To Auto-Publish or Not to Auto-Publish on Social Media. That Is the Question

October 31, 2014 Jacquelyn Beckner

181633505Should you schedule posts or post organically? We have this conversation about once a month in our office.

There are pros and cons for both, and ultimately we always end at the same point. Scheduling works, but there needs to be a balance.

Confession: My name is Jacquelyn and I used to be an auto-poster

Let me clarify, the pre-NOWMG Jacquelyn was an auto-poster. I’ve seen the error of my ways. We’ve all seen them, you can spot an auto-poster a mile away.

You load up your HubSpot, HootSuite, or Twitterfeed with RSS feeds from influencers you follow and posts you’ve scheduled, then wash your hands of it for a month. Granted your messages are being shared, but at what cost? 

You have turned yourself and potentially your client into a robot. Robots can be pretty cool, but there’s a time and place; within “SOCIAL” platforms, being a robot isn’t very social, is it?

Social Platforms Are Just That: Social

Can you engage with your audience if you are solely scheduling or using a feed to post for you? Nope. Here’s where the balance comes in.

Don’t be afraid to schedule your industry news and tap into RSS feeds of those influencers you love; balance the scheduled messages with posts, stories and blog articles which will humanize you again.

Relatable stories and posts which show your interests, your culture and your brand. Start liking, and commenting on those articles and posts shared by your followers and your clients. By engaging with them on social platforms you are opening the door to strengthen your relationships.

And really, isn’t doing business all about relationships. I’ve quoted him before - actually it’s listed on my business card, but I think Zig Ziglar said it best “If people like you, they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” Developing relationships by engaging others and positioning yourself as a thought leader will build that trust level. Can you build trust with a robot? Nope.

Ok, so if Engagement is Key, Why Should I Bother to Schedule My Posts? 

Good question. It’s recommended to post to Facebook at least once or twice a day. LinkedIn a couple times a week and Twitter - well, that’s it’s own animal. It’s recommended to post to Twitter at least once an hour! I personally do not have time to be posting that often to keep myself and my clients relevant.

This is where the scheduling tools can be super handy. I like to work a month out for my clients. I’ll use industry associations to curate content, add in some humanizing photos reflecting company culture, blog posts to establish my client as the experts they are within their fields and a couple calls to action directing the audience to download some whitepapers or tips to help them within their business.

Then the magic happens. It’s time to schedule. The key to making this all work is scheduling your posts based on when your audience is on the specific platforms. For example, one of my clients’ primary audience is the working professional who is returning to school for their advanced degree.

Checking out Facebook’s analytics, Facebook tells me their audience is primarily online in the evening. So I’m not going to schedule my posts for the morning. I’ll schedule for late afternoon or evening so my client's messages aren't buried under a day’s worth of other content shared in their newsfeed.

After you’ve scheduled be sure to take time each day, log into your platforms and start engaging. Just because you’ve already schedule a post for the day, doesn’t mean you can’t also share an interesting article your client came across or really creative blog feature your client’s key prospect shared within their LinkedIn group. (see what I did there… by engaging a prospect, it landed my client on their radar!)

Share away. Social platforms are watching, the more engagement you are doing online - the more you are liking, commenting and sharing content, - the higher social platforms will rank you within their influencer levels. Really who doesn’t want to be influential? Can a robot be influential? Nope.

So, What to Do?

When it comes down to it, “to schedule or NOT to schedule” really isn’t the question. The REAL question is how strong is your balance? Are you a "schedule and forget it" kind of person, or are you scheduling and still engaging your audiences? Make the most of both and become that influencer we both know you are!

This post originally appeared on NOW Marketing Group's blog. NOW Marketing Group is a HubSpot Partner located in Elida, Ohio.

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