If you’re like most business owners, you probably spend a lot of time each day searching for valuable content that you’d want to share with your audience on your social networks. Even though you can copy and paste each link into the status update window, it’s a slow manual process, especially when you’d like to share multiple pieces at a time.

On a different note, social media research is a major part of any serious marketing strategy, but it’s often ignored and businesses are missing on valuable information about their brands. The Canadian social media management company, HootSuite, has been developing a really cool feature that addresses both challenges – social sharing and research – with one tool: the Hootlet.

hootsuite mascot main

Featured image credit: Ssango

The Hootlet

You’ve probably heard of the Hootlet add-on extension for Chrome and Firefox when it was first launched in 2009. The new updated Hootlet version takes social sharing and research to a whole new level. Its primary function is to simplify content sharing via HootSuite and distribute the content to multiple social networks and even schedule your posts.

In essence, Hootsuite’s Hootlet is an effective tool to:

-          Search social media content next to your Google search

-          Share content while you surf, without leaving the web page you’re on

-          Highlight text in a page and share it directly to your social media accounts

-          Discover relevant geo-located social media content

-          Cross promote images and videos

-          Schedule posts on your social networks from any web page

Whenever you find a page that’s worthy of a share, click the owl Hootlet button on the top right corner of your browser window and the Hootlet compose box will appear. It will automatically add the title and a shrinked URL into the share box.

Next, you can select the social account to share the article to, schedule or use the AutoSchedule feature to automatically pick the optimal time to distribute your content.

The Hootlet interface has been revamped with a modern streamlined design: 

hootsuite hootlet image 1

A New And Improved AutoScheduling Feature

With the previous Hootlet version, if you had the AutoScheduling feature activated in the HootSuite Dashboard, it would automatically assume that it would apply to all “on the go” shares. Now, if you want to share a post right away, you must deactivate the “AutoSchedule” option in the share box and then hit “Send Now”.

While “AutoSchedule” allows you to space out your posts when you don’t care about time intervals, there are still posts you’d like to share immediately. The new version of the Hootlet allows you to “Schedule” or “Send Now” without needing to deactivate the “AutoSchedule”.

Extended Sharing Capabilities

Before, when you clicked on a post’s sharing buttons, the Share box included a custom HootSuite button that allowed you to share that post via HootSuite. Posting visual media to social networks has always been difficult. Now, the sharing capabilities have been extended to Instagram and Flickr images, Pinterest pins and even YouTube videos. 

hootsuite_hootlet_youtube

What makes the Hootlet so effective is that it’s more than just a sharing tool. Each time you share a web page, the new version will also allow you to select text on that page, click the “Share” button and have the highlighted text appear as the text you’re sharing, instead of just the title.

Anyone can share links, but it’s the unique spin that you give to your posts that makes your content special. Quoting from a web page and commenting on it will make all the difference between your posts and other people’s. Similarly, quoting some text from your own article and sharing it is another way to get even more tweets for your post, after you’ve tweeted it once using the article title.

You can also choose which features you want to turn on. First click on the top right Chrome settings button: 

chrome hootlet extension

Next, click on “Extensions” and then select “Options”, under the Hootlet extension:

hootlet chrome extension

Now you can customize your settings:

customise hootlet settings

Related and Geo-Located Tweets

When conducting a Google search, you’ll see an option box that shows tweets related to your search. The tweets are displayed to the right of your search and can provide valuable insights. Let’s say you’re searching for trends in your niche by typing your keywords in Google and the Hootlet will provide relevant tweets based on keywords, location or business listing. 

local_tweet_hootsuite

For instance, when searching Yelp for local information, you will see what others are tweeting about near to the location that you’re viewing. 

yelp hootsuite

These geographically related tweets can help you discover new customers, influencers and new business opportunities. You can reply or retweet messages directly from your current window.

Google Maps Integration

With the new Google Maps integration, you can type in an address and pull out tweets near your location that people have shared recently. This feature is especially useful for local businesses that might want to see what’s new in their area or track Twitter promotions focused on in-store campaigns. This feature is also useful for live events promoters or even media journalists covering a local news event.

Easy Cross Posting

There are a few other Chrome extensions (or services like Buffer) that do these different tasks, but the Hootlet is the only one that enables cross posting. Whether you’re on Pinterest or Flickr and want to share images to Facebook or Twitter, you can use the Hootlet to easily share that information.

hootsuite pinterest

The HootSuite dashboard is especially useful for small businesses who can spare no more than an hour or two each week to set up their weekly social media calendar. The Hootlet offers a great way to get everything done.

Final Thoughts on Hootsuite’s Hootlet

The functionality offered by Hootlet  provides a unique social sharing experience to your daily browsing efforts. Now you have one tool to perform all your social searching, sharing and scheduling directly from the web browser. 

The Hootlet extension lets you search social media content as easily as you browse Google, post content directly from web pages, select text and automatically create ready-to-share messages, search location relevant tweets and share visual media effortlessly.

 I’ll give you four reasons why I’m  sure you’ll love the new Hootlet:

-          You’ll never have to leave your browser window to share content

-          It literally consumes 5 seconds to schedule a post. 

-          You can auto-schedule your posts

-          You get the automatic ow.ly URL shortener and analytics

No more copying and pasting content that you want to share with your fans and followers! Thanks to the new Hootlet , social sharing is as easy as one click and all your links are trackable via your Owly Stats.

The updated Hootlet extension can be located on the Chrome Web Store and you can watch this video to see how it functions in practice. 

What about you? Have you installed Hootlet yet? What are your thoughts about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and if you enjoyed this post, I’d love it if you tested Hootlet to schedule this post.

The post The Hootlet: Social Sharing for Lazy Professionals appeared first on LatestCrunchs.