Time Saver? The Pros and Cons of Scheduling Social Media

blogger time management

At the time of this post publishing, I will be in the air flying from San Francisco to New York. I wrote this post on Monday, and scheduled it to go live two days earlier. I also scheduled it to go up on Twitter and Facebook.

For the past few months, I've been experimenting with scheduling. On one hand it's great, being the only one here full time, scheduling posts and social media in advance has granted flexibility I would not be able to have without the tool. On the other hand, it's not the holy grail of time management, not quite… mishaps happen, and I might not be in a place to make a correction right away. It's possible just to write off scheduling either/or success/failure, it takes evaluating the pros and cons to and weigh out what is worth trying for you.

Pros of Scheduling

  • You can create a reliable schedule for your followers. We post at 9am, 12pm and 3pm EST Monday through Friday. Readers get a sense of this rhythm and can stop by and know we have new content up. It builds consistency!
  • You can create more flexibility in your life. As the only one running the ship full time, it's impossible to keep the site going without scheduling. Unless you really are doing nothing besides blogging all day, which is basically no one, scheduling posts and social media helps you blog on your own time and still be able to show up for the rest of your life.
  • Scheduling allows for “batching” ie. getting work done faster. We've talked about the benefits of writing posts in batches, the same thing also applies to editing photos, scheduling tweets, and other thing. Batching helps you get into a flow and complete each task with complete focus. If you're not the kind of person who switches easily from verbal thinking to visual thinking, this might be a good tactic to save time.

 

Cons of Scheduling

  • It's easy to mess up. There have been more than a few times where I've scheduled a post for the wrong time or day (I'm posting on EST, but living in PST… sometimes I forget). Or got the wrong link in a social media post. Sometimes the formatting is off, or an incorrect tag. There are a million things that could go wrong, and it's quite easy to happen.
  • Looking insensitive. What if you've scheduled all your tweets and a national tragedy happens, and you haven't checked the news. Or worse, you have and you can't get to a place where you can make proper changes. An innocuous tweet can seem extremely insensitive in light of a horrible tragedy. Let's hope it doesn't happen, but it could happen.
  • Scheduling can make you look like a robot. Continually posting promotional tweets, barely replying, your Twitter feed seems robotic. I can say, yes there are days when my feed seems like a robot. It takes some trial and error to get it right for your community. But if left unchecked your engagement can go down from not engaging with your followers.

 

Is Scheduling Social Media Worth It?

To be honest, I'm working on a way to make it work. I have a baby due next month, and I don't anticipate things getting easier in the next year. So far, the pros, outweigh the cons, ie. I have downloaded apps so I can monitor what's happening all the time. I can work harder to make less mistakes, and work on my engagement strategies. All those things are flexible.

At the end of the day, I think if there is a tool to help you live a richer life, then use them. Life is too short to spend in front of the computer all day.

Do you schedule your posts and social media? How has that worked for you?

[Image Credit: Shutterstock.com]

 

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13 Responses

  1. HauteFrugalista

    First Dear Jennine: Congrats on your new baby!!! wishing you tons of health for you and your baby!
    Now, scheduling. well, I personally think its a great idea when it comes to posts because it allows you to have extra time and be efficient. You can come up with more content during a less busy time and use that for an extended period. I have 2 small children and work as a style expert so I know how hard it can be to manage too many things at once.
    I do agree with you. The problem its that things can become robotic and feeds can become boring enough that you might start loosing followers.
    its a blurry line but I think the keys are: keep scheduled content general (to avoid offending in case of tragedy or something similar), review and proof-read everything before saving it, preview the final post and read it before scheduling it, and create engaging prompts for twitter/facebook/tumblr that make it seem as if you’re writing rather than just streaming.

    xo, Dee Trillo
    http://HauteFrugalista.com

    Reply
  2. Bohmyi

    I think scheduling is a great idea for blog posts! I always schedule for my blog posts to go up at 12AM and it’s worked out wonderfully for me! However, I don’t really like the idea of scheduled tweets mainly because tweets are supposed to be spontaneous. I don’t like robotic tweets on my timeline!
    I am, however, totally for scheduling! It’s so helpful for time management and batching. x

    Reply
  3. Wear To Be

    We use Hootsuite’s free version and it gives you the opportunity to schedule pretty much anything. We haven’t used it yet here, but it seems very appealing when a team member is out on vacation and can’t tweet or FB. We use WordPress and their scheduling tool is pretty easy as well. I would love to do more scheduling for social media, and for blog posts.

