Three Streams You Should Add to HootSuite

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).

Three Streams You Should Add to HootSuite- Blogging Tips

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

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 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:

HootSuite-question-labeledThere you have it!

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?


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  1. says

    Love this Melissa! Since I am trying to engage and connect more, the search with the ?, will be priceless!

    Thank you!

  2. says

    Clever and simple ideas-love them! I found you via a tweet from @AlisonSWLee.
    I am going to institute these right away.
    I do a feed based on the twitter handles of the 2 sites to which I contribute. I will be changing those now, too, to the website URL.
    I also do a feed for an upcoming conference so I can see the attendees’ concerns, things they want to learn, etc.

  3. says

    Hi Melissa! This is an a fantastic post! I have just begun using Hoot…and I love it. These tips will really help me to narrow down my actions there, epecially the ?mark stream! Never thought of doing that before as a way to get involved with other tweeters! Thanks for posting these valuable insights!

    • Melissa Culbertson says

      Danielle- thanks for the feedback! Yes, I am finding so many people out there I would have never found otherwise.

    • Melissa Culbertson says

      Thanks so much, Judi! Hope you find lots of good tidbits and people to follow in your new streams!

  4. says

    Love the URL tracker! That is a great stream that most people never think of.

    We use Hootsuite for our company account and one tip I’ve learned that if you want to assign tweets to certain people, or departments, they MUST be a search stream. It cannot be your normal stream or a list.

  5. says

    So glad I happened by this, today. I just got through watching a HootSuite webinar and the information you have here, goes right along with it! I still have so much to learn, and I am so happy to get tips from real people who can explain how to use or do something to someone of my level.
    Thanks !

    • Melissa Culbertson says

      Rock on, Linda! I pretty much never use Twitter without HootSuite– it’s that great of an app!

  6. says

    I love this post! Why have I never considered searching my own site? I implemented these straight away and found a few mentions and promptly thanked the people who shared! Thanks for this info.

  7. says

    When am I finally going to get on the Hootsuite bandwagon? Probably when they stop Tweetdeck (which is soon I hear).

  8. says

    I can’t wait to try this out! Thank you so much for the tips, especially the URL one – brilliant! I did have a question though – do you have the pro version or do you just use basic? Are there any real benefits to going pro?

    • Melissa Culbertson says

      Hey Kalyn- I just use the basic version. Most of the benefits of Pro are for small businesses who have multiple people using the same accounts. I haven’t researched the Pro account too much… mainly because I haven’t found any limitations really with the free one!

  9. says

    I really enjoy articles that have action steps within them. I was following along as I read. HootSuite is a really powerful program and a real time saver. It has boosted my productivity and lets me get a lot more done in with social media. Thanks for the great tips. The question mark idea is one of the best I have come across.

  10. says

    I really appreciate this hootsuite tips. For a newbie this is very helpful. Looking forward for kore tips and strategies in the future.

  11. says

    Melissa, this is a wonderful post! I NEVER EVER EVER even thought of doing something like this. I just hopped over to hootsuite and made 3 separate tabs with these type of streams. This will definitely make it easier to find posts to recommend, interact with others, and find awesome new blogs to follow! I’m a new blogger as of a few months ago and I’m still struggling with maintaining a good steady schedule for social media. This will help me tons, thank you again!