Social Media, Twitter

What is Your View on Scheduled Tweets?

What is Your View on Scheduled Tweets?

When it comes to social media, I think there are a lot of ways to do it successfully, while also making sure you stay true to your identity outside of the virtual world.  As such, there are many ways to make your life, online and off-line, easier.

I recently wrote a piece about balancing life and your social networks.  In that post, I expressed my view on how to share my tweets with people in different time zones and keep my life balanced using automation.  Ultimately, I have come to realize that I can be unplugged from the social media sphere when I am out in the world, living my life.

Originally, I was very against scheduling or automating anything.  I felt it was robotic to automate my time on Twitter, but after reading @2morrowknight ‘s post, “My Support of Blogger Aaron Lee’s “Scheduled Tweets,” I realized that as we curate the content on our pages, an automation  strategy doesn’t necessarily categorize you as a robot.  I read my content and stay selective about what is scheduled on my Twitter stream.  I am the curator of my social media pages and read everything before sharing it.  Additionally, I only schedule tweets on Twitter and do not automate other social media accounts.

On an average day, I may receive anywhere between 500 – 1000 replies and re-tweets.  I don’t want to “tweet bomb” my stream, so it works for me to schedule my tweets throughout the day.  Nonetheless, I do hop in here and there to say “hi” or respond to questions.

I like to reciprocate and share the content of bloggers who have been generous with me.  If the individual is not a blogger, I like to include something from their Twitter page.  By scheduling my tweets, I can effectively space-out content throughout the day.

Ask yourself this question:  If you are against scheduled tweets and someone is kind enough to stream your tweets on a weekly basis, would you really have a problem with this arrangement?  I wouldn’t, but I also think it’s a personal preference.  I just know that this strategy has been working a long time for me.  I am able to meet new Twitter friends and introduce a new person or two to the stream every day.

Someone asked me if I truly feel that scheduled tweets are engaging.  Ideally, I would love to respond to my friends immediately but it’s not always realistic.  Sometimes I respond to my messages quickly, other times it takes me a few hours to get around to it.  I do know that people seem to appreciate that I respond to them.

It’s important to remember that social media is fast-paced, so I try to stay flexible in my response time.  Sometimes you have to consider a person’s following when thinking about response time.  The more followers they have…the more time they probably need to get back to you.

Therefore, it’s good to give your page a break every now and then.  Some “down time” with your audience is healthy.


09 April 2012

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74 Comments so far

  1. I would think scheduling would be so helpful with the amount of work you do in this area. I have used some of these schedulers. Which do you rely on and trust and what version do you use?
    Thanks for your insights in this area.

  2. David Specht says:

    I generally schedule “helpful” tweets. (i.e. my blog posts, other blog posts, etc.) and then “Live Tweet” things throughout the day. I try not to “blow up” peoples’ twitter feed though. Striking a balance is key, and sometimes very challenging.

  3. Geraldine says:

    When I first started using Twitter (not too long ago), I had trouble deciding what to tweet. Sometimes I’d get ideas or read articles I wanted to share but didn’t do so because it was too late. Then, the next day I’d forget. Scheduling tweets helped appear active until I got the hang of Twitter. I’ve introduced a few classmates to scheduling and they’ve found it very helpful.

    I do think scheduled tweets should blend in with the rest of your tweets. No one wants to feel like they’re interacting with a computer because that defeats the purpose of Twitter.

    Also, I avoid repeating tweets because I think it’s annoying and impersonal. Some people on my timeline repeat the same tweets constantly and the only reason I don’t unfollow them is because aside from that “flaw,” they often offer valuable content.

  4. Matt says:

    My sentiments exactly. Some of my tweets from 2am are the most shared. Great post.

  5. Flavio says:

    I have always looked at scheduling as being the same as personal tweets. Ultimately it is just me sending something at a different time and this does not affect the input as it is me who has thought about the content and tapped it in. It just comes out at a different time.

    Sometimes if I don’t want to schedule tweets I prepare them late in the eve, paste them into an app such as springpad and then copy paste them into twitter when I have time during peak hours. This is the closest I can get to a tweet being real time without being glued to the screen all day long.

