Not just another social-media task, HootSuite is a tool that can streamline your online marketing efforts by helping you organize posts and better manage your time. After you register, the site creates a personal dashboard that gives you access to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts all at once. Instead of having several tabs open in your browser, you can view multiple social-media platforms on one screen and cross-post to several with one click. You can even schedule posts in advance, which is helpful when you’re planning to leave the studio or you want to save time by scheduling a week of activity in one sitting. Other convenient built-in features include the ability to shorten links, add geographic locations and save drafts. And with its analytics feature, HootSuite tracks your social-media buzz—how many people click on links and “Like” posts.
The site’s biggest downside is contact management. Though you can tag Twitter followers (for instance, “Look for our studio in this month’s issue of @dance_teacher!”), you can’t do so on Facebook. Regardless, HootSuite is an invaluable tool. The standard version is free, with enough features for the average studio owner, but those who want further customization may opt for the Pro version (starting at $8.99 a month). It’s also available as an app for iPad, iPhone and Android.