Current practice in social media and strategic communication suggests that weekly, if not daily, interaction is crucial to success. But, sometimes social media writers need a break from the noise. That’s when scheduled tweets or blog posts can help.
A caveat: Social media is certainly best done in conversations. I’m not suggesting that people should simply schedule tweets. A social media initiative completed through solely scheduled tweets is, by definition, anti-social. Scheduled tweets are akin to commercials: prepared spots that are pushed toward viewers without the ability to converse. But, scheduled tweets have their place in a successful social media strategy.
I often use scheduled tweets to do three things:
- Distribute timely information: If certain information makes more sense to post at a certain time, I’ll go ahead and schedule the post for that time in advance.
- Reduce stress: If I’m going to be extremely busy and unable to tweet on certain days (or on a short vacation from social media), I’ll schedule a tweet or two to keep my posts current.
- Time posts: Timing posts on Twitter can be beneficial for your readers. If I’m having a conversation (with @replies or in a #hashtag Twitter chat) multiple posts in succession are acceptable; however, under normal circumstances, back-to-back tweets can be extremely annoying to followers. I often stop following people who employ “Tweet blasts.” Perhaps these folks login to Twitter once-a-day, read all the tweets they missed, and send multiple tweets and re-tweets in one fifteen-minute sitting. By scheduling the timing of those same posts across the day, their tweets become incremental rather than appearing in bulk.
If scheduled posts are employed well, social media writers can use brief moments throughout the day to engage readers in conversations and set aside more focused blocks of time for writing excellent posts.
TweetDeck, HootSuite, and other Twitter platforms allow users to schedule tweets for delayed delivery. WordPress also allows scheduled posts, like this one.