The Ultimate HootSuite Guide: One Dashboard to Manage Your Social Media and Teams

Niall Devitt Social Media Strategist & Founder, Ahain Group

Posted on June 19th 2013

The Ultimate HootSuite Guide: One Dashboard to Manage Your Social Media and Teams

HootSuite is a social media management platform and dashboard that can be used to manage multiple social media channels, schedule posts, track mentions and traffic. It allows businesses and teams to collaboratively execute campaigns across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

 One Dashboard to Manage Your Social Media and Teams

The business case for using Hootsuite

  • The social media management platform now has over 6 million users.
  • This growth is largely driven by increased demand among large global organizations.
  • It is available in 13 languages and is used by more than 79 of the Fortune 100 companies.

Setting up

  1. Go to
  2. Type your email address, name and password
  3. Click Sign Up Now

Note: You can also sign up using Facebook

Plans and pricing

There are three different pricing and feature levels:

  1. Free - This is their entry level/single user account with up to 5 social profiles.
  2. Pro - Includes 2 users and up to 50 social profiles, enhanced analytics report and unlimited apps from $8.99/month
  3. Enterprise - 5 to 500,000+ users with unlimited profiles, advanced security, geo-targeting, advanced customer support and Hootsuite University. Pricing is not available.

Adding social networks

Add your social networks to Hootsuite


  1. Click Add Social Network button
  2. Select a social network
  3. Connect your social network


Once a social network has been added to your account, you can then select which streams you’d like add to your dashboard.

To add a stream to Hootsuite


  1. Click Add Stream
  2. Select a social network
  3. Select a profile
  4. Select a stream


You can filter streams by:

  • Keyword
  • Klout score


Or if you are attending a conference and want to keep track of the hashtag for the event, enter it in the search box and save as stream.


Adding tabs to the dashboard is an easy way to group streams and keep your dashboard organized.

  • From the launch menu on the left, click the house (Streams) icon.
  • Click the plus (Add Tab) icon located on the right side of your tab row.
  • Type your tab name, and then press ENTER.

Sending messages

  1. Click to select a social network (more than one can be selected)
  2. Type your message
  3. Click Send

Sending messages on Hootsuite


Shrinking URLs

Shrinking a URL will save character space (especially for Twitter) and generate analytics based on the clicks your shortened URL receives:

  • Click Compose message
  • Click add a link
  • Paste or type URL
  • Click Shrink

To change the default shortener:

  • Click the gear (Advanced) icon
  • Click to select your default URL shortener, and then click the X button to close menu
  • This setting will be saved even after you log out of your HootSuite dashboard


HootSuite also allows you to schedule messages to be sent later.

  • Click the calendar icon
  • Select the date for the message to be sent
  • Select the time
  • Click schedule

RSS feeds

Hootsuite allows you take an RSS feed from any site and update it to your social network accounts automatically.

  • From the launch menu on the left, click the paper airplane (Publisher) icon
  • Click RSS Feeds
  • Under RSS/Atom Feeds, click plus (Add New Feed) icon
  • Type the URL
  • Click to select the profile that will post the RSS feed
  • Click to select how often HootSuite will check for new posts
  • Click to select how many posts will occur at one time
  • Click to add check mark, to include text from post in messages
  • Type text to add to each message; 20 characters maximum
  • Click to select a URL shortener
  • Click Save Feed

Installing Apps

The App Directory is a library of  free and premium third-party apps you can add to your dashboard including Flickr, YouTube, Tumblr, MailChimp, HubSpot.

Installing apps on Hootsuite


  1. Click puzzle piece (App Directory) icon
  2. Click Install App beside the app to add


HootSuite is available as an app for your mobile device (iPhone and iPod Touch, iPad and Android), and can be downloaded from your device’s app store.

Organizations and teams

Hootsuite for organizations (and teams) are included in the HootSuite Pro and Enterprise plans and provide a solution for social media team management.

Hootsuite for teams


  1. Click user profile icon
  2. Click Create an organization
  3. Name organization, upload image for organization, (optional) add a social network, and then click Create Organization


Adding members to Hootsuite


  1. Click Invite Members
  2. Enter email addresses, (optional) add team, and then click Add Users to Organization


Create teams on Hootsuite


  1. Click Add a Team
  2. Name team
  3. Upload image for team
  4. Click to select members that will complete actions for team (added in step 2)
  5. Click to select social networks that will be used by team (added in step 3)
  6. Click Create Team

Permission levels

  • Hover mouse over organization [team or a social network], click gear icon, and then select Manage Permissions
  • Click to select permission level

Hootsuite ConversationsConversations

Users can now communicate internally and in real-time from the Hootsuite dashboard. Conversations are located in the upper right-hand corner.

  • Click on the chat-box icon.
  • Click the prompt to “Get started now”
  • Import contacts from your Gmail and Yahoo address books, or add individual users to your Conversation’s Organization.
  • Select the users you would like included in your Organization’s Conversation. Invited members are included in your Conversation upon their email-acceptance.


Hootsuite’s built-in analytics and reports gives you access a lot of information, and all in one place:

  • Google Analytics - Using Google Analytics and URL parameters, trace revenue and web conversions to your social outreach.
  • Facebook Insights - Monitor and measure your fans, likes, comments and page activity.
  • Twitter Stats – Followers, following, lists, mentions, and more.
  • Stats – Individual and aggregated click stats for your shortened URLs.
  • Google+ Page Analytics (Enterprise) -  Growth, number of users added to circles, +1 shares, and posts per day.
  • Organization Analytics (Enterprise) – Reports based on your Organization’s metrics
  • Reports – Create quick or custom reports to keep your team up-to-date with results.

Hootsuite ROI

The post Hootsuite Guide: One Dashboard to Manage Your Social Media and Teams appeared first on Ahain Group.


Niall Devitt

Social Media Strategist & Founder, Ahain Group

Niall Devitt Chief Digital Strategist & Founder at the Ahain Group, an independent, ideas-led social business consultancy with experience of working with all types of clients and sectors– from large blue-chip multinationals to the 1 person SME. Download our industry specific and researched social business reports. In 2009, Niall co-founded (formally an international, business community and online publication.

See Full Profile >


Joel Pinto
Posted on June 20th 2013 at 4:43AM

¡Thanks a lot for this post! I've been using Hootsuite for about three years now and find it a wonderful social media management tool.

Sharing your post :-D

Posted on June 20th 2013 at 11:43AM

Hi Joel, me too, It's a great tool & thanks for your comment & share. 

Connor from HootSuite
Posted on June 20th 2013 at 7:49PM

Nicely written and comprehensive guide Niall! Going to point a few people to this one for reference on how to get started.

Hoot on!

-Connor from HootSuite

Posted on June 21st 2013 at 6:47AM

Thanks Connor & delighted to hear you approve! :)

Posted on July 4th 2013 at 11:51PM

Connor, any thoughts on updating the UI?  I've used Hootsuite for many years but would love to see a few tweaks to the overall UI.

Posted on July 4th 2013 at 11:50PM

Very informative and well-written post.  I enjoy Hootsuite and have used it for several years.  The only thing I would like to see is an update to the UI adding a bit more polish.

Posted on July 5th 2013 at 4:00AM

Hi Kyle & thanks for your comment. I kinda like the userface but I take your point, it could be more polished. Regards, Niall


Posted on July 6th 2013 at 9:49AM

Regardless, you wrote a brilliant and very new-user friendly post.   Enjoyable, informative and thanks for sharing!