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]