If you’re anything like me your to-do list runs into the hundreds of items daily. Between writing blog posts, creating articles for clients and writing chapters for eBooks I am one busy bee.
Factor in my aggressive blogger outreach campaign – and the fact that I’ve been circling the globe for over 3 years – and I could easily overwhelm myself unless I’m using the right tools.
Tools leverage your presence. Using the free or premium version of any application makes your life easier. Smart bloggers use tools to make the greatest impact in a minimum amount of time.
Today I want to review Hootsuite Pro. I’m offering the review because I’ve used Hootsuite Pro for 2 years. Make no mistake; I’ll share the benefits and downsides of the tool so you can make an informed, confident decision for yourself.
What Is Hootsuite Pro?
Hootsuite Pro is an application which allows you to post updates to social media accounts through a single dashboard. The app gives you an intuitive interface through which you can publish and scan updates for your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, among other social media profiles.
Hootsuite Pro is the premium edition. The free edition offers you a few less bells and whistles. As with any apps I suggest starting off with the free edition to get a feel for the tool. If you enjoy using it consider upgrading to the premium edition if the added features benefit you.
Benefits of Using Hootsuite Pro
Let’s discuss a few of the chief benefits of using Hootsuite Pro.
Saving time is the chief advantage of using Hootsuite Pro. At the end of the day you may save yourself 1, 2 or even 3 hours by not having to fiddle around with social media sites individually.
Accessing your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, as well as your Google Plus Page, through one central command station saves you time and energy. This time can be used working on critical income generating activities, like publishing blog posts and creating products.
Focusing on the end game – price paid for a product versus benefits received – is critical for any busy blogger. Hootsuite Pro can help you reach and engage a large, growing, targeted audience for $8.99 a month<. That type of investment, when you observe how quickly you can grow your business if you use the tool effectively, is well worth it.
The dashboard layout and ease of selecting and opening streams are both intuitive features of the app. Within minutes you can seamlessly synchronize your social media accounts to allow for “Hootsuiting” across a wide range of networks.
Admittedly, I am tech allergic. If I figured out how to get up and running within minutes without following tutorials most bloggers can use this tool. Don’t worry; helpful tutorials will point you in the right direction if you’re having a tough time with the setup.
Added Bells and Whistles
Both the pro and premium edition of Hootsuite allows you to schedule up to 350 messages to post. Busy bloggers could use this feature to schedule updates for weekends or when they’re traveling; or to reach different time zones to broaden your audience.
Hootsuite Pro also syncs effortlessly with your current apps. Using the built in app directory can instantly improve and customize the functionality of the tool.
You can also add a second user to work with teammates and can control up to 50 social media profiles at once.
If you want to check old messages Hootsuite Pro has you covered and you can keep your social media streams humming with unlimited RSS connections.
Free 30 Day Trial
You can take Hootsuite Pro for a free 30 day test spin before spending your hard earned cash.
Downsides of Hootsuite Pro
I am a supporter for Hootsuite Pro but like any tool there is room for improvement in more than a few areas.
Facebook Doesn’t Like Hootsuite Pro
I’ve found many of my Hootsuite Pro updates posted to Facebook buried deep down on the main feed. Facebook isn’t keen on third party applications. Even though you’ll be able to post to Facebook your Hootsuite updates won’t be highly visible.
Keep in mind that Facebook delays mass updates too. This means the days of sending out Hootsuite updates to 50 or 100 Facebook Groups simultaneously are over. I was never too keen on mass updates anyway but if you want to reach a large number of groups you’ll need to spend time staggering updates to 10 groups at a time, every one to two hours.
Even posting to 10 groups simultaneously may be pushing it as Facebook may reject the update. This is one benefit of the Pro edition which has gone the way of the dinosaur.
High Cost Analytics
Cara Pring notes that some Hootsuite Pro reports run $50 or more. Considering that you’re paying less than 10 bucks monthly for the tool this figure is a bit pricey. Most bloggers who are working on a budget may not be willing to pay this amount for a helpful but expensive report.
Slow Load Time
I’ve noted that Hootsuite takes a while to load. Even though I’ve set up only 3 social media streams – my twitter @mentions and 2 twitter lists – load time is a tad slow for my taste. I’d like to see the developers streamline the app to allow for quicker loading.
In addition to a slow initial load time I experience a delay when sharing updates or engaging others social users on the site. Although you can save a large chunk of time collectively by using Hootsuite Pro you may give up 1 or 2 seconds between each interaction or social share. Since each update adds up over the course of a normal social media day you may give back a few minutes here and there due to this delay. Users who expect lightning speed and immediate engagements won’t see it.
Although I enjoy using Hootsuite Pro, I know there’s more than enough room for improvement with the application. If you need to save time and want to improve social media engagement I’d start off with the free version.
You can sign up for a free 30 day trial of the Pro version to take it for a test ride. Toy with its features to see if you and Hootsuite Pro are a match.
Have you used Hootsuite Pro?
What strengths and weaknesses do you see from the service?