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  Article updated: November 17, 2021

Get started with Hootsuite

You can use Hootsuite to publish and promote social content, increase brand awareness, engage with your audience, and generate leads. With Hootsuite, you can manage your social accounts from different social networks in one place.

Use this article to learn the basic steps you need to know and watch the following video to help you get started:

How to use Hootsuite in 13 minutes - Watch a quick video to get started working with Hootsuite.

Choose a plan

Hootsuite offers flexible pricing and several plan options to meet your needs. See hootsuite.com/plans for details. Consider the number of social accounts you want to manage, the average number of posts you'll publish, and whether you'll work with a team. The plan you choose determines your allowances for these tasks. Higher-level plans offer access to more powerful features, such as content campaigns and advanced metrics. For more about plan types, see Overview of Hootsuite plans.

Start a trial or request a demo

After deciding on a plan, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial or request a demo.

  • Professional and Team plans - Select Free 30-Day Trial to start your one time free trial. You can change your Hootsuite trial to a paid or free plan at any time during your trial period. Whether you choose a monthly or an annual billing cycle, you won't be charged if you switch to a free plan within 30 days. You'll receive an email reminder before the end of your trial. 
  • Business and Enterprise plans - Select Request a Demo. After you fill out a two-step form, a Hootsuite team member will contact you to discuss your needs and set up your plan.

Learn the fundamentals of social media marketing in Social Media Bootcamp. Check out your options and sign up for a free, live, interactive class here.

For information on changing plans, managing billing, or canceling your account, see Manage your Hootsuite plan and account.

Connect your social accounts

Important: Be sure to gather all the login information for every social account you want to add to Hootsuite before you start.

The first time you sign in, Hootsuite prompts you to connect your social accounts and set permissions. The number of social accounts you can add depends on your plan type, but we recommend adding at least two or three. As an example, an Instagram account, a Twitter account, and a Facebook Page make up a total of three social accounts.

For detailed information and a short video about connecting social accounts, see Add a social account to Hootsuite.

Monitor and engage with social accounts using streams

Hootsuite streams are feeds that display the content from your connected social accounts and let you take part in industry conversations. You can use streams to monitor activity across all of your accounts; engage with your audience; and monitor keywords, topics, hashtags, brand mentions, and competitors in one place.

Hootsuite Streams view

After you've connected your social accounts to Hootsuite, you can go to Streams and select Add Stream to create a new stream. To organize or categorize your streams, add boards by selecting New board and choosing a stream type.

Create a few boards and streams and scroll through them to see what works best for you. You can easily create and delete streams, so don't be afraid to explore.

Here are a few other things you can do with streams:

Create, schedule, and publish your content

You can create, schedule, and publish your social media content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram from one place at the same time.

To get started, go to Create new post, and then select an option.

Create new post options

Select your social accounts, and then create your post. In addition to text, you can include mentions or tags, links, images, videos, GIFs, emoji, and hashtags.

Example of a new post

As you compose your post, you can preview how it will look on the right. When you're ready, you can publish it, save it as a draft, or schedule it for later.

For more information, see:

View and manage your scheduled posts in a calendar

To view or manage your scheduled content, go to Publisher . You can create new posts and organize, edit, or delete existing posts right from the calendar.

  • Use the Planner view to review and manage your posts in a weekly calendar view. Select a time block in the calendar to create new content to publish at that selected time.
  • Use the Content view to see your past scheduled posts, view and manage your future scheduled and draft posts, and upload messages in bulk.

Publisher options for Planner, Content, and Promote

Next steps

Here are some great ways to get even more out of Hootsuite and advance your Hootsuite knowledge.

Extend your Hootsuite functionality with apps

Visit Hootsuite Apps to select from a library of free and third-party apps developed to increase your productivity with Hootsuite.

Select My profile , and then select Install Hootsuite apps to explore the app library.

my profile selected with install hootsuite apps highlighted

For more information, see:

Manage social media on the go with Hootsuite mobile

Download Hootsuite mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android from your device's app store to manage your social media on the go. For more information, see Hootsuite Mobile Apps.

Advance your skills with Hootsuite Academy

Master new social media skills and expand your Hootsuite knowledge with free online courses. Visit Hootsuite Academy to explore our courses and certification options.