  6. Jan Deelstra says:

    Thanks for posting this informative content. Until now, I had no idea that I could schedule tweets. And the truth is, I really hate having the flood of tweets and then nothing. Tweeting from in the Pacific time zone does warrant some sort of ‘equilizer’ I’m thinking. Thanks again. ~Nicely done.

    • Ann says:

      Hi Jan,

      This is an old post that I often re-post, and I find that people find this post very useful. Glad to help.

      Ann

  7. Chris says:

    Ann

    Interesting discussion, I agree with you, scheduled tweets are ok, particularly if people who respond get personal replies to points or questions they raise.
    What I don’t like is people that employ someone to respond on their behalf, if I ask you a question and you’re to busy to reply, that’s ok, but I don’t like replies from someone passing themselves off as you. If I wanted to talk to them I would tweet them …
    It’s different if your tweeting a corporation because then obviously differnt people will respond, but if it’s a peronal twitter address I think it should be the owner.
    Am I being unreasonable?

    @Chrischanner1

  8. You know, I use to feel the same way…scheduled posts were fake. They wouldn’t connect with people in the same way.
    But here’s what I’ve learned about it as time has gone on.
    Keeping your account social daily is important. Just like teachers make lesson plans, it’s important to plan out your day and the direction it’s going. When I schedule posts, I get to take time to see where I as a business am going for the day. It helps me, and it keeps my account current.
    2. I can respond right away, RT others, and interact easily now. It’s much easier to interact when I’m not worried about what content i’m going to write. I take it with me on the phone and I can respond when needed right away.

    I love this post…mostly because I think so many have a bad taste in their mouth. I am actually more personable now on my account then I ever was before.

  9. I just might I might be the biggest dope of all on this topic… I do schedule tweets, but I only schedule them during my “awake” hours. Ann is absolutely right when she says scheduling is a great way to spread out content. 99% of my tweets are original quotes but I might write 6 or 7 at a time and then schedule them to go out through the day. I schedule between 7:00am and 8:00pm so I can respond in a reasonable amount of time. I am not on Twitter all day but like Ann I pop in and out several times a day. I also get several hundred RT’s a day and post several “random” thank yous throughout the day. It’s what works for me.

    Social Media experts tell me my “methods” are the worst, that I could greatly expand my “reach” if I would tweet around the clock. These same experts seems a little disappointed that I don’t seem to care much about reach. :)

    Twitter is kind of a personal experience, my own recommendation is to do what feels right to you. I can’t imagine anyone with over 20,000 followers NOT using some kind of automation, I just don’t think it’s possible.

    I would also suggest we not be too hard on those that schedule their tweets, I’d rather see them than not, and I can certainly appreciate the need to have a life outside of Twitter.

    • Ann says:

      Hi Steve,

      I agree with you and thank you for stopping by. It makes social media easier to manage when we can schedule our tweets. I try to monitor my page closely and respond to many people as possible.

      Best,
      Ann

  10. I completely agree with your ideas in this post, Ann and I use the same system for scheduling. I find that if I don’t schedule my responses out, I will flood the stream with a bunch of thank you’s and replies that are better if spaced out a bit. Personally, I don’t think automation is bad, I think it is smart. ;)

  11. Dawna Jones says:

    You have given me something to think about,especially since im trying to increase the foot traffic to my website.
    Thank you interesting piece.
    DawnaJones.

  12. Vaughn Dumas says:

    Hi Ann,

    I like to buffer my tweets. I use SocialBro to see when my followers are online and then setup BufferApp with those times. Then, when on a site I want to share I just add it to the buffer stream. This way my followers don’t get a whole stream of posts at once.

    I’ve set my buffers to post on the hour to Twitter and on the half-hour to LI.

  13. akib patta says:

    I have no opinion on the topic, but I’m very respect to you how you can response to the most of all your followers, including to me. Some of your post I put them as my favorites

    .

    • Ann says:

      Hi Akib,

      Thank you so much for the positive feed back. It’s a balance and it’s harder when I am on travel.

      Best,
      -Ann

  14. Great post Ann :) Personally, I love scheduled tweets. If I didn’t have this option I would miss so much. You see I deal with a global market. My clients are in US, EU, AU, and now most recently Asia. It’s really the only way I can stay in touch.

