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Use Excel with Hootsuite’s Bulk Composer

I love Hootsuite’s ability to schedule bulk posts. Although bulk posts do not a social media strategy make, it can help get things started.

This post is a practical, step-by-step process to show you how to prepare an Excel sheet of social media posts, for use in Hootsuite’s Bulk Composer. (I’m writing this so I can remember how I do this, each month. I hope it helps you, too).

I’m making a couple of assumptions:

  1. You’ve already got a list of posts you want to upload into Hootsuite, in Excel. Don’t have one yet, try my process for collecting items to share on social media.
  2. Column A, of your sheet, is blank. This is where we’ll put the dates.
  3. Column B has your status updates. Remember: you have character limits, so you should test each status with the =len(B1) formula (where “B1” is the cell with your status).
  4. Column C has any links you want to share with your updates. Hootsuite will shorten all these for you (if you wish).

If this is what your Excel sheet looks like, you should:

  1. Go to Cell A1 (column A, row 1) and enter =now() to insert the current date and time.
  2. Format column A according to the date-time format you want to use. Hootsuite is expecting a specific format. Since I’m in the United States, I prefer Month/Day/Year Hour:Minute and use m/d/yy h:mm (under Custom). Don’t forget: the hours need to be in a 24-hour format.
  3. Copy-paste value from cell A1 back into A1. We’re pasting the value, to make it easier to change (in the next step).
  4. Change this date to the date and time you want your first status update to go-out. Remember: you can only send something 10 minutes in the future. I usually start by posting things the next day.
  5. Decide how often you want your posts to go-out. For instance, if you want posts to go-out every 12 hours or three-times a day.
  6. You’re going to add the fraction of the day to the date-time of the previous day. So, if you want them to go-out every 12 hours, add 12/24 to the previous date time. If you want posts to go-out three times a day, add 1/3. You’ll enter this formula into cell A2.
  7. Copy-down cells from A2 to your last post.
  8. Check to see your date-times are correct for each post.
  9. Save as a CSV.
  10. Upload to Hootsuite.

Problems: Hootsuite’s directions might provide you some answers.

 

Did I miss anything? Am I unclear? Leave your questions in the comments, below.

 

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