We’re off to a good start this year with my two and a half year old business. We’re really making great strides in developing strategic relationships with the Apple Stores’ Business Sales Departments as well as reworking and improving our web presence and making the most of the Web2.0 tools that can help us promote ourselves and our services, or, simply put, our brand. One of the tools we’ve found that has a lot of promise is HootSuite. HootSuite is a web-based Twitter client that allows for managing multiple accounts and also provides metrics. Why are either of these things beneficial to a business, or more specifically, what is it that we hope to accomplish by using HootSuite and these features.

First, we decided to officially set-up a company Twitter account, which is located here. Please feel free to follow us if you’re on Twitter. And if you’re not using it, you might want to check it out. Second, we have a new initiative called StudioD.tv which we are billing as the virtual classroom of DDS. We will be posting screencasts with tips and tricks on Mac software (both from Apple and third parties) as well as tips and information on how to make the most of your online social experience on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and many others. Third, we also set-up a Twitter account for StudioD.tv, which is here. Also, both Jay and I have our own personal Twitter accounts, wkeving and skeggsjp. To top all that off, we each have our own personal blogs (Kevin’s here and Jay’s here) as well as the main company blog, for which you can get a sneak peek at our new design here. Now I don’t expect you to be keeping count, but between us, there are 4 blog feeds and 4 Twitter feeds. This doesn’t even include our personal Facebook accounts, LinkedIn accounts and our company page on Facebook. (Did you even know you could set up a company page on Facebook? For Free? And post content and send event invitations and update your customers and fans with timely news and info? If not, be watching for an upcoming episode at StudioD.tv that will show you how to do this.) So, you might think I forgot my own question, which has happened before. But, don’t worry. I’m still on point here.

What we hope to accomplish by using HootSuite is a more centralized place for managing our communications. We set up an account, using our company name and proceeded to add each of the company twitter accounts and our own personal accounts. Now, either of us can use the streamlined interface to “tweet” from our personal account or “tweet” from either of the company accounts. Where it gets really useful is we’ve also set up the blog feeds, or RSS feeds, from both company blogs, The DDS Blog and StudioD.tv as well as our personal blogs. What HootSuite does with these feeds is pretty cool. HootSuite will check periodically to see if the feed has been updated, meaning we’ve posted new content. If we have, then HootSuite will automatically “tweet” a message to our followers letting them know that we’ve posted new content. Where it gets even more useful is in the fact that HootSuite will take the link for our new post, and shorten it to a very tiny URL. This helps keep our “tweets” short, but more importantly, HootSuite can now track how many times a link was clicked. This lets us know which messages generated the most traffic for our websites. The more traffic, the more likely we are to establish ourselves as experts in what we’re doing and hopefully generate more leads for business.

So, once I post this blog entry, within an hour HootSuite will know and will “tweet” a link for the “Twitterverse” (I know, I didn’t come up with the names). Users will click on it to come read my brilliantly crafted post. Ok, the brilliantly crafted may be stretching it. The advantage to a user or organization is this:  create your content once, but distribute that information across many networks at the same time. Consider this, a TV show airs on only one network, unless you’re the President giving a news conference. Well I’m not the President, but I play one on the internet and now I can have my message broadcast to many networks at once. Seriously, our goal is to utilize these tools to distribute our message, or our brand, to as many networks as we can in hopes of generating more traffic and subsequently more business.

Next time, I’ll tell you how Facebook and LinkedIn are automatically updated. Keep checking StudioD.tv also for screencasts that show you.

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