Hootsuite Scheduling Character Limit Guessing Game

Social media sites have become an invaluable tool for B2B sales, they allow us as marketers to reach a large audience with new content, great deals and important announcements.

One of the tools we use, like many other socially engaged businesses, is Hootsuite. This service is great solution for us. Hootsuite’s bulk message scheduling feature is something our core team of content creators and posters use on a daily basis.

The Problem

In order to keep our team organised, mobile and in the loop, we use google drive to draft our content, this includes our spreadsheets with tweets and facebook posts (times, message body, link). These tweetsheets have one minor flaw…

How do we character count in a spreadsheet to avoid wasting time?

When we’re creating tweets, there’s a character limit. In our spreadsheet, we have no way of knowing if we’re exceeding that limit. If we’ve exceeded the limit, we find out when upload the document to Hootsuite. This results in repeated submission and wastes time.

One of the features within Google spreadsheets is ‘Scripts’.  We can set up a script to tell us when our character count is above the limit set by sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The good news for all of you is that its really simple!

The Solution

Step 1

Create a Spreadsheet

Step 2

Navigate to:
Tools > Script editor… (This will open a new tab)

Step 3

Select spreadsheet

Step 4

You’ll see  this example script,
Highlight the text, and replace it with this:

function onEdit(e)
  var activeCell = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveCell();
  var activeCellValue = activeCell.getValue();
  var length = String(activeCellValue).length;
      activeCell.setComment("Length is greater than 115 characters, Length is: " + length );
      Browser.msgBox("Length is greater than 115 characters, Length is: " + length );

Step 5

Navigate to: File > Save
Name your script eg: ‘115 Character limit’

Step 6

Job done!

So… What did we just do?

For Twitter, when you include a link, the main body of your tweet (when scheduling though hootsuite) has a limit of 115 characters.  Knowing this, we implemented the above script within our scheduling template.

If you go over the 115 character limit, a comment box pops up saying:

“Length is greater than 115 characters, Length is: <number of characters within the cell>”

This can be used with any service hootsuite supports, the only edit you need to make is to replace all occurrences of ‘115’ with the desired limit (facebook is ‘440’).

Do you have some time saving tips? Let us know – we are always looking for ways to improve!

Interested in learning more?