Tools that aid in the scheduling of posts on social media networks have been a godsend to marketers and social media mavens worldwide. Often, the best time for a business to post that tweet or update that Facebook page coincide with the busiest time of that business’ work day (or night). Scheduling those posts can help ensure maximum impact and engagement without cramping the schedule of an already overworked employee.
Scheduling posts is not a cure-all, however. If you’re not careful with scheduling your posts all that pre-scheduling could be more trouble than it’s worth.
Five (5) reasons to be careful when scheduling your social media updates:
- Social media is about a lot of things. It’s about promotion, it’s about links. That is true. The thing that it’s really about, though, is engagement. It’s about making geographic proximity LESS important and real connection MORE important. When you are doing all of your talking from a scheduler, you are not doing the thing that matters most – listening. That means talking with people and not at them. That means being in the moment, being relevant and being you (or your brand) online. Social media has more power as a two way communication channel then it does as a blow horn. Use both. Life is about connection. Business is a part of life. Value connection and give it what you can (and not more – we’ll talk more about this).
- Social Networks don’t really like it. They want you to use their service- not some third party and they reward your activity on their own platform. This is sometimes explicitly stated and sometimes it’s just our experience. It makes sense though.
- You can’t predict what will happen within your own company. From the biggest corporation to the smallest mom-and-pop business, you can never know what exactly to expect. If your company finds itself in the news, or your restaurant has to close because of a faulty appliance in the kitchen, you’ll look awfully silly if your automated accounts are posting in a business-as-usual fashion. Schedule your posts out a responsible amount and be mindful in instances when you need to turn it off.
- You may develop a false sense of complacency. Scheduling your social media posts might lead to a “set it and forget it” mentality. Your posts are set for the week, why should you bother checking? This is dangerous! Remember that social media is a conversation. If your followers are talking about you, you need to be paying attention and engaging in the conversation. Don’t let it happen without you.
- You can’t predict what will happen in the world. As recent tragic events have shown, the attention of the world can be drawn away from the normal day-to-day in a matter of minutes. In the hyper-current environment of Facebook and Twitter, if your account keeps posting all your thought leadership, recipes & cute outfits in the wake of tragedy, you may appear to be unconnected and crass.