Automating Posts with Hootsuite

A month of social media posts, in 1 hour. Now that's a hoot! But, it can be true for you when using a posting scheduling device, like Hootsuite. The online app allows you to connect all your social networks and schedule posts ahead of time. It's a great way to consistently share your GreenShortz video library with your fans and help reach new ones. While Hootsuite does have a paid version with more robust features, the free version works great for us and should suffice for your needs as well.

Here is a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to set up Hootsuite, connect your social media accounts and begin scheduling posts...as easy as pie. (which I shouldn't say, since I've never made pie).

Step 1: Create Your Free Hootsuite Account


Go to www.hootsuite.com and you will find this start screen. If you are using Facebook, sign in using that button. You'll need your login info for the account you use to manage your Facebook account (likely your personal FB account).
Hootsuite Info-1

Step 2: Connect Your Social Media Accounts


Once you've logged in, you will see this interface. (minus my social media networks, of course) Click on the the "+Add Social Network" button. The "Add Social Network" box will pop up. Select a network to add. Complete your login info for that network and "Submit." Repeat this step to add all of the social media networks you use. Note: The "Home" tab (house icon), selected below, can be used to monitor multiple social media streams, but we'll be working in the "Publisher" tab (paper aiplane) for this exercise.

Add Network tab 

Hootsuite Add network

Step 3: Think Strategically


This is where you'll create your version of an editorial calendar. In other words, deciding what to post and when. A sound social media strategy is both planned and adaptive. This two-fold strategy uses "planned" content--regular scheduled posts--and fills in with "adaptive" posts in response to current happenings, for example adding event photos, video clips, or data. Your custom GreenShortz library is designed to help with your planned content posts...to give you interesting, relevant content to post on a regular basis. Note: Wednesday at 5:00 pm is the highest traffic time for Facebook.

Step 4: Select Social Media


Select one or more Social Media networks to distribute your post by highlighting the network in the list on the left. Below I've highlighted both Twitter (Tommy_Toutone) and Facebook (Tom Mills). Note that when you've selected more than one, the remaining character counts will be displayed for all the networks selected (Twitter-125, Facebook-1985). If you are posting to Facebook and Twitter, consider limiting the post to the Twitter requirement of 140 characters so the same post can be sent to Twitter and Facebook without changes. Keep in mind that Facebook now recognizes hashtags as links, so they will function in your FB posts just like they do in Twitter. Note that we are moving to the "Publisher" tab (paper airplane icon) for the next steps in the exercise.

Hootsuite media selection

Step 5: Compose Your Post


At the top of the Hootsuite interface you'll find the "compose message" text field. It goes without saying, that this is where you compose your message. :-) Ther is also a special box at the bottom where you can paste a link. Pasting the link here, rather than in the main message area, allows the link to be shortened to conserve characters for Twitter posts.

Hootsuite Compose Message

Once you have composed your post, copy and paste your link to the box and click "Shrink." The shortened link to be added to the end of the post. Note: Use hashtags to help your post reach outside your normal audience of followers. But add the hashtags after your link, to place priority on the link. (I did not do that in my example below) This is important because if someone retweets your post it will add your Twitter handle (RT@Tommy_Toutone) to the front of the post, adding characters which could push the Tweet over the limit. The post will still go through, but it would be better to sacrifice a hashtag or two at the end, rather than the link you want the reader to click.

Hootsuite message link

Here the link has been shortened and added to the end of the post. (But, put your hashtags after the link...) Note the "20" next to the Twitter icon. This indicates the number of characters remaining in your Tweet, but do not feel like you have to use them.

Hootsuite link shrunk

Step 6: Schedule Your Post


Hootsuite SchedulerAh, yes...the step you've been waiting for. But, it has been worth the wait. You can post immmediately from Hootsuite using the "Send Now" button. This is an easy way to post to mulitple networks simultaniously. To schedule a specific date and time for your post, instead click on the "Calendar" icon in the row just above the "Send Now" button. Clicking will open the calendar dialog box shown below. Select a date and time for your post and click "Schedule." Or toggle "AutoSchedule" to "On" to have Hootsuite select a time to post for you and click "Schedule" to set.

Hootsuite set date

Once you have scheduled a post, it will reside in the list shown below in the "Publisher" tab (paper airplane icon). Here you can select and edit the post if need be. Posts will automatically disappear from this list as they are pushed out to your networks. To see your previous scheduled posts, select the "Past Scheduled" menu.

Hootsuite scheduled list

Step 7: Monitor Your Views


A benefit of your custom GreenShortz library is that you have a unique instance for each of the videos you've selected. The purpose is to link these specific videos back to you, promoting your organization. But this also means the views are uniquely yours too. For example, Ann Kirk of Keep Smyrna Beautiful, is using Hootsuite to schedule Facebook posts. This has placed a few of her videos (KSB- prefix) at the top of the views list for GreenShortz for weekly views. These views represent only people watching Ann's videos. Nice work Ann! Note: views are monitored in your GreenShortz Vimeo library.


 

If you are not a GreenShortz custom content subscriber, but are interested, please contact us. Plans start as low as $20 per month.

KSB Traffic