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I’ve had many discussions and a few heated debates about the scheduling of social media posts and I’ve listened to both sides of the story and still have the opinion that scheduling certain posts is not bad at all, it’s really good…. but you must be there to respond.

The scheduling is bad view point

calendarYou must be ‘au naturel’ or ‘of the moment’. Social media is social and you don’t schedule normal conversations with people so you shouldn’t schedule your social media.

I got told a few weeks ago the scheduling was like conning your followers as you are not there so you don’t care and you’re acting like a robot and not a human.

One thing that always stands out when discussing scheduling is that the naysayers believe its all or nothing so if you like scheduling it means you schedule EVERYTHING!

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Why scheduling is good

Its saves time and helps you be more creative! Yes….. more creative.

The biggest reason to schedule your social media is that it saves time. If you’re running a busy shop or like me you’re on trains and in meeting rooms all day you don’t have the time to keep your social media account nice and active and believe me you need to keep it active!

Being able to schedule a few posts a day will really help to take the strain and give you chance to actually do your job, that’s if you’re job isn’t managing social media!

Scheduling can also help you to be more creative.

ClockWhen you sit down to schedule posts you’ll be setting aside actual time to create great posts that mean something. You’ll be able to check spelling and grammar and generally spend more time thinking about what you’re followers want to see.

Posting adhoc usually means fast and quick and you really need to give yourself some time to review what you’ve written before hitting the post button.

So there you go, scheduling is good for you. It can save time and force you to spend a little more time creating great posts.

Always be there to respond

If you do schedule social media you need to be there to respond to any questions or queries that arise from the posts. You don’t have to respond straight away but you do need to be on your game and not leave it too long.

Around 83% of Facebook questions and 46% of Twitter questions are allegedly missed by companies so make sure you set up your mobile phone to give you notifications when someone mentions, direct messages or posts a comment. You’ll be able to reply using your phone so should be able to deal with most queries, even if its just a quick “I’m out the office but will get in touch later”.

For goodness sake, don’t schedule everything!

Its fine to schedule some planned content and the odd incidental message you need to make but don’t schedule everything especially the posts that require a human touch.

CautionDon’t schedule:

  • Twitter Chats!
  • Good Morning Messages
  • Good Night Messages
  • Questions or anything that asks for direct response
  • The same messages on Twitter, Facebook & all the other networks

CorrectDo schedule:

  • Some reposts of blog content
  • Incidental messages like “You’ll also find us on Facebook”
  • Regular status-type messages

I schedule a few reposts of blog content each day because I like to have it spread out. The last think I want to do is fill up someone’s timeline with a whole bunch of retweets so scheduling this content works well for me.

I like to mention my latest podcast once a day on Twitter so I schedule it. My follow me on Facebook & Google Plus mentions are also scheduled.

I NEVER schedule anything that requires a personal touch so mentions, retweets, questions, chats are all done live so a personal touch can be added.

The best advice is to use your common sense, if scheduling something is going to make you look like a robot then don’t do it.

Review all your scheduled posts each day

Something I do every morning is to review what’s scheduled for the day and maybe move things around a bit.

If you’re tweets are a little edgy you may want to double check all your scheduled posts just to make sure you don’t drop yourself in it. EG. You’ve scheduled a post that takes the mickey out of a celebrity only to find out they died during the night!!

Conclusion

Ignore the social media snobs! Scheduling is good for you. It saves time and can help you create better content.

Always bare in mind that you need to respond to comments fairly quickly so make sure you have access to all your networks on your phone.

Only schedule what I call “broadcast messages”, don’t schedule anything that requires conversation.

I’m sure you’ll have your own opinion on scheduling so leave your comments below or fire away on Twitter.