Numerous businesses have embraced an active social media presence as a fundamental aspect of their marketing strategy. They understand that building a following and generating engaging content demands significant time and effort. Fortunately, there remains a wealth of free or low-cost digital tools that make it more manageable for businesses to deliver relevant and frequent updates.

Social media scheduling platforms such as HootsuiteBufferSprout Social and Sendible all promise to make you more productive and efficient by letting you upload and schedule social media content in advance.

Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of using scheduling tools in the context of today.


Save time

Instead of dedicating time daily to create posts, scheduling tools enable you to plan content days or weeks in advance. It frees up your daily schedules to focus on other business areas. Plus, if you find social media addictive, creating a content schedule and bulk uploading posts will reduce the amount of time you have to spend on social media. If you have multiple social media accounts using a scheduler means you only have to upload your content once and still have it posted on every platform.


The ability to schedule posts for times when you’re not physically present in the office is invaluable. Your audience may be most active outside typical business hours, your social media manager might be on leave, or you may be occupied with an important project. Analysing peak follower times and scheduling posts accordingly helps reach the desired audience when they’re online.

Consistent presence

Consistency is a keystone in building a successful social media presence. If you’re busy then turning up regularly to post something  Scheduling content to go out regularly helps you build momentum. It’s also a lot easier to keep a consistent tone of voice in your posts when you create them at the same time.

Evergreen content can be scheduled for re-use or re-posting at regular intervals. Doing so will increase the reach of that content and improve its return on your time investment creating it.

Strategic approach

Planning content for the upcoming week or month encourages a focused approach to the overall message and objectives, minimizing the distraction of ad-hoc posts that do not align with your strategy. Many scheduling tools also have analytics and reporting functions. You can save time by getting all your analytics in one place, and adjust your content strategy on the spot.


Missed opportunities

Social media platforms, particularly X/Twitter, are time-sensitive and fast-paced. Being offline at critical moments may result in missed opportunities to engage in relevant conversations. It’s advisable to check online daily to monitor audience discussions.

Timing is everything

Examples such as Dorothy Perkins posting about having that #FridayFeeling on the day after the Brexit Referendum when the country was in turmoil, show that you still need to be aware of what is going on at the time of your scheduled posts. Plus, scheduling tools are not immune to failure, and your scheduled content might not be published. Poorly timed posts can backfire in a spectacular way.

Perceived as spam

Some users may view scheduled posts as low value, as they don’t reflect what’s happening in the moment. Some may feel scheduled posts are unauthentic, and may opt to unfollow your accounts. Maintaining a consistent writing style and natural voice, whether posting in real-time or scheduled, is crucial.


Social media scheduling tools with the full suite of features and integrations can be expensive. If you’re a small business or an individual, the cost may not be worth the time saved. For example, Hootsuite’s cheapest plan is £89 a month, for just one user. Whilst most platforms offer free plans or trial periods these kinds of account have limitations on things like the number of accounts, scheduling flexibility, analytics, etc. The more robust enterprise-level tools get very expensive very quickly.

Learning Curve

Whenever you pick up a new tool, things slow down whilst you learn to use it. Even the most simple scheduling tools will have a learning curve whilst you learn to set up your account and use the features. While well-designed tools aim for usability, there is still some upfront investment in training, documentation, or experimentation required to fully master the tool. This learning curve can slow down adoption, especially for non-technical teams. The more team members involved, the bigger the learning curve multiplies. Making sure everyone is up to speed takes diligent training.


Right now, we advocate for a hybrid approach: scheduling evergreen content while reacting to trends and news in real-time. Engaging with followers and responding to current events should happen promptly. While not all content can be pre-scheduled, leveraging social media scheduling tools ensures a steady social media presence aligned with brand identity and strategic goals.

Need help with your social media? Check out our social media management services or email Lara today.

Editors Note: This article was originally posted in 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Listed under:
Social Media