One way to keep up with social media posting is to use auto-scheduling software. There are many kinds of web-based programs, some free and some that charge a subscription fee, that allow businesses to write posts and attach images or links to be shared on social media sites at a later date.
The Pros of Auto Scheduling
Scheduling your posts allows you to save time. Instead of logging in to your accounts every day, doing some research and then posting, you can do this all at once. With a social media scheduling platform, you can set aside a certain amount of time each week to plan, write and schedule your posts for the rest of the week.
Stay on Message
When you sit down and plan an entire week’s worth of social media posts, it can be much easier to stay on message. You can objectively look at each post to make sure you are fulfilling your campaign goals. Sometimes, when you post to social media sites on the fly, you lose site of what you want to be telling your audience.
Cross Time Zones
If your brand has markets that are in different time zones, auto scheduling can be a great solution. If you post to Facebook in the afternoon at your office, but a large portion of your market has gone to sleep for the night, you aren’t posting at the optimal time. Auto scheduling platforms let you choose the day and time for your post to go live, so you can target any market at any time.
Scheduling your posts means that your accounts will stay active, and won’t fall into that stage of inactivity where they lose momentum. On days when you can’t get to social media or if you are traveling without an Internet connection, your accounts will be alive and active.
Hootsuite is a popular social media management and scheduling platform.
The Cons of Auto Scheduling
Miss Windows of Opportunity
Many social media conversations are real time. Facebook, and especially Twitter, sometimes thrive off of real-time posts, comments and opinions. If you only schedule your posts at the beginning of the week and never log in for the rest of the week, you run the risk of missing out on live action. You can remedy this by logging in once a day to check up on a few things and interact with users. Save time by limiting yourself to half an hour of logged-in time each day.
Labeled As Spam
Even if your followers don’t actually report your account as spam, they may feel like they are being spammed with robotic content and decide to stop following you. Scheduled posts can sound spammy, so try to write natural posts even if they are being scheduled for later.
If you schedule your social media posts too far in advance, you could lose touch with what is happening on your account pages. You may not be aware of follower feedback and you may even forget what exactly you are posting to your accounts. You can prevent this by only scheduling a few days, or a week in advance. You could also decide that you’ll only use scheduling platforms for times when you know you won’t be able to post to your accounts, like during holidays or while you will be out of the office on business.
Overwhelm Your Followers
When scheduling your social media posts, it can be tempting and easy to schedule way too many posts. Remember to still post in moderation, but to post often enough to grab your audience’s attention and to stay relevant online. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your followers with constant, low-quality or non-relevant posts.
In the end, a combination of both real-time and scheduled social media posts may be the ideal solution for managing your social media campaigns. With auto-scheduling, you can save time, reach your audience at an optimal time and plan for your busy schedule. You can also remedy some of the cons of using a scheduling platform my mixing in some live interaction and only using scheduled posts sparingly.