How to Schedule Facebook and Twitter Posts With Sprout Social
The articles here at Sprout Insights are designed to keep you informed about ways to improve your social media presence. But beyond this publication, Sprout Social has tools that help you track and control that presence.
One of the coolest features of Sprout Social is the ability to schedule social media posts in advance on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The feature allows you to more easily plan out your social media strategy (it even offers suggestions for ideal times to schedule for maximum impressions) and avoid social media burnout.
Here’s an explanation of how to use Sprout Social’s social media management tool, and the benefits it can have for your business.
How to Schedule Your Posts
If you don’t already have a Sprout Social account, sign up for your free trial. Once you’ve logged in to your account, from the menu bar at the top of the page, click the button titled “Scheduler.”
This opens the home screen where you can send out a new post. You will see your posts scheduled for the rest of the day on this screen. If no posts are in the queue, you’ll see a notification along with a link to “Schedule a new message.” You can also use the top green button on the far right to plan a new post.
After you click the link or button to schedule a new message, you can set which of your linked accounts will publish the post. The post can go to Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks that you have linked to your Sprout Social account. You can toggle between the accounts or add them to the post by clicking the profile photos in the upper left corner. The “And +” button allows you to set more accounts to publish the message on multiple platforms at the same time.
If you want to send a message out immediately, that is an option, but the Scheduler defaults to sending the post out later. You can use the calendar page and time drop-down menus to set the date and time for the message to appear on your social media networks. Conveniently, Sprout Social has six suggested times for your posts. These recommended times are based on consumer data that show when your messages are most likely to be seen.
How to Set up RSS Feeds for Posts
When you open the Scheduler, click on the “Post via RSS” button on the far left. From there, you can click the green button on the far right “Set up an RSS or Atom Feed.” If you have no feeds already sending messages, there will also be a link for adding one in the main content box.
From that interface, simply paste the link for the RSS feed. You can set the text that accompanies new posts from the feed and decide how regularly the Sprout Social tool should check for new posts. Right now, you can only send RSS feeds to a Twitter account, but it’s a helpful step in keeping that stream of tweets timely and full of valuable content.
Why It’s Important For You
Your recently sent messages are stored in the “Messages” section of the tool. You can see the posts sent to each of your connected networks. This section has information about the number of clicks, responses, reach, and engagement of each post.
The detailed analysis means you can look for trends within your specific networks. What times are your followers and fans most active? What content gets the most comments? That information will help you tailor future messages to get the strongest response possible.
In addition, you can export the data from your sent messages in CSV (comma separated values) format. That way, your Sprout Social data can be easily entered into other applications, such as Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, or Google Docs. From there, you can share the information with other team members who aren’t directly part of your social media management team. The outcome is better analysis and understanding of your online presence.
We hope this was a helpful outline of what you can do with Sprout Social. If you haven’t used the app yet, be sure and give it a try.
This article discusses Sprout Social, our social media management tool for businesses. To learn about our editorial ethics and our commitment to objective coverage of the social media space, visit our About page.
[Image credit: Jerry Bunkers]