Social media scheduling isn’t a new phenomenon, but as we’re continuing to use social platforms more and more, it’s increasing in popularity – especially for businesses.
The common myth – that social media scheduling negatively affects your content’s reach – simply isn’t true. That is, providing you’re not ‘forecasting and forgetting’. You still need to log into your accounts and engage with others’ content, to consider how this might affect your own social strategy.
So, why bother scheduling then? We’ve explored the positives and drawbacks of social media scheduling below – so you can make the most of social media for your business.
Pros of social media scheduling
- Improving your social media strategy
Social media scheduling enables you to map our your social activity in advance – whether that’s a week or even a month ahead. It gives you time to consider the overall direction and purpose of your posts as you ‘bulk’ prepare them. When you view all of your content together, you can adjust and amend each post to suit your strategic communications objectives.
- Building a consistent presence
Arguably the main benefit of social media scheduling is consistency. Prior to scheduling tools, regular social media content came at a time cost – but it doesn’t have to. By preparing your social posts for the month in one go, and scheduling them in advance, you can save precious time spent logging in and out of your accounts and coming up with something to say every day.
- Making the most of the content you produce
Social media scheduling makes it quick and simple to repurpose your content across multiple platforms. Yes, you shouldn’t post the same thing in different places, but social scheduling tools enable you to tweak each update to make it more effective for different platforms. You can also share older content to new audiences from your dashboards.
- Reach new audiences – and post any time you like
Social media scheduling makes it possible to post in peak times of different time zones, expanding your audience across the world. It also means, if you’re off on holiday or your team are sick, your social platforms are covered ahead of time, so your performance won’t drop.
Cons of social media scheduling
Much of the cons around social media scheduling arise when brand’s ‘forecast and forget’. That is, when they schedule social media posts and don’t revisit them or the social platforms to check in.
If you’re not careful, social scheduling can lead you to believe all your social work is taken care of. However, the most important aspect of social posting is engagement – manual engagement with others’ content. Some scheduling tools allow you to do this within the software, but it’s important not to neglect this, as it will compromise your content’s performance.
If you schedule your posts at the start of the month, they may become less relevant – or even harmful later in the month (at the time of posting). A – not so – great example of this comes from Canada’s Drag Race, which posted a scheduled Tweet – originally intended to promote the show’s final – one day after the Queen’s passing. It read:
Happy #CanadasDragRace FINALE DAY
The crown is up for grabs… who is going to take it home?
The text was supported by a standalone image of the crown. Inevitably, it was quickly deleted – but not before many snapped screenshots and reshared to their own profiles.
- Post errors
Although accuracy of grammar and spelling is likely to improve when scheduling posts, as you’ll prepare and review in bulk, issues such as 404 errors from links no longer active are likely to become more prominent. Also, if there’s image issues your post can fail to schedule, meaning you need to go back, fix the issue before reuploading – which can take up more time.
Put simply, social media scheduling helps to ensure consistent posting – and it can save a lot of time. However, it’s essential not to schedule a batch of posts and forget about them for the rest of the month:
- A quick 15 minute check at the start of every week will ensure post relevance and minimise errors in posting
- Spending some time focusing on engagement – ie listening to and interacting with others, and let this drive your social strategy going forward.
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