Before taking this class I had never heard of HootSuite, so I had no idea what it was or what it could do. To this day if I mention, HootSuite, to my friends, family or even fellow students, they do not know what HootSuite is, so I do not feel too bad that I did not know what it was. But now I do! HootSuite is a dashboard that allows you to have all of your social media accounts in one place. With as many social media sites as I have learned about this semester & the amount of new, emerging social media sites, HootSuite is definitely a must have to keep track of it all. But that is not all HootSuite can do for you. It allows you to follow specific hashtags, like we did with #Freberg13; I used it several times to follow hashtags for my favorite television shows, especially if I was not able to actually watch the show.
HootSuite University is a division of HootSuite that through courseware, videos, lectures, & exams allows you to become HootSuite Certified. But what does that mean? To me it means more than the obvious, I’m certified in HootSuite; to me it means that I have completed the necessary steps to become a professional not only on HootSuite but in other social media areas. I became HootSuite Certified on October 19, 2013.
Through the Social Media Courseware part of the HootSuite University I learned a lot about from one of the first sections called “The Do’s & Don’ts of Social Media Etiquette” which is something from the very beginning of the semester I wanted to learn about. An example that I liked that they gave during this part of the courseware involved putting personal information on Twitter. Instead of telling the whole world she could get the condo by dropping the asking price $2000 by tweeting to his client, the client direct messaged him & asked to only direct message her from now on, so that her personal information, in this case financial as well, was not viewed by the whole “Twitterverse.” This may seem like common sense, and to me it is, but the fact that it was pointed out made you really pay more attention to not only what you tweeted but whom you tweeted it to. Also, they selected six key things to always do on social media: be yourself, be transparent, be respectful, play by the rules, listen frequently, & engage. These six things are crucial in being successful on social media and now I can carry these with me to any job that I might have, that is on social media.
Another social media tool I learned about this semester was Klout. Same situation as HootSuite never heard of it & had no idea what it could do for me. Well, HootSuite taught me even more about Klout than what I learned in class. In class we focused on what Klout can do for us, as individuals, but HootSuite showed me what it could do for a business. In the first series of lectures, the section titled “Klout for Business: leveraging for your brand with Joe Fernandez, CEO of Klout” is part of a section I am currently referring to. Through this lecture they interviewed Joe Fernandez through Google hangouts; he started out explaining what Klout is, in case people did not know, and the how he came up with the idea behind Klout, both of those things I found to be fascinating.
But specifically for businesses, he first talked about what HootSuite can do for e-marketing, and then he moved on to Klout. Klout, has a division called “KloutWorks” that deals with large brands, like Disney and Nike, it helps the company to connect with the people. KloutWorks looks at influential people in those brands and takes a product from that company and gives it to them for their feedback: the example he used was the Windows phone. I really learned a lot from this particular lecture and feel like I can apply what Joe Fernandez said to any business I could potentially be working for or assisting them with their social media influence. I did not know Klout could do this for businesses and I feel as if many businesses may not know either; I simply could have the opportunity to inform them about it because I became educated on it through HootSuite University.
A topic that I thought HootSuite University could have spent more time on was Social Media Management. I am very interested in all the different ways to manage social media, specifically with multiple accounts. I kind of find it ironic actually, since HootSuite is a type of Social Media Managing site. They did have one lecture under section 3, titled “How to Get Your Life Back: 4 Tips & Tricks on Effective Social Media Management with Susan Murphy” that I will briefly mention, especially since I think this topic was really lacking in the lecture series. Personally, I did not know who Susan Murphy was, so I did learn that much. She is the Co-Founder and Content Strategist at Jester Creative Inc., which I also had not heard of. So much learning going on, in so many different fields through HootSuite University and yet it all somehow nicely ties back into social media, that’s one thing I really do like about the program.
I agreed with Susan that managing social media occupies so much of our time; I believe social media never sleeps, ever. She actually talked about why social media campaigns fail, which I wanted to note, so our group did not do that for our own campaign. The reasons she mentioned are misallocation of resources, misalignment of goals, and mismanagement of time. No one usually talks about failures, so I found this interesting, especially the mismanagement of time, since she just mentioned how much time social media occupies of our lives. The main point of her presentation was the 4 tips for effective social media management, they were: have a plan, set up dashboards, build your calendar and use notifications. All of these points can be applied to any social media campaign, which I like, but I found them a bit generic and obvious. Don’t get me wrong, this lecture was informative to a certain extent, but it was the only one on the topic. Other topics like engagement, boosting participation and several other topics got two or three, if not more, videos.
Overall, I clearly learned a lot from HootSuite University. The program is easy to deal with and I never had any site glitches or typical issues you usually experience with online sites. HootSuite University is something I think all students need to be participating in, with the increasingly amount of content only shared on social media and even just the amount of people on social media, students need to be educated on all of topics HootSuite University addresses. I think even professors should go through HootSuite University, especially those who may be older and not with all of the technology. I know it’s a bit of a stretch probably to get professors to go through the HootSuite Certification process but as I much as I learned and the ways in which I am going to be able to apply it, just think what professors could do with this type of information. And hey, not to take it too far but I even think HootSuite needs to have a video chat with Dr. Freberg and our social media class, or well I guess the next semesters class, it would be a type of promotion for HootSuite, showing that students do actually go through all the steps and become very educated. Also, it would be a great type of guest lecture to add to the schedule. And last but not least, it would be awesome to say you were interviewed as a professional and are in an online video because you are a professional on a topic, especially at such young ages