Hootsuite1 makes it incredibly easy for lawyers to automate content publishing and social syndication with relatively little effort. If you are an attorney active on multiple social media sites sharing your blog posts or other content, you should look into Hootsuite2. Lawyers can use it as a social media management and content syndication tool that will make online marketing of the firm much easier.
Hootsuite works with major social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, Foursquare and Mixi (a Japanese social site). You sync up your accounts through Hootsuite’s interface and it enables you to monitor feeds, post updates and interact with other people. It provides one interface for managing your social presence3.
At the time of this writing, there is native support for personal or professional accounts with the exception of Google Plus for which there is only support for business accounts. You can also sync a WordPress.com account or a self-hosted site if you download an additional free application (which we will get to later).
Hootsuite has support for adding multiple profiles to an account. If you are an attorney that has different social pages for different practice areas or for multiple offices, you can manage them in one location. In addition to adding profiles, you can add streams or feeds of content that are unique to the social network they are coming from. For instance if you are active on Twitter, you can add separate feeds for mentions, your main stream, and your direct messages.
Marketing a law firm online successfully involves having a consistent message. The disadvantage to managing multiple accounts across different websites is that your message can change without you even realizing it. You also might forget to share something on one network or more. It’s also cumbersome to log into a handful of different websites and if you’re managing multiple accounts on the same social site, you’re probably running out of browsers to use.
In Hootsuite, when you are composing a post, all of the networks your account is synced with are right there. You can choose which ones to share it on and be sure you aren’t missing anything.
Perhaps even more powerful is that you can respond to people who’ve interacted with your social accounts right from within Hootsuite. Some people like to log into all of their accounts and see what’s happening which is fine but if you’re trying to save time, you can respond to mentions, interact with followers, send direct messages and a lot of other actions right from within Hootsuite.
You can sync a WordPress.com account to your Hootsuite account but if you have a self-hosted WordPress blog (or just a site made with WordPress that has a blog), you can sync that too. You can also add an RSS feed so that when you publish to your blog, it automatically goes out to your social accounts.
Syncing your blog means you’ll be able to manage and syndicate posts easily from within Hootsuite. An RSS feed means you won’t have to log into every account and copy/paste URLs.
To start you will need to install the WordPress.org app in Hootsuite (it is free and is free even if you are using the free version of Hootsuite – great deal huh?). Go to the add app button in the left column of your Hootsuite account.
In the window that appears, just search for WordPress.org and you will see the app pop up in the list.
Click the install app button and then click finish.
A new feed appear and then a spot where you can enter the URL for your blog, your username and password for the admin area of WordPress.
Click find my blog and then save. You should see a feed of your recent posts appear.
Click on the publisher menu item in the left column of Hootsuite.
Click on RSS feeds and the feed window will appear. Note that you must have a feed already made for this step. If you do not, it is really simple to burn a feed on Feed Burner5.
Click the add feed (plus button) and another window will appear prompting you to enter your feed information. Configure settings as you wish and then click save feed. If you want your posts to be sent to your social networks configured in Hootsuite (which you will have to set up before you set up your RSS feed), choose which ones you want to syndicate your content to. Now every time you post to your WordPress blog, it will populate to your social feeds automatically.
Hootsuite is a very flexible and useful tool for syndicating content quickly and easily. For lawyers with busy schedules, it simplifies the entire process of publishing content to the web in a variety of locations at once. We have really just scratched the surface of what the web-based tool can do. Check out Hootsuite’s blog5 for a lot of good information on all the capabilities it has.
Do you use Hootsuite for content syndication? What creative ways have you found to publish and share content around the web with it? Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below.