    Granted I’m not personally on 24 hours a day, but there are times (like today) when I’m up early and can catch up with some real time discussions. Most of the time, I’m able to look through my mentions on Hootsuite in order to continue the discussion.

    As a matter of fact I even created a video for our readers in order to create a campaign using Hootsuite while scheduling their message. I would drop the link in here, but wanted your permission before doing so.

  15. While I understand the practical need and (entirely justified) reasoning behind automated tweets for some people (like you, Ann) I still have mixed feelings about this issue. The problem I have with automation is that in a way, it misses the point and opportunity of social media: to see what happens when you swing your fishing line out, using your instincts to guide your timing. In other words, the power of the kismet. Who will you cross paths with this time? Who will be online looking at their stream in the moment you tweet? Who are you meant to connect with? I absolutely adore this element of social networking — like being at a really interesting cocktail party and “working the room” intuitively. Automation misses the boat entirely.

  16. Kimbundance says:

    Scheduled tweets are great. But my opinon is to add your pesonal touch to scheduled tweets as well.

  17. Deepak GUpta says:

    Hi,

    Ann, I have been doing tweets scheduling for a long time. It helps me stay live on twitter even when I am sleeping. This has helped me get 25000 followers and i am trying to get as much as i can. If possible I want to have followers like you.

    Can you please follow me – @CoolAdorable

  18. Paula Carnell says:

    Great articles thanks, but how do you schedule tweets? Appreciate guidance on twitter apps for iPod or MacBook thank you! :)

    • Ann says:

      Hi Paula,

      I use HootSuite and TweetDeck to schedule my tweets. I am not familiar with Twitter apps for iPod or MacBook, you may want to Google it.

      –Ann

  19. geekbabe says:

    Ann, I used to be against scheduled tweets because I didn’t understand the difference between “automated” & “scheduled” then I started gaining international friends, the only way to connect with these lovely people is via scheduled content.My scheduled stuff is put together with great thought & care. Nothing automated about it:)

  20. Jacqueline says:

    Hi, Ann. :)

    I love that you shared about scheduling tweets, as so many look up to you as a role model on Twitter.
    As a single mom, solo entrepreneur, photographer, artist, and author, I was having a hard time keeping up with Twitter for a while. I resisted scheduling for a long time. When I finally started using Socialoomph it was a huge relief. The best thing has been that I can actually engage people more now, and that’s the most rewarding thing about Twitter…connecting.
    I do know some people who schedule tweets and never show up in person. To me, that’s like putting up billboards. I tune them out because it’s the same thing over and over again and I know they will not respond if I talk to them.
    If you’re going to schedule posts, also schedule time to show up. I’m usually live on Twitter in the afternoon and evening, popping in and out between “real life” activities. If I didn’t have that time to connect with people, Twitter wouldn’t be worthwhile.

  21. Raf Kiss says:

    Hi Ann, I happened to come across the tweet that led me to this post this morning at 5 am. Maybe you already tweeted the same link a few hours earlier and I didn’t see that one. Bottom line: in order to reach more people, you need to tweet about one subject (like a blog post) over and over again, as long as you feel the content is relevant. Kind of like the commercials during TV or radio shows (but those are generally uninteresting and boring of course. :)) Scheduling/automating my core tweets gives me a lot of extra time to engage with, and retweet other people in real time and read good content (like this post :)). Like you mentioned to one of the commentators here: It will work for some and won’t for others. I think it works for me.
    Thanks for sharing.

  22. GabrielleNYC says:

    Always a tricky one. I do Schedule tweets on occasion, normally when something is “timezone dependent” ie: A link about something in LA but it’s 4am there. I set up the link to go out when people are awake.I try to do this as little as possible though.

    G

  23. Brandon says:

    I certainly do not think that automating some tweets is an issue. Now, programs/services like Triberr, I struggle with some. I get the ‘trust’ factor, but everyone writes crap occasionally.

    I think if you are there when you can be and realistic always, you should be good to go.

  24. Greg says:

    I schedule my Tweets because I know that there is a limited window of opportunity to catch someone’s eye. If I am one of 5,000 followers, what is the chance that person will see my one tweet at 11:15?

