New to PhantomBuster? Don't know where to begin? No need to worry! We've created a quick tutorial to cover the basics of how to set up a Phantom and make the most of all the tools available to you on PhantomBuster. Get started now by watching the step by step video below:
- Step 1: Find the right Phantom
- Step 2: Connect your account
- Step 3: Give the Phantom your input
- Step 4: Define the Phantom's behaviour
- Step 5: Set up automatic launches
- Step 6: Launch your Phantom
- Step 7: Manage your Phantom and its results files
Step 1: Find the right Phantom
To begin, you need to find the Phantom you want in our Phantom store, found under "Phantoms" in the nav bar at the top of your account:
Here, you can use the search bar in the top left or the variety of filters on the left-hand side to find a Phantom for the action you need to automate:
Clicking on the Phantom you're interested in will take you to its overview page and tell you more about what it does. When you're ready to start using it, click on "Use this Phantom." This will take you to the Phantom's setup, which is what we're here to help you with! We'll show you how to complete it using the example of LinkedIn Search Export.
Tip: if you want to know what the input/ output for a Phantom is, click on the sections “When you input…”/ “We will output...” at the top of a Phantom’s overview page.
Here you will see what input type the Phantom requires, as well as what the Phantom will output in the Results File. Convenient, isn’t it? :)
Step 2: Connect your account
First, you will have to give the Phantom your session cookie. This is needed so that the Phantom can act on your behalf on the social network you're automating. Obtaining it is easy - you can use PhantomBuster's browser extension with Chrome or Firefox, installed in 2 steps by clicking on the button in the cookie field:
When you click on this, the cookie will populate the box automatically. It will look something like this:
If you're using another browser, or would prefer to get your cookies manually, you can copy and paste them directly by following this tutorial.
Step 3: Give the Phantom your input
In order to get the data you want, you'll need to give the Phantom some information - this is your "input data." This can be in the form of text, a search URL (as shown below), or a spreadsheet URL:
Using a spreadsheet as input is useful for giving the Phantom more than one search item to process, and can be done using a Google Sheet.
Step 4: Define the Phantom's behavior
The Behaviour step of each Phantom's setup is more specific to the Phantom you're using. Most of the fields in this section will be self-explanatory, so for now we'll just highlight one - the number of results you'd like your Phantom to extract:
- "Number of results to scrape per launch" - this is the number of profiles you want the Phantom to extract each time it runs. This feature is especially useful when you're using repeated launches, as it means you can split the total number of profiles you extract into smaller batches and spread your data extracting out over time.
- "Number of results to scrape per search" - this is the number of profiles you want the Phantom to collect in total for each of the search criteria you've given in your input spreadsheet.
If you do not enter anything in these input boxes, the Phantom will set 10 for each by default.
Step 5: Set up automatic launches
In the final setup step, you can choose if you want your Phantom to launch automatically - this article will help you with that. To keep it simple for now, choose "Manually":
In this step you can also choose if you'd like to receive notifications about your launch. For now, don't worry about these - choose "None":
Step 6: Launch your Phantom
Once you've completed and saved your setup, you're ready to launch your Phantom! You'll be taken straight to the Phantom's console page, where you can click the "Launch" button to run the Phantom:
Note: If you've set up automatic launches, you won't need to click this launch button - the Phantom will automatically launch as you have set it to.
Since our Phantoms run from the cloud, the Phantom will now run even if you close your browser and turn off your computer! There is a progress bar that will allow you to follow the Phantom's progress as it runs, and a "Stop" button in case you need to stop the launch at any point:
Once you've launched your Phantom for the first time, under "Recent activity," you will be able to keep track of each launch that has happened. You can find out more information about a specific launch by hovering over it and clicking "View log":
Step 7: Manage your Phantom and its results files
After a successful launch, results files containing your data in both a CSV file and JSON form will appear to the right under "Files":
Here, you can click on your files to preview them, or download them to your device.
Each time the Phantom launches it will add the new data it collects to the end of your results CSV, so that all of your data will accumulate in one place.
And that's it! Congratulations, you've successfully set up your first Phantom! Be sure to check out the rest of our Help Center for any more information you might need, or contact our Support if you have any questions.
Enjoy using PhantomBuster :)