HootSuite’s feature-rich application gives anyone the ability to post updates to their social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. This tool can be used by your business to manage multiple networks using one interface. HootSuite has many features including the ability to schedule tweets, add attachments, and shrink long web addresses so they fit nicely on Twitter – which is restricted to 140 characters. In this tutorial, we are going to provide steps for connecting HootSuite to both Twitter and a Facebook Page. If you give a hoot, stick around!
Step 1: Register or Login…
If you are new to hootsuite.com please register by clicking the big green button that says Sign up now. After registering, return to this page and go to step 2. If already registered, sign in and proceed to the next step.
Signing in to HootSuite is simple. The login and password fields are found on the top-right of the homepage.
Step 2: Find the owl on HootSuite’s dashboard…
After logging in, the dashboard will appear. For those of you who are unfamiliar with HootSuite, below is a screenshot of what it looks like. At the way top, towards the left, you will see the owl. Go ahead and click it.
Click the Hootsuite owl.
Step 3: Social Networks…
Once the owl is clicked, a drop-down menu will appear. Hover the mouse over Settings to have a sub-menu appear. Then click Social Networks. If Settings is accidentally clicked, it will take you to the same destination. (No big deal.)
Click either Settings or Social Networks to get to the Settings dashboard.
Step 4: Add a social network…
The Settings dashboard will appear. Click Add Social Network.
Click Add Social Network on the Settings dashboard.
Step 5: Let’s start with Twitter…
Once the ‘Add Social Network’ dashboard appears, click Connect with Twitter.
Click the blue button that says Connect with Twitter.
Step 6: Allow HootSuite access to Twitter…
First, you must have a Twitter profile. If not, read The Simple Guide to Setting Up Your First Twitter Profile. For those who are not already signed in to Twitter, the following screen will appear. HootSuite needs permission to access the Twitter profile. Enter the username (or email); followed by the password, and then click the blue button Allow.
Connect to your Twitter account by signing in.
If Twitter has been added, it will appear on the Settings dashboard. Good job!
The HootSuite Settings dashboard will display the Twitter profile.
Step 7: That was fun! Now let’s add Facebook to HootSuite…
From the Settings dashboard, click Add Social Network.
To add Facebook to HootSuite, click Add Social Network.
Step 8: Connect to a Facebook Page…
Since this article is meant for businesses, we are going to connect to a Facebook Page, not a personal profile. If your company is using a personal profile, it would be best to create a Facebook Page. Facebook’s policy prohibits the use of personal profiles for business. Read How-to Guide to Create a Facebook Page for detailed instructions. Let’s proceed – click on Facebook Page on the left. Then click Connect with Facebook.
After clicking Facebook Page click Connect with Facebook.
Step 9: Allow HootSuite access to Facebook…
Just as we did before with Twitter, we need to give HootSuite permission to access the Facebook Page. Enter the Facebook email address and password. Then click Login at the bottom.
Provide HootSuite access through the Facebook login screen.
Step 10: Your pages on Facebook…
Once access has been given to HootSuite, the ‘Your pages on Facebook’ dashboard will appear. Check your Facebook Page and click Add to HootSuite.
Check Facebook Pages to administrate them through the HootSuite dashboard.
Step 11: Finished!
Well, not yet. Go ahead and click Finished.
If you want, go ahead and ‘Like’ Hootsuite. Otherwise, click Finished.
Step 12: Review and exit…
After clicking Finished, the Settings dashboard will appear. The Facebook Page should have been added. While here, have a look around to see other available options. Once done, click the X on the top right to close it. Now we will send our first tweet and post!
After adding Facebook Page it will appear on the Settings dashboard.
Step 13: Let’s say something!
Hold your horses – let’s review the features before we make our first post. At the main dashboard, click the text area that says ‘Compose a message’.
Click in the text field to start your first post.
If you didn’t know already, Twitter will only show the first 140 characters of your message. Facebook is restricted to 420 characters. If you want to send the same message to both networks it might be best to stay within 140 characters. The character limit is found on the bottom right of the text area. Keep an eye on it.
While typing, keep an eye on the character limit.
Choose the network…
During, after, or at the beginning, you can choose which networks where the message will be posted. We have a choice between Twitter and Facebook, or both. The Twitter icon is obvious, look closely to see the little flag for the Facebook Page. For now, go ahead and select both of them.
Pay special attention when choosing a network(s) to post a message.
When adding links to the text field your screen will refresh and display a few snippets from that website. This is known as Facebook Share. If needed, it can be edited or removed. Sometimes it’s good to use because it adds more content to the Facebook Page. Other times, it adds clutter. If you do choose to close it, click on the X on the top right.
HootSuite can share content from a website through Facebook’s Share feature.
How to get an Owly URL…
Because of the character limits, URL shorteners are handy for Twitter and Facebook. To get started, copy the URL from your browser. Then paste in to the left of the ‘Shrink’ button. Click Shrink. Automatically, HootSuite will create a short Owly URL (http://ow.ly) and add it to your message.
Use Shrink for shrinking long web addresses.
Adding images and files…
Upload images and files right into your messages. The files are instantly converted into super-short Owly links for space saving and easy sharing.
Upload files to your messages.
According to HootSuite , you can ‘provide rich, nourishing content to your followers at any time of day using the HootSuite tweet scheduler. Pre-schedule anything you like, from radio programming to birthday well-wishes. Or, tweet live!’ To schedule a tweet (or post to Facebook Pages), click the calendar icon. Then choose the date and time. When completed, click Okay.
Schedule messages to keep your Twitter and Facebook Page active.
Saving a draft message…
When time is running out the ‘Save’ button will come in handy. Save draft messages to finish later.
Save now, finish later.
Restoring a draft message…
Simply restore draft messages by clicking the View Drafts arrow. Then select the message to restore.
View draft messages by clicking on the arrow.
Step 14: Let’s get the word out!
We started out adding Facebook and Twitter to Hootsuite. Then we become familiar with a few of the many features built into HootSuite. Now, let’s send out our first tweet and post. Woohoo! The last thing to do is click Send Now. Go for it!
Click Send Now to send your first tweet and post from HootSuite!
Review your work on Twitter…
Until you are accustomed to HootSuite, we recommend double-checking the tweet on Twitter. View the example below to see how it will appear on Twitter.
Example of a tweet sent through HootSuite.
Review your work on Facebook…
After posting, go to your Facebook Page to make sure it looks good. Test the link by clicking it. If everything is perfect, give yourself a pat on the back. Good job!
Example of a post sent through HootSuite. Hootsuite will brand it with their logo.
This concludes our tutorial on connecting Twitter and Facebook to HootSuite. HootSuite is one of the best tools available when managing multiple social networks. There are many features, that we haven’t covered, which can be put to use – hint; check out Linkedin and Foursquare. If you’re interested in mastering HootSuite, become a graduate of HootSuite University. Good luck with your social marketing adventures!