Is Scheduling Social Media Posts a Bad Idea?

Ever had three updates to post to your social media account but you don’t want to post them all at once? Or got an update for a specific date or time in the future? You’re not the only one, judging by the army of scheduling services like Buffer, Hootsuite and SocialOomph. These are services, often free, where you can set a post to publish at a specific time on a specific date. Handy, right? But wait; there’s a few things to bear in mind before you start scheduling.

You’re Not Online to Engage With Your Audience

If you’re posting good content, people will respond to it. Only you’re not there for the conversation. While your Friends, Fans and Followers (FFFs) are trying to talk to you, you’re off doing something else, leaving their responses going ignored.

Some People Don’t Like Scheduled Posts

There’s an argument that if a piece of software is posting the content then your profile isn’t too far removed from a bot. Whether or not you agree with this is irrelevant; the fact is that some people believe it and scheduling your posts may mean they stop being an FFF.

Scheduling Can Run Afoul of Current Events

Worse than ignoring your FFFs is a scheduled post hitting the Internet at a bad time. Take the example of Kim Kardashian, who posted condolences to the victims of the Boston marathon bomb but obviously forgot to switch off her scheduled posts. 24 minutes after get best wishes, she sent a tweet promoting her mother’s appearance on TV. The backlash got nasty.

Looks grim, huh? Maybe this scheduling lark isn’t the best idea. But there’s two sides to every coin, and plenty of good things about scheduling.

Catch Your Followers When They’re Online

If someone tweets and no-one’s online to see it, does it still make a noise? No. Posting something when none of your FFFs are online is completely pointless. Scheduling it for when they are means you don’t have to remember it for hours only to get distracted and forget what time you were going to post and damn is that the time shoot I’ve totally missed it and now I’ll have to wait some more and so on and so on.

Avoid Spamming Your Followers’ Feeds

You’re scrolling through your feed and suddenly it’s taken over by one user who’s posted thirty-seven updates all at once. How annoying. Let’s skip all those. Not good, right? You don’t want to be that guy. Spreading updates over the day avoids flooding your FFFs’ feeds.

Increase Your Exposure

The flip side of that coin is that if you’re dumping all your updates at, say, 6pm, anyone who checks in at 5pm won’t see them. Spreading your updates over the day increases exposure.

Do you schedule your social media posts? Or do you think it’s a terrible idea? Let me know in the comments.

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