Everybody who's anybody in social media schedules posts. It's just a fact. And whether you love it, accept it or hate it, scheduling is here to stay out of the pure expediency of having to juggle social reputation against a job and a life.
So, what's the best way to handle scheduling posts? Here are a few helpful suggestions to keep it from getting annoying for the rest of us.
Stop Filling the Day
There is a notable difference between those who schedule posts to appear all day long and those that are simple spreading out a lot of content.
If your strategy is simply to have five, ten or fifteen posts during the day, you're probably combing through sites looking for links that you may or may not even be taking the time to read. You're just filling up space — and with half a billion tweets a day, let me assure you we don't need the space filled.
However, if you really do have things to say and interesting links to share, by all means spread it out. We don't need you to clump up your posts either, and frankly we appreciate having time to react to each separate statement.
The difference comes down to whether you are piling it on or spreading it out. Scheduling needs to be a service to your readers, not a tool for making sure you are seen during each and every hour of the day to maintain your Klout score.
Schedule To Be Present
Spreading out your posts is all fine and good. But please also make sure you are scheduling these posts with a mind toward when you will be available to interact with the comments and conversations that may result.
This suggestion also applies to cross posting to multiple networks. If you aren’t around to interact with a post when it happens, you break the illusion of spontaneity and you reduce the value of being on social media in the first place.
Set alarms. Plan for breaks. Do whatever is necessary to only schedule posts that coincide with you or a team member’s availability.
Meet Your Audience Halfway
A lot has been written about dayparting social posts. This is the practice of choosing a timeframe for content to appear that most closely matches the time of day that the content’s audience will be available. Buddy Media’s report from last year offers some good advice on this subject.
It is less important to schedule hourly or some other evenly spaced posting plan, than it is to think about when your audience is available to read. Are they consistent lunchtime audience? Are evenings after 9p usually best?
Think logically about your posting timeframes. It’s a lot like media buying. If you do your research, you’ll always find the slots that make the most sense for your audience.