How Can Hootsuite Help Busy Writers (or anyone else)?

*Please note: this post is now more than five years old. Some of the information may therefore be outdated.*

The first time I heard of Hootsuite, I laughed. Hard.

I mean seriously, who uses an owl for a mascot? Regardless of my first impression, Hootsuite has turned into a lifesaver for me–and it could for you, too.

What is Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is a nifty little tool where you can SCHEDULE your Facebook and Twitter posts in advance. This means, you can schedule everything on Sunday evening, and Hootsuite will post for you throughout the week.

Oh yeah, and it’s free.

Hootsuite has lots of other fun features, too. But for me–a busy writer who works full-time in the corporate world by day, and freelances for magazines by night–the ability to schedule social media posts in advance is key.

After all, I don’t have tons of free time to throw away on social media.

Why maintain a social media presence as a writer?

If you want to go by the experts, Poets and Writers Magazine just featured an article in its May/June edition entitled, “Social Media for Authors.” In it, public relations professional Lauren Cerand emphasizes the importance of social media for up-and-coming writers. Here’s an excerpt:

The task of finding readers and finding an audience is made much easier by joining the conversation that you feel you belong to, whether it’s via media that you maintain, community sites you check daily, or blogs that you read and comment on when you have something important to add.

What does this mean? It means as a writer, you have a better chance of selling your work if you can find your niche, and build a loyal following. One of the best ways to build that following is by using social media, especially for unknown writers.

As a former newspaper reporter, I now pay the bills by working in media strategy and marketing. And I can tell you from personal experience: social media is the future of exposure. I’m not talking about Facebook or Twitter, but rather the idea of social media and its platform of sharing information. Social media is word-of-mouth on steroids, to borrow a phrase from Gary Vaynerchuk, author of “Crush It.”

If you want to have a shot at being a successful writer, you need to maintain a social media presence. And Hootsuite is just one more tool to help you do it. Imagine drawing people again and again to your blog posts (old and new) throughout the week, without  spending all day on Twitter or Facebook?

MY QUESTION TO YOU: What social media platforms do you use, to maintain your online presence as a writer? And if you don’t use social media, which services do you want to learn more about?

15 responses to “How Can Hootsuite Help Busy Writers (or anyone else)?”

  1. Shari, Hi,
    Right off I laughed when I tried to say Hootsuite out loud. The librarian frowned. And didn’t you get the memo, “Give a Hoot, Don’t pollute”.
    Ok, I was on wordpress but heard of the redbubble site as more of an artist community, so I swithched to that. I’m still not sure of my niche, although I like being able to post poetry and art commentary. I have no training as an art critic, but feel like who needs another critic. Instead I write a lot of encouraging thought about the art I see and in return, others do likewise. Is this the kind of social media you are talking about? Honestly I avoid facebook and tweet thing. Maybe I’m wrong, but it all seems so overblown.
    art lover.

  2. I’m just learning. Watching and listening to you more experienced types and learning!

  3. Thanks for the suggestion. It took me a while to start posting on fb and twitter. In the few months it will be my first anniversary since I’ve started my blog and I guess I will try HootSuite then.

  4. I have a blog and my personal FB page, but I know I need to do more. I need to blog more and get onto Twitter, but my time is already so limited! My plan (formed through Keli Gwyn’s advice) is to finish my manuscript, blog when the mood strikes, and when my MS is being reviewed or when I’m querying, I’ll use that time to write more blog posts and finally learn how to tweet.

    1. Hi Julie, I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’m writing a manuscript, building my online presence, and writing for magazines, all while working full-time as a corporate health writer. Ahhh! What I’ve found helps me is to work a few weeks in advance, so I’m never feeling pressured to keep up on my blog. I also have others guest post for me, and recently, have begun doing expert Q&As, which also helps me manage my time. I schedule everything in advance: blog posts through WordPress, tweets through Hootsuite, etc. It really helps! Best of luck on building your presence. Keep my posted! 🙂


  5. I have not yet come up with a comprehensive social media plan, but this is my next step. I blog, use Twitter, and have a (personal) FB account. Next, I really want to integrate everything…and come up with an integrated approach. I know that Hootsuite and other similar apps will help me do that efficiently and effectively. A great post, timely reminder, and lots of good info! Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Julia! My suggestion is to plan, plan, PLAN! Planning is the true key to integrating everything. As you start working ahead of yourself, you’ll realize it’s rather manageable. 🙂


  6. What timing! I just signed up for Hootsuite today (I was using Tweetdeck before, but my computer crashed a little while ago, and, long story, no more Tweetdeck). I got to your post through Leah’s tweet. I’m a mommy to two very active boychiks, so being able to schedule blog posts and draw more readers without being tied to the computer sounds perfect to me! Thank you.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your computer crashing! But I’m glad this post came so timely for you. 🙂 Yes, Hootsuite has been very helpful for me, especially when I know I won’t have much Internet access for a week or so. It keeps me active online! I love it. 🙂


  7. There are a lot of Twitter “purists” out there who think that pre-tweeting is cheating, or not authentic since it is not in real-time. But I personally don’t mind when people pre-tweet and schedule their tweets. The way I see it is that someone took the time to read your post, RT it, respond … etc. And whether that is real time or not, I appreciate it and TOTALLY understand that time management of social media and productivity of your career/writing, etc. has to come into play. I would love to play on Twitter all day, rather than work, but that’s just not reality.

    I wanted to use the free version of HootSuite but was quickly annoyed by the pop-up ads (which you cannot turn off if you get the free version). I looked into HootSuite for the specific purpose of pre-tweets, but quickly canceled my account. I don’t have time to delete all their spammy ads… Am I missing something and no one else had this problem?

    1. Really? That’s so weird! I use the free version of Hootsuite too, and I don’t have any pop-up ads. Hmmm. I wish I was more of a techy, and I could tell you how to stop that. But I have no clue why my computer isn’t pushing pop-ups on me. 🙁 However, I agree with you on the Twitter “purists.” I don’t have time to spend all day on Twitter and post in real-time. However, I do hop on there when I can and post real-time updates. I just can’t do it on a constant basis and maintain a solid presence. Therefore, I’ve found Hootsuite to me a lifesaver for me. It’s not perfect, of course, but it’s a big help.

  8. I’ve been hearing about Hootsuite for a while and you’ve now inspired me to give it a try. I’m pretty good with my FB posts. But have to make time for Twitter. This may be the answer for me. Thanks, as always, for a great post!

    1. Awesome!! Please let me know how it works for you. I’m excited to hear! 🙂

  9. I use Hootesuite every single day, and Tweetdeck occasionally. I’m not very good using FB as a tool. I need to learn more about my FB Page, but since I spend so much time on Twitter, I don’t have time! Ugh.

    1. Don’t worry so much about the time factor. 🙂 I wish I had more time to also develop my StumbleUpon account, but I don’t. I don’t even have a Facebook page (I have a personal page, but not a “fan” page, so to speak). I think it’s best to concentrate on a few platforms that are working for you, than to spread yourself so thin, that you’re not doing anything well. You’re doing great, V.V! Keep on the same path. 🙂

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