When I am working with clients, I am often asked if they can schedule their social posts using platforms like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck etc. It is a tricky question and I guess really depends on the type of information you are hoping to share, type of engagement you are trying to promote or how large you organisation is.
As a general rule, I am quite convinced that it is vital to be as authentic as possible on social media platforms. This is even more important if you are a micro business or SME. However snazzy we become digitally or clever we are on the internet, people still buy from people. Humans are conditioned to relate to other humans and whatever service or product you are selling, your potential customers want and need to know about your company, how it ticks, what you and your staff are like, how you manage challenges etc. Social media platforms are an ideal way for you to reveal another layer of your business to an audience and this is tricky if you are totally reliant on scheduling tweets, posts, pins and so on. It is so important that you (or a trained member of staff) is on hand to continue conversation with your audience, thank them for their support, answer their queries and respond to their needs.
However, we ARE human and therefore need to impart information at times that suit customers or when we are sick, on holiday or simply away from a screen for a while. Maybe you need to announce an event, a change of schedule, that a product is back on sale or simply that the office is closed for Easter. Maybe you have a host of customers abroad and you need to engage when it’s 3am in the UK! This is when scheduling comes into its own and is hugely useful to SME’s and micros. Be warned – use them to impart information but not when you are engaging. Example: don’t ask your audience about their favourite ice cream flavour when you are not available to join the debate!
So…5 ideal times to schedule are
- To impart information e.g. the office is closed, the website is down, a product is back in the warehouse.
- To cater for overseas customers e.g. you need to say good morning or “happy Friday” to your US clients.
- When you create regular content e.g. Wedding Wednesday, Monday inspirational quote, weekly introduction of new stock. Audiences like predictability!
- To communicate regularly in an emergency e.g. your office is flooded out and you are knee deep in water – you can schedule posts to inform customers about when you will be back with them & keep them in the loop.
- Event promotion – when promoting your event it is important that your audience repeatedly sees the information about where to buy tickets, start times etc. In between you can tweet, pin and post about the everyday “stuff” in your business!
Have fun folks and balance your scheduling and live posting for a happy social life!