Hootsuite Integration with Instagram

06 Aug
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Social Media   |  No Comments

I was SO excited when I updated Hootsuite on my phone and saw that the update included a new integration with Instagram, which would allow me to post to Instagram from Hootsuite, but more importantly, to schedule Instagrams in advance!! There are many features I wish Instagram had, and one of them is being able to schedule photos in advance. The wonderful people over at Eli Rose recently wrote a post about why Instagram is awesome and terrible, and I agree with all of their points. So you can see why I was so excited to see this new Hootsuite update!

I started playing around with how this would work (Do I have to filter the photo before scheduling it through Hootsuite? Would the Instagram handles transfer correctly?). I quickly found out that this isn’t the update I was hoping for.

Here’s how it works. In Hootsuite, import your Instagram account(s) like you would any other social media account. You must also have Hootsuite and Instagram on your mobile device, and make sure that you’ve successfully imported the correct accounts on the desktop version and the mobile version. Or, you can just use the mobile version.

As you can see in the desktop version, you have the ability to comment on photos through Hootsuite, without having to go into Instagram on your mobile device or logging into the browser version.

When you’re ready, compose your message like you would any other message. Type your content with handles and hashtags, then add the unfiltered image that you want to share to Instagram.

Hootsuite with Instagram Integration

 

Hootsuite Instagram Post

 

Like other posts in Hootsuite, you can share immediately, or you can schedule for later. For the purposes of this post, I shared immediately. Once I did, I got the success message on Hootsuite and then received a notification on my phone that the post was ready to go.

Hootsuite Success

 

Hootsuite Instagram NotificationFrom there, Hootsuite mobile walked me through the steps to post the photo to Instagram. Here’s where I started to get disappointed with this new integration. Hootsuite doesn’t post it to Instagram for you. All Hootsuite does is allow you to “schedule it in advance”, which lets you choose the photo you want to share and write out your content in advance. When the time comes to actually post the photo, you still have to walk through all of the steps on Instagram to actually post the photo, at the actual time that you want to post it. See below.

Hootsuite Instagram Notify

 

When you click “Open in Instagram”, your mobile device copies your caption text to the clipboard, which you later paste into your caption on Instagram.

 

Hootsuite Instagram Right AccountHootsuite Instagram Crop

 

Hootsuite Instagram Filter

 

Hootsuite Insta Paste

 

Hootsuite Instagram Final

 

So as you can see, Hootsuite will let you pre-choose your photo and write your text, but it ends up being more of a reminder to share your photo rather than an actual scheduling in advance feature. I won’t use the Hootsuite integration to post a photo immediately to Instagram, but I might use it as a reminder to share a photo later. Some days I forget to share something because life gets in the way, so this might be helpful to get me to sit down for 3 minutes to share that photo because most of the work has been done in advance.

Either way, this is a step in the right direction! It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there. What do you think?

 

 

Should You Change Your Social Media Handles?

31 Jul
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Social Media, Twitter   |  No Comments

When I created my Twitter account in 2009, I was living in Connecticut so I made my handle @CTinCT. Everyone loved it, and I would go to social media conferences and people would know me by @CTinCT. It was great!

And then a few months ago, I moved to New Hampshire. @CTinCT didn’t really make sense anymore. At first I decided not to change it. With over 2,000 Twitter followers, changing my handle seemed like a bad idea. There’s no way for me to let everyone know that I changed it, so if someone still tweets at @CTinCT, there’s a chance I could miss it. But after a while, I changed my mind and updated my handle to @BarefootCait. I’ll keep track of possible tweets using Twitter and Social Mention, and now my handle is a better representation of who I am (and not just where I used to live).

I’m generally not a proponent of changing a Twitter or Instagram handle, especially after so many years of using the sites. So if you’re just joining or still new-ish to the Twitter or Instagram game, take your time and make a smart decision about your handles. If you can make your Facebook URL, Twitter handle, Instagram handle and any other social sites you have match your website URL, you’re in awesome shape!

Some simple rules to follow when creating a handle:
– Don’t include a location
– Ladies, don’t use your last name if you hope to change it someday
– Don’t use your company info (unless you have to, or you own the company)

twitterIf you do decide that you need to change your handles, tweet a few times about it, and post something on Instagram about the change to let your followers know. You may even want to put something in your bio, “fka @CTinCT”. Keep posting to keep your new name in the feeds of your followers!

Changing your handles isn’t something you should do more than once, and only do it because it’s absolutely necessary. Organizations may need to make the update due to a name change, and I see a lot of my married friends who had put their maiden names in their handles updating them with their new names. Changing your handles will confuse your followers, so make sure you think that decision through and make it very clear to your followers when you do!

