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  Article updated: May 22, 2023

Create and publish posts

Create, schedule, and publish your social media content from one place - Composer. As you add to your post, a per-network post preview updates in real-time so you can see what your audience will see.

You can create and schedule to multiple accounts by customizing a single post for each network. Tailor your text, mentions, hashtags, and media to each social network in the same post!

Note: Certain content types have unique publishing workflows. See the following articles to:

This article is an overview of how to use Composer. Find details specific to creating one content type in the section, Instructions for creating specific content types.

Training: Hootsuite offers group training to Business and Enterprise plan customers. Sign up for Live Product Training and learn how to build success with Hootsuite.

Before you begin

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

Access the post composer

Select Composer to open the post composer. As a shortcut, you can point to Composer and select a specific post type (options differ by plan type).
Finger pointing to composer to show options

You can select Minimize in the top right of the Composer to leave it and resume your post later.

Business and Enterprise plan members can create posts from approved templates from a content library. Using a template prepopulates it in Composer for you to customize. To create from a content library template, point to Composer and select Content library template. To learn more, see Use a content library template.

Video: Using the Hootsuite composer and planner.

Select the social accounts to publish to

You can publish content to multiple networks at once. Select the social accounts you'd like to publish to from the Publish to list. Search accounts by handle name, social network, and team. Your own private accounts are clearly indicated. If you select a team it selects all the accounts managed by that team.

If you’re in more than one Hootsuite organization, the accounts you see depend on the organization selected at the top of Composer.

Enterprise team members can also associate a post with a current or future campaign. This action applies the campaign’s link settings and tags to the post, to categorize it for future analysis. More details about content campaigns.

The options to change organization and campaign highlighted in Composer.

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 Publish to list for quick access.

Create your post

In the Content area, enter your post text. You can review your English posts for grammar and spelling using Grammarly. The character count updates as you type. Note that Hootsuite does not support creating event posts or polls. You can include the following in the body of your posts:

  • Mentions of a user or Page - To learn more, see Mention a user or Page.
  • Links - Select Shorten with to shrink your links. The post preview will display the shortened link(s). Select Add tracking to add link-tracking parameters to the post. To learn more, see Shorten and track links.
  • Emoji - See also Add more inclusive emoji.
  • Hashtags - Select the hashtag icon to get some hashtag suggestions. The suggestion list is powered by AI, based on your post text and media.

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.

Select a social network tab to customize the post content for that social network. For example, make it shorter on Twitter, remove the hashtags on Facebook, or remove the link on Instagram. Character counts in each tab reflect 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 Initial content area of the Composer.Sample post text customized from the initial content tab for Twitter with a mention and hashtags.

Here’s how you can undo your text customizations:

  • To undo customizations for a single social network and restore its text to match 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.

Similar to the post text, you can add images and videos to the Initial content tab and customize your media selections (add, remove, reorder, or edit) in each social network tab. With Initial content selected, choose from the following options to add media to your posts:

  • Drag files from your computer into the Content area.
  • Select Upload media.
  • Select Design with Canva (see Design images with Canva in Composer for details).
  • Select Media library, and then select Free Images, GIPHY, or a media library app from the drop-down. Business and Enterprise plan members can also access images here from their content libraries. Select Close media library when you’re done.

Point to an image to reveal the Alt option for adding alt text to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn images. Or select Edit image to crop, add filters, or make other adjustments to the image in the image editor. To learn more, see Work with images.

Point to a video to reveal the Video settings option for adding SRT captions to Twitter and Facebook videos. See Work with videos for more details.

Add other elements

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

  • Tags - Business and Enterprise plan members can add tags to posts to analyze their performance in Analytics. Scroll down and select Add next to Tags, and then select from your organization’s tags to categorize the post. More details about tags.
  • In the Content area, select a social network content tab to reveal network-specific options available for your post:
    • Select the Twitter content tab and the Twitter location option appears.
    • Select the Facebook or LinkedIn tabs and the targeting and post promotion options appear.
    • Select the TikTok tab and the video privacy settings appear.

Preview and publish

As you create your post, select a social network content tab to preview how the post will look on that network. When you're ready, you can choose from the following publishing options in the bottom right:

  • Post now - Publish the post right away.
  • Schedule for later - Select a time and date to publish the post or choose a recommended time. Scheduling your posts lets you keep your social presence active when your audience is online, even if you're not. See Schedule a post to learn more.
  • Save draft - Select the arrow next to Post now, and then select Save draft if you're not ready to publish or schedule your post. Your customized content is saved for each social network tab.

If you want to create another post right away, select the arrow next to Post now (or Schedule), and then select one of the following options:

  • Post and reuse accounts (or Schedule and reuse accounts) - Publish your current post and begin a new one to the same social accounts.
  • Post and duplicate (or Schedule and duplicate) - Publish your current post and retain its content to create a new, similar post with a unique post ID.

Find and manage your drafts, published posts, and scheduled posts in Planner . Scheduled posts are separated by social account in Planner, so if you want to make edits later, you’ll need to edit each post separately. See Manage your content calendar for more details.

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.

Instructions for creating specific content types

See the following articles for the steps to create and publish content to each social network:


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