How to set up your Hootsuite dashboard so you’re always listening

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For some of you that are new to social media, you might be overwhelmed with all the software and tools that are available to you. Some of you might not even know yet that there are tools to manage your Twitter streams more efficiently! But most importantly, some of you might not know how to set up your tools to make sure they are running at maximum efficiency.

One of my favourite software to use for Twitter is Hootsuite (it can be used for other networks as well, but I’ll be focusing on Twitter in this post). Hootsuite allows you to manage your content in a way that makes sense, and that is easy to follow. If set up properly, you won’t have to worry about sorting through mentions, re-tweets, direct messages, etc. There might also be people talking about you on Twitter, but not mentioning you in that Tweet – you want to be able to follow these conversations as well, and respond to people that are talking about you online.

I’ll show you how I set up my Hootsuite so I’m always aware of who mentions me, who talks about me, and what my Influencers are saying.

Set up your main Hootsuite dashboard so you can listen to EVERYTHING

I have a specific order in which I set up my main dashboard on Hootsuite.

First off, you’ll need to know how to setup your Twitter dashboard. Click on the new tab button (+ button) to start a new tab.

Once you start a new tab, you’ll need to start setting up streams. To do this, just click on the add stream button.

You’ll end up with a box like this. Select your Twitter account, and then start adding the “types of streams” on your dashboard.

Now you’re ready to start adding streams. My dashboard has the following streams, in this particular order – My Tweets Retweeted; Mentions; Keyword Search (domain name, hashtag, alternate spelling); Sent Tweets; Retweets By Me; Direct Message (Inbox); Direct Message (Outbox); Home Feed. You can slide the newly added streams in whatever position you want them by just clicking on the top bar, and dragging it.

All of these functions can be found in the main stream tab except for “Keyword Search” – this one is found in the Keyword tab:

I’ve added the following Keywords for SteamFeed’s account: SteamFeed [this is our domain name], #SMRebels [this is our hashtag], and “Steam Feed” [an alternate spelling]. This way, I can see who tweeted links from our website but haven’t mentioned us in the Tweet. This allows me to respond to people, and thank them for the Retweet, without them directly mentioning @steamfeedcom. Also, a lot of people mention @steamfeed instead of our Twitter account, so we can monitor these tweets as well.

With this setup, you’ll be able to listen to everything anyone is saying about you (or your company) in one simple place. I take it a step further, and listen to what my influencers are saying as well.

Listen to your influencers, brand evangelists, friends, and competitors

I always keep a close eye to what my influencers are saying, and I do this through Hootsuite. It’s the same setup as your “Keyword Search” for your own brand, except the keywords are for someone else’s Twitter presence.

To do this, create a new tab (like was shown previously). You can call that tab whatever you want (I name it “Tweep monitor,” for people I like to engage with). Once you’ve created the tab, start a new “Keyword Search” stream, like you did for your main dashboard. Instead of choosing keywords that are related to your Twitter account, type in the following: [Twitter handle], [domain name], and [alternate spelling]

For example, I like following conversations about Radian6, so I set up Radia6 (their domain name) and MarketingCloud (their Twitter handle) as search terms to monitor what they say, and what people say about the company. Make sure you don’t put the “@” symbol when you type in the twitter name that you want to follow, or it will only track people that are mentioning the account, not what that account is actually tweeting.

There are all sorts of things you can track with Hootsuite, as long as you know how to set it up. You can track industry keywords, your competitors, and what people are saying about you. Hopefully this helps you understand how to use Hootsuite as a listening dashboard, and helps maximize your Twitter management efficiency.

How do you use Hootsuite? Who (or what) do you like to track using this platform? Please leave a comment below!

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Daniel Hebert

Daniel Hebert

Growth Manager, Social Media at /newsrooms
Daniel Hebert is an award-winning graduate of Mount Allison University, Growth Manager, Social Media at /newsrooms, and Co-founder at He has a passion for digital marketing and entrepreneurship. If he wasn’t a marketer, he would take his love for food and become a chef.
Daniel Hebert


Growth Manager, Social Media at @newsrooms, Co-Founder at @SteamFeedCom. Love to play guitar & pretend I'm a chef :)
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Daniel Hebert
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  1. NIce post Daniel, Hootsuite is one of those tools that keeps on giving so to speak. I continually find cool stuff that I do with it, and it continually improves itself. My only drawback with it, I have become much too dependent on it..ha ha

    • Daniel Hebert says:

      Thanks Gerry!

      Nothing wrong to be dependent on hootsuite, it's a great tool! :P Up until it crashes, that is, haha :P

  2. misscarriejane says:

    Agreed! I don't know what I'd do without HS managing so many accounts. Great tips!

  3. Very timely, I have been using HootSuite for awhile but needed a refresher to clean some things up; thanks.

  4. Carolyn Nicander Mohr says:

    Excellent tips for using Hootsuite. I hadn't thought of using it in a way similar to Google Alerts. Thanks for showing us how it's done.

  5. Daniel Hebert says:

    Thanks for the comment Carolyn!

