Not Scheduling Social Media Posts Doesn’t Make You Authentic, It Makes You

I have often explained that social media is like a freeway. Each car flying by is content you and others are posting in their feeds. You have to have enough relevant, valuable cars (content) on the road every day outside of RT’s and shares, so that whenever your audience steps up to the side of the freeway, one of YOUR cars fly by that is inline with your proper content strategy.

I recently asked this question to my community; How many times per day do you post in social media and how many are scheduled and how many are live?

Of those using social media for marketing, I was amazed at how many proudly stated something like “I only post manually!” Over half of the people who responded to my question were basically saying that when and how many posts they infuse in their streams is directly related to whether their butt is able to be in their seat. They had no real consideration of their followers and when they were available and engaged.

Here are a few of my quotes I challenge you to ponder for a moment…

“Manually posting every single post you share on social media doesn’t make you authentic, what you do AFTER you post is what is important.”

“Digging by hand when shovels are available doesn’t make you authentic, it makes you ignorant. Social Media requires the proper tools.”

“Content leads to conversations, conversations build relationships, relationships result in ROI.”

Now let’s remove my Italian, often overly intense personality from these and dig into some points you should consider.

1) Scheduling Posts – When you schedule posts, you are not automating your social media responsibilities, you are ensuring that your streams always have relevant, valuable content that your audience will find interesting. You spend more of your social media time engaging and driving ROI, rather than manually posting content when you have time.

2) Enough Cars, All Day – Most people are not logged into social networks all day long, watching every post that comes through their feeds. No matter when they login, there should be something relevant from you that will draw them to engage.

You also need to know when your audience is most active online and be prepared during those times to engage with them. Having your content scheduled across the day gives you the time to focus on this outreach effort.

We use Tweriod to analyze our followers activity and know when they are most active.

3) Use Time Effectively – If you are spending hours per day on your social media marketing, be sure the time you are spending is on things that result in ROI (return on investment). Things like conversations, relationship building and engaging with your prospects. By scheduling content across the day, you now have more time to spend on those things that will make your social media marketing effective.

4) Post Real-time Too! – I am not saying to never post live. In fact that is a requirement. Use your time to post things that are happening right now that you shouldn’t and can’t schedule. Post things in real-time that make you human and approachable. Share the pictures you take in real-time that will spark conversations about your business. Post content you come across in real-time during the day that is relevant to your audience.

Scheduling content is not about either or, it’s about the proper mix of BOTH scheduled and live posts that get results and deliver value all day, every day to your audience.


41 thoughts on “Not Scheduling Social Media Posts Doesn’t Make You Authentic, It Makes You

  1. Reblogged this on jennifer keegin dot com and commented:
    I see these points definitely. Folks who don’t have a plan for their content aren’t being as strategic as they could be. For the average user, making sure there is good content constantly isn’t something one thinks about. But if you are trying to establish an online identity, build your reputation or if you are handling the social media for your department, organization etc. you need to consider these points.

  2. Oh boy I get to make a wave here too – on my position about this I have said for past 4 years.

    It is not an either or proposition. Quality or Quantity.

    It is BOTH! It will be such a great world when folks start examining their own prejudices and ask better questions. It is how we have those breakthrough moments.

    1. BOTH is so true. Scheduling gives you the time to a) ensure you have value in your feeds and b) be much more effective and strategic with what you post manually in real-time!

      Thanx for the support Michele!

    1. I am not a fan of FollwerWonk myself. Used to love their Tweetspinner product, but they killed it after being purchased by SEOMoz, a company that does not at all get social media.

  3. I like to have a combination of scheduled and live tweets – it’s a good mix I think. Great articles and things like that are generally scheduled but interaction with customers is all live. Customers want to see some personality and they don’t want it to seem like it’s just a robot!

  4. I agree that a mix between real and scheduled is the best plan of attack. And I agree “in theory” to post things happening right now, I don’t post things in real time “in practice” – especially when it comes to Foursquare checkins. I usually check in after I leave a place. Real time checkins give just about any creeper in the world permission to know where you are. do you let your daughter check in in real time? completely curious how the younger generations (and their parents) are handling this.

    great post, per usual, Robert! :)

    1. No she doesn’t checkin, but I do in real-time. That’s more of a function of her interest, she’s not. LOL I have no fear of creepers, but understand many do.

      Real-time posts I am referring to hear is not just checkins. I mean more like new content, human stuff and questions that drive engagement NOW.

  5. I see what you are saying and I have a question concerning scheduling posts (I’ve never done it and would like to start soon):
    Do social media pros repeat tweets throughout the day (or week or month) or are we supposed to come up with a huge amount of unique tweets daily (weekly, monthly) and spread them out so that our feed has unique relevant content in case the same followers are on multiple times?
    I guess what I’m saying is: it takes a lot of time just to find and read (for quality assurance) say, 20 articles or blog posts before I share them. Are they reusable or “done” once posted?

    1. I only reshare our own content periodically. So yes, to be effective you have to search, find, edit, schedule, hashtag and post 20 (or so) on twitter, 3-5 facebook person, 2-4 FB fanpage, 5-10 linkedin, etc.

      This is exactly why we created Bundle Post, to make that efficient and effective! watch:

  6. Great post Robert! And I obviously agree with what you’re saying. I also use Tweriod in combination with Buffer for our business Social Media. They directly integrate to set a schedule for you. I would rather use something like Bundlepost, which is a lot more robust, but we are working under some compliance restraints for content.

