When you first begin using social media to promote your business, one of your first thoughts may be to use the schedule function on platforms like Facebook and Twitter so you can free up time and/or plan in advance. While the ability to set your post to go live at a later date is definitely useful if you’re out of town or taking the day off, using it regularly could be detrimental to your success. Here’s why…
Content is Likely Outdated
One of the first concerns if you’re scheduling all of your posts days in advance, is that things you reference might be outdated. This is especially true if you’re commenting on current events. Furthermore if you’re in a newsworthy niche or one with a lot of online social chatter, you may miss out on a topic with a lot of buzz.
For example perhaps you sell sportswear and want to engage with the sporting community, but because you’ve scheduled posts you might miss the chance to comment on a big news story involving a sports star that day.
Can’t Predict the Future
Likewise you can’t predict the future. Something you’ve scheduled to post in a week might not be as viable then as it is now. In some high profile instances brands have even made themselves look insensitive or stupid because they weren’t aware of certain events.
For example the day after a deadly tsunami you probably don’t want to be tweeting: “You never know when bad weather might strike, save yourself today and buy our waterproof coat.”
Can’t Take Advantage of Viral Success
There’s no better feeling that seeing one of your posts go viral, but in order to capitalize you need to be online. You could have added a link or special offer to the post, or made several new posts branching off from the original idea. By time you’re back to schedule your next round of posts the buzz may have completely died down.
Won’t be able to Respond to Data
Similarly if you only schedule your posts in advance you won’t be paying close attention to the statistics and data they produce. If you’re there in the moment you might learn something valuable about how your audience responds to certain posts and then tweak them accordingly. You might even notice a mistake such as bad image sizing. But if you’re away you will miss this opportunity, or repeat the same mistake again and again if you schedule many posts at once.
Aren’t Interacting with Users
Perhaps one of the biggest downsides of scheduling posts days in advance and then not coming back until the next scheduling session is that you aren’t going to be there to interact with your audience. Half of social media is about engaging with your followers and fans, responding to questions, conversing, and building trust.
The worst thing you can do is ignore them and make them feel like there’s no way to contact you.