HootSuite U – The Clown College for Social Media

Social Media

Doug Antkowiak Jan 10 2011

HootSuite U Cancelled

Earning a degree from HootSuite University is like playing basketball against your dog. It’s super easy, and it’s a waste of time (unless you go toe-to-paw with Air Bud, the free-throw shooting dog).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big HootSuite fan. It was the social media tool of choice for Portent Interactive because it’s super simple and it integrates well with multiple social accounts and analytics tools. But now that HootSuite is no longer free, it was time for us to choose between HootSuite Pro ($5.99/month) and the less popular HootSuite Enterprise ($1499/month).

What is HootSuite University?

Besides tier one support and increased team members, one of the main advantages of HootSuite Enterprise are the ten access user seats in the HootSuite U social training program. Certification in the program includes ongoing webinar-like training videos, a nifty badge and personal profile listing in the HootSuite Consultant Directory.

HootSuite Certified Professional

Lucky for me, instead of paying $1500, I was able to find the much less advertised, single seat enrollment package for HootSuite University for a much more affordable $27/month.

Why is HootSuite’s Training Terrible?

I’m still asking myself the same question. Even at $27 per month, one would think the cornerstone to their Enterprise program would be flawless. In depth, high-definition video? Not really. Multi-layer testing modules? Yeah, right. Helpful information for social media professionals? Not quite.

Forget becoming a social media guru. HootSuite U is more for the small business owner who still uses an AOL email address.

The biggest reason HootSuite University lacks legitimacy is typos. We’re not talking about pages of content here. There are four tests with 15 questions each. That’s less than 3000 words (I went back and counted) and at least three of the 60 questions had a misspelling, a code error or gave credit to the wrong answer.

Example One:

HootSuite U Question 10

Overlooking the "drag &" the answer to this question is wrong. I would have never thought to drag and drop an image into the text box before I read this question, so I tried it for myself, and it worked.

Example Two:

HootSuite U Question 2

You can view summary stats every 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days or a specified date range.

Example Three:

HootSuite U Question 5

Breakfast & Dinner? No one knows what B & D is, but I’m guessing it was supposed to be P & D (Print & Download).

HootSuite’s Bummer Times

Not only do HootSuite’s editing skills suck, but so does the policy on their social media consultant directory. I have to continue to pay the $27/month fee to keep my profile listed in their database, which was the main reason why I joined in the first place.

I still think HootSuite is a great tool, but now that I’ve turned my tassel, my days are over at HootSuite University. I’m holding onto my professional profile, but as the social world changes and HootSuite continues to raise their prices, I’m going to shop around for a more technically advanced service for my social clients.

tags : HootSuitesocial media marketing

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5 Comments

  1. First off, I love the blog here at Portent. I really appreciate the advice, tips, and tools you all give away for free. Its refreshing to find a source of raw and uncut, and sometimes explicit (Ian) information.
    What you’ve said here is exactly what I was looking for. I was considering going in for the HootSuite U program but from what you’ve stated and other reviews I’ve read on the web, it seems to be for complete newbies which I am not. I think I’ll pass. So thank you, Doug, for saving me a few bucks and a few hours!

  2. Freya

    Ha this is so true. I honestly don’t understand why people would register for Hootsuite U. Its useless.

    Even their quick start guide wasn’t very helpful either…

  3. Thanks for the post, I looked up reviews on it before the purchase. I’m wondering if the monthly fee just to be listed in their directory is worth it? Have you seen any leads from that?

    • I know that HootSuite has overhauled their training process since I’ve written this blog post. From what I remember, you’re only listed in their directory for as long as you’re paying the monthly fee. My best advice is to go through the training so you can call yourself a “HootSuite citified individual,” take a screen capture of your picture in their directory and just move on. You might learn a thing or two from the training, but I don’t think it’s worth it to pay the monthly fee.

  4. Erin

    Great review! I haven’t really heard anything great about Hootsuite U, and now I’m positive I’m not wasting my money. Thanks!

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