    – Courtney
    http://www.weartobe.com

    Reply
  4. MJ

    I’ve been scheduling my social media for awhile now, especially on Facebook. I think the trick to it is you can’t just schedule and leave it be. I still stay on top of things on my phone (do a regular checks) so in case major news happens or something messes up, I can quickly go and fix it. I find it overall to be a great timesaver!

    Reply
  5. Mark Alexander

    Thanks for that post, Jennine. I’ve been experimenting with scheduling my social media last week. It was great and I noticed an increase in the reach of my facebook updates. I started (rather ambitiously) with 6 updates a day but quickly realised that 3 is much more realistic and tolerable number.

    I schedule my blog posts too but I can’t work out how to schedule a post that’s scheduled to be published but not published yet (I hope that makes sense).

    I think scheduling is a great and very powerful way to reach people and appear active on social media.

    Reply
  6. Eric Farr

    Well, in my case, I have put myself on a blogging schedule a little over a month ago and I’m finally getting the hang of it. I post my blog posts on Monday mornings/early afternoons. My objective is to have my post written on paper the day before (Sunday night), or at least have the outline done. I also make sure that whatever pictures I’m using are prepped and ready to be entered in as I type it out. Once I proof read it and everything is all good, I post it and then post all the info to my Facebook and Twitter pages and then I start work on my designs. I’m a fashion designer, so making deadlines and sticking to them is not so difficult, but real life can get in the way. When it does, I still try to get it up as close to the time as possible.

    Reply
  7. Ariana

    Good ideas! I like the idea of scheduled posts now I just need to organize and do a batch a posts at a time and schedule them to go out. I think its a good idea for someone like me who is so busy. Scheduling posts would be a good time saver to do other things like catch up on social media etc. I agree about tht Tweets though it would be better to do those spontaneously.

    Ariana
    Shopaholic Undercover

    Reply
  8. Ayida

    Congrats on the baby Jennine!
    I rely on scheduled posts & Tweets because the readers I target are in a different timezone and therefore 5 hours ahead of me! When I want to tweet something or put up a new post I have to realise that most of my readers/followers aren’t online. Especially since I like to work late in the evening/night: and that’s when they’re sound asleep. So I use WordPress scheduling (which is indeed easy to use) and Buffer to promote my tweets evenly spreaded
    out during the day. I use Tweriod to calculate when most of my Twitter followers are online and I’ve adjusted my posting schedule accordingly. And when I feel like. sponteanously tweeting I just do. But I just got started and I don ‘t have a massive amount of followers and a lot of free time 🙂 So right now it’s mainly because of the time difference. It is nice to have a bit of a blogging routine since it’s easy to get distracted and lost in the tons of ideas that I have.

    Reply
  9. Noha Rahhal

    First of all, a great article!

    As a fashion blogger, I publish 5 blog posts per week (I know it’s not a big number, but I have a job & other life stuff to do), so I try as much as I can to schedule the posts. Sometimes, I write up in advance and sometimes I write on the spot. But, in the future, I am aiming to schedule all the posts (on a weekly basis for a start).

    However, I do schedule FB page posts. This enables me to focus more on the blog, emails and coming up with new ideas. Since, I’m based in Egypt, things are on a roller coaster and it might seem rude or insensitive to post about fashion or lifestyle, but you know what? You can write a FB status or a tweet showing your sympathy or feelings and still go on with your posts. No matter how frustrated people might be, they usually need to see, read or know about more cheerful stuff 🙂

    Reply
  10. Meredith Crawley

    I have been scheduling my posts for months and it is a real time saver. Posts are published every night at midnight, but if I have announcements I need to make, they are also posted at midnight, but no later than 2 am. Each post is automatically connected to my Twitter, Facebook and Bloglovin accounts; so no matter how my followers keep reading the posts, it is accessible the way they want.

    I also have 9 beauty vip’s, which are writers for my blog. Their posts are also scheduled ahead of time. Every week is a different theme, occasionally there will be a month dedicated to guest posts from other bloggers who want to get their name out in the blogging world.

    For more information, check out beautyoholic.blogspot.com or contact me at beautyoholic@gmail.com

    Meredith

    Reply