Monday, July 27, 2015

Social Media Basics for Writers—Scheduling Tips for Using Hootsuite

Last week we started discussing how to use Hootsuite, my secret weapon for social media time management. 

Today I'm finishing up. One thing I've discovered, there's too much information to put in one single post. So this will be continued in at least one more post.

Now on to business at hand.

Here is step by step how I schedule Tweets and Facebook Posts in Hootsuite.

(Step one picture above)

Step One, I click on Compose message. (It's written in light gray, and a little hard to read against the white)

Step Two, the window expands and I now have access to everything I need. Across the bottom you see the Add a link... window. 

One the other side is a paper clip symbol for attaching something like a photo.
Next is the calendar icon, to schedule my updates.

Next is an upside down teardrop looking icon - this is to add a location.
Finally there is a lock icon - for privacy settings. 

In this window you see three of my social media profiles highlighted. With the free version of Hootsuite (all you need at first) you'll only have the option of setting up three profiles. The paid version (9.99 a month) gives you more platforms.
(Step two picture above)

Step Three, in this screen shot I have added the text for my tweet (complete with hashtags) and copy and pasted the appropriate URL into the link window. Next I will click the Shrink icon and this will shorten my link for Twitter. This is important because in Twitter I only have 140 characters and some links are 40 or 50 characters long.
(Step Three Picture above)

Step Four, in this screen shot (like others before it) you can see the  drop-down menu where I can choose which social media profiles I want this update to post to. In the free version of Hootsuite you are allowed 3 profiles. Also, after I shrunk my link, Hootsuite added it to the end of my tweet. Since I have a Facebook profile as one of the accounts I want updated it also shows me how it will look on Facebook. 

Special Note: There are two backward facing arrows where you have the option of Choosing a thumbnail. With this post, I only have one choice, but often times you can click those arrows and choose which picture accompanies your update.
(Step Four Picture above)

Step Five, now I’m ready to schedule my update. When I clicked on the calendar icon, the scheduling menu dropped down. It gives me today’s date and the option to change the time it goes out. 

After you choose a time, be sure to click the corresponding AM or PM box. If you forget that it won’t tell you, but it won’t schedule either. It will just sit there until you figure it out. (not helpful at all)

There is also a small box beside the Email me when message is sent. If you check this box you’ll get an email telling you the update went out. I used to do this, now I know it’s reliable, I don’t bother. Who needs more emails?

Finally, you can see to the right of the drop down menu, one of my Hootsuite columns titled, Scheduled Tweets. This is where all my Tweets for the day are listed. As you can see, they’ve all gone out for today already.
(Step Five Picture above)

Now it’s your turn . . . any questions or tips? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Learn the secret weapon for #socialmedia time management from expert @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Using a scheduling program for #SocialMedia isn't difficult - tips from @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)


  1. Edie, this is soooo helpful. I finally, finally set up my Hootsuite account with your posts' help. Thank you! I have one question, i'm pretty sure I know the answer to, but I'm going to ask anyway, just in case I'm wrong. When I want to schedule my own blog posts to Hootsuite, do I have to wait for my blog to go live before I can do this (so I can get the link)?
    Loved these posts. Thank you again!

    1. Jeanne, that's a great question! You use the PERMALINK to get a link for an unpublished blog post. Here's a post I wrote telling you exactly where and how:
      Blessings, E

    2. Oh, thank you, Edie! I'll look that post up. And I'll figure out how to link since my next post goes up soon. :) SOOOO excited!

    3. Okay. I just tried to copy my permalink address into the area on Hootsuite where I can add a link to shrink it and it says, "Error: Invalid URL parameter provided." Not sure what to do with that. Do you have any suggestions? :)