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5 Underused Hootsuite Features for Social Media Monitoring

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Do you primarily use Hootsuite for “getting the word out there” to your Facebook and Twitter followers?

Do you also use it for *listening* to the word out there?

Listening is where the social media marketing gold lies. So let me uncover five oft-underused Hootsuite methods for listening to targeted conversations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

1. Twitter Lists

I’ve long been a fan of Twitter lists to better segment the listening that one does in the Twittersphere. Hootsuite allows you to line these up for easy viewing. In fact, you can have ten of these glorious columns on just one tab!

In this example, I show you three such lists. If you’re an author agent or provide services to writers, you can glean real-time info from your target market here. 

Three Twitter Lists on a Hootsuite Dashboard


2. Klout

Klout is a standalone product that measures a social media user’s influence — or “klout.” Some people believe the algorithm is flawed, but Klout has remained the most widely used tool for measuring social influence.A Twitter List on Hootsuite Sorted by Klout Score

If you’re looking for influential people to engage with in your niche, you can use Klout’s filtering system in Hootsuite. (Note that this feature is only available to users with paid plans like Pro or Enterprise.)

Remember that big screenshot I had above with three streams (Hootsuite’s word for columns)? Let’s say that today I wanted to hone in specifically on cookbook authors. And not just any cookbook author. I want an author who posts regularly to a decent social media following — in other words, someone with a good Klout score.

Klout scores range from 0 to 100. In my “cookbooks with Klout” experiment, I sought authors with a score of 56 or higher. So I dragged Hootsuite’s slide bar to 56 and kaboom! Hootsuite eliminated everyone in that stream with scores under 56. And as you can see in this example, it also assigned a Klout number to each of the remaining tweeters in my stream.  This will help me get a better sense of the more popular tweeters in the cookbook author space.


3. New Followers
Taking stock of new Twitter followers often falls in the wake of other social media activities like tweeting and responding. But why ignore these new followers — who could very well be great sources of listening and engagement for your business?

New Twitter Followers as a Hootsuite Stream

To keep on top of this recent group of Twitter visitors, use Hootsuite’s “New Followers” column. You’ll then have access to a running stream of what these people are tweeting about. If you find someone provides interesting content with her tweets, you may wish to follow her back and/or add her to a Twitter list. This is a much more sustainable tactic than sending a “Thanks for following me!” direct message.


4. Apps

The ability to use apps on Hootsuite makes this a true social media dashboard.YouTube Subscriber Stream on Hootsuite You know how the dashboard on your car can tell you about your oil level, your miles per hour, and your mileage — all at a glance? The same idea applies to Hootsuite. This tool allows you to easily monitor Twitter as well as Instagram, YouTube, Mailchimp, WordPress, and Foursquare, among 80+ other apps.

I’m one of those “social media marketing ladies” who thinks that YouTube is a social media channel and not a storage closet for videos. By monitoring the YouTube channels I subscribe to, I’m better able to keep up with the YouTube creators that I enjoy watching. (Have YOU ever seen a boring Gary Vaynerchuk video?)

I also use a few paid apps on Hootsuite. For example, I conduct a good deal of Instagram research and have found Statigram a great tool to help me find what I’m looking for there — well worth the $4.99 a month.



5. Facebook Hashtags

I love the potential of Facebook hashtags, but shiver at how Facebook has rolled them out. Did you know that we are eight months into having hashtags on Facebook — but we still can’t click through them on mobile devices?

That’s why Hootsuite on my desktop is handy. I’m able to track Facebook and find out what’s being said publicly about a particular hashtag.

If I were an accountant in February, I might want to see what Facebook users are saying about #taxtime. Perhaps I could help those people struggling with getting their returns in good order and on time?

Facebook Hashtag Stream on Hootsuite


Which of these features might you start using on Hootsuite?

(Disclosure: I’ve been a Certified Hootsuite Professional since 2011. I use tons of other social media management tools, but love sharing what I know about Hootsuite.)

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  1. Hi Lisa, if I may I’d suggest you to test an app newly released by HootSuite called ‘Talkwalker Free News Alerts’, which monitors sources such as news, blogs and forums. It works wonders!

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      Thanks for the heads up, Julie! I’ve used the Web version of Talkwalker before — I’ll give it a whirl on Hootsuite.

  2. Hi Lisa, I am mostly a Facebook person. I have a Twitter account, but I really don’t understand or “get” how Twitter can help with growing my business or my network. It’s confusing to me. I really like Facebook and a lot of my customers are also on Facebook. Also, I find that when I try to focus on more than one social site I just get spread too thin. I always do best when I just stay focused in one area. I wear all the hats in my biz at this point so I can only spend so much time on this, but I know how important it is to growing my biz. What kind of advice or articles can I read from you that might help me to be better on Facebook?

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for the comment, Christine. Believe me, you are not the first one to say they don’t “get” Twitter. The beauty of Twitter is really in the listening to conversations. I call it the ultimate spy station — and tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck really make it easy to listen to conversations that are meaningful to your business.

      If you plan to stay on Facebook, I highly recommend you learn about Facebook advertising to reach people who will be interested in your business. I see your Website — with the targeting of Facebook advertising, you can easily reach pet owners who subscribe to a paleo diet. You can reach these people across the U.S. or in just one zip code!

      Good luck,

  3. Hi Lisa Kalner Williams

    I’m a little confused, I watched a YouTube video by you where you say don’t pay for boosting your posts. but in newer articles it seems you suggest we do pay for Facebook advertising am I missing something here. by the way I really do appreciate the service you provide for us that is struggling in social media marketing. Thank you for your help.

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      Hi Ron,

      Thanks for watching my videos and taking the time to come to the blog. In my “Do Not Use Boost Post For Your Facebook Page Posts!” I discourage businesses from using the “Boost Post” button because you cannot fine tune who gets your ad/post. Going to the “Ads Manager” in the left hand side of your Facebook home page is where you’re able to get much better precision in terms of targeting your audience. In the ads manager, click the “Create an Ad” button. Then select “Page Post Engagement.” This, in effect, “boosts your posts,” but does it in a much more targeted manner than the actual “boost post” button.

      Indeed, it’s more important than ever to “boost your posts,” to be seen by your fans — but just not through the “boost post” button.

      Does that clear things up at all, Ron?

      • In your Should you ditch your Facebook fan page article you make this statement. “I do just what Facebook wants me to do: I pay them to promote my posts to a larger swath of my fans. I choose posts that I know fans want to see and I pay a few dollars for what Facebook Ads Manager calls “page post engagement.” That means likes, comments, shares, and clicks.” how does this differ from boosting posts?

        • Lisa Kalner Williams

          Hi Ron,

          Both increase likes, comments, shares, and clicks. But going through the Facebook Ads Manager (see image):Ads Manager

          gives you precision as to *who* likes, comments, shares, and clicks your posts. The Boost Post button, seen here,

          Boost Post can give you the likes, comments, shares, and clicks you seek — but often not from the quality of lead you’d like.

          The bottom line: If you want quantity, go for “Boost Post.” If you want quality, go for Ads Manager.


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