The Mark Ledden Blog

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Tag Archives: Hootsuite

Bottlenose: My favourite app for keeping on the pulse (@Bottlenoseapp)

There’s so much going on in the social space these days. As the networks grow, so does the noise. How do you make sure you don’t miss anything important? How can you focus-in on what matters to you?

I’ve started using a very nifty tool called Bottlenose. It takes the form of a web dashboard and can be used in a similar way to the familiar faces such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite: You can view message streams, post updates and so on.

The Bottlenose Home Screen

Where is really comes into it’s own is through it’s search and filtering, delivering you the most popular content and keeping you on the crest of breaking news and events. Their tagline is “Surf the Stream” ..nice ūüôā

There are a number of layers to the search functionallity. You perform a search – as you would anywhere else on the web – what you immediately get it a page which lays out top links, you get a nice hashtag cloud (which indicates increasing/decreasing popularity) and a block of relevant images amoung other things.

From this you can select further layouts such as the Paper page: which gives you a magazine-style page of shared links, and the Images page: which displays a beautiful gallery of shared images.

The Bottlenose Newspaper Layout

The Bottlenose Image Gallery

One of the most curios features is the sonar (presumably where the app gets it’s name from). This page gives you a network of linked keywords and phrases. It’s most useful for tracking why certain things are trending and finding their source. You can also use it to track how the trend develops. Incredibly powerful stuff here.

The Bottlenose Sonar Display

The main selling point of Bottlenose is the fact that you can drill into real-time data from the top social networks and respond as it happens. This tool is massively useful for keeping up with real world events on a whole and also for focussing on tight niches to find out what’s hot in your sector. Its been a key tool personally for marketing. There is a pro version available too, which I haven’t tried but hope to soon. If I do, I’ll keep you posted!


Pre-Schedule Your #FF’s So You Don’t Forget Those Who Count

There’s been a lot of debate surrounding Twitter and automation. It is acceptable? Is is cheating? I think there’s a fine balance. You don’t want to be feeding people a constant stream of links from RSS feeds. On the other hand it’s impossible to tweet constantly round the clock, 24 hours a day. (Try it, I dares ya!)

Scheduling Tweets

There’s many a tool which aims to help you find this balance.¬†What I present here is what I believe to be a perfectly acceptable way to keep track of those who make your Twitter life a little brighter so you can reward them with the all important #FollowFriday at the end of the week.

Most weeks, when Friday does come around I’m either too busy or when I try and put my mind to it I can’t remember who has done what for me to piece together a decent follow Friday. Sorry people ūüė¶

With this method you can start your #FF from the beginning of the week and gradually build up a saved message which you can keep adding to that is setup to post on the Friday of that week.

How to do it

Personally, I’ll be using Hootsuite, as ever. You can use any tool that will let you schedule messages. I choose Hootsuite because it’s what I use everywhere. It also lets you edit pending messages, which is the most important thing here.

1. Schedule Your Message

All you need to do at the beginning of the week is schedule a message to post to your Twitter account on the following Friday (like the word play there?)

Scheduling in Hootsuite

Schedule your message using Hootsuite

You’ll then see your pending message in your pending message stream or the fancy, new publisher view.

Your pending #FF in Hootsuite

Your pending #FF in Hootsuite

2. Edit Your Message

If you don’t have anyone to add to it at first just leave it as “#FF” (Remember to delete it it you don’t get round to adding anyone by Friday or it’ll be one sorry looking Tweet!)

As the tweeting week goes on make note of those who you’ve conversed with, learnt from and who have helped you. It’s at that point you should be adding their names to your list. That list being your pending #FF.

Edit your tweet in Hootsuite

Edit your tweet in Hootsuite

3. Sit Back and Relax

Now you can just take it easy, or get back to work! As everything is taken care of. No need to franticly look back through @reply’s and DM’s to figure out who you want to honour with an #FF.

Further Ideas

You could also set up a few different messages. Especially if you have a lot of people to thank. You could have different #FF’s for people who RT you, those you talk to regularly or influencers on various topics.

Hope this is useful to you. Make sure you don’t forget those superstars of Twitter. Also, If anyone is using another way to schedule their messages, I’d like to know how you got on.

QuickTip: Use Hootsuite To See What’s Going On Where You Are (Or Any Other Place)

I’ve been using Hootsuite for some time now and I’m still finding out neat little tricks all the time. The location search feature was introduced a while a go now but I hadn’t really put it to the test. So, I decided to give it a go.

On your main Hootsuite dashboard, up in the top right-hand corner you’ll see the magnifying glass icon. This is the search tool. Some of you will already know that (sorry). Now, click on the search icon and you’ll get the dropdown box for your text entry.

Search Box

For a general search, you would just pop in what you’re looking for and away you go. But if you notice the little crosshairs next to the text box, this allows you to search relative to your current location.

(NB: You’re browser will probably ask for you to give permission to Hootsuite to identify your location)

If you put in your search query then hit the cross-hairs you will get a stream of tweets which match that query and are local to you. You’ll see “geocode:” and a bunch of numbers in the header of the column. This is just the longitude and¬†latitude¬†of your current position.

This could be very useful for local businesses looking for potential customers. I use it sometimes when I travel around with my laptop and I want to see what’s happening on Twitter locally. I just use a location-based search with nothing is the text box. That way I get ALL the tweets which are nearby.

Bonus Tip!

If you want to see local results for a location which you aren’t currently in then all you need is the coordiantes or that location. You can get this information from various sites. Lifehacker have a great trick for getting this information straight from your browser using Google Maps.

