Hootsuite is a social media dashboard.  Social media dashboards allow you to manage multiple social media websites at a glance.  Hootsuite is one of those tools that you can have your Facebook profile, Fan Pages, twitter accounts, LinkedIn,  Foursquare, Ping.fm, even MySpace!

Hootsuite will organize these pages in different tabs that you can jump to and see activity from your fans and followers without having to jump through different websites to do this.  You can post status updates and have them appear in multiple pages or you can schedule posts in advance like weekly reminders of an upcoming event.   You do not have to have an account on all the social networking sites, you can simply have one or two pages and manage them on Hootsuite.

Here are all the social networking sites you can manage on Hootsuite.

Your social media strategy should focus on where your audience is and what kind of content you post. Having a Facebook profile and Fan page is often enough to serve your goals productively and successfully.

Hootsuite has two profile settings, Basic and Pro (Pro having a monthly charge and include different levels of service).    The free version is enough if you are a one person show and manage 1-5 different social networking pages.   If you manage more, like I do, you will have to pay $5 a month to manage unlimited social networking pages along with one team member. It is an extra $10 for every team member you add.

Do a search for “social media dashboards” and you can find other tools like Hootsuite with different functionality.  However, I find Hootsuite is the simplest and most cost-effective tool. Please keep in mind that this can change as new tools are developed daily.

Just go to Hootsuite.com, and sign up for a basic account to try it out. You don’t have to use your real name but you do need a valid email address.  Once you confirm your email address, you will receive an email where they offer you extra details on how to get started.  Also when you sign in for the first time, it will ask you to add a social network.

Check out some more screenshots to give you a little more guidance on how to navigate your new social media dashboard. Give it a try, I am sure you will be glad you did.

The horizontal box at the top you can click on it and you will be able to post your message and schedule it accordingly. The vertical box you can access a variety of options to take full advantage of Hootsuite.

Above is where you can post your message, shrink a link so that it takes up less characters, schedule when you want the message to post and which profile you want to post if under. As you can see, I have many profiles I manage.

You can access all the tools Hootsuite has to offer from adding different streams of information within each tab, see what is scheduled and which profile is posting the message, all in one list. And much more!

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