Are you posting on social media? If so, you must have heard about Hootsuite, a scheduling platform to help you manage all your social media profiles in one place. This complete beginner's guide will show you how to get started.
Platforms such as Hootsuite or Buffer allow you to schedule the posts in advance and publish them when your audience is most active [i.e. in your clients’ time zone].
I love it, as my clients are based in USA, while I’m in Poland - so they can be sure the posts will appear in their local times.
I'll show you how to get started. Let's open a new Hootsuite account. Go to https://hootsuite.com and create a free account. With it, you can post on up to three social media platforms, plus on Pinterest which is managed via a separate app.
The free account option is a little bit hidden, but I’ll show you how to locate it.
Scroll all the way down to the footer, and under ‘Plans’ click ‘Free’:
On the next page, click on the ‘Get Started - Free’ button:
And create a new account by filling in the form with your name, your email address and a password:
Click ‘Create My Free Account’ when finished and on the next page you will be able to connect your first social profile:
Click on the first profile you’d like to connect, and if you are logged in to it on your computer, the app will redirect you to the social site, where you can authorize the Hootsuite to connect both accounts.
You can connect three free accounts from the selection of: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram.
You can connect three profiles now, or if you just want to connect one, click on the ‘Add more social profiles later’ button:
On the next page, input more details about your business: your company name, industry, company size and a phone number. When finished, click ‘All Done!’.
You will then be taken to your dashboard, where you can manage your posts:
In the left panel, you will see ‘Streams’ where you can follow the conversations on social media, for example follow the hashtag or keyword mentions on each of the social sites. You can also follow one of your Twitter lists, your followers, mentions or check your timeline.
How to create your first stream?
Click on ‘Monitor my Networks’ in the bottom right corner:
And then select a social profiles you’d like to monitor:
If you’d like to follow what’s happening on Facebook, you can select to follow either Timeline, your posts, mentions, events, messages, your activity, managed pages etc.
Let’s click on the Timeline and the new stream will be added automatically:
You can then choose to add another stream or another social network.
Let’s add Twitter now - select Twitter from the drop down menu and check available options:
You can follow Home [your main page with all new posts], mentions, retweets [people who retweeted you], followers’ activity, inbox, lists [if you created special interest lists], likes [who liked your posts], outbox, my [your] tweets, searched phrase and scheduled posts.
I love the lists, as it keeps the stream according to my interest, and I can select only few profiles to follow here, who tweet on a particular topic. I also like the 'Search' stream which displays only tweets containing a certain phrase or a hashtag - perfect if you are interested in the latest news in your industry.
I’ll show you how to add a stream following a searched phrase. Select ‘Search’ box and on the next page type in your keyword:
Click ‘Search’ and see the latest posts containing this phrase:
It has been added as a new stream, so you can monitor the latest posts from here.
You can add more streams from the same social profile, or from other one. All streams will be located in the tabs at the top:
Now see how to add Pinterest to your Hootsuite through a TailWind app.
As I mentioned, you can add up to three social profiles to your free Hootsuite account, but Pinterest can also be added as a fourth profile at no extra cost, as it’s managed separately. So you can post on four profiles for free.
The only limitation, as of late, is that you can schedule up to 30 posts at a time, but I’ll give you more details shortly. Watch the video below to see how to add Pinterest to your Hootsuite account:
Now let’s change a timezone - under your profile image in the top right corner, click on the Account & Settings:
Then, in a new pop up window that appears, scroll down to the TimeZone and select the one you want:
Press ‘Save Account Info’ to remember the changes.
Now, schedule your first post.
In the Hootsuite dashboard, click the window in the top left corner to enlarge it. Then, select which social media to post to [you can pick one or all of them], type in your post content together with the hashtags, add an image, paste in URL link and click shrink to optimize it to the format required by this platform:
Then you can post it now - just press ‘Send Now’ button - or schedule it for later.
In order to schedule your post, click on the calendar icon [next to the paperclip] and pick the date and time:
Remember, your post will be scheduled according to the timezone set earlier.
Click ‘Schedule’ when ready or ‘Save’ to keep the message as a draft [handy if you want to schedule the same post more than once].
Hootsuite now introduced certain limitation in a free plan - you can schedule only 30 posts at once. If that happens, you need to wait few hours [or try again the next day] until there are few slots again.
This guide is a part of my Conversion Optimization course I'm currently working on. It is due to be published in September 2018.
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Freelance Content Strategist. Helping brands find a right voice, one story at a time. Passionate about animal onesies, meaningful conversations and well-spoken people