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HootSuite Adds Message Assignments and Column Sharing to Help Groups Coordinate

HootSuite updates its popular social media dashboard to include the ability to assign tasks across groups and share columns to help teams coordinate. This release will be especially useful for teams who utilize Twitter and Facebook as customer support and feedback channels. Using the new features will help these teams reply more efficiently, more accurately, and with less redundancy.
Additional new tools include: forwarding social update messages by email, sharing collections of “draft” messages to ensure consistent messaging, and accessing all options and settings via a launch button.

This release follows a string of announcements from HootSuite, including the introduction of team collaboration tools, additional choices of URL shorteners, and an updated iPhone application with Facebook support and multi-language translation capabilities.

May 5, 2010, Vancouver, CANADA — Building upon the recently launched Team Collaboration tools, today HootSuite announces additional features designed to help groups manage messages and monitor conversations. At the core of this release is the ability to assign messages to team members and share columns within groups. Ideally suited for support desks, customer service groups, project teams, and dynamic workplaces, the new functionality allows colleagues to hand-off messages to the appropriate responder — adding with annotations as needed — and track the related follow-ups for accuracy and performance.

The new tools are available immediately in the web-based version of HootSuite, and updates from Twitter and Facebook can be assigned and shared to save time, increase accuracy, and keep everyone on the same page.

Assign Messages

Using HootSuite’s Assignment feature ensures no Twitter or Facebook message will slip through the cracks in the busiest of work environments. Using a pull down menu, a manager can assign a Twitter update from any shared column to any Team Member, plus include a note explaining the appropriate follow-up if needed.

The assignee will receive email notifications whenever a new message is delegated, and can see all assigned messages within a single view. Upon receiving the task, the assignee can resolve the issue or pass it along to another colleague with a note, if another team member is more appropriate for the job.

Upon task completion, the assignee marks the message as resolved, allowing the manager to monitor progress — including auditing responses for quality assurance. Additionally, assigned messages are easily identified via an Assignments view. This context provides an audit trail for managers and a single view of assigned tasks for personnel.

Share Columns

HootSuite now allows team members to share columns with their teams. By sharing columns, teams can all view the same data at the same time without recreating keyword searches and brand-monitoring columns. Whether these columns contain searches for brand-related terms, tracking of industry conversations, or monitoring of replies or direct messages, teams can now see the same messages at the same time. This assists in efficient follow-up communication, so nothing is missed nor repeated.

Additionally, teams can assign messages and edit search terms in shared columns. This is particularly useful for nuanced brand searches (including misspellings, synonyms, or competitors names). When a column creator modifies a search or keyword column, the changes are universal across the team’s view.

When new members accept an invitation to a team, columns are automatically added in a “Team” tab. When a new column is created and shared, team members will receive an invitation to add the column to their dashboard. The shared columns appear alongside each user’s non-shared columns, but are visually distinguishable via an icon in the upper-right of each column.

More Ways to Share

Team Drafts — Each Team Member’s draft messages can be shared, allowing teams to utilize the same messaging to save keystrokes, ensure consistency, and harness collective team intelligence.

Flexible Teams — Create any number of teams based around social networks. Shared columns and assignments can then be managed within these specific teams to keep networks separate and organized with complete flexibility.

Email Updates — Twitter and Facebook messages can be sent via email directly from HootSuite to any address, using the user’s default email application — the social message contents are added to the email body for convenient sharing outside of teams.

Launch to Start — The HootSuite dashboard interface has been refined and streamlined to accommodate the new features — notably, the addition of a “Launch” button to organize the users’ settings, options, and views.