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  Article updated: November 15, 2021

Create and publish posts

Create and publish all of your social media content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram from one location with the post composer. This intuitive publishing tool lets you create, preview, schedule, and publish posts for each social network.

For extra efficiency, you can create and schedule posts to multiple accounts by customizing the body of a single post on a per-network basis. Tailor your text, mentions, emoji, and hashtags to each social network in the same post!

Important: Publishing to Pinterest and YouTube, and creating Instagram stories, are unique workflows. See the following articles:

For step-by-step instructions for creating and publishing posts for each social network, see:

You can also create and publish posts to your Google My Business listings. For more information, see Manage your Google My Business listings.

Before you begin

Make sure you’ve already added your social accounts to Hootsuite. To learn more, see Add a social account to Hootsuite

For great information on best times to post, check out The Best time to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Visit the Hootsuite blog for news, tips, tools, and tactics to help you succeed on social media.

Access the post composer

Select Create new post to open the post composer.

You can select Minimize at any time to go to other areas of Hootsuite and resume your post later.

Using the Hootsuite composer video

Select the social accounts to post to

You can publish content to multiple networks at one time. Use the Post to list to select the social accounts you'd like to publish to. You’ll find your social accounts organized by network type, team, and private accounts. Enter a keyword into the Post to box to search by social network, profile name, or team. Selecting a team selects all of the social accounts managed by that team.

If you belong to more than one Hootsuite organization, you can select an organization to view different social accounts.

Enterprise team members can also select a campaign to associate a post with a current or future campaign. This action automatically applies the campaign’s link settings and tags to the post, to categorize it for future analysis. For more information, see Create and manage content campaigns.
post composer with option to change organization and campaign highlighted

Tip: If you often publish to the same social accounts, select the star next to an account or team name to add it to your favorites. Favorites show up at the top of the Post to list for quick access.
A list of connected social accounts available in the Post to list, with the Favorite star highlighted

Create your post

After you've selected the social accounts you'd like to publish to, you can create your post. Note that Hootsuite does not support creating event posts or polls.

Business and Enterprise plan members can create posts from a content library with pre-approved post templates. To learn more, see Use a content library template.

In the Initial content area, enter your post text. Above the Initial content area, the character count updates as you type. You can also include the following in the body of your posts:

Hootsuite copies your content into tabs for each social network you've selected. In each tab you can customize your content so it’s optimized for the unique audiences on each social network. Changes to the initial content will update all tabs until you start customizing them.

Sample post text in the Initial content area of the Composer

Select a social network tab and customize the post content for that social network. For example, tweak your content and make it shorter on Twitter, remove the hashtags on Facebook, or remove the link on Instagram. The character count reflects the remaining characters for the social network. If your post includes mentions, you must customize them in each social network tab. See Mention a user or Page for more details.

Sample post text in the Facebook content tab that has been customized from the initial content

To undo customizations for a single social network and restore it to the initial content, select Overwrite with initial content in the social network tab.

To undo customizations in all social network tabs, select the Initial content tab, and then select Overwrite custom social network content.

Overwriting your customizations resets any mentions selections. You will need to customize mentions again per social network.

When the body of your post is complete, you can add other elements to your post:

  • Images, videos (including SRT files), and GIFs - Plus, you can edit and apply filters to your images. Media is the same for all social networks (customizing it is in the works for 2022). To learn more, see Image file requirementsWork with images and Work with videos.
  • Tags - Business and Enterprise plan members can add tags to posts to analyze their performance in Hootsuite Analytics (see Manage tags).
  • Select the social network content tabs to reveal the other network-specific options available for your post: Select the Twitter content tab and the Twitter location option appears. Select Facebook or LinkedIn and the targeting and post promotion options appear.

A sample post being created in the post composer

Preview and publish your post

As you create your post, you can review it using the preview on the right. Select each social network content tab to see a preview for each one. When you're ready, you can choose from the following publishing options:

  • Post now - Publish the post. You can also use the following expanded Post now options:
    The publishing options in the composer with the expanded Post now menu opened
      • Save draft - Save the post as a draft to polish or review it at another time. Drafts retain the customized content in each social network tab. You can find your drafts in the Publisher.
      • Post and reuse accounts- Publish your post, keep your social account choices, and begin a new post to those same social accounts.
      • Post and duplicate - Publish your post and keep a copy of the original content and the social account selection to create a similar post or schedule the post again. Hootsuite creates a new post ID so you can track each post separately.

Note: Posts that are published immediately (not scheduled) are not visible in Planner.

  • Schedule for later - Schedule a time and date for the post to publish. Paid plan users can select a recommended time. Scheduling your posts lets you keep your social presence active and publish your posts at high engagement times. See also Schedule a post. Scheduled posts are separated by social account in Planner, so if you want to make edits later, you must edit each post separately. See Manage your scheduled posts for more details.

Important: Posts to Instagram personal profiles, and business profiles that are not connected to Facebook Pages, need to be published using the mobile notification workflow. For more information, see Create an Instagram post