Should You Schedule Your Social Media Posts?
Scheduling your posts on social media allows you to set a certain time to share your content, and with Pinterest being the latest platform to have joined the popular scheduling tool Buffer, we thought we’d investigate. We look into the benefits and advantages of scheduling social media posts.
The major benefit of scheduling is the large amount of time that you will save. Once you have thought of what you want to share with your audience it is easy, when you have spare time, to set up what is to be posted. It also means you won’t have to keep remembering to post regularly. Especially as updating your social media profiles constantly is very important to keep users engaged in your business.
Scheduling posts means that your audience isn’t bombarded with a bulk of your posts onto their feeds at one time. If you have a lot of posts, scheduling can allow you to use a method of sharing these with your audience every now and again instead. This could decrease the amount of people that choose to unfollow your profile as a result of you posting too much content.
Deciding on the time that your posts will be shared also means that you can take advantage of the best times to post on different platforms. This is based on the time of the day and day of the week where the engagement is likely to be the highest and the most users are online. This comes in very useful if your primary target market is based in a different time zone.
This infographic shows the best times to post on the main social media platforms (Quicksprout): http://www.quicksprout.com/2015/01/02/what-are-the-best-times-to-post-on-social-media/?display=wide
There are many online tools which can determine the best times for you to post by analysing the engagement of your audience. For example, Socialbro analyses the timelines of your followers to create a report that tells you when you should be tweeting.
Setting certain times for social media posts means that you can plan ahead for certain times of the year. This then enables you to create posts that are relevant to what is going on at that time. For instance, in the build up to an event such as Christmas, posts can be scheduled to countdown to the day.
Having interesting posts is crucial to keeping your audience engaged and visiting your social media profiles. Scheduling your social media content means that you could use this as a way of being more creative with your posts. For example, you could schedule a post to go out every certain weekday around a theme like a hashtag. Popular hashtag trends include ‘#FF’ and ‘#TBT’.
Online scheduling tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite also allow for the management of all of your social media profiles in one place. Therefore, saving time when having to log in and post through the platforms separately.
On the other hand, is scheduling really necessary for all social media content and does it have any drawbacks?
When using Buffer to schedule social media posts, a link included in this appears as a buff.ly link:
— Studio-40 (@Studio40) May 1, 2015
Could this type of link decrease user engagement if they feel less inclined to click on a link that doesn’t appear as normal? Try to test your posts with both original and shortened links included to see if there is any noticeable difference in which type gets the most engagement. You can see the click-through rate for links in tweets by using Twitter Analytics. We conducted a quick test on this and concluded that, on Facebook, there was no significant difference in the amount of engagement between direct posts and those scheduled through Buffer.
This link shortening can be turned off, however, using the buffer link means you are able to see the buffer analytics for the links included. You can then see information on things such as the number of clicks on the post.
Having automated posts means that your profile could lack real time updates and therefore a sense of company personality. Users may then be disinterested in the content on your profiles. Time-sensitive posts on topics such as news should be posted in real-time to avoid the content becoming old and irrelevant when scheduled for a later time. An example of where social media posts needed to be done in real-time to stay relevant is the news of the new royal baby. Companies such as Clarks, British Airways and Coca-Cola took advantage of the event and tweeted great content on the day:
To avoid click-baiting Facebook also prefers you to use a certain format to share links using a link preview. This then shows the user that the link is related to the post and is not spam. Therefore, by using the buff.ly link users may not be able to tell where the link will take them to and may be inclined not to click on the link.
Ideally, you should be posting to social media regularly by having a good balance between posts that are both scheduled and shared in real-time. If you would like help with posting to social media, get in touch with us.