Let’s be honest from the start: none of us has hours and hours to be spent on social media and even if we want to make our content visible and well known everywhere sometimes we simply can’t because we don’t have time (yes, even if we are SMM we have other things to do, it’s not just around getting the content out!). And that’s when the idea of having a complete automatized life comes to our mind, taking possess of us and our mind’s faculties. Let’s be serious, automatize is good but sometimes is not enough and what we think it’s a great strategy to get our content out in the world it’s simply a mess. I’m not talking about a Social Media Content Calendar but about the process of scheduling content on social media which is strictly related to having a calendar but it’s not the same thing. You can have a calendar knowing exactly what you are going to publish on your social media profiles but this doesn’t tell you how share these content! Timing depends on the individual and it’s another subject to be told separately. The social media scheduling is great but it also has its reverse of medal.
The good of social media scheduling
1. You can decide your content ahead
If you know your audience and your goals you can certainly schedule content on social media and taking advantage of the schedule you can think to something different and new. It’s a great way to give yourself time to think and find new strategies.
2. Scheduling saves time
Imagine you have to manage hundreds of profiles and company pages and imagine how much time you spend every day manually going to each social channel and profile to post content. Well, if you schedule you save your time and create a sustainable strategy for your company.
3. Scheduling allows you to reach a different audience
If you’re in Europe and you want your content read by Americas then scheduling is your only option and same happens for people in the US interested in European readers. This works very well on Twitter where you can really get a lot of traffic from different countries if you know how to schedule properly.
The bad of social media scheduling
1. You can loose the real time interaction with the outside world
If you schedule the content for the company you work for you can be entrapped in so much automation that you will loose control of your social media stream. Just take as an example what’s happened during the attacks in France: tons of social media manager all over the world were starting their week end and, after having scheduled all the content to be published on their social media profile, they were ready to leave. Well, at the end Twitter and Facebook were invaded by non sense and promotional posts while the entire audience was online just to gather news from Paris. In an ideal world the brands should find a scalable solution to avoid these problems giving the SMM the ability to go and delete all the scheduled posts. But, as you can imagine, this rarely happens because of the internal logistics behind a company! Always be mindful of tragic events and always be prepared for a change…
2. Scheduling can lead to zero interaction
Scheduling content often leads to a lack of interaction between a brand and its audience because the scheduling is not a set and forget activity. You need to monitor what people are saying, how they’re reacting to your content and, if they’re not reacting at all, why. That means you’ve scheduled and automated the process to save time but at the end of the day you still have to check what’s happening in real time or… you’re simply not a SMM.
3. You depend from third parts services
There are a lot of solutions out there to automatize your social media scheduling and some of them are absolutely amazing (Buffer or Hootsuite just to mention two of the most important). But what happens if they’ve a technical problem and all the scheduled posts get lost or not published? You’ve lost your time and also your strategy can suffer from this. Relying on third parties software is a great thing but you always have to consider the possibility of a problem from their side that you can’t control. How will you cope with it?
So, what’s the solution?
Automating your content is tempting and also useful for social media marketers but you probably will never see results you would see using an organic approach. That’s said, the only possible solution is a combination of scheduled and natural content on social media to nurture your community and your followers. Real-time posts and a careful monitoring of what happens must always be a priority in any social media strategy: do not forget your social media profiles reveal your branding strategy and tells more about you and your brand that what you think!