Should You Schedule Your Tweets and Posts?

Charles Cunningham
Charles Cunningham Digital Strategist, The Story Lab

Posted on January 23rd 2014

Hamlet on Twitter

Image created on lemmetweetthatforyou.com

 

As more and more businesses embark on their own social media journey, a number of apps and services have sprung up automating the process. You can now auto follow, unfollow, RT, favourite and message. You can also schedule content across most platforms (please someone make this so for Instagram) with apps such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Tweetdeck.

Why schedule? Scheduling gives you the ability to take the content you’ve spent so much time perfecting(right?) and having a piece of technology post it for you. You can choose the time it posts and can schedule as much content as you want at once. Got a months worth of content? Sweet! Bang it in a .csv file and upload it. Apps such as Buffer integrate with Chrome and give you the ability to click and schedule with a pre determined schedule of times. Nifty.

 

Bacon Buffer

Is that the Buffer logo made out of Bacon? Yes it is.

 

I’ll admit that I am in love with scheduling, and it does make managing a number of social networks easier. No more waiting for the right moment to post a Facebook update for a page, it’s already been scheduled the day before and I’m already enjoying a fruit based cocktail at 7pm.

Before you get excited about scheduling your life and your brand, don’t get caught up in the temptation to rely on scheduling everything, put your feet up and watch the engagement roll in. It ain’t gonna happen hoss . The whole reason you are using social media for your business or charity is to not only share content, but most importantly engage with your followers and fans by responding to them, proactively engaging with them and reacting to what is happening both online and offline. You can’t schedule a comment on something that is happening in real time.

So Charles you ask, how should I use the magical digital unicorn that is scheduling? Well friend I’m glad you asked.

Step 1: Create a content plan so you can evenly map out your content. Make sure you curate content appropriately for different networks. I.E please don’t use Hashtags on Facebook, they’re there but they’re just awful.

Step 2: Identify when the best times are to post using analytics across your networks. The best time to post on Facebook may not be the best time to post on Twitter.

Step 3: Schedule! (oh and triple check that it looks great in the scheduler, syntax can be a pain with .csv uploads).

Unofficially there’s a step 4. Be aware of what your have scheduled and be prepared to remove or postpone if need be. If something happens in real time that you need to post, you don’t want a completely irrelevant scheduled post getting in your way.

Automation of your digital networks is incredibly tempting but you aren’t going to see the results you would from an organic approach. In saying that they are incredibly helpful and effective when used correctly, but don’t forget your followers, they like you.

Charles Cunningham

Charles Cunningham

Digital Strategist, The Story Lab

Conspicious man of leisure, purveyor of fine bow ties and social strategist at The Story Lab

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Comments

It's always important to update the content in Social Media Channels at the right moment and one should not hesitate when the platforms themselves are giving us the option to schedule the posts for free so that we reveal our posts at the best time. I would say there is no need to think about it twice, just go for it. Scheduling post is the best advantage that we have in our side to increase the chances of getting users' attention to the posts. There is no need to now sit and wait for the right time to arrive. The mentioned 4 steps sounds good and I hope people are familiar with them.

The 4 steps you mentioned are good guidelines for scheduling social media posts. Especially #4 because things can change fast in todays world!

Maintaining a constant social media presence can be difficult, especially for busy business owners trying to keep in touch with their social media community.

A HubSpot survey found that by scheduling social media posts they generated 3 times as many leads versus those who didn’t schedule.

Scheduling content allows you to plan your message in advance and saves hours of time every week. Additionally, scheduling lets you add your personality to each update and focus on your message.

 

Good ideas on scheduling, Charles. I am a fan of scheduling as well. As a crisis manager, I'd like to mention one more thought about #4. When news events break in real-time, esp. tragedies such as shootings, bombings, etc. be sure and suspend your selly-selly scheduling, or even just completely stay off for a while until the shock of the event wears off. People will pick up on your lack of empathy right away. It has landed more than one large brand in trouble. 

Simon here

useful article, agree with a lot of it too.

Definitely value in scheduling to catch US audience without having to get out of bed in the middle of the night to do so. Also good to try and catch some other time zones too.

Thanks for posting