HootSuite can make life easier for busy internet bees. Image courtesy of Flickr user cambodia4kidsorg and licensed under CC by SA 2.0The internet has turned us all from little shriveled technology caterpillars into beautiful, hyperactive social butterflies with our Facebooks, Twitters, Tumblrs, Foursquares, etc, etc. For those who are particularly chatty, keeping up with it all can be a chore. And then there’s the matter of reading what everyone else is saying. Man, oh man, sometimes flipping back and forth between your RSS reader to catch up on everything, Twitter to update everyone, or Facebook to add pictures can really just zap all of the energy out of you. Luckily for you crazy updating fiends, HootSuite is here to save you.

HootSuite is a lot like an RSS reader. It gathers multiple feeds from different social networking sites — Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, etc — and puts them all on one page. It allows you to create multiple tabs for whichever social networking sites you’re involved in. Within those tabs, you’re able to create customized streams. For instance, on your Twitter tab, you could have a feed that lists all of your reply tweets, a different feed for retweets, a feed for your own tweets, a feed of your favorite pages, or whatever other kind of feed you want to keep track of. At its core, HootSuite is an organizer.

A snapshot of HootSuite. Image courtesy of Flickr user kjarrett and licensed under CC by SA 2.0One of the basic features that I have found to be incredibly useful is scheduling. Instead of sending an update immediately, you can simply click on “schedule” to select your preferred date and time. If you want to schedule all of your tweets for a week so you don’t have to worry about remembering to send them out, HootSuite allows you to do so.

Other features of HootSuite include tracking statistics, which allow you to view the rate of traffic in your different social networking sites, and collaboration tools, which help teams or businesses track their online market or keep up with the demand of Twitter and Facebook updates.

While HootSuite may seem a little unnecessary for the average college kid, it’s definitely a good thing to have in your arsenal of tricks. It’s extremely useful for businesses since it has collaboration tools and scheduled updates. Those in charge of the company’s Twitter or Facebook can schedule updates for weeks at a time so that they don’t have to remember to do updates every day. More organization through HootSuite means more scheduled updates through social networking sites which means happier clients and followers. If you land a job or internship at a business that uses HootSuite, you’ll be a step ahead of the game. Even if the company you’re working for doesn’t use HootSuite, you might suggest the site to the Marketing and PR department and get yourself a gold star for the day. I have personally used HootSuite at my Marketing and PR internship this summer and I know it’s going to pay off in the future knowing a little bit about the site’s purpose and tools. So while you may not use HootSuite in your day to day life unless you truly are an internet sensation, it’s worth keeping an eye on for future endeavors.

Have you ever used HootSuite? Do you think it’s a useful tool for managing social networks? Let us know in the comments!