How to schedule social media content

Social media is empowering.

While it’s true that you’re more likely than not to end up screaming into a void, sometimes that void will carry your message farther and wider than you’d ever anticipate.

In 2012, a few short months before I joined the then-startup Hootsuite, we were treated to a techno-optimist’s dreamscape. I’ll leave it to my friend Andy to explain – 

Amidst political unrest and chaos during the Arab Spring, HootSuite became a channel of communication for Egyptian citizens. Since Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels were blocked by the Egyptian government on January 24 and 25, 2011, users quickly signed up for HootSuite to by-pass the block. HootSuite received a spike in user sign-ups during this period until the internet was blocked entirely by the Egyptian government. For a brief period, HootSuite was part of political history as a communication catalyst and vehicle to connect the global community.

There seemed to be more idealism back then.

I could yearn all day for what made up that new paradigm of social behaviours and interactions. Things change though, and everything that led up to these moments and everything that has come since all add up to learned experiences.


So, we already covered Aza Raskin’s contribution to our current reality but that was just one end of the spectrum. On August 23, 2007 Chris Messina invented the hashtag – something you can’t really be mad at.

The hashtag’s simplicity is probably the most impressive part of it all. It effectively inverted chat rooms; shifting discussions from being members-only to open and widely-accessible. It’s like the entire world was in one chatroom and information was indexed for our reference.

Anywho, without that we wouldn’t be able to:

  1. harvest and curate content for social media

  2. schedule that content for publishing

  3. pull in the URL of your published content

Like I said, things will continue to evolve and we’re actually starting to see the beginnings of a new format war between Bluesky’s AT protocol and ActivityPub, backed by the likes of Meta, Mastodon, and Tumblr.

What we’re putting together here will work with each of these protocols with a little elbow grease and some patience. For now, we’ll remain focused on the longstanding, old school social platforms but I’ll make sure to update this as I make progress on automations for the new school social media madness.

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As a reminder…

The edges of what you need should be taking shape. At a tangible level, you’ll want to create an Airtable base with two tables – in our case, one named Harvested Content and the other named Publishing Queue.

Once everything is up and running, the effort you put into creating your social media content will start to resemble what you might already be doing with long-form writing; like in a newsletter or blog post. What you put out there will be far more premeditated and, as a bonus, you’ll start to recognize aspects you can automate even further.

The first thing you’ll want to establish is your publishing cadence. I’ve built things that publish multiple times a day. You may only want to publish once a week. You can change this down the road but to get things started, let’s assume you’ll be publishing content twice per day, every few days.

⚠️ One piece of advice: Conceptually speaking, it’s a good idea to think of things in terms of open slots that are available to be populated with content of your choosing. Your chosen cadence has everything to do with the open slots in your publishing queue so if you want to dial that up or down, it’s as simple as adding or removing open slots.

With that in mind you’ll want to know make a point to lockdown your workflow. Personally, I compartmentalize things as much as possible so I can benefit from a little focus. I’ll typically spend about 30 mins each morning harvesting content from emails, blogs I follow and folks worth following on Twitter. Airtable’s Web Clipper is the least disruptive way of gathering the content you want to share on social.

In the case of Podcast Delivery, I also let people submit content via a form, which I cover in DROP #1.

With that out of the way, you’re going to want to establish some sort of mechanism that lets you approve content; moving it from your harvested content queue and into a queue focused on publishing to your social networks.

That boils things down to two themes – harvesting and publishing – both of which will be powered by their own automations.


With a reliable way of harvesting content in place, it’s worth thinking about things like the themes or groups you might want to draw around similar content. I’d also consider the destination social networks your content might be suitable for. After all, what you publish on Twitter doesn’t necessarily work on Instagram.

Let’s pull it all together.

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