At first glance, when you’re done signing up for Hootsuite, you’ll notice the convenience of only having to posting an update once and being able to share it on multiple platforms. However, if you take a look further into the possibilities this friendly owl-logoed application has to offer, you’ll notice that not only does it save you time but also makes working and collaborating with others a breeze. Customizing reports, scheduling messages, and assigning other team members tasks are what makes Hootsuite the perfect business solution for target marketing and social media development.

Multiple Social Media Accounts

Instead of signing into all your individual Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to see the latest newsfeed from your friends and colleagues, all the action can happen from one place. When you’re adding each account, here is what pops up for social networks:

Hootsuite Dashboard

You start by selecting the network you want to add to your stream and what type of stream you want to see. Essentially, Hootsuite is a revolving stream of updates for each network with task icons that appear to the right of the status bar so you can attach a photo, schedule a meeting and add your location:

At a glance, here’s what the expanded Twitter feed looks like with incoming posts, sent tweets, direct messages and any mentions featuring your twitter handle.

The beauty that sets this apart from each social network site is that you don’t have to switch screens to see the information you want as it is displayed in an accessible column format that is only separated by tabs at the top for easy navigation.

Not just a Pretty Face

So we have seen how you can stream all your live feed and that’s great for the avid social media savvy person who checks in daily to their accounts, but how does it help businesses? User engagement is a key ingredient to the recipe for a successful social media campaign. Hootsuite allows you to monitor your mentions through a custom search stream.  By entering industry keywords or specific product brands, you’ll be able to see and respond to what your followers are talking about instantaneously and in a timely manner as you create your custom searches.

Want to see how many people “Liked” the promotion you ran last month? Creating automated reports will allow you to measure the success of your campaigns and give you insights on what’s working and what’s not.  These reports can be shared with multiple team members that you have already set up to receive. The ability to schedule daily or weekly updates will free up time do manage other aspects of your campaign while delivering feedback and up to date results to all team members. Owl.y links are custom URL’s that shorten the typical longer URL so your link doesn’t take up all 140 allowable characters on Twitter. Through Hootsuite, you can track click-thru’s on these thinks that will generate a summary of the stats to measure this specific aspect of your campaign.

Is it all Free? Not so much

For a fraction of what you spend on your weekly coffee addiction, Hootsuite offers enhanced social analytics, unlimited social profiles, RSS feed integration and more for $5.99 a month. A free account will allow you up to 5 Social Profiles and free social analytics. Let’s not forget that it is also mobile friendly so you can tap into your account from your smartphone of choice.

Organization, convenience and customization are key factors that are most appealing for businesses when they’re looking to try and implement something new to elevate their marketing strategy. If it will make your life easier, then you’re already heading in the right direction. With its countless features and organized layout, Hootsuite is a place to monitor and manage what you’re doing already in one place. Pete Cashmore CEO of Mashable, one of the top Social Media News and Web Tips website, says it best

“HootSuite is an essential tool for managing social networks by allowing teams to efficiently track conversations and measure campaign results.”

This along with 2 million + satisfied users should be enough for you to take a few minutes to explore what Hootsuite has to offer.