These things

a followable story

@HootSuite and the Social Media captive

You might wonder why I am taking the time to profile @HootSuite as I have only used it for one day.  Well, that’s the reason.  I have only used this for one day and I already feel like I have a better hold on my reputable status in my social circle.  I have been held captive up to this moment by the abundance of information I would like to share and seem to have found the application that will help alleviate the need to find value to add to my social space and break some of my bad habits.

Do you have a bad habit online?  Ever worry about posting too much?  Ever thought about a possibility to auto-post a tweet before the biggest magnate media moguls such as @mashable or @guykawasaki post a whisper of the latest news?  Want to see how ‘click-able’ your links are to your followers or whether your links are even seen?  You may be surprised what links are clicked the most and which links fall short.

It is the nature of any user to try and understand your followers needs and creating value content for them besides showing them you are a human.  Balancing the two are really what separates the true good-will ambassadors who bring value to your network and those who spread any news in an effort to grab followers.  Finding a stable and useful plan to solidify your online presence is an important area of your online life and patience is the key.

With all this being said, my time with social media as a user has been limited but I feel comfortable with what I provide for my followers and friends after many ‘spam’ moments where I hit the feed hard for 10 minutes after a long absence.  Can I stack these to future posts/statuses/tweets or do I really have to punch them through in sequence?  You really do a disservice with the latter and your social circle cringes a bit.

@HootSuite is my new friend.  On the heels of a visit to North Carolina I had the chance to sit down with a social media watchdog.  Nathan Maxwell, better known as @socialshark, is a person who has a passion for social media and it’s uses, and I got a glimpse of his passion.  It is apparent that what it takes to provide value is not just a barrage of information but an alliance of planning, tools and knowledge of what to look for to bring value to your feed. Nathan is ahead of many in the realm of managing feeds and his recommendation of @HootSuite is not overlooked…

Ok, enough about the why.  Here is the how.  @HootSuite is easy.  It’s online and allows multiple accounts including Twitter, LinkedIn and facebook.  Do you think you have a bad habit of posting too many posts at one time and causing what others may see as ‘Spam’?  Do you follow a blog and lean on this person to add value to your content?  Want to see how interesting your links are so you can provide better quality links to your circle?

Check out these features:


  1.  So you have 20 posts and you need to run out the door!  You bite the bullet and click, click click….and all 20 posts light up your feed and you probably get a @reply saying, “Hey!  Stop spamming me!” and you apologize and continue.  No more spam!  @HootSuite allows you to “Send Later” or schedule the posts AND offers a “Pending Tweets” area to help manage the scheduled tweets. 

    Never blind your followers on twitter anymore.  This is also includes facebook updates.  You don’t want facebook aggregating your posts into something similar to “Lucas Shaffer has posted 18 similar items.”  You would rather have them post 19 items at intervals of 1 hour as to spread the info and make it less evasive.  Your friends will appreciate it.  Trust me!

  2. RSS/Atom feeds are known for bringing the content to you, as soon as it hits the web!  If you haven’t subscribed to a feed yet, it may be time to latch onto the updates of you favorite photographer/designer/developer.  By doing so you are receiving the latest update and this may be of value to your followers.  But how can you take your email updates and change them into relevant tweet/updates to your circle?  @HootSuite allows you to attach RSS and Atom feeds to schedule or immediately send tweets or updates.  This is nice!  This means a little less babysitting your favorite well of information and automatically porting this to you friends and followers.

    You can see here I am attaching @HootSuite to my blog so that my new blog posts will be fed into my feeding accounts.  In the example, my twitter space and facebook account will be updated with my new blog post without any extra work from me allowing me to stay focused on value of other posts. It is scheduled to fire the tweet and status update after a 3 hr interval which means @HootSuite automatically checks this feed every 3 hrs.  If the feed has produced 1 new post then @HootSuite post to my accounts immediately.  If the feed finds more than one I have a setting engaged to wait 1 hr to post each new feed until the new posts are done!  Easy and NO SPAM!  It may even appear to your followers that you are a madman and always on the site.  This is not true and you can get a bit of your life back!  😉

  3. If you already have an addiction to sites like twittercounter and twittergrader/facebookgrader then this part will make you feel all warm and fuzzy.  @HootSuite is affiliated with the ow.ly links you have seen everywhere.  It is in YOUR interest to start using the ow.ly URL shortening if you decide to chose @HootSuite.  The reason?  This is because @HootSuite tracks the amount of clicks these URL’s you post to other sites or blogs and tracks them with your account.  Very nice!  Now you can see how valuable your links are.  You are now able to see if your followers are interested in the new Tech tweets that link to @engadget and if they respond to other types of links.  Here is what you get!

    You can see my blog seems to draw a bit more interest than the Lady Cougars win over Georgia!  🙂  These type of stats are almost unheard of and if you have any other stats that can help build and nurture value in your feed then PLEASE let me know.

As you can see, I have only been using this FREE online app for 1 day and I have already been able to determine my impact with links, stop my bad habit of spamming and automate some of my own search results to give my followers better value, in incremental spoonfuls instead of gushes of ‘blah’.

In the end, it has only been 1 day.  Let’s see where this goes!


I would like to give credit to @socialshark for the heads up as I find his value to my social circle is a pillar to my reputation and I encourage others to follow him as well.  Find him here: http://twitter.com/socialshark

About the Author

I am a husband to a beautiful wife named Whitney and Dad to a wonderful baby boy. Yay! :) Damien Augustus Shaffer has come into this world on March 15th 2010. In my professional life, I have accumulated over 4 years utilizing a wide range of technologies to develop software solutions for my current employer. Most of this time was spent learning methodical approaches within different environments to broaden my programming knowledge and project planning abilities. These environments include both open source and Windows based development, mainly Web. I also dabble in Social Media and it applications in today's culture and marketplace. I consider it a hobby but some may say its an obsession. ;) I enjoy it immensely.