February 7, 2014

Are you someone who posts to social media when it's convenient? Maybe you set aside an hour or so every day to post some content on your social media sites. If this is how you go about posting content, you're probably stressed out and inconsistent in your posting schedules. What if you get sick or an unexpected "issue" preoccupies your time? What if your ideal posting time is at a time that's inconvenient to your schedule?

If this sounds like you, you should consider scheduling posts on social media.

I recently had a week where not only was I feeling worn down and sick, but I had a couple things come up that preoccupied my time. I honestly didn't have a lot of time to commit to posting to social media that week. And although I wasn't necessarily as chatty or available for online discussions, my social media pages kept on posting content on a regular schedule so that my audience barely noticed that I was busy elsewhere.

I set aside a couple hours every day just to read other blog posts. Any blog post that I think my fans would find interesting, I pre-schedule to my pages. This way I always have content for the days ahead. So even if I can't make time to find and share great content, I don't have to worry about leaving my audience hanging. All I have to do is check in occasionally to respond to comments or questions.

I realize that things will get in your way and slow you down. You might miss a posting every now and then and that's ok (even I'm not that perfect). But if you stop posting for days on end, you're losing valuable time to connect with your audience. In a busy and saturated world, you want to stay top of mind while engaging with your customers.

I highly recommend you consider scheduling your social media content. Set aside time once a week or a few times a week to pre-schedule your posts. Share articles, ask questions, announce updates... whatever it is, anything that isn't a current issue can be scheduled in advance. Then leave yourself some gaps between your posts so that you can add in current event posts or spontaneous questions or thoughts as they occur.

On top of the benefit of having your posts scheduled if you're unavailable to post, you'll actually find you have a lot more time in your days to focus on other work projects. With your social media accounts generating conversations and traffic, you can focus on converting leads, following up on client projects, and other beneficial tasks.

If you want to schedule posts, look into scheduling tools like HootSuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, and a host of other options. These will make it easier for you to gather post content into one forum for easy scheduling at future dates and times. If you don't want to use these types of tools, Facebook offers an in-platform scheduling tool and I use Do Share to schedule Google+ posts.

Any ability to streamline your posts and scheduling requirements will make social media easier and more rewarding for you.

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. I’ve used HootSuite before and found it to be very helpful when I was running multiple Twitter accounts. Which tool is your favorite and what are the pros and cons to it?

    1. Erica, I’ve used HootSuite and as I get deeper into multiple pages and projects I’m thinking about using it more. From the few options I’ve tried, I like it the best as an overall management tool.
      Right now, for Facebook, I mostly use Facebook’s in-platform scheduling tool because posts scheduled with that tool get more reach than posts scheduled with 3rd party apps. It’s easy to use and they continue to improve it. You do have to access each individual page though to manage any posts.
      I also use DoShare for scheduling to Google+. It’s fairly easy to use and does the job for now. However, you have to make sure that your Chrome browser is active for posts to be shared on schedule.

  2. I think scheduling posts is a vital part of my day as it allows me to keep information flowing that I think those following me would find useful and allows me to also check out of social networks to focus on other work that is needed to be done.

    I think the distinction between full automation and scheduling (and where people get themselves into trouble) is that you are still have to be available to check in and engage in any conversations that may be taking place.

    I feel many brands also need to be careful about how far in advance they schedule out their content as we’ve seen many examples of brands getting themselves into trouble because they tweet out a sale coupon or other content as a tragedy is unfolding putting themselves into the social media hall of shame.

    While I love Hootsuite I think that their scheduling needs improvement and my favourite tool for this job has to be Buffer. The Facebook post scheduler works extremely well and Do Share is fantastic for scheduling and sharing posts to a Google+ profile

    Thanks for the post Jenn.

    1. Thanks Chad! Glad you enjoyed the post.
      I agree that there needs to be awareness and distinction between automation and scheduling. Just because we schedule a post to be shared doesn’t mean we aren’t available to respond to comments or questions on that post after it goes live. Scheduling is merely a tool to enhance our efficiency, not a means to replace being social.
      I’m glad to hear you enjoy using Buffer. For me personally, I just can’t “figure it out”. We just don’t get along 😉 If and when I have to use a broad management tool, I prefer HootSuite. But I do use DoShare as well for scheduling most of my G+ posts.

  3. I have been using Hootsuite for awhile now and don’t know what I would do without it! As you say, there are times I have run into things that could derail me, but knowing that my posts were already scheduled to go out was one less thing to worry about.

    1. That’s great, Kim! It really is such a big help to have those scheduled posts available when “life” happens!

  4. I’m a big believer in scheduled posts and use Hootsuite. But Hootsuite had a huge problem for me and others this week in that the Facebook API would not connect. I had to use the FB scheduler, but the posts there did not go to Twitter as set up. I had to manually post to Twitter those FB posts. (Normally I don’t shoot the same materials across platforms, but since I was buried in this problem, I wanted simplification until it was resolved.)

    So just remember that schedulers are not infallible, and always have a Plan B in place for when they are down.

    1. That is a great point Miller. No matter what tools we use, it is important to have back up plans and alternatives available.

  5. This is an area I need to improve. I am a Hootsuite user, but only for Twitter & LinkedIn. I need to look into Do Share for Google+ as I manually post there. Yes, scheduling posts is important and I know some GoRos say not to do it, but I don’t see the issue if you still participate in discussions/respond to peeps.

    1. I think this is something we can all be improving on at any time, Adam. Even writing this post, I know there are still things I could improve upon.
      In response to the endless debate from those saying not to schedule, I have a response to that in tomorrow’s blog post. I hope you enjoy it!

Comments are closed.

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