Just get the place you want on Google Maps (make sure it’s centred) then drop this code in the address bar and you’ll get a popup with the coordinates.

Pretty cool, hey?

“Seesmic Is The Best App For Managing Your Facebook Page On Your Android Phone, But It Still Isn’t Quite There”

I’ve recently found Seesmic for Android to be the best solution for managing my Facebook pages on my phone. Saying that, even though it is the ‘best’ solution, it’s still not perfect.

In this post I went through my journey to find a way of managing my page, from interacting through comments to uploading media. Before finding out about the update to Seesmic for Android I was using a combination of Hootsuite.

The problems I’m having with Seesmic remind me of the previous problems with Hootsuite except this time is with video. With Hootsuite, you can only upload photos with a Twitter account. If you only have a Facebook page selected, it wont work. And with Seesmic, you can happily upload photos to Facebook pages but not videos.

When I tried to upload a video straight from my SD card it wouldn’t work, there was an ‘issue’ with the file. Then I recorded a video from within the app, it was low quality and the length was limited. Then at the final point of uploading it threw back and error saying a Twitter account needed to be selected. Hopeless.

So, Seesmic is the best all-in-one solution, allowing you to interact with your page and upload photos. But If you desperately need to get video on your page from your phone then Pixelpipe is the way to go at the moment. Hopefully either Hootsuite or Seesmic can offer us this functionality or maybe even Facebook can get their act together.

QuickTip: Share Items From Google Reader To Twitter (Or Virtually Anywhere) Automatically

Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, so anywhere we can make efficiencies in the time we spend on things (no matter how minimal) will always help. This is a quick tip I’m using to share all the great articles I come across with a little less effort.

I usually do most of my browsing on Google Reader on my phone. Sharing an item generally means opening a new window in the browser or switching to another app. This takes up valuable time!

Wouldn’t it be better if you could share it with a single click that didn’t interrupt your reading experience? Read more of this post

The Struggle To Manage Facebook Pages From Your Android

Facebook pages are becoming increasingly important in the social world and the business world in general. Anyone who does virtually anything should have one. So that’s a lot of people! What frustrates me to no end is the pain I’ve been through to try and get a solution to managing my Facebook pages on my Android device. I’m not after anything complex, I don’t want Insights or anything (it would be nice though ūüėČ ). Just the ability to post (including media), comment and view other comments, that should do it. Is it so much to ask? This search was filled with dead-ends and compromise and what I’ve come up with is something to make do for now. Here’s what I did. Read more of this post

(Some Of) The Social Apps I Use On My Android


This is my most used app. I mainly use it because of the combined column. It’s easy to keep up to date with what’s going on with Facebook and Twitter in one stream. It’s also one of the best designed apps I’ve seen. Simplicity is key here.


This one I use mainly for sharing links. Tweetdeck doesn’t automatically capture the title of the page im trying to share, which is really anoying. Hootsuite also lets me manage my Facebook page. So I can send updates to my Facebook page & profile and to Twitter all in one go. I also get the added advantage of link stats and desktop sync.


I’ve only just started to use this beta version of this official app and so far its going well. There hasn’t been much choice for mobile users up until now (none of the main apps have incorporated it, probably due to it not appealing to the casual user). This lets me keep up with LinkedIn on the go and improve my presence there. It looks really well thought out and is working great at the moment.


I only get occasional use out of this (usually this when I’m out….and bored) but It’s one of those apps I feel I need. I don’t seem to get on to well with the Foursquare integration built into Tweetdeck.¬†Most of the time I forget about it and I really wish I used it more.


This is another new one I’ve gotten into. I was trying to find a decent camera for my phone and came across this. It has some great filters and effects but the bonus is the social integration. Posting to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Posterous and Foursquare checkins! It also allows you to geotag your pics. The icing of the cake has to be the automated backup to Dropbox of the original and processed photos.


I can’t seem to live without this one at the moment. Weather it’s checking up on stats, replying to comments or even adding a quick post when I have time. It is very frustrating doing longer posts though, so that I would’t recommend.

Solving Some RSS Issues and Keeping Things ‘Free’

FrostWire's Unbeatable Price

As you may remember, I love Hootsuite. Who wouldn’t? It’s a social media management powerhouse!

However, since they’ve turned freemuim, there are features I still need to use which are only available on the Pro Accounts. I’d be happy to go Pro if I needed to but this isn’t for me personally so It’s currently out of the question.

The free version currently limits you to 2 RSS feeds to one profile / 1 one feed to 2 profiles / 2 feeds to two separate profiles…? However you put it, the limit is 2! I need one RSS feed to 4 profiles and maybe even more in the future.

The obvious alternative is Twitterfeed. This was easy to setup and is working like a charm already. It would’ve been nice to have everything housed within Hootsuite but thankfully this can be setup once and then left to it’s own devices.

I’m not knocking Hootsuite at all but this is one occasion where I need to be as cost-effective as possible to prove what social media is worth.

Anyone have any similar experience on work-arounds with various tools to keep costs to a minimum?

Why I Love Hootsuite

It would appear that I have settled on Hootsuite as my all round social dashboard and Twitter app (Brizzly changed this a little but I’ll go into that some other time). The search was for a desktop/mobile combo and has mainly been between Seesmic, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.

Just to give you a bit of a primer I use Linux as my main desktop so decent native applications can be hard to come by (I prefer web apps for their portability anyway) and I have an Android phone so until the other day that ruled out Tweetdeck. As for seesmic, I didn’t find the web app that exciting.

I’m not going to go into every functionality of Hootsuite, most of which every other Twitter app can do. I’m just going to pass on the things I find it does better than others and the reasons why I make it my number one.

Read more of this post

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