It’s September and I am back with another guide for the bookish blogging community, and this time I am here to tell you all you need to know about scheduling tweets using Hootsuite and why you should!
You may or may not know this, but for my day job fundraising in higher education I also manage the social media strategy for my unit. I have four years of professional social media strategy experience, and countless trainings and collaboration with others in the field helped me hone these skills to put them to work with my personal account when I decided to use it for my book blog back in April. I wanted to create a guide to pay it forward to the blogging community!
So… what is Hootsuite?
Hootsuite is a Social Media Management System that allows you to not only schedule tweets in advance (free version allows up to 30 at a time, unlike the 10 at a time that Buffer allows), but also monitor specific hashtags and more! You can actually use Hootsuite for multiple social media platforms all in one place, but for the purposes of this guide I am going to focus on Twitter and Pinterest.
Three Reasons to use Hootsuite for Twitter
1. You can schedule Tweets in advance.
2. You can customize your Homepage with the streams that most match your needs.
Setting up your homepage and streams
So this is what my homepage – or dashboard – looks like. Each of the four categories you see (scheduled, home, my tweets, blogger karass) are called Streams and you can customize how your dashboard looks based on your preferences!
➡️ Scheduled is a stream for my scheduled posts, which you can also access by clicking the paper airplane icon on the left; I just like having it there.
➡️ Home is the homepage of Twitter and all the tweets you see when logged onto Twitter.com.
➡️ My Tweets is pretty self explanatory, this is a stream of all your tweets
➡️ Blogger Karass is a custom stream that I made using my list of my blogging besties so I don’t miss out on their posts!
➡️ I also have a stream you cannot see in the screenshot for #bookbloggers that feeds all posts using that hashtag.
There are many options for streams that you can have, and some of the most useful are following keywords and hashtags. Here is a screenshot of the Twitter stream options (remember how I mentioned you can use Hootsuite for lots of other social media platforms?! See below!).
To add a stream simply click on the + icon. You can drag and drop the order of your streams on the dashboard as well, and if you change your mind you can delete streams easily by clicking the vertical ellipses on the top right of the stream and selecting Delete.
Creating your analytics report
The analytics report, if this is something you are interested in, is fantastic and a bit more robust & easy to read than the one straight from Twitter. It is important to set up the report as soon as you set up your Hootsuite account as it will not retroactively track your analytics.
Click on the bar graph image in the left navigation, and then click on the “Build Custom Report” button under Customize. The Twitter and Facebook profile reports are free.
Once you get to the report builder, you can customize it to include tracking of specific keywords in addition to follower growth, most popular links (you will need to shorten the links via Hootsuite using ow.ly for them to track here), and your profile summary. Once you create the report you will be brought back to the dashboard and you can load your actual report and an emailed copy will be sent to you monthly.
Scheduling your posts
The free version of Hootsuite allows you to schedule up to 30 posts at a time, which should be enough for the casual book blogger that posts 3-4 times per week on their blog and promotes other posts throughout the week for an entire month! I personally schedule Tweets once a week and aim to have at least one scheduled post that drives traffic to my blog per day.
You can easily access all of your scheduled tweets by clicking the paper airplane icon on the left.
At the top of the dashboard there is a text box to the right of your Twitter username and to the left of the green New post button… if you click in that textbox a post box will appear for you to draft your tweet:
So that’s it… all I need is about 15-30 minutes per week to schedule out my tweets and ensure that I am remaining active on Twitter and sharing my content strategically throughout the week! You will need to click the little calendar for the scheduler to pop-up. Once you have picked the date and time you want the tweet to be sent out, click the blue schedule button and it will show up in your Publisher.
If you need to edit your tweet, click the edit icon and you can easily edit the text or change the date/time that it is scheduled.
The auto scheduler is an option that you can use if you schedule a bunch of content and perhaps want to do so a bit more frequently than once a week. If you turn it on it automatically spaces out posts that you schedule for the day based on parameters that you set by clicking the wheel icon.
I find it useful professionally but not so much for blogging purposes, but that doesn’t mean that you might find it useful! Just keep in mind the 30 scheduled post limit with the free account because that will affect how often you need to go in to schedule posts.
Scheduling Pins via Hootsuite
I originally wrote this guide back in July 2018 focusing solely on Twitter, but in the time that I have scheduled this post and today when it is finally being shared with you all I have begun using it to schedule my Pins for Pinterest and it is a freaking lifesaver! I simply had to include Pins here because you will be amazed.
I hardly use Pinterest, but I like at least create pins for my posts to (hopefully) drive traffic over to my blog. The problem is because I don’t really use Pinterest personally and I schedule my blog posts out in advance, I forget to post my pins. But you can schedule pins on Hootsuite fam! It is really easy, too! Click the down arrow in the “new post” button and select “New pin.”
It will bring you to a new page where you can add all the pin information and schedule it to post to Pinterest whenever you want. Note that the scheduled pins do not show up in the publisher and you cannot edit them once scheduled.