Get started with Hootsuite

  

You can use Hootsuite to identify, publish, and promote your best social content, grow your brand awareness, engage with your audience, and generate leads. With Hootsuite, you can manage multiple social accounts - for example, five Instagram accounts, three Twitter accounts, and two Facebook Pages - all from one dashboard.

Choose a plan

Hootsuite offers flexible pricing and several plan options to meet your needs. To choose the Hootsuite plan that best meets your needs, map out how many social accounts you want to manage, how many messages you post (on average), and whether you want to manage your social accounts on your own or share tasks with team members in your organization. Not only do different plans determine the number of social accounts you can manage and the number of people who can collaborate on managing those accounts, higher-level plans offer access to additional powerful features. For more details and explanations of plan types, see Overview - Hootsuite plans.

Sign up and choose a billing cycle

Once you pick a plan type on hootsuite.com, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial or request a demo. Professional and Team plans can choose between a monthly or an annual billing cycle, knowing they will not be charged if they downgrade their plan before the 30-day trial expires. We'll even send an email reminder before the end of your trial. To change your plan type, manage your billing cycle, or cancel your subscription, see hootsuite.com/billing/manage.

Connect your social accounts

Because Hootsuite allows you to work with multiple accounts in one place, you can save time logging in and managing activity for each account you add. The number of social accounts you can add depends on your plan type (see Choose a plan), but for best results, we recommend you add a minimum of two to three social accounts. As an example, an Instagram account, your personal Twitter account, and a Facebook Page make up a total of three social accounts. When you add an account, you are prompted to set or accept the permissions needed for you to publish content and manage those accounts in Hootsuite. Hootsuite will not publish on your social accounts without your permission.

You are prompted to connect your social accounts during set up. When you are ready to connect additional accounts, you can do that from the following places in Hootsuite:

  • Go to Streams , and then select Add Social Network.
  • Go to My profile , and then select Social networks and teams.

For detailed information, see Overview: Add social networks to Hootsuite.

Monitor and engage with social accounts using streams

Hootsuite Streams are feeds that display the content from your connected social accounts and allow you to monitor specific keywords on social networks, so you can participate in conversations relevant to your industry. Go to Streams to monitor activity across all of your accounts and engage with your audience. From here, you can create additional streams to monitor specific keywords, topics, hashtags, brand mentions, or even competitors in one place. You can even create stream boards to categorize and organize your streams.

Add a stream and view stream types

Once you have your social accounts connected to Hootsuite (see Add social accounts to Hootsuite), you can create a variety of streams to monitor activity across multiple accounts and engage with your audience. Each social network (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube...) offers different stream types.

The first time you go to Streams in Hootsuite, and each time you create a new board to categorize your streams in Hootsuite, you can choose from any of the following popular stream types to get you started quickly:

  • My posts and mentions - Keep track of your activities and monitor your mentions, post engagement, and performance.
  • My industry - Follow key words and conversations. Watch what your competitors are sharing, find new leads, and engage with influencers.
  • Browse all streams - Explore all of the options you have for each social network. You can then select a social network and stream type.

Any time you are in Streams, you can select Add Stream to create a new stream. Create a number of 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.

create and delete streams

Categorize and organize your streams

Categorize and organize your streams using boards. You can use the Streams navigation to create new boards and select the boards you want to view. If the Streams navigation is not visible, expand it, and then select New board to create a new stream board.

expanded streams navigation

Once you have created multiple boards, you can access them using the Streams navigation.

Change the way you display your streams

Display your streams in Compact, Standard, or Comfortable view. Explore the views and select the one that best fits your needs.

stream view options

Explore other things you can do with streams

Here are a few other things you can do with streams (open any link for more information):

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.

  1. Go to Create new post, and then select an option.
    create new post options
  2. You can publish content to multiple networks at one time. Select a social account and all of the social networks you'd like to publish to, and then craft your post. In addition to text, you can include the following in your posts:
    • Mentions or tags for a user or page.
    • Links. You can even use shortened links and add link-tracking parameters to analyze link or content performance. 
    • Images, videos (including SRT files), and GIFs. Plus, you can edit and apply filters to your images.
    • Emojis.
    • Hashtags.
      new post
  3. As you craft your post, you can review it using the preview next to it. Once you are feeling good about it, you can choose from the following options:
    • Post now - Publish the post. You can also use the following expanded Post Now options:
      post now options
      • Save draft - Save the post as a draft and return to polish or review it at another time.
      • Post and reuse networks - Publish your post, retain your social network choices, and begin a new post to those same social networks.
      • Post and duplicate - Publish your post but retain a copy of the original content and the social account selection to edit or schedule the post another time. A new post ID is created for your tracking needs. This makes composing multiple, similar posts much easier.
    • Schedule for later - Schedule a time and date for the post to publish. Scheduling your posts allows you to keep your social presence active and publish your posts at high audience-engagement times. You can even set options to automatically publish on a schedule!
      automatically publish on a schedule

For additional information, see Overview: Create and publish posts.

View and manage your scheduled posts in a calendar

Go to Publisher to view your scheduled content. In addition to viewing your scheduled content here, you can also create new posts and organize, edit, or delete existing ones right from the calendar. The following views are available:

  • Planner - Review and manage your posts in a weekly calendar view. Select a time block in the calendar to craft new content to publish at that selected time.
  • Content - View your past scheduled posts and view and manage all of your future scheduled  and draft posts. You can also set up and view RSS feeds and set up and upload messages in bulk.
  • Promote - Put advertising spend behind your best Facebook or LinkedIn Page posts to promote your content. For more information on promoting your content, see Create a promoted post for a Facebook or LinkedIn Page.

publisher options for planner, content, and promote

Promote your organic content

Promote your posts to increase the value and extend the reach of your best Facebook Page or LinkedIn Page content. Set campaign objectives and timelines, define engagement criteria, and target specific audiences to optimize your ad spend.

Before you begin

Before you begin promoting your content, you must have a Facebook or LinkedIn ad account associated with one of your Pages. You must then add that Page to Hootsuite. For instruction on creating and connecting your ad accounts, see the following:

Once you have an ad account and you've added your LinkedIn or Facebook Pages, you can promote your posts in the following 4 ways:

  • Go to Publisher , and then select Promote to promote existing, live posts and to manage promoted posts. For more information, see the following articles:
  • When you craft a new post or select to edit an existing post from your Planner calendar, you can select Promote this post, and then set parameters to tell Hootsuite how you want to boost the post on Facebook or sponsor the post on LinkedIn. See Create a promoted post for Facebook or LinkedIn Pages.
    composer
  • Go to Streams , navigate to a Facebook Timeline stream, and then select Boost post next to the Facebook Page post you want to promote.
  • Go to Streams , navigate to a LinkedIn Company Updates stream, and then select Sponsor post next to the LinkedIn Page post you want to promote.

Next steps

Here are some great ways to extend your Hootsuite functionality and advance your Hootsuite knowledge.

Extend your Hootsuite functionality with apps

Visit the Hootsuite app directory to select from a library of free and third-party apps developed to extend the functionality of Hootsuite.

Select My profile , and then select App directory to explore the app library.

profile, app directory

For additional information, see Install or uninstall apps from your dashboard.

Share content from anywhere on the web with the Hootlet extension

This free browser extension for Chrome lets you quickly and easily share content to your social networks from anywhere on the web. Visit www.hootlet.com to get the Hootlet extension. To learn more, see Share content with Hootlet.

Manage social media on the go with Hootsuite mobile

Download Hootsuite mobile apps for Android and iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch 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.

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