HOW TO: Schedule content to publish to an ATA Chapter social media profile using HootsuiteOverview: This HOW TO will outline how to use the free services offered by Hootsuite toschedule content to publish to your ATA Chapters social media profiles such as aFacebook Page or Twitter account. The purpose of using 3rd party dashboard programs like Hootsuite is to allowfor your social following to be engaged with your content without requiring yourconstant attention. Hootsuite allows you to schedule content to publish on youraccounts hours, days, even weeks in advance so you aren’t tied up throughout yourday trying to post something to keep your fans engaged. Hootsuite will allow you to customize content you find on the web so it iseffective and clear, select specific accounts that you want to push that content outon, and select the time and day on which it will publish. It is entirely possible to useHootsuite’s features to post content around the clock, seven days a week, whilededicating only hours of your time weekly to scheduling content in advance.Getting Started: If you don’t have a Hootsuite account for your Chapter: If you don’t already have a Hootsuite account set up with your Chapters social media profiles connected to it you will need to sign up and set up an account. This is a free process and only takes a few minuets. The following section outlines what you’ll need in order to get started. If you need to sign up for an account reference steps 1 and 2. If you already have a Hootsuite account for your Chapter: If you already have a Hootsuite account set up for your Chapter with the Chapters profiles connected to it the first section of this document doesn’t apply to you. Skip to step 3, there you’ll find instructions on how to begin scheduling content.What You Need Before Beginning: • An email to sign up with. (This email also becomes the login username. It is recommended you use an email set up to “hold” the Hootsuite account. One example of how to facilitate this is to set up a Gmail account and name it something like, “email@example.com” [the email used by the Ohio Valley team] and use this email to sign up and log into the account with. This also makes the account transferable from one social media chair to another if you ever have to hand off the responsibility.) • Admin status on your Chapters Facebook Page. • Your Chapters Twitter account login information. (Also, if either of your Chapters accounts is currently being managed by another Hootsuite account, the profiles will need to be removed from that Hootsuite account so they can be claimed by the one you are about to create.)
Step 1 – Signing Up • Go to Hootsuite.com and click the Sign Up Now button. • Hootsuite offers two different plans. For the needs of an ATA Chapter you only need a Free Plan which will give you the basic features of Hootsuite, free social analytics, and access to up to five social media profiles. (We’ll only be using two)
• You will now be directed to the data entry portion of the sign up process. • There are two things to pay special attention to on this page. 1. Make sure the “Selected Plan” is set to Free. 2. Make sure you have the proper time zone selected. This needs to reflect the time zone in which you will be scheduling content from. If the wrong time zone is selected your posts will publish at the wrong time and you will miss opportunities to have conversations with your fans and followers. • Once you have filled in your information click Create Account. (It is suggested that you use an email set up for the purpose of holding this account and also that you create a password you can share with future members of your Chapters team who might need to take over responsibility of the Chapters social media platforms.)[From this point on you will see screenshots taken of the Ohio Valley ChaptersHootsuite account. It has already been set up and in use, if you are setting up abrand new Hootsuite account your account will look very different, but the layoutand location of the icons which you need to access is the same.]
Step 2 – Adding Social Networks • Once you have completed signing up you will be directed to your new accounts dashboard. In order to use your account you mush add the Chapters social profiles to the account. • In order to add a social media profile (such as your Chapters Facebook Page, or Twitter account) you need to access your account settings. • To do this, move over to the icon on the vertical toolbar on the left side of your dashboard. When you hover over the toolbar it will expand out giving you explanations of the options you have here. • Select the icon shaped like a gear labeled as Settings. (If you hover over tis icon, an additional tray will expand giving you the options shown in the next screenshot. If you click the icon the Settings window will open directly, either way you want to get to the Social Networks tab.) [Instructions continued on the next page] • Once you open the Social Networks tab, select the button labeled:
+ Add Social Network • Follow the instructions you are prompted with to add both your Chapters Facebook Page and your Chapters Twitter account to your Hootsuite account. (If you encounter any problems during this step please contact Becky Weiand (Rebecca.Weiand@InceptResults.com) for assistance, as each situation is different and may require a customized solution.)Step 3 – Before You Compose A Post
• The first step to scheduling content is to gather the information you need to compose a post. • To do this, locate a piece of content on the web that you wish to schedule to publish using one of your Chapters social media platforms. For this example we’re using an article from a news outlet about the Contact Center industry adding jobs. [This is a good place to reference the HOW TO Locate Content document and refresh your memory on where / how to find things to post to your Chapters social media sites.] • When you are clicked all the way through to the article or webpage you want to share take the following two steps to gather the information you need. 1. Copy the URL for the page you’re on. 2. Determine what you want to “title” your content post, in this case we’re going to make the body text of the post the title of the article we’re sharing.Step 4 – Composing A Post
• Once you’ve copied the URL, go back to your Hootsuite dashboard and click into the Compose Message… text box at the top left of youre the dashboard.• The Compose Message… text box will drop down into the full Compose Message work tray.• Click the into the small empty field below the main text box that has the word “Shrink” next to it, this field will expand sideways.• This field is Hootsuites custom URL Shortener. Shrinking the URL you’re
