Tools of the Trade: How Platforms Like Hootsuite Help Keep Your Real Estate Marketing On Track

7/31/2019

Heat Level: Medium: These tips require some experience.

Bottom Line: Social scheduling platforms like Hootsuite allow you to manage your different social media accounts all in one place.

Do This: Set up your free Hootsuite account to see the power and easy of a social media scheduling platform.

Odds are, you’re already using at least one social media platform for your brand. If you’re only using one, keeping up with your posts and account can be fairly manageable. But as you start to branch out and use multiple platforms, it can be much harder to keep everything straight. 

Of course, as a smart professional you already know to use a content calendar to plan ahead. But what about when you want to schedule posts and interact with users on all of your different platforms? Yes, you can jump from app to app while pulling your hair out and wondering why you ever went down this path (we get it, we’ve been there too). Or you could save yourself time and headache by using a social media scheduling and management platform. 

Our Go-To: Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the biggest names in the social management game. It’s also one of the only platforms with a forever free plan that you can use. We use Hootsuite for our own social media as well as for several of our clients. Here are some of the things we love and hate about the platform so you can see if it sounds like a good fit for you.

Pros

There are lots of things to like about using Hootsuite. As one of the original players in this space, they’re well-known and have a team of social media experts who work to make sure that the platform does it’s job...namely, making your life easier!

  • It’s free! Seriously, Hootsuite has a forever free plan (not a free trial) which you can use for the rest of your days. The free plan definitely has limits (more on those in the next section) but it’s one of the only social management options where you don’t have to pay right from the start.
  • Lots of integrations: Basically, any network you’re using can be managed through Hootsuite. Here’s their official list:
    • Twitter profiles
    • Facebook profiles
    • Facebook Pages
    • Facebook groups
    • Instagram business profiles
    • Instagram profiles
    • YouTube channels
    • LinkedIn profiles
    • LinkedIn Pages
    • Wordpress.com blogs
    • Pinterest profiles
  • User Friendly: Like with anything new, there’s a learning curve. But Hootsuite is easy to set up and once you get a feel for the setup it’s easy to start using.
  • Killer Resources: You may have noticed that a lot of articles we use as references on this site come from Hootsuite’s blog. That’s not on accident! They have TONS of resources, guides, and in-depth research and reporting about everything related to social media. Their resources to help you with the platform are great, and their content overall will make you a smarter and more savvy digital marketer.

Cons

Of course, nothing is perfect, and there are definitely some drawbacks to using Hootsuite that we’ve found over the years.

  • Plan Limits: Yes, their forever free plan is great, but it can be pretty limiting. 
    • You can only have 3 social profiles connected to Hootsuite in the free version.
    • You can only have 30 posts scheduled at a time in the free version.
    • Their reporting module isn’t included in the free version or even the first paid tier so you’ll still need to look at each platform for your social analytics.
    • You can only have one user on the free plan, so if you have a team you can’t set each person up with their own login. 
  • Integration Limits: You didn’t think all of those app integrations would be without issue, did you?
    • Instagram has the most limits. If you’re using a personal account, you can’t schedule and post to your account through Hootsuite. If you have a business account, you have to authenticate it through Facebook to be able to post. You also cannot like posts through Hootsuite and you can only comment on your own posts.
    • Pinterest is also limited to publishing without many options for interaction.
    • In the free and first tier paid plans, you aren’t able to DM on Twitter.

Obviously some of these are a bigger inconvenience than others. However if you’re just getting started with using a social media management platform, Hootsuite is a great option despite these limitations. For what it’s worth, we manage almost all of ListingManager’s posting through the free Hootsuite with no issues. You can review the pricing plans on Hootsuite’s website.

Other Options

Of course, as your social efforts grow, you might find that Hootsuite’s limits or setup just don’t quite fit what you need. There are lots of other options out there at varying price points. Some of the biggest/most reputable ones include: 

There are also other options you can use to schedule posts and manage your social presence. Lots of CRM platforms have some sort of social media integration. If you’re already using and comfortable with your CRM, it could be worth investigating whether they have social media management included or as an add-on to your existing service.

We’ve also covered the built-in tools that Facebook offers for businesses pages. You can schedule posts ahead of time directly through Facebook, and Twitter has their own sister app called Tweetdeck. But you’re more or less out of luck when it comes to platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn - they don’t have their own scheduling capabilities.

Bottom Line

If you’re using multiple social media platforms, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Social management platforms like Hootsuite can make life a lot easier by allowing you to schedule posts ahead of time and across multiple accounts all from the same place.

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Jess Clair self-portrait on Mount Washington
Jess Clair is the Marketing and Sales Project Manager at Joyce, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA.
Working with ListingManager allows Jess to explore an alternate reality where she could one day own a house instead of renting. When she’s not focused on her daily to-do lists, Jess enjoys HBO binges, gourmet lattes, and playing with her dog.

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