Should I use a Social Media Scheduler?
From my first, ever, social media post, I have used a social media scheduler.
I’ve done a lot of research, been given a lot of advice, debunked some myths and come to figure out my way of doing things. As I said in my last blog, while it is about doing what’s right for your business, it’s also about doing what’s right and what works for you, too. You are your business, if you’re not happy with the choice you’ve made, you won’t enjoy it.
So, I thought it best to discuss the proverbial elephant 🐘 in the room. Everyone has an opinion around social media scheduling, whether it should or shouldn’t be done and whether it’s good or bad for your business. I wanted to talk to you, today, about the pros and cons of using a social media scheduler so that you can decide for yourself.
The social media scheduling concept is really simple. A social media scheduler allows you to schedule multiple social media posts to go live at a time that best suits you and your audience. These might be daily, weekly, monthly, or a combination of all depending on the platform.
Just at a glance, here are some of the schedulers out there:
Creator Studio (Facebook and Instagram native)
Each of them has their pros and cons, I’m not getting into that here, this post today is purely about the scheduling concept.
In my opinion, going to the native scheduler, wherever you can, is going to give you the best results. Native schedulers will give you detailed insights into your posts for free, where the third party schedulers may want you to use a paid version to gather those insights.
I use Hootsuite for scheduling my LinkedIn posts, Creator Studio for Facebook and Instagram and occasionally Pinterest (but the built-in for Pins only allows you to schedule up to 14 days ahead).
Before I go on, you should know that I’m all for 👍🏼 scheduling social media. I lean heavily towards the pros and believe that there is a solution to every con that will get thrown at you.
1. You can schedule your posts to go live at the ‘right’ time
Be honest, if it’s not your busy work schedule, it’s life, and both can get in your way when it comes to getting online at the right time and remembering to post.
Not only will scheduling your posts ensure your post makes it out into the world, think about who your audience is. Are they online when you’re not? What time zone are they in? Are you honestly going to get up early (or stay up late) to make sure that the post goes out at a time suitable for them?
2. Save time
I bet you’ve heard this loads, but it’s true in many ways.
By scheduling your posts you can avoid the time trap ⏳ that is social media! I get sucked in so easily (as I’m meant to). You know what I mean, it’s easy to get distracted by the content and before you know it you’ve been online way longer than you planned.
The real time-saving part comes when you can schedule in your scheduling time. Instead of having to be available when your posts need to go live, you just need to allocate some time once a week, or month, to get everything loaded into the scheduler. Boom, in one fell swoop you’re done.
3. Consistency is key 🔑
You’ve probably heard this, a lot, too. But it is true. Consistent posting benefits your social media presence.
I’m a very organised person, I wouldn’t do what I did if I wasn’t. I know what’s happening and when, but for some reason when it comes to my own social media posts, I just cannot get my head into the zone at the times needed. I am not a morning person and so the last thing on my mind when I’m trying to eat my breakfast is posting!
Consistency is one of the most common problems I hear from my colleagues and clients.
“I have loads of content, ready to go, I just can’t seem to get it online.”
Whatever the reason, you need to recognise that it’s not working for you and do something about it.
If the only way for you to remain consistent is to use a scheduler, just do it!
OK, it’s time to debunk one of my most hated myths. It’s probably one that a lot of Social Media Managers face as an ‘objection’ to their services.
“Won’t using a social media scheduler ruin my reach?”
In preparing for this blog I did a lot of research around this particular concern. But before I discuss my findings I just have a question to ask in return.
“Isn’t it better to be online, posting consistently, with damaged reach, than not at all?”
Whether my findings on this matter are found to be false in the coming months as algorithms change, my opinion doesn’t change. Your posts reach can’t be damaged if they’re not being posted…
The consensus is that there is no reach damage if you use a social media scheduler. Using a third party or built-in scheduler can help you with your reach. Why? Because they help you to post regularly and consistently.
