I would always prefer spending time creating content than being on social media. I view it as a necessary evil – it’s great for connections and knowledge but you don’t want to get sucked in to the cat pictures.
I’m staggered to find that I’ve been on Twitter for four and a half years and have tweeted some 15,000 tweets. I’m staggered, not only because it seems like yesterday when Twitter exploded onto the scene, but also because I consider myself as a novice at it – I remember plenty of my blogger friends were on it ages before me.
I have over 2,300 people following me on Twitter. Not a high number by any means, but my tweets do get seen and retweeted from time to time. And, in order to capitalise on this, I’m doing some automated bulk tweeting.
Social media automation with Hootsuite
In the Hootsuite dashboard, click the paper aeroplane “Publisher” icon on the top left and then click the “Schedule in Bulk” button (circled above). It explains what you need to do in the resulting pop-up dialogue box:
It’s pretty easy, as you can see from the above video. You just need to create a spreadsheet with the following three columns:
- Date – The accepted DATE format is: mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm or dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm
The column which takes a bit of time to create is the Date column.
Sample .csv spreadsheet for Hootsuite bulk scheduler
Click on the above icon to download the sample scheduled tweets for Hootsuite CSV that was used in the above video.
Hootsuite says “all fields must have double quotation marks around them and be separated by commas” but this is not necessary if your CSV was saved as a spreadsheet in Excel.
Hootsuite’s “rules” for bulk scheduling
- The accepted DATE format is: mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm or dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm
- Set times at least 10 minutes from upload time
- Posting times must end in either a 5 or a 0, i.e. 10:45 or 10:50, all other times will be rounded up to the next 5 minute slot
- Only one message per time slot
- Duplicate messages are not allowed
- There is a maximum of 350 scheduled messages across all social networks
Remember you can do this for Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook updates.
Scheduling tweets for free without the bulk uploader
Above is another video which shows you how to do this.
What do you think?
I’ll continue to schedule tweets and other updates like this for now and see how I get on. Would you be interested in this service from Hootsuite? Or do you think bulk messaging is too automated and therefore not “personal” enough for social media?
One thing’s for sure, Hootsuite, having provided a great free service, is reaping the benefit and will receive my money for the upgraded social media tools. The “freemium” model works everytime!