Hootsuite Streams – What Are They?
Hootsuite Streams are a feature that anyone using Hootsuite as their preferred Social Media Dashboard can utilise in their daily work tasks.
A stream is not restricted to one particular Social Network, but this post is going to focus on using streams to track Twitter activity only.
At any one time there can be a LOT going on with your Twitter feed. You might be subscribed to lists, or want to track tweets of a certain person, or keywords or phrases relating to your business, and as a web application the Twitter site itself means that you would need to keep swapping and changing your view to keep up with this information.
One of the biggest “selling” points in my opinion of Hootsuite is their Streams facility. In general the “look” of the dashboard is extremely user friendly, with at a glance columns for your own Twitter feed. When you add your account to the dashboard you are instantly set up with 4 columns: your Homefeed, Mentions, Direct Messages and Sent Tweets.
Aside from configuring various Social Media accounts with Hootsuite, it allows you to set up different streams to allow you an at a view glance of different types of information. It works by allowing you to set up 10 streams per tab. So for anyone who is either managing multiple accounts, or needs to keep a check on various keywords or leads relevant to their business, this facility is something of a god send.
For example, I look after the accounts for my family’s printing business, so I have created a new tab that houses all of the Hootsuite Streams relating to printing – keywords such as Business Cards, Leaflets, Printing, Biz Cards and even a stream of some competitors timelines (always good to keep an eye on what other people are doing)
The beauty of setting up Hootsuite Streams such as these is that the information is (just like Twitter itself) live – and always updating – you are notified if there is any new tweets added to the streams, and you have the full functionality of responses exactly as if you were inside of Twitter itself.
Some of you may know by now that I have worked extensively with Twitter and looking for new business leads for my family’s printing business, and applied my knowledge and skills for using Social Media to reach out to people and find new clients – something that I still do to this day, and by making use of Hootsuite Streams, it makes finding these opportunities a LOT easier.
As your accounts and connections grow in size, there is an information overload. Prior to me using Hootsuite to manage Twitter accounts, I often found that I had “missed the boat” in recommending services as I couldn’t search the information quickly enough. Once I had learned the basics of navigating Hootsuite I started to test out different keywords and phrases and realised that the easiest and fastest way of staying in touch was by setting up tabs and adding streams to my Hootsuite dashboard.
Setting Up a Hootsuite Stream
Setting up a stream to manage Twitter is very easy to do and I’ve created you a quick video showing how to do this (apologies for the lack of sound, but i’m in a rather noisy office but really needed to do this so muted it, but you will still be able to see how to do this!)
That video showed me setting up a video for a particular phrase, but there are separate options for setting up just keywords, and in that search facility you can also include Twitter usernames (if you need to keep an eye on competitors of want to follow your favourite celebrity)
Still not sure about needing or using a stream – then consider the following:
New Business Leads
Individual Twitter Lists (industry specific, certain groups of people – ie Social Media Guru’s – you have set these up yourself)
Twitter Lists other people have created
Live Twitter Chats
There are so many different elements to working with Social Media – and a LOT of the tasks are often laborious, but necessary. In my experience of using Social Media (especially Twitter) is that the oportunities and leads don’t always come to you, they are very much inside of Twitter for the taking but you need to be able to locate and see them.
Much like with automating and scheduling certain tasks to keep productivity high, or outsourcing other tasks - I believe that setting Hootsuite Streams is one of those “tasks” that you should spend time setting up to help streamline your processes.
It’s something that you can alter, change or edit as you see fit – say a particular keyword or phrase no longer is relevant? You can delete the stream and re add new words, or search terms exactly as I did in the video above. You can re-order the streams by simply dragging them alongside another stream.
I could go on and list even more endless capabilities for using streams, and hootsuite itself, but for those of you out there who are still new to this game and learning to use these tools of the trade, over complicating things is not what I want to do – by showing you how to add a keyword / phrase related stream to the interface will give you enough to play around with so that you can then optimize this feature for other social networks and different aspects of Twitter that you want to keep a track of.
For me personally, I now rarely use the Twitter web app myself these days, I find Hootsuite completely fulfils my needs for managing (successfully) various accounts, and their iPad app is a mini version of the web app – I know there are many out there on market, but having tried and tested a few myself, Hootsuite is streets ahead of its competitors for ease, affordability and overall user experience, and the streams facility is just one of its many bonuses in my opinion.
Hope you all have a great day.