Hootsuite is very handy for scheduling tweets in advance!
It’s free to schedule them one by one – but the bulk scheduling option in the premium ($9.99/month) version really takes some of the legwork out ofsocial media marketing.
However, bulk scheduling can be slightly tricky if you’re new to Hootsuite. There’s a lot of contradictory advice out there.
So here’s the Intergage digital marketing agency guide to bulk scheduling….
For the purposes of this exercise, we’ll assume you want to schedule tweets as part of your Twitter marketing (but it’s also handy for LinkedIn, Google+ and using Facebook for business.
It’s free for the first 30 days so give it a go.
This is the bit that usually gets people cursing their PC but it doesn’t have to be painful.
Your spreadsheet needs to be:
Important Tip: Your Excel spreadsheet will automatically load three worksheets as a default (tabbed as Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3) when you create a new file. Delete the Sheet2 and Sheet3 tabs otherwise your CSV (comma delimited) file will not save properly.
During the saving process, you may see a dialogue box that says “…example.csv may contain features that are not compatible with CSV (comma delimited). Do you want to keep the workbook in this format?” Simply click the ‘Yes’ button.
Don’t worry about giving your columns headers. Just add your first date to cell A1, your first tweet to cell B1 and the link you want to share with that tweet to cell C1 (then repeat the process for each successive row).
Time-saving Tip: Are you adding tweets on successive days? Simply enter the date in one cell then drag the little square in the bottom right-hand corner of the cell down the column to add successive dates.
Important Tip: Get the date format right. Highlight your dates, right click on them and select Format Cells. Choose Custom and choose dd/mm/yyyy/ hh:mm. Your dates/times should follow this example – 01/09/2012 09:30:00, (don’t forget the space between date and time and that all-important comma at the end!)
Get the times right. As far as Hootsuite is concerned, you can schedule tweet times only in five-minute increments, ie 09:00, 09:05, 09:10: 09:15 or 21:00, 21:05, 21:10: 21:15 etc.
Write your tweets. They must be 140 characters or fewer. Leave more room if you’re adding a link. (I keep my tweets short – below 100 characters if possible. Shorter tweets tend to be more likely to be retweeted).
Handy Tip: In theory you should add a comma after each tweet in order for the bulk uploading from the comma delimited spreadsheet. But in reality it’s not necessary. It will work without them – and the upload process will automatically insert a dash between the last word of your tweet and the start of the URL you are sharing. If need be, you can edit tweets in the Hootsuite interface by clicking on the pencil/edit icon that appears at the end of each tweet when you highlight it – but you’ll have to edit the tweets one by one.
You don’t need to put the tweets in “quote marks”. Some people will tell you that you do but you don’t. If you do, your tweets will still appear but they will appear in quotes.
Add the links. Just paste them in. You won’t need commas after the links.
Log in to Hootsuite.
Still having problems? If you’re an Intergage client, simply contact your Account Manager.
If you’re not an Intergage client, contact our Marketing Manager Emma Barrow and discover all the great help you could be getting!
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