Have you ever thought about whether you should schedule your tweets to go out in advance or not? Is it a good idea?
This is the question that was sent in this week by budding entrepreneur, Alex.
“Is it ever acceptable to set up tweets ahead of time?
Yes it is! It’s not a Bad Thing.
Of course there are varying opinions about this, depending on who you ask. Some will say that it’s never ok to schedule a tweet in advance and that you should always tweet live.
I don’t think it’s as black and white as that.
I think you can set up tweets and still provide value and engagement if it’s done with some forethought and planning.
There are are tweets that are going to engage and get a conversation going, and then there are tweets that will share content and that will get rts, favourit’d, opened and read, but there’s not so much discussion around those.
However, there are some cons to automating your tweeting schedule. So let’s get a couple of the big cons out of the way, and then hit the positive side to scheduling tweets!
NO auto DMs. I don’t know anyone who has ever liked getting one of those impersonal things! It’s far better to check out your new followers profile or website and tweet a ‘Hi, nice to meet you, great blog, looking forward to tweeting with you!’, rather than send an auto DM. It’s like holding a party but sending someone else to greet your guests because you can’t be bothered.
Be aware of events in the news.
Should a tragedy hit somewhere, you don’t want to be the company or individual being insensitive and putting your social media foot in it. There are enough examples out there where tweets where set up ahead of time by companies and brands, then something catastrophic rocks the world and they end up managing a PR disaster. Have a plan, know what you have scheduled, and even cancel and put a pause on your activity because you will upset your audience if you tweet something that is unsuitable and insensitive during a crisis.
Times when it’s OK to automate your tweets.
For example, I do my blog reading in the morning and I see some interesting posts that I think my friends and followers will get something out. I could fire those tweets out all at once and flood the twitter stream of my friends and annoy them, or I can post the links out throughout the day, so I’m still sharing content, but hopefully not annoying anyone in doing so. That’s the same with my own blog posts, I’ll set a few tweets up during the week and let them go out.
The other reason for doing it like this is that it’s an efficient use of time. I like to block out time and concentrate on one thing within that time scheduled because if I were to jump back and forward throughout the day, as well as having to remember to do it, it’s a huge interruption and a disruptive way to work. I’ve got to make the maximum use of time due to work and those commitments. As business owners we have a LOT to manage and I think it’s ok, and can be simply part of good planning and to bulk some tasks and automate them instead of switching from one thing to another.
However, I do limit my automated updates and I know that I’m never far away from twitter, so if someone does respond to a scheduled tweet, then I can get back to them in a timely manner. Scheduling these updates doesn’t make me any less responsive or any less ‘me’.
To sum up
The tweets I schedule are others people’s or my own blog posts. I would never schedule personal updates ahead of time, like “I’m having a great night out, loving the cocktails!” if I was going out later that evening. I wouldn’t advise doing that at all!
As always, have a think about why you using twitter. Are you using twitter for business? For personal use? Are you using it as a marketing tool, or simply to arrange your social life? (I use it for all of those reasons!).
There are countless tools you can use to schedule your tweets. My preference is Buffer App and Social Oomph. You can set up a schedule with times and days, plus there are some simple analytics that show you how many people have favourite’d your tweet, re-tweeted it and shared it, which gives somewhat of a guideline to what my friends and followers like, and what they don’t. Then I can make sure I share what my twitter friends will actually like, which is a Good Thing!
[Tweet “The pros and cons of automated tweeting! “]
What do you think? Should you ever schedule tweets? How much is too much?
If you have a social media or business question feel free to send it to me here, or we can schedule some time to dig deeper if you would like to book a consultation with me.
See you next week for another Q & A. Have an awesome bank holiday! 🙂