Scheduling social media in advance is an easy and effective way to engage with customers. There are plenty of tools out there that allow you to plan and schedule your social media ahead of time, and let me tell you these tools are life-savers!
Unfortunately, with the use of automation tools, businesses run the risk of ruining their social media presence by coming across as robotic and insincere. Now more than ever, customers appreciate brands that are personable and engaging on social media, so how do you find the balance between scheduling automated social media posts and engaging your followers?
We’ve got a few Do’s and Don’ts.
Do: Schedule around holidays and events
Take a look at the calendar and see what events are coming up. Whether national holidays or the random, fun holidays that people have come up with over the years, these days are great opportunities to market and post content that relates to your business. Planning ahead to post on holidays or around sporting events will help your accounts remain relevant.
Do: Pull visuals in advance
About 20% of your brain is wired for vision, and if you add a visual to a piece of information, the ability to recall goes up to 65%. Graphics are a great way to engage with your followers, but they can take time to produce. Keep a folder of photos to include with content that you have scheduled ahead of time, but also collect images as you find them or create them. By saving photos ahead of time, you will have a collection of photos to refer back to when you are short on time but need an image.
Do: Know your audience
Customize content based on what your customers have previously liked, commented on or shared. The more relevant your posts are, the more likely your customers will continue to engage. In addition, you should be using analytics tools to take note of the best times to post on social media.
Do: Repost content
Not everyone is on or using social media the same time. If you have important information to share with your followers, don’t be afraid to post it more than once or if there is an important event, post about it a few days before and leading up to the event. Space out your posts with other content and change up your wording—you want to be authentic, not spammy.
Don’t: Forget to engage your audience
Just because you have scheduled all your content ahead of time doesn’t mean your social media work is done. Comments and questions from followers should be responded to or liked in real time to let your audience know you active on social media and engaging with them. If users have tagged your business in their posts on social media, share, retweet or regram their content to recognize them and build loyalty. Scheduled content doesn’t replace real-time content, either. It’s important to still check in and engage or post in real-time whenever you can.
Don’t: Copy the same content across all channels
Twitter has a 140-character limit, Facebook has a 63,206 character limit and LinkedIn has a 700 character limit, which means your message can be similar from channel to channel, but it should not be word for word. Customers may notice the repetition, taking away from your brand’s personal touch. Your message wording should be catered according to the channel you are using. Twitter messages should be short and concise; Facebook allows more room for information and potentially an image to increase engagement. LinkedIn messages should have a slightly more professional tone.
Don’t: Post without checking links
Whether you are posting links via RSS feeds, researching your own content to post, posting links from your website or sharing other business articles, you should always be double-checking links. Some links may be broken or lead to articles that do not accurately represent your business goals. To avoid social media flubs and a public relations disaster, always double check any links you are scheduling.
Don’t: Automate messages during inappropriate times
Once you have posted your content, you may have to go back and adjust or remove posts. For example, it may be smart to remove or pause automated posts that were scheduled during the event of a natural disaster. By being willing to potentially change or remove posts during inappropriate times will help your business social media channels seem more personal and sensitive.
Social media scheduling tools are a great way for businesses to balance their time on social media channels, but if used incorrectly, they also run the risk of ruining your presence. Your social media accounts should remind your audience that there is a real person behind the account and the brand. When automating your posts it is important to find a balance between scheduled content and real-time, as well as being aware of online etiquette. Need help with that? Drop us a line and see how our content strategy workshops or other services can help you succeed online!