    It's important to listen to everyone that's talking about your brand, and Hootsuite is a great way to track tweets. You're right, it's similar to Google Alerts – I never made that association. Thanks :)

  6. HeartAGlow says:

    Thanks Daniel,

    One of my 'most used' streams, is "favourites". If I'm out and about, on mobile only, (from which I hate to try to type, or am otherwise busy and unable to respond); I frequently read my incoming tweets. Those that I want to RT, or reply, or comment upon,or which have links I want to read later; I 'star' as favourites. Then when I'm back at laptop, I can follow up. …much easier to read the links on a full screen; and definitely prefer to RT or comment from Hootsuite, rather than Twitter.


  7. Hi Daniel! So I don't want to sound like the bad guy here, but I do not use Hootsuite anymore, but I do have a question for you. Does Hootsuite still put their logo below each Facebook post? That was one of reason I stopped using them, I would post something on Twitter and Facebook and their logo was way too big on Facebook. Do you know if that has changed?

    Thanks man! :)

    • Daniel Hebert says:

      Great comment, and you're not the bad guy here Paul!

      I actually don't use Hootsuite for Facebook, and don't schedule my content through Hootsuite. I do all of my scheduling through buffer of triberr. What I do use Hootsuite for is tracking and monitoring my twitter streams. They're the top for that, in my opinion.

      But like you, I wouldn't post anything to Facebook through Hootsuite. You're right, the logo is way too big.

    • Yes, they still have their name (not logo) on anything posted on Facebook (and Twitter for that matter). Any 3rd party app you use with Facebook will have something there to indicate it was done with an app. So Buffer, Triberr, IFTTT and Hootsuite all say "via" XYZ. I use Hootsuite to post in real time to FB and Twitter as well as for scheduling. I think *most* people don't even notice the line that says how something was posted. And since FB removed the 3rd party posting "penalty" months ago, there's really no reason NOT to use it as a scheduler as long as you're still engaging your audience from within the platform.

      • Daniel Hebert says:

        I actually didn't notice that they removed their bright green logo Anita! Thanks for letting us know!

        I still do my scheduling (FB, LinkedIn and Twitter) through buffer, because I prefer it. I find it easier to schedule stuff than Hootsuite, but that's just me. I wouldn't use any other program for managing my Twitter stream though, Hoostuite is the best in that category, in my opinion! :)

  8. Some fantastic tips there Daniel.

    I've been using Hootsuite for ages now. The one feature that really comes to life for me is the ability to see and interact with Twitter lists (both my own and those that I am subscribed to). I found that this feature is hidden away on the main site and Hootsuite allows me to keep track of conversations of the people I really want to hear from.

  9. great stuff Daniel! will def try some of the techniques!

  10. Awesome article Daniel — you definitely shared some valuable intel on the deeper side of social listening. I like how you're tracking misspellings. Here at HootSuite, we track about 10 variations of HootSuite. You would be surprised the amount of tweets we get mentioning everything from 'Hot Suit' to 'Hoot Sweat'.

    Thanks for sharing and your kind words — Hoot on!

    -Your friends at HootSuite

    • Daniel Hebert says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment Connor!

      I can just imagine how many misspellings you get! I could probably add a few more to track, but most people that mention us it through article sharing right now.

  11. This completely blew my mind. I had no idea that there was so much depth to what you could follow on twitter. I certainly didn't know that you could schedule tweets. I have a lot to learn!

    • Daniel Hebert says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Nicole, and that you found it relevant!

      If you want to learn more about social media, take a look through this site. Our authors have GREAT insights about social :)

  12. Daniel, thank you for this post. I had no idea Hootsuite could be utilized in such fantastic ways – especially for monitoring your personal brand.

    I've already set this up for myself and the company I work for and now I feel very comfortable knowing I am not missing out on any conversations taking place about either profile.

    Following conversations (in your example Radian6) is a great way to stay up to date and capitalize on fresh conversations to engage with them on. The pictures you provided are also very helpful.

  13. Daniel Hebert says:

    Thanks for the comment Jacob! Glad you found it useful!

    It took me a long time to sort all of this out, and come up with this listening dashboard. But it was worth it, as now I can easily listen to key conversations from some of my favourite influencers :)

  14. viVA La PA says:

    #thanks for this Daniel – I have been resisting automating for months – because I do *notice* how people do their Tweets, but it has to be! Life is too short.
    You have shown me how to do get started – so it's up to me now.

  15. Daniel, these are great tips. I am wondering, can we also set this listening/monitoring mode with facebook or is it only a twitter thing? Thanks!

    • Daniel Hebert says:

      Thanks Michelle!

      I am not sure if you can for Facebook – most of Facebook is private information, compared to Twitter which is a public feed. I don't think Hootsuite can track Facebook, due to these privacy issues.

  16. Just a quick Hootsuite tip:

    Their bookmarklet or Hootlet works on various iOS devices. This makes it convenient to share content to Hootsuite while browsing the web in the Safari browser app.

  17. Great article (and great website) – helped me as a new Hootsuite user get things set up quickly and more effectively. This was far more insightful than most other similar articles. Thanks!
    My recent post Book writing becomes more visual and interactive

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