As of March 21, 2019, Hootsuite’s new Composer is beginning to roll out as the default publishing experience for all users. We’re confident you’re going to love the improvements that we’ve been investing in over the last year, but understand that change can be a challenge.
This guide explores how to use the legacy composer and new composer side by side so you can know what to expect when you try the new composer, and where to find all the functionality you need.
Both the legacy and new composers will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. We have not yet set a deprecation date for the legacy composer. When we are ready to remove the feature, we will communicate to customers with ample time to transition fully to the new composer.
Accessing the Composer
Legacy composer: The legacy composer can be found in the New Post drop-down menu. Click the green arrow, and then select Open Legacy Composer.
New composer: Access the new composer by clicking New Post in the top-right corner of the dashboard. It opens from there into a full-screen publishing experience.
Creating with the Composer
Legacy composer: Each element is attached to the post without you being able to see the final product until it gets published.
New composer: As you add to your post, a per-network post preview will update in real time so you know exactly what your audience will see.
Selecting your social networks
Legacy composer: Hover over the profile picker in the top-left corner of the dashboard, and then select the profiles you want to publish to. Select a team to select all profiles managed by that team.
New composer: Click Select social networks, and then select the profiles you want to publish to. Select a team to easily select all profiles managed by that team. Available profiles are based on the organization selected at the top of the composer. Profiles are searchable by handle name, social network, and team, and your own private profiles are clearly indicated.
Legacy composer: Place your cursor in the body of the post where you want to insert a link, paste the link into the Add a link field, and then click Shrink.
New composer: Write the whole body of your post, including links, in the Text field. Then click Shorten with Ow.ly to shrink all included links with one click. The full links will remain visible in the Text field, while the post preview on the right will display the shortened link(s).
Legacy composer: Insert emojis by using the applicable keyboard commands to open your computer's emoji keyboard. (Ctrl + command + space on Mac) and (taskbar > touch keyboard > emoji keyboard on PC).
New composer: While writing the body of your post in the Text field, click the smiley face in the bottom-left corner when you want to insert an emoji.
Legacy composer: Twitter, Facebook Page, and Instagram mentions are supported. Enter @ followed by the username, and then select the user or Page from the list.
New composer: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Page and LinkedIn Page mentions are supported. Enter @ followed by the username, and then select the user/Page from the list. Instagram mentions will remain in plain text, but will go live when the post is published.
Legacy composer: Click Add location to add your current location to tweets based on your browser settings.
New composer: Add physical location data to tweets, Facebook Page posts, and Instagram business posts. Click Add to the right of Location and then select a location from the search results.
Legacy composer: Click Attach media and then Select files to upload, or drag-and-drop them from your desktop. Thumbnails of attached images will display below the text box.
New composer: Click select a file to upload, or Open Media Library to access free images from Pixabay, GIPHY, or any installed media library apps. Click Close Media Library when your images are selected, and then drag-and-drop them within the list on the left to rearrange them in your post previews.
Click Edit Image below each one to crop it for a specific social network, add filters or text, or make other adjustments to it in the image editor.
The new composer also supports including alternative text for images published to Twitter.
Legacy composer: Video publishing is supported for Twitter, Facebook, and personal Instagram profiles. Click Attach media, and then choose files to upload.
New composer: Supports video publishing to Twitter, Facebook Pages and groups, LinkedIn Pages, and direct publishing to Instagram business profiles. Under Media click select a file to upload.
Legacy composer: Business and Enterprise plan users can click Targeting options to select specific audience parameters for Facebook Page or LinkedIn Page posts.
New composer: When a LinkedIn Page is selected, all plan types can click Add next to LinkedIn Audience to select targeting options for the post such as the industry, seniority, function, company size, location, and language of your audience. Facebook Page targeting coming soon.
Adding link tracking parameters
Legacy composer: Paste a link into the Add a link field, and then click Advanced. Click Select a Preset, and then add preset or Google Analytics parameters to the link. Insert your values, and then click Apply Parameters.
New composer: Paste a link into the text field and then click Add tracking. Click Customize, and then add custom, Google Analytics, or Adobe Analytics tracking parameters to your links. Values can be inserted manually, or auto-populate dynamically based on the social network, profile or post ID.
Admins of Team, Business and Enterprise plans can create link settings presets so that all team members can add the same shortening and tracking with one click.
Legacy composer: Click Save, and then Save as draft, to save unfinished posts in a private folder to resume later.
New composer: Click the arrow beside Post Now in the bottom-right corner, and then click Save Draft. See drafts that have scheduled dates in your Planner calendar. If a shared social network is selected for the draft, it becomes collaborative, meaning team members can view and resume work on the draft.
Publishing content library assets - Business and Enterprise
Now available in the new composer: To create a post from a content library template, click the drop-down arrow next to New Post and then click Create from template. Browse your templates, and then click Open in Composer to pre-populate the template’s elements for you to continue customizing.
Content library images are located in the new composer’s media library. Click Open Media Library and browse pre-approved image assets.
Adding tags to posts - Business and Enterprise
Legacy composer: Click Add tags to the message and select from your organization’s tags to categorize the post.
New composer: Click Edit next to Tags and select from your organization’s tags to categorize the post. Admins can create new tags or access the tag library from here.
Assigning campaigns to posts - Enterprise
Only available in the new composer: Content campaigns span a specified timeframe, and contain defined link settings and tags that cascade down to each post they’re applied to. They ensure accurate and consistent tracking across all the posts published by your teams.
Click Select campaign at the top of the composer to associate your post with a current or future campaign. The campaign’s link settings and tags are automatically applied to your post.