Facebook’s Call-To-Action Button

25 Jan
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Facebook, Social Media   |  No Comments

CT WAC Call to Action

Hey Facebook admins, did you notice the dialogue box that popped up the last time you clicked on your page? Facebook Pages have a new feature – the Call-to-Action button that you can create on your page. It’s a simple way to get more people to click through to your website, become a member, to watch a video… whatever! Check it out.

Right at the top of your page in the Cover Photo, next to the Like button, you’ll see a new button that says “Create Call-to-Action”. Click that to start the process. Choose what you want the button to say (right now there are limited option, choose the one that will work best) and add in the direct link to the page on your website that you want them to go to.

Call To Action Buttons

You’ll then be prompted about where people will be directed if they’re on mobile. If you have a separate app for your site, give them that information.

And that’s it! You’ll now have another insights box on the right that will tell you how many people click that button in a 7-day period.

CTAresults

 

UPDATE – 24 hours later. No clicks on any of the pages where I created the Call-to-Action button.

So what do you think? Will the button get you more click-throughs to your website?

LinkedIn Changed How We Connect

18 Jan
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in LinkedIn, Social Media   |  No Comments

I often talk about the importance of sending personalized connection requests on LinkedIn. I receive request emails almost daily that haven’t been personalized, sometimes from people that I know but more often from people that I don’t know and have never met. The generic emails that I receive don’t give me any reason to connect with them, even if they might have one. It doesn’t take that long to personalize the email and to tell someone why you’d like to connect.

I’ve always clicked the Connect button directly from the person’s profile, because hitting Connect from other places on the site (like the Suggestions for You page) wouldn’t give you the opportunity to personalize the message, it would just immediately send the email. So just a few minutes ago, I did that. I clicked Connect from someone’s profile, and it sent the email without giving me the opportunity to personalize. Then, once it did, LinkedIn directed me to a page where I could learn how to personalize. Surprise!

Now, clicking the Connect button will automatically send a connection request without giving you the opportunity to personalize. If you LinkedIn Connectwant to add your own message – and you should! – then instead of clicking Connect, click the drop down arrow to the right, and then click Personalize Invitation. You’ll find your connection requests to be a lot more successful if you send a personalized email. If you’re sending a request to someone you know, just say a quick hello and that you’d like to add them to your network. If it’s someone that you just met at a meeting or networking event, remind them where you met or something that you talked about. If you’ve never met then but you’re looking to connect, tell them why you’re looking to connect with them.

Good luck!

Don’t Link Facebook and Twitter

12 Jan
by Caitlin Thayer, posted in Facebook, Social Media, Twitter   |  No Comments

Linking your Facebook page with your Twitter account may seem like a great and easy way to get your voice heard on multiple platforms, but if your Facebook posts currently auto-post to Twitter, or if your tweets auto-post to Facebook, you should unlink them.

Why?

First, it’s the exact same content. Why should I follow you on Twitter and Like your page on Facebook when the content I see is exactly the same? It’s not even the same type of content shared in different ways on the different sites… It’s exactly. The. Same.

If you’re pushing your updates from Facebook to Twitter, then the tweet I see will be your Facebook post, only cut off halfway through (because Twitter has a 140 character limit, and Facebook allows upwards of 60,000 characters per post) with a link that directs me back to Facebook to see the full post. And if there’s a link that you shared on Facebook, now you’re making me click twice to get to the site you shared. You should also keep in mind that if someone who follows you on Twitter doesn’t have a Facebook account, they might not be able to see that content at all.

You should be having two completely different conversations on Facebook and Twitter, because the demographics will be different. Not everyone who Likes you on Facebook also follows you on Twitter, and vice-versa. You should be posting 2-4 times per day on Facebook, and 3-5+ times on Twitter, which means that some of the content will be the same but not all of it.

It’s also likely that if you’re pushing your Facebook posts to Twitter, that you’re not thinking about Twitter the way you should be and you’re not spending the time there that you should be. If I see your Twitter profile and the only tweets you have are ones that have pushed from Facebook and you have no retweets or conversation, I’m probably not going to follow you.

The biggest reason to not link Facebook and Twitter, however, is that functionality doesn’t translate across sites. If you’re using the sites properly, you should be tagging other Facebook pages in your updates, and you should be tagging handles and using hashtags on Twitter. Pushing a Facebook update to Twitter means you aren’t using Twitter handles or hashtags, which means you aren’t helping yourself to grow your Twitter following or create conversation. If you’re pushing from Twitter to Facebook, your Facebook update will include the Twitter handles you’ve used, which won’t make sense on Facebook.Design-2015-01-22-07-04-22

Unlink the two sites, and take the extra few minutes to post on Facebook and Twitter separately. Download Pages Manager and Twitter/Hootsuite on your phone, and spend the time to use the sites properly. You’ll see the results!

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