Social media dashboards are a blessing, and sometimes a curse. The upside: they allow us to monitor efficiently and make better use of our time. They also allow us to schedule important posts. But sometimes scheduling can be problematic. A couple quick thoughts today about what to watch for with scheduling, especially as it relates to tweet scheduling.
1. Scheduling frees up important time to get involved in Twitter conversations. I know that sounds contradictory, but it's actually true. One of the reasons I like Twitter is because it gives me an opportunity to pass on good information I find on the internet to others. Most of my followers are looking for information they can use. I spend a half hour or so twice a day looking for valuable information that will help my followers be better social media marketers. I schedule those tweets so I can spend the rest of my Twitter time looking for useful information and real-time news I can retweet.
My Twitter feed is about one-third retweeting and two-thirds links I find. Honestly, I don't have all day to sit on Twitter. But I do have some notifications set for important keywords, and I have lists set up to watch key influencers throughout the day.
2. Scheduling lets me stay involved in real-time news. Again, I know this sounds contradictory, but it's not. For me, scheduling is a proactive task. Scanning Twitter all day for information to tweet out in real-time is reactive. First of all, I can't do it. I don't make my living on Twitter so the amount of time I spend there is focused. For me, scheduling goes hand-in-hand with list making. Using a tool like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, or TweetDeck allows you to access important information on topical lists when you need it. With several key tweets scheduled, I am free to look for conversations and real-time information that are important to both my business and my followers.
1. Scheduling is a temptation to "set it and forget it." Scheduling can become a task that encourages broadcast-only mode. Fight the urge. Schedule daily time to be present in Twitter, scanning for good conversations and giving value to fans.
2. Scheduled tweets can get you in hot water. More than one brand has been in trouble for tweets that were scheduled and ignored in the face of breaking news. If you schedule, you have to be mindful of real-time. There is nothing worse for a brand than scheduling a tweet and then having a negative or tragic event break news and render the tweet inappropriate. As I said earlier, scheduling should help you stay involved in real-time, not help you ignore it.
3. Watch out for "if this, then that" tweets. Another trap is to schedule tweets based on outcomes you hope or expect and then forget about them. Your team may not win, even if they have the game in hand. Also, don't tempt fate by having two tweets scheduled go for an outcome, thinking you'll pop back and delete the one you don't need. You never know how distracted you may get and forget what you scheduled.
Scheduling tweets can be a great time saver and a way to free up more time on social media. However, it does have a downside as well. Is it right for you?