Hootsuite is a popular choice for managing small business social media accounts. It’s an excellent time saving option, especially if we are posting on multiple social accounts at the same time or managing social media for more than one client. I like to plan activity on social accounts a week in advance. That way information is still quite current and it saves me worrying about it during that period. It also means that we are not restricted to a daily task, giving more flexibility in the daily routine and making work scheduling much easier. If a big news story breaks that I want to publish straight away, I can still do that manually, safe in the knowledge that my scheduled posts will always be there as backup.
The easiest way to add content to Hootsuite is to upload a CSV excel document with information that you need to the Bulk Message Upload section.
After a little trial and error we have created a useful CSV file that we would like to share with you. We’ve created a template for you, but here’s how to create your own…
- Open Excel
- Highlight the ‘A’ column by right clicking on the letter ‘A’ in the grey box and select format cells.
- On the ‘Number’ tab Select ‘Custom’ from the category box on the left hand side and then from the ‘Type’ box on the right choose dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm. You need to do this so that the Hootsuite programme will know that these cells tell it what time to post.
- Insert the first two dates and times. Personally, I prefer to use different times of the day to give the posts a more authentic feel. To do this, you can of course type your dates and times manually, or use a formula to incrementally autofill your dates or times.As an example, placing this formula in cell A2 and copying it down your column will add 4 hours and 27 minutes to to the time from the cell above – allowing your times to appear “random”=A1+TIME(4,27,0)
Some people like to select the same time each day, which also makes it easier to drag the box to automatically fill. To do this click and hold on the bottom right of the selected box and drag it down column ‘A’.
- You should then have something that looks like this.
- Now in column ‘B’ this is where you will be writing your content and in column ‘C’ you will input the link (if there is one). See the example below. Note that there are no headings at all in this upload sheet.
- On the social media site Twitter you are only able to use 140 characters in your post, with links taking up a maximum of 23 characters that leaves you with a total of 117 characters to use for any post with links in. In box D1 enter the following code =LEN(B2) this will count the amount of characters in cell B2.You can then use the same trick selecting the bottom right hand corner of the cell to drag it down your page.
- Next, highlight column D and under ‘Home’ tab > ‘Number’ group select Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells > Greater Than
- Change the settings to highlight cells greater than 117 and select the formatting “yellow fill with dark yellow text” then click OK.
- Repeat the step above again, this time change the settings to highlight cells greater than 140. This time set the format to “red fill with dark red text”. Click OK.
This will then highlight any cells where your post content is too long for Twitter 1) with a link included or 2) if you aren’t including a link.
- You are then free to enter all the information you want to publish for the month, trying to keep the post length below 140 characters so that the post can automatically be used on all of your social media platforms. If you have some that are over, column D will easily show you which ones you have to edit.
- When you have done all of this you need to save the file as a CSV file. Go to File > Save As and select type as ‘Comma Delimited’. It will then be ready to upload onto your Hootsuite account.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember to save the final upload sheet as a new CSV file and keep your template saved as an Excel Workbook (.xls / .xlxs) file, and not as a CSV. Saving as a CSV is necessary for upload to Hootsuite but will remove all of your formulas and formatting.
Hopefully this has helped you with the layout of your Excel file for Hootsuite’s bulk upload feature. If it has, or want any more information please post us a question below.
BONUS DOWNLOAD: We’ve also created a ready made template for you here.
Click the button below to grab your free copy