This is probably the most important and most difficult part when you’re a beginner. Once you understand how to set up one Phantom, you’ll be able to use almost any Phantom. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide.
Generally, each Phantom’s Setup is divided into multiple steps:
Otherwise, you can find more on each of these steps below:
- Step 1: Connect to your social profiles
- Step 2: Enter input information
- Step 3: Select the number of actions to process
Step 1: Connect to your social profiles
Around 90% of our Phantoms will ask for a connection to the network you want to automate. Allowing the Phantom to connect is easy: it can be done at the click of a button! This allows the Phantom to connect to your account and automate on your behalf.
But first, to make this “Connect” button appear, you’ll have to download our Chrome or Firefox extension. (Don’t worry, its sole purpose is to retrieve your session cookies so that it can access the relevant social media account.) Session cookies are created every time you log into your social account. When you log out, the cookies expire. With these cookies, the Phantom will be able to connect as you.
Once you’re connected, the automated actions you’ve set up will be carried out on behalf of your own account.
Sometimes you'll have to re-enter your session cookies using this “Connect” button, either because you’ve been using PhantomBuster for a few months, or you’ve done too much too quickly and your current connection has expired. To avoid this, you’ll need to take into account the rate limits of different social networks, as discussed in the Networks & rate limits section of this guide.
What if you’d like to use one PhantomBuster account for multiple people?
Let’s say you’re a team of 3 salespeople using the same PhantomBuster account and you each want to automate connection requests from your respective LinkedIn accounts.
First, you'll need to create 3 identical Phantoms (by duplicating the relevant one) - one for each of you. You can rename your Phantoms:
- LK Network Booster - Ellen
- LK Network Booster - Tony
- LK Network Booster - Justine
Then you have 2 options:
- Have each team member obtain their session cookie manually. It can be copied and pasted and sent to the relevant team member in charge, who can paste it into the Setup of their respective Phantom without clicking on the “Connect to…” button.
- Create an Org account for your team which you can all have access to. Find out more about this in the Subscription plans section of this guide.
Step 2: Enter input information
The input is the information you want your Phantom to process. This might come in the form of a search term, a profile URL, a post URL, a hashtag, etc. In order to get output data, you have to give the Phantom input data.
For example, if you want to scrape data from someone’s LinkedIn profile, all you need is that profile’s URL (https://www.linkedin.com/in/johndoe/) to use as input for the LinkedIn Profile Scraper Phantom.
You’ll probably want to process more than one piece of information at a time. If you want to scrape or connect with multiple profiles, you can give the Phantom a list of URLs. These can be done by gathering them in a spreadsheet - most Phantoms ask for a spreadsheet URL so that they can process the profiles listed:
Many Phantoms are tailored to generate this kind of URL list for you. For instance, if you want to extract hundreds of profile URLs from a LinkedIn search, giving the single search URL as input will be enough with the LinkedIn Search Export Phantom.
If that’s the list of URLs you want to scrape, you just need to chain Phantoms together by using this output spreadsheet as input for another Phantom (e.g: LinkedIn Profile Scraper).
Avoid this error: If using a Spreadsheet link as input, make sure it is accessible to “anyone with the link.” Otherwise you’ll encounter an error when your Phantom launches because it won’t be able to read the data. This is the most common error users encounter when using their first Phantoms.
Step 3: Select the number of actions to process
During this first step, you also have the choice of telling the Phantom how many actions you want it to perform or how much data you want it to extract within a single launch.
If you’re unsure, leave its default setting and click Save:
Please note that default settings are based on recommended rate limits for each network. If you want to customize your configuration, make sure to be aware of them. For more information, see the upcoming Network & rate limits section of this guide.