That myth is usually one of the biggest ‘con’ reasons that people use for not using a social media scheduler. My opinion (not proven)?
If Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest didn’t want you to schedule your posts then they wouldn’t have in-built schedulers.
OK, it’s time for the rest of the cons. Now, as I said, I believe that these all have a solution, a workaround to stop them from being a con at all, what do you think?
1. It may seem like you’re less responsive
I do think that this is a very valid concern. If you’re scheduling your posts at a time that you’re not available and you regularly receive immediate engagement, you may seem a little unresponsive to your audience.
I have a few ideas on how to solve this con.
Firstly, as explained by John Espiran, self-confessed LinkedIn nerd, delaying your response time to comments on your posts can extend the life of the post in the newsfeeds of your followers. This is extra-beneficial if you’re posting for an audience in a different time zone.
Secondly, if you’re like me, and schedule your posts purely because you can’t always be trusted to post on time, you’re probably available at that time, anyway. I schedule most of my posts to go live around the time I’m eating breakfast 🍳. I’m in front of a device and I’m ready to make an instant response.
After breakfast, and throughout the rest of the day, I work on John’s theory.
2. Errors can be missed
This could be said of any piece of written content, not just scheduled ones, but for some reason, the scheduling part of it does seem a little true.
It’s happened to me before, where I’ve worked a few hours straight, scheduled a load of posts and then had a message from my darling mum letting me know that she’s seen a typo in one of them 🤦🏼♀️!
Make sure you’re checking your work. Sticking to the principle that your brain has a built-in auto-correct, you should be giving yourself some break time between the final draft and the final edit of any post.
While they aren’t the be-all and end-all of copy editing, I do recommend using an app like Grammarly. There are add-ons for your web browsers as well as word processing and email programs to give you a head start.
3. Your posts could end up being outdated
Well, in this current time, this could happen, and quickly. With COVID rife in our lives it can only take a few days (or even hours) for your well thought out content to become irrelevant.
By being outdated your posts could seem insensitive, off-topic and, very obviously, pre-written.
Avoid referencing too many current events when scheduling your posts, especially if you’re doing a month in advance.
I tend not to schedule too far in advance, either. I work on 1-2 weeks ahead for most posts. I mean things like quote images and the more ‘fun’ posts could be scheduled way in advance and still save you time.
Keep a finger on the pulse 💓 and make sure you keep in mind what’s coming up in your schedule. Stay on top of things and make adjustments as needed.
I know they’re all pretty basic, the pros and the cons, but if this information helps you to decide whether to use a scheduler or not, then I’ve done my job for the day.
As I talked about in my last blog post (How to Create a Simple Social Media Schedule), it’s all about finding what works for you and your business.
If you like the idea of scheduling but feel that it’s not authentic, then perhaps think about a combination. Schedule focussed/series posts in advance and then post ‘on the fly’ in between.
If you just can’t handle the spontaneity of social media (and honestly some of us just can’t) then schedule all of your posts.
You can’t run your business pages in a way that you don’t like, so just try out a few different things and see what you like best. There is no right or wrong when it comes to whether you should use a scheduler or not, it’s just making the most of what you have and what works for you.
It’s very unusual for me to ‘spruik’ my wares in my blogs posts. I’m a true believer that you should try things first and decide if it’s something you want to do, or you want someone else to do for you.
I hear, all too often from business owners, that they have great content ideas, posts written and images designed, but that they never get around to posting them. All of that valuable content is going to waste.
If you’ve tried scheduling time in to schedule your social media posts and you still can’t commit, it’s time to look at something I can offer you.
My Schedule Your Socials (SYS) Packages will save you time and stress, all you need to do is send me your content and images and I’ll get them scheduled for you. It’s super simple, easy to set up, and with packages starting from just $30 per month it won’t break the bank 💸.
Do you still have questions about scheduling apps? Want to discuss a personalised SYS package for you and your business? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me now.