Archive for category HootSuite

Hootsuite University – A Special Offer

Posted by on Sunday, 21 September, 2014

HootSuite Certified ProfessionalIt looks like you’ve forgiven me for sharing so much Hootsuite content. That’s good because they’ve just released a promo code for Hootsuite University.

If you’ve been curious about Hootsuite University or are already certified, add GETAHEAD to the billing page to save 20% for the next six months. The certification is useful and a great thing to show you’re a knowledgeable social media manager, but the real value is in the additional resources. The ever-growing lecture series and social media courseware. The social media courseware gives an additional seven courses with exams to hone your skills. The lecture series includes 20-30 minute videos on a range of focused topics. Presenters include Mark Schaefer and Charlene Li. Eek, writing this makes me sound like I’m channelling Grammar Girl’s sponsorship spiel. The only payment I get is the love and adoration of you all to be able to save money, and the Hootsuite Community Managers for sharing the promo.

Seriously though, if you’ve been considering it, use the Hootsuite University code GETAHEAD by October 15, 2014. It’s billed in monthly increments, but works out to be $99 for six months of access to a brilliant educational resource. If you’re unsure, here’s my last post on my certification.

Hootsuite Ambassador Video

While we’re chatting Hootsuite, the new ambassador video was released yesterday, in time for next week’s Social Media Week, and it includes me! Check it out and I’d love for you to apply to join the team. It’s a lot of fun and I adore my fellow ambassadors around the globe.

If you have any questions about Hootsuite University or the ambassador program, ask in the comment or tweet me.

Hootsuite University – Six Months Later

Posted by on Saturday, 9 August, 2014

HootSuite Certified ProfessionalOne of the most popular pages on here is the post announcing my Hootsuite University certification. Understandably people want to check it before pulling out their credit card. I know I did.

Was Hootsuite University Worth It?

The short answer is yes.

As I mentioned in the original post, I did more work to become certified than I needed to. I could have done three courses, I did 10. I just felt it was too easy with just the three and the instructions weren’t clear. Fortunately the videos were easy to follow and some of the courseware is beginner level. I also had the advantage of having come back to Hootsuite after using Sprout Social for nearly a year.

So, what did I gain apart from $21 of credit card loyalty points each month and my name on a website?

How about a new client? In March I was asked to help a local foundation out with their digital execution for a few weeks. They were a Hootsuite Enterprise client and didn’t have a lot of time to train the contractor. Being Hootsuite University certified meant it was one less thing to train. Oddly, I’m still working with that foundation as their acting Communications Manager.

After my first day with that client I used another benefit of Hootsuite University – the additional training. There are four courses on just Hootsuite Enterprise, but also five sets of videos. The videos take you through how to grow and engage your social media audiences, becoming a social business, best practices and then by department and industry sector. That night I started with the Enterprise then hit the non-profits. The videos are interviews with leaders in those sectors, so you’re not just hearing from the Hootsuite team.

The final favorite benefit is #HSUChat. This was actually the first one I got into and now I’m disappointed I travel between clients and miss it. For those not in a car at 11am on Tuesday, follow #HSUchat for insightful discussion. The topic is generally announced on the Monday and is often lead by a social media manager who has had success in that area. The chat isn’t restricted to Hootsuite University graduates, so just in to the conversation.

There are more benefits, like being listed in the directory, but I don’t know if I’ve directly benefited from that. no one has mentioned that’s how they found me.

Do you have any questions about the certification? Add them in the comments. Oh, and if you’re one of the people Googling to find the Hootsuite University exam answers, just watch the videos and stop being lazy. Don’t deny it, Google Analytics tells all.

Are you ready for #HootUpSEA?

Posted by on Sunday, 1 June, 2014

#HootUpSEAWhat do HUG, MUG and #HootUpSEA have in common?

They’re all user groups.

What’s this? You haven’t heard of #HootUpSEA? That’s because it’s new. The Seattle HootSuite users and friends are having their first user event, or as well call it, #HootUp. It’s also my first public activity as a HootSuite Ambassador for North America.

Join us on Wednesday June 18 at Fado’s Irish pub in Pioneer Square for Happy Hour. There will be marketers and social media people, along with others, sharing tips and ideas over a drink. And, it’s a #HootUp so I can promise you swag. We also don’t discriminate. If you don’t use HootSuite, we’d still love to meet you.

Space is limited, so please RSVP quickly. It’s free.