    I admire the social media “purists” in a way. If they have the time to sit down and manually post to each and every network every day, good on ’em! But for the majority of business owners (and humans in general), that’s not realistic. It’s a huge time suck, and spending the extra time doesn’t increase engagement in the end.

    1. I disagree on two points…

      1) Bundle Post helps with compliance and still enables you to control everything that goes out, without the time of hunting down content. Buffer or in my case (Hootsuite’s free Hootlet browser app) is great for the real-time stuff you come across during the day.

      2) If you are manually and real-time posting everything your engagement and results are missing. You are far better to have content scheduled every day and spend the time more effectively building relationships, rather than managing content!

      1. Robert, you and I actually agree on your second point there. That’s how I run my own social media, and I have seen immediate results from it, even after the first day!

        As for your first point, I definitely see the potential of Bundlepost, and we tried it out for our Twitter account for a while. The problem wasn’t finding content. Financial Services has it’s own compliance constrictions on it’s own, but we also have to filter every piece of content we post through our in-house compliance officer as well.

        So, while we have a clunky system, it allows us to add content to our buffer queue, piece by piece, as it gets approved. So you’re right, it’s better for scheduling stuff as you come across it, and I didn’t mean to say that Bundlepost and Buffer are the same thing, as they are very different. I really meant to comment on Tweriod, and how we use that, since you mentioned it in this post.

  7. You’re my new best friend, Robert. But seriously, I do appreciate your post on scheduling. There is such a stigma that still exists about “automating posts,” and I’m hoping more posts like yours well help shatter that once and for all!
    I rely on Buffer app and Triberr to help me share content. As a curator, it’s pretty much impossible to share every post I like. Scheduling helps me get the best out for my audience, and hopefully the posts will resonate with them in such a way as to make engagement possible. With the time saved by scheduling tools, I now have time to interact and engage with them.

    Great post, I really enjoyed it!

    1. Absolutely Jennifer. I suspect the “purists” have their theories, while the rest of us get results.

      Now we need to show you Bundle Post and how content management can be 80% MORE effective, efficient and profitable!

  8. I don’t think of scheduling and automating as being the same thing.

    I used to work for a TV station that programmed its Twitter feed to scrape headlines off its site and post them periodically. That, to me, is automating. The problem was that when we wanted to post updates to breaking news stories, entertainment headlines would automatically post in the stream as well. It made us look out of touch and as though we had no control over our Twitter stream.

    Scheduling allows you to be strategic and consistent.

    1. So true. They are very different things. Scheduling is strategic, automating is trying to get out of the required conscious human efforts. Great point Elizabeth!

  9. Haha, I liked the video at the bottom. It had much meaning to this post. I agree, I automate so that I can spend my time engaging in real time with people around the content I have scheduled. Also automation doesn’t mean thoughtlessness. I curate quality content that I look at but schedule it so there is always good content for people on my stream. We are on the same page. I would rather be connecting, engaging, and thanking people then posting content. Posting doesn’t build relationships, engaging does.

  10. LOVE this! Quality tweets are quality tweets. I had someone in social media once say, “You don’t schedule your tweets do you?” and because I rarely do except the occasional motivational quote, I said no. I’ve since realized that I actually NEED SM productivity tools to keep my sanity…my followers AND my family lose-out if I don’t. I think the difference in automating and scheduling needs to be discussed more often to separate the two. Thank you for this post.

  11. Love the post, love the engagement by your readers. Well done and I am always learning from Robert and his methods.

  12. As I talked in my post Scheduling is not the Enemy, not Engaging is”. I agreed 100% with this article. You need to do both, I really like @elizonthego put it, content vs conversation. As always Robert, great article.

  13. Interesting post and responses. I do not at all have a problem with scheduled posts but I do with automated posts (like Tribrr, which dilutes the ability to trust what people are sharing. I want people to share posts that are good, not that are sometimes good from other people).

    What I think needs to be said (and I haven’t found anywhere) is that both scheduled and automatic posts require a level of responsibility. When something happens that shocks the world of Twitter (the Newtown event comes to mind), scheduled/auto posts are glaringly obvious. During Newtown, my Twitter stream were unfollowing these accounts left, right, and centre. 99% of the time these posts will just fit into the flow of Twitter, but it is important to be aware of times when they will be insensitive, and to stop them.

    1. Laura, I agree in some sense here. I am totally against posting automation that directly posts content to feeds without control the what, by who and when. To my knowledge, Triberr does not automatically post, but requires a click for each post to be sent to your stream. I have been in Triberr for sometime, and nothing is sent unless I say to send it, allowing me to select content relevant to my audience.

      On the second point, I think that largely effects bigger brands. I would not and did not stop my strategy because of a tragedy occurring. Nor would I recommend or think it’s a requirement for the average marketer or brand to. Major brands with larger exposure and public reach might need to consider this possibility, when appropriate.

      I do however agree that an effective content strategy requires fluidity and conscious attention. No scheduling or automation will ever remove the required active role one should have in their feeds and content posting.

      Thanx for the awesome input!

  14. Very interesting take on scheduling vs. real time tweeting. I believe that both approaches need to be integrated. Scheduling is a great way to be more efficient with content sharing (own or third party content), while real time is more effective when the content is time sensitive and needs to be shared instantly with your followers.
    Great post,

  15. I cannot for the life of me understand why Social Media folks especially, cannot see the value of using tools to manage, spread out &/or time your social media activity, and especially to create a constant stream of shared, relevant to your brand, channel, profile etc., information & content from others especially, for you to then weave your Engagement/’Quality’/Conversation around – they are different parts of creating a 24/7, 3 dimensional, value filled, PLUS authentic, Social presence.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s