As a busy social media manager, you can’t spend all your time posting updates on the fly. With engagement rates to measure, a social strategy to craft, and your content calendar to maintain, it makes perfect sense to invest in bulk scheduling for social media—and save your time for other responsibilities.
Bonus: Download our free, customizable social media calendar template to easily plan and schedule all your content in advance.
What is bulk scheduling?
Social media bulk scheduling is the practice of organizing and scheduling many posts ahead of time. (With Hootsuite, you can bulk schedule up to 350 posts at once!)
With bulk scheduling, you can:
- Save time and resources to focus on other areas of your role or business
- Streamline and strengthen your social media campaign coordination
- Plan time-sensitive content in advance
- Post when your audience is active and online (no more scrambling at the last minute to gather assets and post in the moment)
Bulk scheduling makes daily posting effortless and takes the worry out of keeping up with your social media calendar. On any given day, you’ll know exactly how many posts will go out and when.
Let’s dive in and explore exactly how to bulk schedule social media posts with Hootsuite.
How to bulk schedule social media posts in 5 easy steps
Visual learners, watch the video below learn how to bulk schedule social media posts with Hootsuite. Everyone else — keep reading.
Step 1: Download Hootsuite’s bulk composer file
To bulk compose and schedule social media posts in Hootsuite, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps in preparation, starting with preparing a bulk post CSV file to upload into Hootsuite:
- Launch your Hootsuite dashboard. On the left, click Publisher.
- On the top Publisher menu, click Content.
- From the Content menu, click Bulk Composer on the left.
- Click the Download example button on the right of the screen.
- Open the downloaded CSV file in a program that supports .csv files, for example, Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
Pro tip: We recommend importing the CSV file into Google Sheets. Other software might mess up the date and time format required to correctly upload a bulk post.
Step 2: Fill out the CSV file
We get it; opening a new CSV file seems daunting. But, by following these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be bulk scheduling your social posts in no time.
- In Column A, fill out the date and time you want your post published by using one of the supported formats below:
- day/month/year hour:minute
- month/day/year hour:minute
- year/month/day hour:minute
- year/day/month hour:minute
- Remember that the clock must be in 24-hour format, time must end in a 5 or a 0, publishing times can only be set for at least 10 minutes from when you upload the file into Hootsuite, and your date format needs to be consistent throughout the whole bulk schedule file.
- In Column B, add the caption for your post, and remember to adhere to any social media character limits.
- Want to add images, emojis, or videos to your bulk schedule? You can add these after you’ve uploaded the CSV file to Hootsuite.
- If you want to direct your audience from your social post to a specific URL, add a link in Column C. You can choose to shorten them to Ow.ly links later.
- Save your file and move on to the next step.
Reminder: Hootsuite’s bulk composer tool lets you schedule 350 posts at a time. You can post all 350 on one social media platform, or even have 50 posts across seven different platforms!
Step 3: Upload the CSV file to Hootsuite
You’re ready to upload your CSV file containing all the posts you want to bulk schedule into Hootsuite.
- Navigate to the Hootsuite dashboard and click on Publisher, Content, and then click on Bulk Composer on the left.
- Click Select file to upload, choose your recently created .csv file, and click Open.
- Select the social media platforms you want to bulk schedule your posts for.
- Check the box next to Do not shorten links if you want the full URL to unfurl in your social media post, or leave it unchecked if you want your link to display as ow.ly.
Step 4: Review and edit your posts
Hurray! Now you’re ready to review your bulk scheduled posts and visualize how they’ll present to your audience.
- Click on each post to review the copy and add any emojis, photos, or videos.
Worried that you might have made a scheduling mistake? The Hootsuite bulk scheduling tool will automatically flag errors and allow you to fix the issues. However, remember that you won’t be able to schedule the collection of posts until you fix them.
Step 5: Bulk schedule your posts
- Once you’ve finished reviewing and editing, click on Schedule in the bottom right.
- Scheduling might take a few seconds, and once Hootsuite has finished scheduling your bulk posts, review them by clicking View scheduled messages.
- Need to make a few more tweaks? Click on Planner to individually edit your scheduled posts.
And that’s it! You’ve quickly and easily bulk scheduled posts for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms in a heartbeat.
5 best practices for bulk scheduling on social media
One size does not fit all
Word count differs on each social platform, so ensure that your bulk scheduled posts contain the correct number of characters. As of 2021, Twitter has a 280 character limit, Instagram has 2,200, and Facebook has a massive 63,206 character limit.
Keep your social media copy unique for each post, even if you’re sharing the same link. Repeatedly sharing the same post with the same message could flag your account as spam and hinder your chances of social media success.
Scheduling isn’t everything
Scheduling shouldn’t be your entire social strategy. Save room on your feed for real-time updates and responses, too. Ideally, your social media feed should adhere to the rule of thirds:
- ⅓ business promotion to convert readers and generate profits
- ⅓ sharing ideas from influencers in your industry or similar businesses
- ⅓ personal stories to help build your brand
There’s a million new things you could be doing on social—customer care is red-hot, social commerce is booming, and TikTok can’t be ignored. Getting lost is easy.👀
— Hootsuite 🦉 (@hootsuite) November 12, 2021
Remember to listen
Bulk scheduling is excellent for continually broadcasting to your audience, but it’s also important to take the time to listen. You need to give and receive, so engage with your followers, reply to comments, respond to direct messages, and build relationships.
Want to take social listening one step further? Hootsuite Insights helps you analyze millions of audience conversations, so your finger is always on the pulse.
Posting consistently on social media is a key component of a successful social strategy— the Facebook and Instagram best practice guide even says so.
Creating and sticking to a consistent posting schedule will allow your followers to know when your content is arriving on their feeds and help build engagement. Bulk scheduling social posts enables you to stick to a regular schedule and ensures that you always have content going out on your feed when your audience expects it.
Save time managing your social presence and use Hootsuite to create, schedule, and post content in bulk. Try it for free today.