It makes sense to use social media automation when balanced with your overall social media strategy. One of the most common forms of social media automation is used to schedule social media updates.
Sure, it is an accepted practice by many, including a large percent of of social media experts.
But check this out.
Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should…or does it?
I’m sure as most of you were growing up, mom would say something along the lines of:
“If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”
So, if all your friends are scheduling social media updates, would you?
But before you answer, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of scheduling your social media updates.
Why You Should Schedule Social Media Updates
Let’s first take a look at a few reasons why it might make sense to schedule your social media updates.
Spend Less Time Posting Updates
When you schedule your social media updates in advance, you can save time. The most common way it saves time is that you are able to schedule posts in bulk, essentially quite a few at one time.
Scheduling in bulk means that you can spend 15-30 minutes loading up your queue for the week or month in one sitting instead of logging in to your social media account every few hours to post.
Scheduling allows you to space out your social updates as you see fit. No longer will you have to worry about making sure you are able to post content on your social channels each day.
More Time for Engagement
Since you are spending less time posting your updates, that frees up time to be more engaging with your audience. I like to look at scheduled posts as a way to “seed” the conversation with your audience.
Once members of your audience interact with the social update, you can then continue the conversation with them manually.
When you are able to spend more time engaging with your followers, you can build a stronger relationship with them.
Increases the Social Life of Your Blog Content
Another benefit of scheduling your updates is that you can ultimately increase the social life of your blog posts. This is particularly true if you create evergreen blog content.
When you have evergreen blog content, you can continuously reshare it on your social media accounts in an ongoing basis.
I like to refer to this as evergreen social media content updates.
Since your blog post is evergreen, you can create a pool of social media updates around it to share again and again.
Why You Shouldn’t Schedule Social Media Updates
Social media automation isn’t for everyone. In fact, there are many that are completely against it for various reasons. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons.
It’s Not Authentic
Using social media is ultimately about being social. So if you are using methods to “simulate” being social, then you are not being authentic according to some.
Even if the words that get scheduled and ultimately posted come directly from you, the fact that you did not manually post the social media update is enough to send some people off the deep-end and hate on automation.
However, even if you schedule social media updates, you are ultimately in charge of the tone and format of the messaging. It’s up to you to be authentic with your message no matter the delivery method.
Increased Social Media Noise
When automation comes into play, some people tend to overdo it – posting every few minutes. This no doubt clutters up the stream of anyone following them.
And when you get hundreds and thousands of users doing this, your timeline becomes littered with their updates.
In order to ensure you are not contributing to the noise, it’s best to use your automation strategically and minimize the chances for creating additional noise.
No Control Over Real-time Events
When you schedule days or even weeks in advance, you tend to forget what you have posted for that day should something tragic strike.
Unfortunately, if you get wrapped up in the current event and forget to check your queue, you may send out some updates that probably shoot not go out considering the current circumstances.
For example, take this tweet posted by American Rifleman back in 2012.
The timing of the scheduled tweet could not have been worse. It was posted just hours after the mass theater shootings in Colorado where 12 people died.
Staying on top of current events and know what you have scheduled can help you avoid disasters like this.
Schedule Social Media Updates or Not?
Just like any decisions you make, you’ll need to weigh the good with the bad to determine if scheduling your social media updates is worth it or not.
It might make sense if you can post often within reason – not hundreds of times a day. With the time you save by pre-scheduling, your daily calendar should have some extra free time to spend engaging with your audience.
If you can’t commit to responding with your audience a few times a day, then scheduling or even social media use in general might not be for you.
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