Many companies and the marketing and communications agencies that represent them use social media management tools such as SproutSocial, Hootsuite or Radian6 to manage their social media accounts.
Many social media professionals love the scheduling features of these tools. Often scheduling tweets and Facebook posts in advance is done to save time, but is this having a negative effect on your engagement?
1. Don’t be a robot. If your company’s tweets are posted everyday at 10 am, noon and 2 pm, followers will notice that. It will seem like you are simply tweeting three times a day because that’s what you’re expected to do, not because you have genuinely useful or relevant information to share. Also, it seems robotic, like a real person didn’t take the time to craft the tweet him or herself.
2. Interaction goes both ways. If your posts are all scheduled, you will be missing opportunities to interact with your followers. Say someone asks a question on Facebook. Ideally you would respond to their question in a timely fashion. One way to be sure you catch notifications quickly is to have your social media management tool up in the background of your computer, so that while still working on other projects, you can occasionally check to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
3. Stay up to date on the news. If your posts for the day are all already scheduled, you may not be taking into account breaking news and events that come up that affect your industry or company. When these things happen it is important that you respond as soon as possible, so as not to get lost in the crowd. Simply taking a half hour during the day to go through your news feed as well as search the news for any relevant industry updates, is a great way to share or retweet the timely news your audience wants to know.
There is absolutely a place for scheduling automated posts, such as if you want to share company news or a link to your newest blog post. However, scheduled posts have to be mixed with live posts in order to most effectively communicate with your audience.