Keeping your business’ social media platforms up-to-date can be a time-consuming process. But, having a strong presence on relevant platforms is an important part of developing an effective marketing plan. Growing your audience can help you quickly achieve a much higher rate of brand recognition. Additionally, it allows you to create a greater level of awareness regarding any new products or services you offer. Luckily, there are many simple, free, or low-cost tools available today to help you with scheduling your social media posts all from one place. If you choose to use one of them, however, you will want to have a full understanding of both the benefits and disadvantages of doing so. Below we cover these pros and cons.
Common Applications and How They Work
If you are even remotely involved in the marketing functions of your business, there’s a good probability you’ve heard of (and perhaps even tested out) some of the more common social media scheduling tools. Apps like Later, Hootsuite, Shortstack, Buffer and Loomly are just a few of the many options currently on the market. While each of these platforms performs slightly differently, the overall premise of each is the same. Built into each application is a scheduling interface that allows you to link multiple social media accounts. Here, you can upload images, videos, and text you’d like to share with your followers. Choose a launch date and time and voila! Your accounts are consistently posting new content while you sleep, work, travel, or socialize.
Pros of Scheduling Your Social Media Posts
It sounds so easy it’s almost too good to be true; right? Well, it’s absolutely true that there are many benefits to pre-scheduling your social media posts. Here are some of the best reasons you might want to try it for yourself:
Pre-scheduling your posts will absolutely afford you more time. Then you can devote the saved time to the other aspects of running your business. Set aside a couple of hours at the beginning of your week and you can have quality content posting each day. You can schedule your posts up to a month in advance or more, depending on the platform you choose to use. You are also able to access multiple social media sites at once, saving you the time and hassle of having to log in to each one individually.
Because you are able to choose your posting time, you are more likely to reach your audience during the peak hours they are active online. This is very helpful, as this may not be the ideal time for you to post. This can lead to more engagement on your profiles, and a better reach.
Posting in advance allows you to create content that adheres to your overall brand theme. This gives your social media account an heir of cohesion. Sending a consistent message in this way allows your audience to gain a better understanding of what your business is all about.
Scheduled posts helps you ensure you’re offering new and relevant material on a regular basis. Additionally, consistency can help you stay on top of the algorithm, since many apps see consistency as a sign of quality.
Although repeating posts isn’t always the best idea, there will be times when it is beneficial to do so (promoting events, etc.). Advanced scheduling makes this process exponentially easier.
Because you do not have to necessarily be present during the time your post launches, you will be able to access an audience you may not otherwise reach if you only live-posted in the moments available to you.
Pre-posting also affords you the ability to off-set your duties and allow an employee or marketing service provider take over your social media for you.
Cons of Scheduling Your Social Media Posts
Just like anything else in the world, there are pros and cons to scheduling. Here are some disadvantages for you to consider:
Interacting with your audience is one of the fastest ways to build rapport with them. By pre-scheduling your posts, you may miss out on the opportunity to quickly respond to comments, messages, likes, and shares which can cost you several chances to convert your followers into clients.
Scheduling out too far in advance can run you the risk of appearing callous, inappropriate, or unaware of what’s going on around you. For example, when the current crisis of COVID-19 began, a travel agent trying to sell a vacation abroad would probably have appeared pretty tacky.
May Appear Spammy
Because you may not be consistently interacting with your audience, you also risk the possibility of your content appearing too spammy to your audience.
Posting too far in advance might increase your chances of linking back to content that is no longer available. There may also be moments where technology fails you and your post never goes live for one reason or another.
You don’t want to overwhelm your followers with the same information over and over again. Posting your content all at one time might find you in a particular mindset where all your posts are far too similar.
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The Best Practice for Scheduling Social Media Posts
If, after gaining a better understanding of the pros and cons associated with pre-planning your posting schedule, you do choose to do it, there are some guidelines you will want to follow.
Don’t make the mistake of constantly posting repeat content. Certain situations will call for information to be shared more than once, but as a general rule you should offer your audience fresh material. Additionally, mix in some live postings with your pre-scheduled content.
Make Sure Everything Works
Make it a point to regularly check your content to ensure your links are still active and that all of the social media accounts you have connected to your advanced scheduling application are still in working order.
Pay attention to what’s going on in the world around you! This point cannot be stressed enough. Posting overly-promotional or irrelevant content during a time where the rest of the world (or even your local community) is focused on a bigger topic could be extremely detrimental to the overall health of your brand image and marketing efforts.
Keep Your Content Messaging on Topic
If your business is in the health and wellness arena you won’t necessarily want to post content offering financial tips to your followers. Know your area of expertise and stick with it! Similarly, make sure everything you post is a clear reflection of your brand personality.
Don’t Over-Extend Yourself
Not all social media platforms will benefit your particular business. Before you create profiles on fifty random platforms, do your research to determine which ones will offer you the most value. See which will help you reach your target market most effectively. The quality of what you post is far more important than the number of platforms you can be found on.
Add Value to Your Followers
If you do have multiple social media platforms, make sure you aren’t posting the same stuff on each of them at the exact same time. Give your audience a reason to follow you on Facebook and Twitter or Instagram. Also, different platforms will attract different audiences who will react to your content. So, make sure you’re adding value to their experience on whichever platform they see you.
Your Next Steps for Scheduling Your Social Media Posts
Now that you understand scheduling your social media posts, it’s time to do your homework. First, determine which social media platforms will best suit the needs of your business. Also, determine which will be of the greatest interest to your target audience. Next, educate yourself on the days and times the platforms you use have the highest level of user engagement. Then, create a marketing strategy that will offer your audience pertinent information, variety, and incentive to further interact with your business. Finally, start scheduling your social media posts and watch your business grow!