Social media can be time consuming, but it’s still one of the most important aspects of your business and should be treated as such. The more engaged you are on Twitter, the easier it’s going to be for you to gain followers without having to pay for them. So what do you do if you don’t have time to make sure you’re updating your social media strategically throughout the day?

Lucky for you, the answer is simple. HootSuite (the social media management platform) has developed a slick tool that allows you to schedule your posts without doing it one by one. Hootsuite’s bulk importer tool is a great way to spark great Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ conversations throughout the day without even having to be at your computer.

How Does the Hootsuite Post Scheduler Work?

The bulk status scheduler works by allowing you to create a spreadsheet that lists out all of your tweets (with links included) next to a specific date and time.

The cool thing about this is that HootSuite allows you to create short links (much like bit.ly – but using owl.ly) to keep track of analytics. It’s a great option for experimenting with ideal times of day to increase click-through rates.

What are the Rules of Using a Bulk Importer?

scheduled Tweets

So it might sound a bit strange to consider that there are rules for using this tool. Technically, according to Hoot Suite, there really aren’t. However, in terms of social media etiquette and marketing correctly there are definitely some rules you absolutely must follow when using a tool like this.

Make your posts sound natural. No one wants to follow someone who just posts a link to sales stuff all day long.

Facebook needs less updating than Twitter. Twitter can be updated every 1-2 hours with relevant information and still be useful. Facebook only needs something like 2-5 posts a day in many cases.

Just be realistic with the messages. Would you be posting online at 9pm saying good morning ordinarily? Then don’t do it on HootSuite.

The rest is pretty straight forward. Things that get a lot of engagement on Twitter are short tips, fun facts, quotes, and insights. When you post a lot of those, and get engagement with them, people trusts your links and become more confident that they’re not spamming. Also, keeping the mobile apps handy for engagement throughout the day keeps you in the real time conversation.

What Times of Day Are the Best to Schedule the Most Posts?

In the beginning of using the bulk scheduler, you should spread your times out very consistently. This takes experimentation because everyone’s list has slightly different activity times.

I mentioned earlier how many posts you should be doing a day, so try scheduling them at different times and see what works best for your following. Just remember to keep your posts relevant to the time of day they’re scheduled for. Nothing makes a follower more wary than seeing posts that don’t make sense – like how you’re eating breakfast at midnight. Unless, you do eat breakfast at midnight in which case you can very easily acknowledge how strange that is in your scheduled posts.

With all that said, I don’t schedule posts. Well, in some niches sure, but truthfully, it gives me a tinny taste in my mouth. To each their own.