Social Media

To schedule or not to schedule?

From time to time, I schedule posts to be shared on my Twitter feed.

It is common for some businesses to do so, but for a personal account? I was intrigued to find out more.

I asked my Twitter followers do you ever schedule tweets for your personal Twitter account? and below are the results.

It was a resounding no from 77% of the 105 people that voted. I was slightly surprised, I must admit, as I thought some of my peers (particularly those in PR or who have blogs) might use scheduling tools, at least on occasion. I also asked people to share why they voted the way they did and have used their responses to inform the positives and negatives of scheduling.

So what are the pros and cons?

Pros to using scheduling tools

1. Reaching different time zones – As Judy Gombita pointed out, scheduling is excellent if you are trying to reach audiences in different time zones and won’t be online (or perhaps even awake) when they are. Whether this is to promote a blog post, share an observation or idea, or connect with a friend, colleague or peer across the globe, scheduling tools help you to do that.

2. Filling gaps when you’re not online – written something great, found an interesting article or just want more people to see what you have to say? You want to share that when the maximum amount of people are going to see it. And that might not be a time at which you’re able to be online. Cue scheduling tools to make sure your stuff gets seen.

3. You can bring about some balance – Often, I browse Twitter of an evening and read lots of new articles that I find of interest and want to share. But, I don’t particularly want to bombard followers, so I might schedule a share of one later in the afternoon, at a particular/relevant time, or when I know people might be online. It keeps my timeline fresh over a longer period of time.

Cons to using scheduling tools

1. What if you change your mind – As Ella Minty rightly pointed out, what if you change your mind about something! Yes, you can delete the scheduled tweet, but if you’ve forgotten it’s there then you might find yourself in a situation where you’ve shared something you don’t particularly like any more. And no matter how fast you delete it, someone will see it!

2. Lack of authenticity – If you’re pre-writing and scheduling posts, some might say it lacks authenticity. Twitter, for many, is about the spontaneity of sharing your thoughts, interests and ideas with your followers. So does scheduling detract from this?

3. Send it and forget it – You’re at risk of missing notifications and missing out on engagement (whether it’s a positive or negative response). That can have an impact on whether people want to follow you and engage with your content too. However, if you’ve scheduled posts, regularly checking in to manage responses can solve this, to some extent.

So, to schedule or not to schedule? To be honest, I think that’s entirely up to you. But I hope this post has given you some food for thought either way.

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