Hootsuite-Owl

A technical manual for how to post social media drafts for the Regional Arts Commission (RAC). The Marketing Department wanted to allow project leads to create their own Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts with a review process. We used Hootsuite for this.

Thank you for creating marketing content for RAC!

This is a primer for to Hootsuite for Project Leads (PL). Marketing uses Hootsuite to schedule social media. The guide contains:

  1. General guidelines and expectations
  2. Limitations
  3. A walk-through of how to post drafts in Hootsuite
  4. Guidelines to maximize engagement

If you have any questions or run into problems, please contact Stanford.

General, Responsibilities, and Time Requirements

RAC’s Hootsuite plan does not have multiple accounts. PLs will manage their own department’s content and should post content only with Marketing’s approval.

Marketing needs at two business days to review social media drafts. This allows time to make changes and review changes with the PL if needed. If there are less than two business days prior to the scheduled post, PLs must contact Marketing via email as quickly as possible.

Hootsuite does not send notifications for drafted materials. It is the PL’s responsibility to notify Marketing to review drafts. Be sure to state how many draft posts there are waiting.

Marketing will review drafted content for tone, style, grammar, and technical issues. If there are changes, Marketing will let the PL know via email.

Any scheduled dates will be reviewed against the Content Calendar. If proposed dates shift, Marketing will inform the PL via email.

Hootsuite Limitations

RAC’s plan is limited to 30 posts total scheduled simultaneously. Thus, do not schedule more than 10 posts at any time. A post is any scheduled content: If the same content is going to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, that’s three posts. If you need an exception, contact Marketing via email as soon as possible so all parties that share the account can be consulted.

Specific to Facebook, Hootsuite will not allow sharing content that has been previously posted, such as another page’s post or a Facebook event. This must be done via Facebook itself. If so, contact Marketing via email with your draft at least two business days in advance.

Hootsuite will occasionally disconnect an account. If you notice any such messages in the Dashboard, contact Marketing via email immediately. That said, an error doesn’t always display, so PL’s should check your posts occasionally, especially Twitter. Marketing will be monitoring this as well.

Posting Drafts in Hootsuite

  1. Log into Hootsuite at com. The Dashboard opens.
  2. Click on the large green New Post button at the top.
  3. On the screen that opens, do the following:

A: Select which social media channel(s) you want.

B: Enter your draft social media content, including links.

To tag other organizations/people, first type “@” and then start typing their social media handle. It can take a little patience. Sometimes, copying the handle directly from the URL of their page/profile works well.

C: Shorten the link with Ow.ly unless Marketing states otherwise.

D: Check the character count.[i] [ii] [iii]

      • Facebook (RAC’s primary channel)
        • Limit: 63,206 characters max, including spaces.
        • Goal: 40 to 80 characters to increase the chance of engagement by 88%, but this isn’t realistic for many posts. Engagement is inversely proportional to length.
        • URLs: Count but not against the goal.
        • Hashtags: Skip them.
        • Images: Do not count against characters.
      • Instagram (Works only if there are strong images)
        • Limit: 2,200 characters, including spaces.
        • Goal: Max 125 characters. Put anything important first.
        • URLs: Show only as text and are not clickable.
        • Hashtags: 5 – 10; post at end; do not count against the goal.
        • Images: Must be a unique image per post and not previously shared on RAC’s Instagram.
      • Twitter (The least effective of RAC’s channels with little engagement)
        • Limit: 280 characters max, including spaces.
        • Goal: 71 to 100 characters to increase the chance of engagement by 17%.
        • URLs: Always count as 23 characters but not against the goal.
        • Hashtags: Count and count against the goal. Limit to two hashtags max. Try to mix them in: “Calling #STL artists!”
        • Images: Do not count against characters.
        • Handles: Do not count only at the beginning but count against goal.

E: Images

When possible, always use an image. They can be uploaded by dragging-and-dropping or clicking the link.

F: Preview

The preview area is a bit buggy. It’s an approximation of what will post.

Do not use the Media Library’ stock images. RAC avoids them when possible.

G: Click on the Schedule for later link.

Pick a proposed date and time.

Click Done.

H. Click the dropdown next to Schedule, and hit Save Draft.

 

  1. Send an email to [email protected] with information that your draft posts are ready to review. Use this format: Hootsuite | Campaign Name.

[i] Marketing may post differently than these.

[ii] Research from Hub Spot, Jeff Bullas, Social Report, and Sprout Social.

[iii] Ads are outside of the scope of this document.