Scheduling and planning social media

Posted June 13, 2012

Bailey is a semi-regular Social Media Club of Lawrence attendee. She will also aspire to semi-regularly blog about it.  If you are interested in talking about social media tools, strategies, techniques or trends (mostly in regards to business) you are welcome to attend. Meetings are regularly Wednesday mornings at 7:30. Please visit smclawrence.com for location and meeting topics. 

hootsuite

Things are rarely black and white. Other than my ability to wake up before 7am, which really never goes smoothly. Which is when I attend Social Media Club at 7:30am on Wednesdays I sit there with my coffee trying not to scowl at people (I don’t do well communicating that early). Today, like most mornings after attending SMC, I keep thinking about the topic to figure out how it is applicable to Philsquare. I knew going to the meeting today, about scheduling social media posts, I would need to figure out if scheduling is a necessary time saver. 

A couple years ago, when the early Twitter adopters in Lawrence talked about “scheduling” or planning posts, I know we scoffed at the idea. “There’s nothing authentic about that” or “but it’s not real time - how do you interact?” or “That’s not the point of it”. And those are still valid concerns today. But there are two things that put scheduling posts in an “sort of ok” gray area especially since a lot of us are doing this for business and don’t just have personal accounts anymore. 

First, is this business or personal? Unless your self is your brand (and your actively selling something) I don’t know if there’s a point to scheduling posts. So, if we’re looking at it from a business perspective, odds are, managing social media accounts isn’t the only item in your job description. So planning a schedule may be important to make sure content is being updated without having to constantly be aware of social media accounts. This is something I actually need to work on. If the organization you’re a part of is big enough to have staff/time devoted to social media, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to make a plan (or editorial calendar, like Rachel from the Lawrence Public Library talked about) about what will be shared on Twitter or Facebook. I don’t want to post the same thing on Facebook if I just tweeted it on the Twitter account so I’ll make a mental note to do it the next day. Scheduling and planning would help even though it’s mostly me creating the content. Instead of coming up with something and writing it on the fly, I think planning would give me the creative time to figure out the best use of each medium.

The second point of scheduling/planning social media is that gray area again. If I schedule a few things for the week, that doesn’t mean I’d ignore the Twitter stream or Facebook News Feed. If I did, I’d miss out on content other people are sharing or the chance to be helpful to someone who may end up needing Philsquare services or miss our on follower interaction. Mobile notifications and Hootsuite on my computer all day long make that virtually impossible. 

Scheduling as a solution to managing social media seems to be equivalent to planning and strategizing your content, not ignoring your streams after you’ve scheduled content.  

What do you think? Do you schedule content on Twitter and Facebook?