Chances are, managing social media campaigns or monitoring consumer sentiment about your small business is just one of the dozens of tasks that your sales, marketing or customer engagement team handles on a daily basis.
So, while I know many small and midsize companies rely on the HootSuite service for managing activities of this nature, it probably isn't an application that's always running on everyone's computer all the time.
That reality has motivated HootSuite to create a Google Chrome extension called Assignments, which is intended to help companies act on incoming messages, content, or social media crises more quickly.
When HootSuite Pro or Enterprise customers install the extension, it adds an "Assign To" button below each of the Facebook.com or Twitter.com feeds being monitored with the HootSuite dashboard. Social media managers (or whomever is in charge of this activity) can use that option to request that certain customer service or sales employees follow up on specific posts — whether that's someone expressing a nasty perspective about a product or a potential customer asking for more information.
The "assignee" receives an email notification prompting him or her to view the post within an in-browser pop-up view. Progress can also be monitored in the same way.
HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes notes that not all of the people who care about social media within a given company "are using the HootSuite dashboard all the time. Some are doing this right from Facebook.com or Twitter.com. In our business, we have to be flexible and adapt quickly to what people need for now for a better and smoother media experience."
If you only have one person on your social media team, this software might not be all that useful or interesting for you. But if, like many small companies, you're sharing responsibilities, this might be something worth exploring.
Here's the requisite YouTube video that walks you through how the new extension works: