining relevant discussions to build your online presence.
Publisher: Scheduling Your Activity
One of Hootsuite’s most powerful features is the ability to schedule future posts and cater them towards each particular social media platform’s strengths via the “Publisher” feature. This way, companies can create and execute a complete social strategy of how they will reveal their new product, promote their upcoming business event, or disperse a promotional initiative. Posts can be customized for each platform so that Twitter posts can include hashtags and mentions (@Mentor_Works) and Facebook can include pictures and locations, etc.
Analytics: Research Your Target Market
Once you have joined discussions via direct messages and promoted your company’s initiatives via Publisher – Analytics now quantifies your effort. Through this feature, you have access to preset analytics and the option of creating custom reports. Reports include helpful feedback such as your click through rate, demographics, sharing rate, and more.
Hire an Online Marketing Manager via Canadian Government Grants
Social media marketing can be very time intensive. Luckily, there are small business funding grants available to assist companies with this new marketing platform that launch around April of every year.
The Small Business Internship Program (SBIP) $10K Hiring Grant allows companies to hire on a recent marketing graduate for 12 weeks, covering 75% of their wage. In addition, the ICTC Career Focus Hiring Grant provides businesses with a longer 4-8 months internship opportunity, covering 50% of their wage up to $12,750 in non-repayable grant funding for small business. Please subscribe to our Weekly Canadian Government Funding E-Newsletter and follow us on Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on these, and other Canadian government grants for marketing.