For those of you that have ever taken my Social Media Management and Monitoring webinars, training classes or one-on-one sessions, you know I am a huge Hootsuite fan. I highly recommend it for anyone that is looking to manage more than one social media profile. It offers a ‘one stop shopping’ approach to posting, allowing you to post to multiple profiles at once and, importantly, allows you to schedule posts so that you can queue them up in advance and spend the time you have online actually engaging rather than posting!
Hootsuite is set up as a series of ‘tabs’, each with a different feed updating in it; Facebook, Twitter, etc. Under each tab, there are ‘streams’ you can add; for Facebook, you may want to have a stream dedicated to pending posts (posts you have scheduled in HS for future publishing) or a stream with your Twitter @ mentions.
Recently, Hootsuite added a new application that is REALLY helpful if you are active on Twitter! Called InboxQ, it essentially allows you to have a ‘stream’ set up that is a Twitter search on specific terms but only includes those with question marks! Having a running Twitter search stream is always helpful but having a stream with questions is an awesome way to keep an eye out for topic specific questions you can answer!
The tool is easy to set up – though it did take me a few tries! I don’t know if it was a bug or the browser (tried in Firefox and Internet Explorer) or some combination of the two but I was able to get it to upload after the third try (in IE) and it has been stable – and awesomely useful – since!
To add it, just go to one of your tabs (I have put it under my Facebook Tab because I already have so many Twitter streams that I would have to scroll over too many times to see it quickly, but you can put it under any tab that works for you)
In the left hand column, there are a number of icons, hover over the little wrench (for ‘tools’) and you will see the App Directory option. Click on that to see the Application choices.
Scroll down til you find InboxQ and click on ‘install’ (note, since I have already installed the app, that is not shown as an option in image below but will look like the bright green button shown on the app below it)
I will talk about many of the other cool applications in other posts but back to InboxQ for now!
Once installed, you will have a stream in your account. I have highlighted the stream in the image below for clarity but it will not be highlighted in your account.
Interestingly, like all searches, this will bring attention to all the people that post the exact some content to multiple accounts (if you are following any – or all – of them, you may want to consider unfollowing down to one account rather than clogging up your stream with duplicate posts)
Clicking on the little gear symbol at the top will allow you to add keywords. Note that you can use hashtags or just keywords, your choice. and a very cool addition is that you are given the option to set NEGATIVE keywords so, as in their example, if you set it for apple recipes but don’t want pie recipes you can modify your list to exclude pie results by adding a ‘-’ symbol!
Click save and you have your settings. You can change these as desired and modify the ‘Quality’ by using the sliding green bar. I was finding good results with it in the position you see but you can test for yourself.
The next step is to read through the stream and see if there are any questions you can answer or any conversations to jump into. This was one I decided to reply to
Not only did we have a quick conversation but he turned out to be someone I definitely wanted to follow. Now, I may have found him otherwise, by searching on #LinkedIn but that is not a term I regularly search on. And more than that, being able to answer a question made it much easier to jump into a conversation and engage.
And even if you do NOT use Hootsuite, or plan to install this app, do consider using questions in your posts periodically. You now know that they will be pulled in by this tool but it also, as I said above, makes it easier to engage with people that do find you!
*Note: the links to Hootsuite in this post, are linked to my affiliate page for the service but that is only for paid subscribers. I highly recommend the FREE version of this tool (no affiliate plan there) for just about everyone. The inboxQ app IS available on both the free and paid versions. I only use the paid version because I need to monitor multiple accounts – you can probably get along just fine with the free version – it is definitely worth checking out!
And if you would like help setting up a Hootsuite account (free or paid), figuring out which streams to include and how to monitor them, please give me a call – I am sure that this tool will help save you some time!