Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Google+, and more… The world of social networking offers businesses new opportunities for customer interaction and to build brand recognition. Keeping up with an engaged social presence can seem like an impossible task and many medium to large businesses have developed jobs and even entire departments dedicated to social networking. But, for a small business owner managing all these profiles can feel like a full time job of it’s own.

Hootsuite offers an easy to use, web based tool that allows you to manage all of your accounts on major social networks in one place. The Hootsuite user interface puts each of your social network profiles on a separate tab with relevant feeds including recent messages, scheduled posts and other key info.

Hootsuite enables you to manage profiles on:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. FourSquare
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Google+
  6. WordPress
  7. MySpace
  8. Instagram
  9. YouTube
  10. and others…

To keep your social profiles active while you are running more important aspects of your company, Hootsuite provides you the ability to schedule posts in the future! Set up a whole week or months worth of social posts to run while you concentrate on other areas of your business. Scheduled posts keep your brand in front of followers, friends and contacts further enforcing your brand identity.

For small businesses Hootsuite offers a free service that allows you to have one login and manage up to 5 social profiles for free. Most smaller groups will not need much more than the free service, but large companies can benefit from the paid services that have considerably more features and functions to manage a team of social networks. Paid solutions start at $9.00/month for 2 users with more advanced services and additional licenses costing more.

Regardless of which plan you sign up for, Hootsuite offers an Android, iPhone and iPad app to help you continue to engage your social followers no matter where you are. The easy to use mobile interface is very similar to the desktop version further improving your management capabilities.

Conclusion

Hootsuite is not a complete alternative to using social networks, but it is a great tool for managing your profiles. If your social media needs are simple and you have one person managing your profiles, the free version of Hootsuite is a perfect solution. For those companies managing more complex social networking campaigns the paid version of Hootsuite offers a reasonably priced set of tools to manage your posts and your team.