I admit it! I am a dirty, filthy scheduled poster, whether it be on Facebook or Twitter, for work or myself, I create scheduled messages.
Yes, if you weren’t aware, you can schedule posts on Facebook for Facebook pages and if you use something like Hootsuite, you can schedule tweets too, so they can be published when you’re not around. I wrote about this feature in Hootsuite a while back.
I recall one supposed Social Media professional recently who took a sharp intake of breath through his teeth when I confessed to my scheduling habit. He shook his head and I quickly made the excuse that it was because of resourcing. The main concern is that you send out an update that gets a response requiring an immediate reply. This hasn’t ever actually happened to me and so far, the benefits have outweighed the risks. I’ve learned a few things over the last few weeks which mean I won’t be quitting my habit any time soon. These are they…
Early morning engagement
People check their own Social Media channels first thing in the morning. In fact, 48% of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up, with 28% doing so before even getting out of bed. (DigitalBuzzBlog). By all means get up early and send those messages, but what if you can’t or just don’t want to? Then schedule something! Easy! Don’t schedule anything that’s going to be controversial and nothing too long, but post something at about 7am and note the engagement. Experiment with different times to identify a timing sweet spot.
I’ve found quick questions work well and generally get high engagement, whether comments or likes. I wouldn’t bother with links, people won’t be clicking through as they take a quick cursory glance over their Facebook feed first thing, but something simple and light-hearted will help you set up your engagement and Edgerank for the day.
Remember to check out your posts once you’re awake / get in to work / log on for the day.
Informational / News tweets get the best click thru
If you’re putting out content daily or just have things on your website that you want to communicate, load up Hootsuite with tweets and short links and get them posted throughout the day. You can even repeat important ones at different times of the day or week, as the likelihood is they’ll hit different people and no one will accuse you of spamming, which you’re not.
Repeat tweets are frowned upon by some Social Media folk, but my own experimentation revealed no loss of followers or engagement with repeated tweets. Don’t believe me? Check out Guy Kawasaki’s test!
As long as your posts aren’t deliberately eliciting a strong response or, again, are massively controversial, you’ll find this saves you a bundle of time and effort and you can just keep an eye on your feeds throughout the day.
Hootsuite’s relatively new auto-schedule feature optimises the times as which your tweets are sent to reach the largest audience. It’s still unknown what is contained within the algorithm for this application, but I use it daily and it seems to work based on number of mentions and retweets received.
I have a habit of falling in to my RSS reader and tweeting content from it all at once using the hootlet app in my toolbar. This can now be used in conjunction with auto-schedule so you can post content at optimal intervals throughout the day. Cunning huh?
So, this is why I will continue to schedule posts. The benefits and convenience of such a practice outweigh the risks. Maybe I’ll be eating my words when something completely falls over, but so far, all my metrics are up.
Don’t post anything that’s going to be controversial
Keep an eye on your feeds / set alerts for responses
Never auto-post customer service responses – it really doesn’t make any sense!
Note: Beware of Social Media ‘experts’ who continue to advise against what seem like perfectly rational practices. They are just trying to scare you and justify their expense.
You can also schedule videos on YouTube now, though I, personally, am not creating enough content at present to utilise this function.
You can not schedule on Google Plus. I really think people would use Google Plus more if you could schedule and manage from other platforms (e.g. Hootsuite).