Friday, 20 May 2011

How to schedule tweets in Hootsuite

If you use Twitter, you may find there are times when you feel you should be tweeting, but you just can’t be available. For example, tweeting while you are asleep but the other side of the world has woken up. For times such as this there are apps available to schedule your tweets, so when you are awake and do have time, you can write what you want to say and schedule them to be sent at a specific day & time. 

There’s a lot to be said for NOT scheduling tweets – what happens if someone wants to interact with you then & there? They think you’re available because you’ve just tweeted so why aren’t you replying? But I think as long as it is done sensibly it can be a huge benefit. 

If you have a lot to say, it can also help to get it all out of your system, but spread the tweets over a few hours, say 15 minutes apart and you aren’t spamming your followers and maybe losing them. There’s a blog post on Twitp.com about this. 

I use Hootsuite to manage my Twitter accounts, so I’ll use this to show you how to schedule tweets. 

To schedule your tweets 1 at a time:

Write your tweet as you usually would in the text box at the top of the HootSuite screen. (If you have more than one account set up, make sure you choose the account you want to send the tweet from.) Instead of clicking the ‘Send Now’ button as usual click the little Calendar icon in the box below your message. 


A Calendar will pop up, as in the image below. So select the day & time you want the tweet to be sent (make sure its in the future!!) If you’d like to be told when the tweet has been sent, tick the box below. Then click Okay.

You should now have a yellow bar at the top of your screen including details of your scheduled tweet. 


If this is wrong you can Cancel, if you’d like to go ahead, you’ll notice that your ‘Send Now’ button has been replaced with ‘Schedule’. Click this and your tweet will be ready to go when scheduled!

To schedule many tweets:

Hootsuite also has an option where you can upload a spreadsheet to allow you to schedule up to 50 messages at once.


So, download the spreadsheet using the link above.

In column A, you need the date & time you want the tweet to be sent. In the following format DD/MM/YYYY hh:mm, so to send a tweet on 22 May 2011 at 2:35pm you would put ‘22/05/2011 14:35’. The first tweet must be a minimum of 10 minutes from the time you will be uploading your spreadsheet and times should be in 5 minute increments.

In column B, put the tweet text you want to send. For example, ‘Look at me – I’m scheduling tweets!’ (Don’t forget you are still restricted by the number characters, and if you want to add a link you need to leave space for that too. )

In column C you can enter a URL or web address if the tweet needs to link somewhere. This link will be shortened, but don’t forget to allow space for it. Make sure you add the http:// prefix before your URLs.

Save your file.

In Hootsuite click the calendar icon, as above, then click the ‘Schedule in Bulk’ button. Its worthwhile reading through the information Hootsuite has provided before continuing.


Browse to your spreadsheet and select the Twitter account the tweets will be sent from & click Submit. 



You should get a message to say it has been successful. Then sit back while Hootsuite tweets away for you!

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