Blackblot HootSuite Uploader Matrix

At Blackblot we constantly strive to improve the efficiency of our internal operations. We do this by following our own protocols and processes which have proved themselves over time to minimize our work effort while sustaining and improving results.

We also employ automated tools and this greatly contributes to achieving better workplace efficiency.

HootSuite is an online social media management tool (dashboard) which allows scheduling messages to be delivered on different social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and more. We at Blackblot use HootSuite to provide our customers and the market with information about product management and our professional products.

For any marketing effort, be it our continuous marketing or a specific marketing campaign, we first aggregate all the relevant information that we wish to convey to the target audience. We then produce for the various social media channels short textual messages that are accompanied by a relevant URL. A message posting schedule is also prepared in advance.

The number of different messages needed for each social media channel largely depends on the promoted content or event, usually calling for a handful of posts for LinkedIn and Google+ and dozens for Twitter.

All scheduling and posting of the messages is then automated via HootSuite. Messages can be entered and scheduled manually on HootSuite, but far more efficient and planned is a bulk upload of the messages. HootSuite provides this upload feature and we generate the bulk messages upload file with a tool that we had created and is regularly used by Blackblot's Marketing and MarCom Managers.

The Blackblot HootSuite Uploader Matrix is an Excel spreadsheet that efficiently prepares and creates the bulk messages upload file for HootSuite. In the spreadsheet, several parameters must first be defined before the upload file is generated:

  • Start Date - The date from which messages will be scheduled.
  • Skipday - The interval in days between the scheduled messages.
  • Channel - The social media channel that will be used with the scheduled messages. This parameter sets the maximum number of characters in a message on the selected channel.
  • Date Format - The date format that will be used in creating the bulk message file that will be uploaded into HootSuite.
  • Check URL - The parameter which enables or disables checking the URL column for missing entries.

After these parameters are defined, the messages and their corresponding URLs are entered into the spreadsheet. Duplicate messages will be highlighted in red as uploading duplicate messages to HootSuite is prohibited. In addition, highlighted in red are entries in the Text Length column for messages that exceed the maximum number of characters that is permitted by the selected media channel. For example, the maximum number of characters that is permitted per message on Twitter is 140.

The Uploader column stores the records that comprise the bulk message file that will be uploaded into HootSuite. Creating the bulk message file can be done automatically by pressing the "Save" button in this spreadsheet. Creating the bulk message file can be done manually by copying and pasting the Uploader column into Notepad and saving the file with a .CSV extension. Always upload the bulk message file with a .CSV extension into HootSuite. The File Save format should be ANSI or UTF-8.

The Randomizer column contains dynamically generated random numbers that can be used to sort the message+URL combinations and thus achieve a random listing of messages. Randomizing the message+URL list can be done automatically by pressing the "Randomize" button in this spreadsheet. Randomizing the message+URL list can also be done manually by sorting the message+URL rows by the Randomizer column.

Please feel free to download the Blackblot HootSuite Uploader Matrix and share it with others. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them is the mark of professionals. We always want to work smart, not hard.

Blackblot HootSuite Uploader Matrix