By September 12, 2013 Read More →

Social media 101 for freelancers – Hootsuite

Social media 101 - Greg DillonGreg Dillon is a freelance brand strategist who used Tweetdeck to manage Twitter for years, but recently had to change to Hootsuite. In today’s guest post Greg provides his social media 101 to get you set up on Hootsuite to connect with likeminded people and potential clients:

Are you on Twitter?
Are you tweeting?
Are you making new business connections through Twitter?
Are you connecting with prospects all over the world on Twitter?
Are you amassing a following of relevant peers, brands and industry folk on Twitter?

The answer to all of these should be ‘YES’. If not, this social media 101 is for you.

I have been on Twitter since April of 2009, which, whilst not totally an alpha adopter, still puts me firmly in the early adopter box.

Since the beginning I used an app called Tweetdeck. It was simple, did what I needed it to do, was free and, whilst the web version was pretty poor in my opinion, it kept me up to date with what I needed to know.

Sadly that app has been discontinued.

Enter an app called Hootsuite.

It allows you to set up your profiles, manage multiple accounts across multiple platforms and basically run everything social from the one app which is pretty cool.

Social media 101 for freelancers – Twitter and Hootsuite

1. Get the app. Head over to your relevant app store, get the app and set up an account on

2. Install. Once installed, login, it should pre-populate your most likely columns – Home (your Twitter feed), Mentions, Direct Messages and Sent Messages.

3. Clever searching. The clever part is what comes next. Hit Search, type in key words (so for me that is ‘brand consultant’ for example…) and when it loads the results hit save on the top right.
Repeat for all key words, keeping them vague enough to find results but specific enough to be relevant.

4. Keep searching. Repeat as relevant. I use brand consultant, freelance strategist, freelance strategy, strategist, strategy consultant etc. They all work really well apart from freelance strategy as everyone seems to mention it at one time or another.

5. Save! Remember to hit Save on each one.

6. Changing habits. Make sure you get into the habit of checking them every day, at least once or twice. These are powerful searches, they will scan the whole of Twitter each time you open each save (called tabs) and you will get the latest and greatest conversation about your specific terms.

7. Engage. This is the crucial part. Being a Twitter voyeur is one thing (something like 63% of users never tweet, they just read – spooky. Make sure you reply to people talking about your keywords. The app will give you an option to ‘@ reply’ which means send a reply directly at them.

8. Communications strategy. Don’t go in too hard too soon. Gentle greetings and ‘that was a great link you posted’ and all that works nicely. Then once they reply, engage them in conversation to warm them up to a sales lead or a potential blog contributor etc.

Let me know if you have any questions about how it all works. Better still tweet me at StratTalking.

Greg is a freelance brand strategist working with brands and agencies all round the world. He is also the author of, a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic.

Check out how Greg created a home office from a dumping ground and how he motivates himself to work in the comfort of his own home and despite the company of his cats!

Posted in: Social media

2 Comments on "Social media 101 for freelancers – Hootsuite"

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  1. How strange that 63% of twitter users never tweet! I didn’t know that. I know lots of people are intimidated by Hootsuite so this article is a nice introduction. These days I can’t imagine life without it!