going to insert into your post is CRITICAL. Both Facebook and Twitter have character limits to their updates and in the case of Twitter you only have 140 characters total. In the case of the URL we’re using for this demonstration, if not shortened the URL alone would take up 55 characters.• Paste the URL you copied from the content you are posting into this box (1), then click the “Shrink” button. (2)• The URL will automatically shorten itself and be inserted into your message above.• Once your URL is inserted, click in front of it in the text box and return it
down one line so you can insert the text portion of your post.• Now you can either type out your own text based on the content you’re scheduling or you can go back and copy and paste the title of the article. (We copied and pasted for this example.)• The next step is to select a profile from the options on the right of the text box (represented by thumbnail images with a miniature Twitter logo or Facebook Page flag icon in the lower right corner of them.) for the account, which you want the content to publish to.• When you select an account it will appear with a green check mark on it.• In the previous screenshot, the Ohio Valley Chapter Twitter account had
been selected. If you choose however to schedule content for a Facebook Page you are presented with additional options. • These options include a preview of what the post will look like once published on Facebook. A drop down box will appear to show you what your post will look like and give you the opportunity to modify it if you so choose. (Note, if you choose to publish the content to both Facebook and Twitter, the preview you will see will note appear on Twitter, only the information in the top text box will post to your Chapters Twitter account.) • In this Facebook Preview drop down box you can change the Title of the post as it will appear on Facebook beneath the standard update box. You can also change the body of the text preview your fans will see, the thumbnail image (if one’s available), or you can choose not to have a thumbnail image. [note: For this screenshot we had to use a different URL because the one displayed before didn’t have any images attached to it, this is often times the case, but if given the choice of having a thumbnail image it is ideal to use one. They take up more space on a fans Facebook feed which gives you more of a chance to draw them into your Page. – The exception to this rule is if the images have nothing to do with your post or are of poor quality. In those cases it is better to not have a thumbnail image at all!]Step 5 – Scheduling A Post ~or~ Posting Live
• Now that you have set up and customized your post you must decide if you want to post it live (meaning right that moment) or if you want to schedule the post to go out at a later date or time? • To post live just click the “Send Now” button on the bottom right of the post you are composing. • To schedule a post to publish on a later date and time click the calendar in the middle of the lower portion of the compose message tray. • If you select the “Send Now” option your post will disappear and publish immediately to the social profile that you selected. • If you select the calendar and wish to schedule a post for later another dropdown box will appear with a calendar and other options in it. • In this box you have the ability to select the day you want the content to publish using the calendar, the hour, the minuet (in 5 minuet increments), if the post will publish at __:____ AM or PM, and if you wish to be notified via email when the content posts. • Once you have selected the proper date and time click the “Done” button. (This will not schedule the content, but it will close the calendar drop down so you may continue with the process of scheduling the post.) [Important note: Always confirm if the proper “AM or PM” bubble is selected, if you are scheduling content while it is after 12noon the PM bubble will automatically select itself, the same goes for if you are scheduling content while it is before 12noon with the AM bubble!] The next screenshot shows the location of each of the options explained above.
• Once you’ve hit “Done” the calendar box will disappear.[Instructions continue on next page]
• The next step in scheduling the post is to confirm that you have the date and time you desire selected properly. A tan bar appears above any post once you active the calendar box telling you when the post is scheduled to publish. You can cancel the scheduling by clicking the “Cancel Scheduling” option in this bar.• Confirm that you have the proper day, time, and AM or PM options correctly filled in. (1) Then click the “Schedule” button which has replaced the “Send Now” button on the lower right hand corner of the Compose Message box. (2)• When you click this the post will disappear and be filled into your Publisher where it will wait until it’s scheduled time and date when it will post according to your selections.
Step 6 – Using The Publisher • Once you have scheduled a piece of content it is stored in the Publisher section of your Hootsuite dashboard. And also in the “Pending” stream for each of your profiles within the active portion of your Hootsuite dashboard. However if you need to edit or view the bulk of your posts, you will need to use the Publisher. • To access the Publisher move over to the vertical left hand toolbar and select the icon that looks like a paper airplane, when you scroll over this it should slide over and reveal a tool tray and the icon will say “Publisher” next to it. • Once you are in the publisher you can choose from a number of features to access including scheduled posts, past scheduled posts, Etc. • From this area of your Hootsuite account you can see what content is scheduled, edit the content, Etc.
• Once you locate the scheduled content portion of the publisher you can filter the information displayed in the window by profile, team member (a feature that you won’t use unless you upgrade to a paid account), by List, Day, Week, or Month, Etc. • To edit or view a post, just click on it.You’ve now successfully learned to use Hootsuite to schedule content to publish toyour Chapters social media sites so you don’t have to sit at a computer and do itmanually.Your social media profiles can now push content to engage your fans without youdirectly participating around the clock. It is VERY important that you continue tohave live conversations with your fans, if you only produce content and never haveconversations your fans will lose interest. Hootsuite is a great tool to help you getheard, but it is still essential that you remain the human element of the conversationby responding when a fan speaks up.If you have any questions about Hootsuite or would like to learn more about it visitthe Hootsuite blog at: http://blog.hootsuite.com/