If you’re read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that I really like HootSuite and use it for my social media management. Not only does it aggregate Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, WordPress and MySpace, (yeah, I said MySpace. Who even uses MySpace anymore?) but with each new release, they add better and better functionality. I’ve written about how to manage your social media initiatives with HootSuite as well as some of HootSuites Expanded Capabilities, but today’s post will focus on the new features in HootSuite5.
Of all the upgrades in HootSuite5, you’ll need an HTML5-capable browser to take advantage of some of the best ones. I won’t go into HTML5 too much, but it’s one of the next big things on the internet and will enable much easier web coding and interactivity. The following browsers are HTML5-capable, and you if you ant to take advantage of the best features of HootSuite5, you should download one of them:
With HootSuite5, you can easily narrow your Twitter searches to just people in your area. If you’ve used Twitter Search to look for trending topics, you’ll noticed that unless you’re very specific with what you’re searching for, you’ll get a lot of tweets that may have nothing to do with your search. Many times, you’ll even see tweets in foreign languages. By utilizing an HTML5-capable browser’s geolocation capabilities, you can search more effectively, using local Tweeters to help answer your queries.
Integrated Google Analytics
If you’re anything like me, you spend a bit of time each month tracking your analytics, especially as it relates to your social media initiatives. If you use Google Analytics to track data on your site, you no longer have to go back and forth between multiple browser windows or tabs to see your analytics data – HootSuite has baked it in with HootSuite5. Once you start tweeting, you can even see your standard webstats and how many visits you received through your HootSuite Tweets!
Another tip for more accurate analysis of traffic to your website through your HootSuite shortened links: When you hover over the Shrink URL field, you can click on Advanced and then you can add custom source information to the end of EVERY link you shorten through HootSuite’s Ow.ly/Ht.ly URL shortener. Since I use Google Analytics, I’ve included the `utm_source=` and `utm_medium=` fields so I can easily see that a referral link came through HootSuite. If you use another analytics package, you should be able to append other information to the end of your URLs so you can track them as well.
Use Either Classic Retweets or New Retweets
If you’re a bit fuzzy on the difference between a ‘classic retweet’ and a ‘new retweet’ check out my Sharing, Retweeting and Mentions on Facebook and Twitter post. Older versions of HootSuite only allowed you to use the ‘classic retweet’ option, which meant that you could add your own comments, but you may have had to shorten or modify the tweet so it would still fit within the 140-character limit. The ‘new retweet’ option is the default in HootSuite5, and allows for one-click retweeting of content. Since it is the default, if you want to go back to the ‘classic retweet’ simply click on the owl at the top left, then select, Settings -> Preferences and uncheck the box next to Use Twitter Web retweets.
Enhanced Facebook Features
With older versions of HootSuite, when you posted a link to Facebook, the URL would simply show up in your status, but it wouldn’t include any of the rich options that are included when you include a link directly from Facebook. For that reason, I didn’t use HootSuite to post links to Facebook very often. That’s all changed with HootSuite5 and when you include a link to post to Facebook, a new dialog box comes up that allows you choose in image from the linked-to page as well as include some further description beneath the link – just like it works if you post the link directly from Facebook. This is a huge improvement in my book.
Drag and Drop Images to Twitter
This is another one off the features that you’ll need an HTML5-capable browser to use. Rather than having to click on the upload an image button and search for the image on your computer, you can now just drag the image and drop it right into the HootSuite5 status box. HootSuite automatically uploads it to their servers and spits back out a shortened URL directly to your image. This is just another great feature of HTML5 and HootSuite5.
There are still a few more new features in HootSuite5, but I’ve covered some of the most important ones. You can find the full list of updates on HootSuite’s blog.