Social Media Roundup - Scheduling social media posts: The good, the bad, and the ugly


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As more scheduling tools and dashboards are introduced into the social media environment, social media practitioners continue to debate the value of scheduling content vs. real-time posting. This Social Media Roundup takes a look at the ongoing debate about whether or not social media teams should schedule Tweets and Facebook posts.

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Social Media Roundup - Scheduling social media posts: The good, the bad, and the ugly

  1. 1. Social Media RoundupScheduling social media posts:The good, the bad, and the ugly
  2. 2. Social Media Roundup AgendaThis Social Media Roundup takes a look at the ongoing debate about whetheror not social media teams should schedule their Tweets and Facebook posts. The scheduling debate Scheduled Tweet gone wrong Scheduling tools and dashboards When shouldn’t you schedule? When should you schedule? Scheduling tips
  3. 3. Social Media RoundupThe scheduling debate As more scheduling tools and dashboards emerge in the social media environment, social media practitioners continue to debate the value of scheduling content vs. real-time posting. Proponents of social media scheduling point to its value for smaller social media teams, while opponents claim that it detracts from social media engagement and leaves social media teams exposed to potential public affairs disasters. Regardless of where an organization positions itself in the scheduling debate, it’s important to be familiar with scheduling tools and have an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of social media scheduling.
  4. 4. Social Media RoundupScheduled Tweet gone wrong Just after midnight on July 20, a man opened fire in a crowded Colorado movie theater killing 12 and wounding 58. A few hours later, a Twitter account associated with the National Rifle Association (NRA) released the Tweet on the lower left. According to Mashable (, the Tweet was posted through Hootsuite and was likely scheduled before the shooting took place. The Twitter response was quick, and the negative impact on the NRA will likely be long-lasting. This example illustrates what can happen if an organization relies too heavily on scheduling content. Several individuals responded expressing their disgust Original Tweet posted at 9:20 a.m., July 20. with the content and timing of the NRA Tweet.
  5. 5. Social Media RoundupScheduling tools and dashboards Scheduling social media content is not a new practice. In fact, there several tools designed primarily to help users schedule posts. Understanding the need for post scheduling options, Facebook recently released a function allowing users to schedule posts up to 6 months in advance. Social media dashboards like Hootsuite and TweetDeck are designed to help social media administrators schedule content thus making it easier to maintain a social media presence while not being anchored to a computer. TweetDeck is one of many social media dashboards that help social media managers track multiple social media accounts while also providing scheduling options. Dashboards also allow users to track topics, lists and mentions. For more about social media dashboards, check out this Social Media Roundup:
  6. 6. Social Media RoundupScheduling tools and dashboards  Facebook Page post scheduling allows users to schedule Page posts up to 6 months in advance by clicking on the clock icon in the lower left of the status box.  Once users schedule posts, they can view them in the activity log. To access the activity log, click on the “Edit Page” dropdown menu at the topFor more about of the Page, then selectFacebook’s schedulingoptions, check out this “Activity Log.”Social Media Roundup:
  7. 7. Social Media RoundupWhen shouldn’t you schedule? Do not schedule controversial content or breaking news. When you know your audience is going to be actively engaging, you need to be there to respond. Do not schedule posts when you know news is coming. Keep abreast of the news affecting your organization. When your command is tracking a big news story, you need to be readily available to create live posts and engage with users on the topic. When random prescheduled content appears on your social media platforms in the middle of a major news event, your organization looks out of touch and oblivious.
  8. 8. Social Media RoundupWhen should you schedule? Regardless of when you schedule posts, there are still potential risks. Deciding when to schedule and what content to schedule is up to the individual social media team. It’s often best to schedule innocuous posts that will create little debate, like images and human interest videos. It’s good to schedule posts when there are multiple administrators in order to avoid duplicative efforts. Scheduling posts also provides the opportunity to post content for a global audience. Just because you’re sleeping doesn’t mean everyone else in the world is. You’re never going to be completely safe when you schedule content, so while you’re authorized to do it, make sure that you go back to the comments in scheduled posts and engage once you have access to your social media sites.
  9. 9. Social Media RoundupScheduling tips Always know what you have scheduled and be prepared to delete scheduled posts at a moment’s notice. Scheduling is not entirely reliable. Occasionally, scheduled posts will not go up due to bugs or problems with the scheduling application. If you can’t delete a scheduled post within 10 minutes of finding out about a major news event, you should not schedule posts. Scheduling posts does not mean you are free from engaging with your audience. If you make a mistake, admit it. Sometimes a major news event will break and you won’t have time to delete a prescheduled post. If that happens, don’t be afraid to admit you’re human and apologize. Have a social media strategy and stick to it. All of your scheduled posts and Tweets should be on your social media strategy. Scheduling a post should be part of a larger strategy, not simply a tool to make life easier. If you can post live, you should. Scheduling posts just to schedule them is bad practice. If you are at a computer and you have the ability to post live, then you should post live.
  10. 10. Social Media Roundup Contact informationHave questions? Please feel free toreach out to us at the Online andSocial Media review and download past editions of theSocial Media Roundup, visit our Slideshare siteat: Social Media Roundups are authorized to bedistributed to a broader audience.8/29/2012OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRSPENTAGON