Many businesses have adopted an active social media presence as part of their overall marketing strategy and will know that it takes serious time and effort to build a following and create engaging content. Luckily, there are lots of free (or low-cost) digital tools available to make it easier for businesses to post relevant and frequent updates.
Social media scheduling platforms such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social or Agora Pulse all promise to make you more productive and efficient by letting you upload and schedule social media content in advance.
Here, we look at the pros and cons of using scheduling tools.
Instead of putting time aside each day to create posts, scheduling tools let you plan your content days and weeks in advance which frees up time in your daily schedule to concentrate on other areas of your business. By creating a content schedule and bulk-uploading posts and accompanying images in advance, you will spend less time overall on your social media posts.
Having the ability to schedule posts to go out even when you’re not in the office is a huge advantage. Your audience may be most active outside of opening hours, your social media manager might be on annual leave or you may have an important project coming up that will take up all your time. Analysing your followers’ peak times and scheduling your posts accordingly helps to reach your desired audience when they are online.
Scheduling content to go out regularly gives you a consistent presence on social media and helps you build momentum. It is easier to keep a consistent tone of voice in your posts when you create them at the same time.
When sitting down to plan the next week’s or month’s content it is easier to stay focused on the overall message and objective, rather than getting carried away with ad-hoc posts that don’t add anything to your overall strategy.
Most social media networks, especially Twitter, are time-sensitive and very fast moving so by not being online at the right time, you might miss out on relevant opportunities to get involved in conversations. Make sure you still go online once a day to monitor what your audience are talking about.
Timing is everything
Examples such as that of 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. Poorly timed posts can backfire in a spectacular way.
Might be considered spammy
Some users consider scheduled posts spammy and might stop following your accounts. This is why it’s important to keep a consistent writing style and natural voice, regardless of whether you are posting in real time or in advance.
We find that a combination of scheduling ever green content and reacting to trends and news on an ad-hoc basis is the best approach. Engaging with your followers needs to happen in real time, as is responding to news and trends.
Whilst not all content can be pre-scheduled, using a free tool is a great way to ensure a consistent social media presence whilst ensuring that content is on brand and of strategic importance.
Need help with your social media? Check out our social media management services or contact us on 01903 530787.
You may also like to read our recent blog post on ‘Right Post, Right Time’ which looks at the optimum times to post on social media.