As a social media pro, you probably have a lot of content to share—and not a lot of time to do it.
With that in mind, creating and scheduling posts in bulk will save you a lifetime of sitting at your desk and scheduling posts individually. Our newly improved Bulk Composer feature makes it easy to schedule posts across multiple social networks at once. Here’s how to make the most of it.
Benefits of bulk composing
- Upload content quickly and easily. Instead of hopping back and forth between social networks, schedule all your messages in bulk from one place.
- Schedule hundreds of posts—up to 350 messages at a time.
- Reach multiple timezones. Use Bulk Composer to schedule your messages ahead of time to reach audiences all around the world.
- Pre-plan campaign messages. Draw your audience towards a big event, release, or product launch. Scheduling multiple messages to promote an event is a great way to build anticipation.
- Improve consistency. Being consistent with your updates can teach your audience when to expect new content from you. Avoiding pauses or sudden breaks in your social media schedule also ensures maximum engagement.
How to use Hootsuite’s Bulk Composer
Watch the video to learn how our follow the step-by-step instructions below.
1. Compose your messages
To bulk schedule messages in Hootsuite, the first step is—not surprisingly—composing your messages. This is where your social media content strategy comes into play. Get crafty and make ‘em count.
Bulk Composer uses .CSV files, so we recommend creating your content in Google Sheets, or a plain text editor like TextEdit. Another option is crafting your messages using a bulk scheduling template.
You’ll use three columns to set up your messages. Column A is the date and time you want your message to be scheduled for, Column B is the message itself, and Column C is where you’ll include a URL (if needed in your post).
Important formatting rules to keep in mind:
Column A: Date and time are in mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm or dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm
- Be sure to use the same date format for each of your messages.
- Times must be set in the future (at least 10 minutes from upload time) and should end in either a 5 or a 0, i.e. 10:45 or 10:50.
Column B: Your carefully crafted content
- For Twitter there is a limit of 140 characters (not including attached media).
Column C: URL (optional)
- The full URL you want to include in your message.
- You can choose to have these automatically shortened to ow.ly links.
2. Upload your messages
To prepare a bulk message file:
- Select Publisher, the paper airplane icon, from the launch menu
- Under Content Sources, click Bulk Composer
- Click Select File to Upload
- Select your .CSV file
- Click Open
- Choose which social networks to publish the messages to
- Optional: If you do not want your URLs shortened to ow.ly links, click on Do Not Shorten Links
- Click Next: Review Messages
3. Fix any errors
If the Bulk Composer detects any errors in your uploaded messages, you’ll spot them easily—they’ll display a red banner explaining the issue.
A message cannot be scheduled until the issue is fixed. This could be a formatting error, a duplicate message, or too many characters.
4. Edit and customize your messages
Last minute changes? Bulk Composer lets you select messages individually to review and edit them before the final send-off.
Select a message from the list to:
- Fix errors: Edit the message text or make any last minute changes.
- Preview how it will look: Click Preview in the top-right corner to see how the post will look on each social network.
- Customize link preview image: Click Select an image to upload or Replace link preview with media and add an image.
- Customize link title or description: Click Customize on the link preview to remove or customize the link preview image, or edit the link title or description, and then click Save.
- Change the scheduled time: Click the scheduled time at the bottom of the post to edit the time you want your message to be published.
- Switch the social network: To edit the social networks the message is being published to, or the links included in the message, edit the message in the Publisher section (denoted by a paper airplane icon) after the message is scheduled.
You’ve made it this far, young Padawan. You’re at the final steps of the Bulk Composer journey but there’s one last crucial thing to do: schedule your messages.
Located in the editing pane, click Schedule in the bottom-right corner to schedule a message on its own, or click Schedule All Messages to upload all messages in your queue.
Time to get into scheduling in bulk. Select messages in your queue by ticking the check box, then click Schedule Selected.
Having up to 350 messages in your queue can be a handful. Feel free to filter your scheduled messages by profile or by social network for better organization.
Dos and don’ts
Do: space out your posts
Stagger your posts so you don’t bombard your readers with the same content, over and over again.
Don’t: get flagged as spam by posting duplicate messages
Most social networks use an algorithm that look at a number of factors including the frequency of posts, if they have received reports about a specific profile, and whether any of the links used are flagged as spam
So while there are a few reasons a post could get flagged, the number one thing you can do to ensure yours don’t is to vary the message of each post, if only slightly. Don’t send identical messages to the same profile in a short timeframe, so you can avoid getting error messages like this:
This is also a good reminder to keep your content fresh and interesting.
Do: take time to craft meaningful messages
You (should) already know this one—but creating relevant content is key to engaging audiences and increasing social reach. There’s a reason it’s a social media best practice that never gets old.
Stuck for ideas? In just a few seconds, Hootsuite Suggestions can help you craft compelling messages.
Don’t: forget about character count
Your total word count is limited in characters by whichever network you’re posting to. Twitter, for example, has a limit of 140 characters. If you include a link, the URL will take up 24 characters (23 for the URL itself and one more for the space between the URL and the rest of your message). But don’t fret. Any post that exceeds a character limit will be flagged by Bulk Composer with an error message.
Save time managing your social presence by using Hootsuite to create and schedule content in bulk with the click of a button.