I know that there are a lot of people out there that really swear by Hootsuite. I’m not one of them so far. I’ve had a free account for years, which limits you to 30 posts total in a round-robin fashion. That’s good for emergencies when other schedulers go down, and when you absolutely have to get stuff out NOW NOW NOW. Last week, Hootsuite offered the ability to get 3 months of their lowest level paid account for free. Finding that to be fair and wanting to try out their paid account, I signed up. I will be honest. This does not meet my needs at all. I do have a helpdesk ticket in with Hootsuite on getting the 350 bulk upload limit unlocked, but I’ve had that ticket in since June 22, 2019. It’s now July 6, 2019.
Manual Posting with Hootsuite
Manual posting with Hootsuite is slow and tedious, even if you have all your posts ready to be copied and pasted, it is like pulling teeth on a cat while giving the cat a bath. You're going to be lucky if you accomplish it within a reasonable timeframe, and you are going to get very pissed in the process.
If you are trying to post numerous messages rapidly to multiple networks, you are going to want to pull your hair out within 5 to 10 minutes. This is because, in order to post, you have to click on the NEW POST. The posting feature that existed in the STREAMS area is gone. It’s been gone for a while, but that feature allowed you to click your networks, and they stuck. Meaning, if you had multiple posts to do, all you had to do was open that window. Once you selected your groups, they stayed selected, so you could POST POST POST, very rapidly by just changing the date or time, cause both of those also stuck. So, if you need one post to go out for the next 30 days at noon, you just had to C/P your post, change the date and click schedule.
Today, you’re better off going into the publisher, scheduling your post and then clicking on that post and clicking DUPLICATE. That eliminates the need to C/P the post. Unfortunately, the networks don’t stick. So, if your original post was scheduled for Facebook and Twitter, you’re only going to see one of those networks, whichever one you happen to be viewing in the publisher. You will have to click the other network every single time. There is also no way to create a group of networks. Like if you need to always post X message to Twitter and Facebook for X client, you can’t do it. It’s one or all. You cannot select out 2 of 10. It’s 1 or 10.
No Multiple Use Drafts
Another way you might try to accomplish posting to two accounts is via the draft function. It’s located in Publisher→Content. For this, you create your post as normal and save it as a draft. This allows you to set your date and your time and your networks. When you save it as a draft, all of that saves. Then, you open your draft and click SCHEDULE. The draft disappears. There’s no multiple use of drafts. Once you schedule it, it’s gone. So, you cannot use the draft function to lock your preferred networks.
Bulk Upload Posting
Since manual posting in Hootsuite is incredibly tedious, you might think, hey, I’m paying $30 to $45 a month for this bulk upload feature. I’m just going to create my spreadsheets for each day, upload them and BAM, I’ll be done in an hour!
Hold on! It doesn’t work quite that way. Their bulk upload feature via spreadsheet is limited to 350 posts for all account types whether you are paying $45 a month or $599 a month. It’s also a round-robin feature, meaning as soon as one message autoposts, you can schedule another bulk message, but this is useless if you want to do your entire month of posts immediately. This is where I’m fighting Hootsuite. I want to post everything for the month on one day. I don’t want to have to keep going back in every day and uploading my spreadsheets. Not to mention, if you do high volume posts to multiple accounts, you’ll never get them all done like this.
First of all, you never want to use the bulk upload for Instagram. In the new bulk scheduler, you cannot load an image with your spreadsheet and upload everything. You can only upload the text and link. In the next window, you will have to upload your image and probably edit it cause Instagram is really nasty about images. This means that if you are doing 200 Instagram posts, you will need to attach 200 images in the next step. Don’t waste your bulk limit on this. Just schedule your Instagram manually.
The Account Levels
It’s important to understand that every account level is limited to 350 posts bulk uploaded via a spreadsheet. If you only have 1 Twitter account linked into Hootsuite and you post 100 messages a day, you can bulk upload 3.5 days of messages. That’s it. You’ll never cover the whole month, and if you try, it works out to 11 posts a day with a couple leftover. Your Twitter should move much faster than that. The minimum you should have on Twitter is 24 posts a day. That works out to 720 posts a month. Remember, that’s just Twitter.
Now, let’s say you have Twitter and Facebook, and you want to post 100 posts a day to each. That’s 200 posts immediately, and it leaves you with 150 leftover. You can do 1 day of Twitter and 2 days of Facebook or 2 days of Facebook and 1 day of Twitter. That’s all you get if you are running that kind of volume. Now, let’s say you are determined to schedule your entire month for Facebook and Twitter. Pick your best 5 posts. That’s all you are going to get. Just five posts a day each to Facebook and Twitter. How effective do you think that’s going to be for reaching your audience?
Now, let’s say you have all 10 slots filled for social media networks in your lowest level paid account. You still only have 350 maximum bulk upload posts. That’s 1 post a day to each network for the month, and you’ll have 5 slots leftover.
Let’s say you have a little more money. You’re going to shell out $129 a month on the TEAM plan for up to 20 networks. You still have a bulk upload limit of 350 for those 20 networks. If you wanted to post 1 post a day on each network, that’s 600 posts. Your limit is 350! Oopse. You can’t do it. And if you needed to schedule the very least amount you should schedule, that’s 24 * 20 * 30 = 14,400 posts for the month. Talk about math that doesn’t work. Now, let’s say you’ve got someone that can login every day and upload the spreadsheets. You still want to do 24 posts a day on all 20 networks. That’s 480 posts. You’re 120 posts short even for just one day. Just 24 hours. You can’t do it with the bulk upload.
Now, let’s say you are shelling out for the BUSINESS PLAN. That’s $599 a month. Your bulk upload limit is still 350, and you can now add up to 35 networks. 35*24*30 = 25,200 posts a month. Your single day volume at the bare minimum of what you should be scheduling to your social media accounts is 840. That business is going to have to have someone working full time to upload sheets twice a day, every day. Even on the weekends.
Using Hootsuite, it takes me about a minute to do a post manually. At 100 Twitter posts a day, I’m looking at 50 hours of manually scheduling just do to Twitter. Now, if I copy those to Facebook by selecting multiple networks, it’s still about 50 hours plus whatever it takes to schedule Instagram. Instagram has to be done completely separately. That’s just the way that goes.
If Hootsuite gets back to me on unlocking the bulk post limit, I’ll update this. As of today, I’ve heard nothing. And getting this free trial, while I love the fact Hootsuite did it, I’ve realized that unless they unlock bulk posts to be able to provide it as unlimited, I can’t use this service long-term, and it’s not worth any amount of money, if I have to spend 50 hours scheduling posts. The bottom line is that I just don’t have 50 hours to schedule social media. I doubt you do either.