Schedule a month of social media in Hootsuite

By Leann Priebe on December 22, 2015

By Leann Priebe on December 22, 2015

We’re a big believer in consistency in your social media presence. And creating your social media content in monthly batches is a great way to ensure that happens.

Hootsuite’s Pro plan, which has a relatively low investment ($10 a month as of the writing of this article), allows you to pre-schedule your content by uploading a spreadsheet of your social media content. Let’s take a look at how to get started.

1. Create your spreadsheet

To start with, your spreadsheet should have three columns for your social media content: Date, Social Media Update, and Link (if applicable).

1. Date

The date should be in one of two different formats:

mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm
dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm

The time should be in an increment of 5 (00, 05, 10, 15, etc.). You can post as many updates as you want per social media network (up to the global 350 scheduled update limit), but you can only have one update scheduled per time slot, per network.

The time will also need to be in 24 hour military format.

2. Social Media Update

In the next column, you’ll fill out each social media update you’d like to post. If you’ll be posting your updates to Twitter, keep in mind their 140 character limit. If you’re planning to include a link in your update, you’ll want to limit yourself to 110 characters, to allow room for the link as well.

Another thing you’ll want to watch out for is curly quotes, since sometimes they can cause issues – be sure to replace any curly quotes in your spreadsheet with straight quotes.

You’ll also want to make sure you don’t have any duplicate updates in your spreadsheet. If you’d like to post about something similar multiple times during the month, you’ll just need to tweak your update a bit so that they aren’t identical.

3. Link

Finally, you’ll want to fill in the corresponding links with your updates, if applicable.

Some of your updates may not need to link to anything, and that’s okay.

But if your goal is for that particular update to have some sort of call to action, it’s a good idea to include the link they’ll need too.

A great example for this is plugging your email newsletter signup on your website.

Here is an example of what our spreadsheet looks like, with just a few updates put in.

2. Export Your Spreadsheet

In order to upload your spreadsheet to Hootsuite, it will need to be exported as a .CSV file. Save off your spreadsheet as a .CSV file, and we’re ready to head to Hootsuite.

3. Log in to Hootsuite

Next, you’ll want to log into your Hootsuite account. If you don’t have your social media pages connected to your Hootsuite account, now is the time to do that. You can add Social Networks straight from your Hootsuite dashboard.

4. Upload Your Spreadsheet

To upload your spreadsheet, you’ll want to visit the Publisher section of Hootsuite. You can find that by clicking on the paper airplane icon on the left side of the screen.

From there, click Bulk Message Upload in the Publisher menu.

Once you’re on the Bulk Schedule Updates screen, you can select your .CSV file on your computer, and select the date format that matches your spreadsheet.

Then, you can pick which social networks you want to schedule all of the updates to. Once you have all your desired networks selected, click Submit.

The final step is optional, but recommended.

5. Clean Up Updates (optional)

After Hootsuite has scheduled your updates, you’ll need to click out of the Bulk Schedule Updates screen, and refresh your Publisher using the refresh button on the top right.

All networks except Twitter: After your posts are scheduled, go in to Edit each update. Opening the Edit screen for each update will attempt to generate a Thumbnail for the update. The Thumbnail is an image pulled from the link. Sometimes there are multiple Thumbnails to choose from, so you may need to click through the different options to find the most applicable Thumbnail.

Once the Thumbnail is generated, you can remove the link from the update entirely. This Thumbnail will show up in the feed for each social network, which adds some visual interest to your update.

Twitter: At the moment, Twitter updates don’t generate Thumbnails, but there is another extra step you can take with your Twitter updates. If your Twitter update references another person, business, or organization, see if they have a Twitter page you can link to in the update! By doing this, you’ll be increasing exposure to your update, while also giving some credit to the person, organization, or business that you tagged.

To tag another Twitter page, all you have to do is type “@theirusername”. Once you’ve saved the update, you can test out the link by clicking on it to make sure it is pulling up the right profile.

I don’t have time for this!

Although there are definitely tools out there that make managing your organization or business’ social media easier, not everyone has the time to do it! That’s where we come in. We can help create and manage your social media content on an on-going basis.

Sound like something you’re interested in? We’d love to have a conversation!

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