HootSuite has been rocking my geek socks for a long time now. I use it every social-media-infused day to keep up with (and skim through) all the happenings in my little circle on Twitter. If you’ve been on HootSuite for any length of time, you probably already use some streams like Mentions, Direct Messages and streams for your Twitter lists. But I want to pull back the curtain and show you three pretty slick streams you should add to HootSuite (and why).
To get started adding a stream, you simply click the Add Stream button. Yeah, that one.
Then, follow the instructions for each stream. (And if you’re new to HootSuite, read my old post on the basics of HootSuite… you will never use Twitter’s interface again!)
Whether you’re a HootSuite newbie or an old pro, these three streams should be a part of any blogger’s streaminess:
1. Your Blog URL
I love this little trick! When you create a stream of your blog URL, you can see any tweets that link to your blog, even if it’s a short link like a bit.ly.
Why you need it: You might be surprised at how many people tweet your posts and you are none the wiser. Sometimes they are sharing a post with another Twitter user. Other times, they are simply sharing a post or page with their followers but don’t mention you in their tweet. By creating a stream for your blog URL, you’ll be able to see them all.
How to do it: Type in your blog name without the http://www. Once you add the stream, any tweets with a link to your blog will fill the stream immediately. Below you see some things I caught with this stream:
2. Hashtags Relevant to Your Blog Niche
Okay, you probably already know this one. You can follow any hashtag just by adding a stream to HootSuite.
Why you need it: You can discover all sorts of goodies by following hashtags relevant to the topics you write about. Find articles to share with your followers, find articles that increase your knowledge on the topic, see what brands are using the hashtag (might be ones to contact about partnering), find out what the “competitors” are doing and on and on.
How to do it: To track one hashtag within a stream, use the Search OR Keyword tab. However, if you want to track a few hashtags within one stream, use the Keyword tab and click Add after each keyword. You can add a max of three per stream. Some popular hashtags can have a lot of junk but you can skim through or go with a more specific hashtag. Here are some useful tweets I caught:
If you don’t know which hashtags to follow, try Hashtagify.me. Enter a popular hashtag and it’ll tell you ten similar hashtags. If you don’t know any popular hashtag in your niche, just try a common word for a topic you write about as a hashtag (Note: I couldn’t get this app to work in Chrome, but it was fine in Firefox.)
3. Keyword with a Question Mark
Say what? This one might sound strange but bear with me. When you use a keyword plus a question mark (ex. blogging?), HootSuite will find any tweet with both that keyword and a question mark anywhere within the tweet.
Why you need it: Sure you can making a stream using plain old keywords, but adding a question mark narrows your search to people typically seeking advice. You can flex your know-how by answering a question or pointing someone to an article for the answer (whether it’s your article or not). You might also find people sharing articles related to the keyword but promoting the article with a question (ex “Are you a blogger who needs blog post ideas? Read this! LINK”). While having a stream with a hashtag or keyword would includes ones found in this stream, having a separate stream weeds out a lot of fluff and more targeted.
How to do it: Click on the Search tab, then add your keyword followed by a question mark. You may have to try a few different keywords to find ones that provide you with useful tweets! When I did this, I found some goodies such as someone asking about blog design. I can guide her to my Blog Designer page or mention my book. Here’s what I found:
As an added bonus to using these three streams, you can also find new people to follow this way! People who share similar interests, fit into your target audience or both. Sweet!
Tell me: Besides the basic HootSuite streams, which sorts of streams to you use or plan to add?