See you there and keep hooting.

PS, special thanks to fellow #HootAmb Kim Castlemain for the photo.

Guess Who’s a HootSuite Brand Ambassador?

Posted by on Sunday, 13 April, 2014

HootSuite-Brand-AmbassadorHey, I’m in social media. I’m a marketer. I love to share and promote great products. That’s why I’ve joined the HootSuite Brand Ambassador program.

You all know the benefits of a strong community for brands. It’s a free extension of your PR team, word of mouth by peers is more trusted than your marketing messages, the list goes on. HootSuite have done this very well, and globally. Last year the volunteer HootSuite Brand Ambassadors held more than 150 HootUps (events) in 22 countries. That’s in addition to participation in online chats, creating links and mentions, and personal recommendations. I challenge you to put a dollar value to that.

What do I Get for Joining the HootSuite Brand Ambassador Team?

I do score a few perks. My HootSuite University and Pro memberships are comped for three months, a bunch of swag, a significant discount on the Newhouse Advanced Social Media Strategy certificate, inclusion in a active community, and the privilege of bragging about it.

Pretty good for what I’d do for free.

Is This Why I Switched from Sprout Social?

No. The switch and becoming certified with HootSuite University both occurred before I knew about the HootSuite Brand Ambassador program.

Around the time I wrote about my content curation process, we switched up the PSAMA social media process. We needed team members to have access to all our profiles, and at $40 per user, per month Sprout Social was just too expensive. I love their analytics and reporting, but I don’t feel I can ask volunteers to pay a subscription and I can’t justify it enough for the chapter to pay. HootSuite Pro gives me an additional user with the $9.95 per month fee. Even with adding HootSuite University I was financially ahead.

What’s Next?

Planning has started for #HootUpSEA – a Seattle gathering. There are a few other ambassadors local and we’re working together. Add search stream #HootUpSEA for updates. Also, I join in the weekly #HSUChat (soon to become #HSChat). It’s Tuesdays at 11am Pacific and a great conversation open to all. Even if I find the topic not relevant to me (last week was social media second screening television), I follow and get a tip or two.

If you have any HootSuite or social media questions, feel free to Tweet me at @BiancaJSmith. Or just Tweet to say hi.

Finally, the HootSuite Ambassador program is accepting applications for all regions. Complete the application form, and don’t forget to tell them I sent you.

PS, Seattle HootSuite users: do you want a content or purely social #HootUpSEA? Let me know in the comments.

HootSuite University – Celebrating My New Certification

Posted by on Sunday, 23 February, 2014

If you’re learning something and there’s a certification attached, it seems a waste not to sit the exam. This morning I passed the HootSuite University exam.

This week I switched back to HootSuite to manage my social media accounts, and it confused the bleep out of me. It just looks so cluttered and messy. But, Sprout Social is just too expensive to run teams of volunteers; I’ll live with fewer analytics.

My Saturday night was an hour of videos (yes, I’m such a party animal), and my Sunday morning an hour long exam that took 15 minutes.

Achievement Unlocked: HootSuite University
HootSuite Certified Professional

What was HootSuite University like?

I can think of better ways to spend my weekend. OK, it wasn’t that bad, but I did take a few breaks to stop the monotony. Others reviewing the course said it takes four to nine hours, so when the advanced videos (the second class) got a tad dull, I switched to the social media courseware. To be honest that was so basic (really, it defines a Tweet), so I switched to the exams and skipped a lot of videos. After completing these, I discovered they actually aren’t needed to be certified. Yes, that was wasted time. I didn’t need four hours.

There’s no FAQ or instructions on how to actually get certified. The HootSuite University website outlines the benefits and costs, but not which courses are required (they offer lots of courses), or the pass rate. This would have helped. I’m still actually not exactly sure the pass rate. It’s higher than 80%. Oh, and there are 40 questions to be answered within a hour. If you fail, you’re told which answers were incorrect and the chance to sit the exam again immediately. I was a little cheeky and copied my answers down before hitting submit. My 80% on my first attempt was easier to improve upon when I didn’t have to think about the 36 questions I got right when resitting it.

The knowledge I gained in the two classes plus exam needed for certification won’t actually help me be a better social media marketer. It only shows that I can navigate my way around HootSuite and I have the $21 per month to maintain the certification. However, the additional courses and lecture series, along with being listed as a certified social media marketer justifies the price.

Have you completed HootSuite University or another social media certification? What did you think?