    If it were a social interaction, my response time would be quicker as I receive updates on my phone. So I can keep my interactions real when needed

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ann.

  25. Interesting! I schedule some of my tweets too. I can’t be on Twitter all day long and I tend to schedule so it goes to most networks at once. I wouldn’t have the time otherwise, plus I often see many articles I want to share. I don’t think my followers would like it if I dropped them all in one go.
    A question of balance.

  26. I just got a text from my son yesterday “ma, you need to learn how to schedule your tweets” I have been opposed in that I am so new to twitter I want to know what people are tweeting about, follow great content and keep update in my own learning curve. As I gain a better handle on social media, I can see the value, and the manner in which to be auto-tweeting. This is a great write up about just how to affectively do this. I am working on balance of time in social media and time away. Elizabeth

    • Ann says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I am glad that this article helped. I would not recommend scheduling tweets when you are just starting out in social media. Build your relationships and observe first and lots of reciprocating before scheduling your social media accounts.

      Ann

  27. David Cohen says:

    Scheduled tweets is a lazy way to communicate with your followers. When you want to contact a phone, colleague, or client, do you pre-record a message and robo-call them with it?

    I don’t have a whole lot of Twitter followers (2,900) but scheduled tweets are easy to spot and they look and feel disingenuous. And they are generally ignored.

    • Ann says:

      Hi David,

      Scheduling tweets work for some and may not work for others. I hand select my scheduled tweets. This takes work and it’s a great way to spread out the content. Thank you for the feedback.

      Ann

    • S Emerson says:

      I would have to agree with David. I spend a good amount of time on Twitter throughout the day and it’s pretty obvious who auto tweets and who doesn’t.

      Also, people don’t use anything to keep track of/notice when someone has a reply, comment or retweets for them. This is obvious also because they don’t take a moment to say thanks or answer the reply/comment.

      Yes it’s a bit annoying when someone “arrives” back to Twitter and posts a bunch of thanks in a row. The solution would be to spread your time out over the day and deal with the replies and acknowledgements as they come in (or close to).

  28. Kathy Meyer says:

    As I had mentioned in my guest post on The Top 10 Blog, I see nothing wrong with wanting to extend my reach to other parts of the world in different time zones. Like you, it’s a way to reciprocate generous retweets and span it across the day rather than flood my stream. I have to chuckle when I get messages like…”wow, don’t you ever sleep!” (Guess the secret’s out!!) This year has been extremely busier than usual so I’m trying to find the right “balance” for me. I know I’ll get there… :)

    • Ann says:

      Hi Kathy,

      Yes, the secret is out of the bag for you and me on scheduled tweets. Good to see you here. ツ

      ❤Ann

  29. Paul Steele says:

    Always an issue to many and great to see some well thought responses. Cheers Ann. For me? I can see how scheduling helps but kept to a real minimum. Big difference in my opinion to a few scheduled tweets from someone you know is real and there a lot compared to when someones twitter stream is full of tribber, rss, buffer etc and they depend on that for more than 50% of their feed. That puts me off personally. However, the beauty is though that Twitter is all things to all people and if they wish to do that so much then who am I to say :D

    • Ann says:

      Hey Paul!

      I agree with you about the percentage on scheduled tweets. Good to see you and thank you for sharing. ツ

      Ann

    • geekbabe says:

      Hi Paul, I don’t use triber, any link I share on twitter has been read by me, most times I’ve also left a comment on the content. If it’s good enough to share it’s good enough to comment on as well.

      At any rate personally vetting content you want to share is crucial IMHO.

  30. Denise says:

    i schedule my tweets and retweets to spread across different hours that most people are on twitter! I tend to read at night so tweeting at 11 PM wouldn’t have the majority of followers in the stream. Scheduling for the next morning or afternoon means more people will see. Plus, if retweeting will mean a post from day before gets more exposure that say just one day.

  31. John Paul says:

    For me it doesn’t matter how the tweet gets on Twitter, by hand real time or scheduled. What does matter is whether you are there to follow up and engage any conversation that that tweet brings in.

    As long as YOU are there real time, it doesn’t matter if your tweet is too.

  32. @kaicongroup says:

    Absolutely agree. Especially if you have imporatant announcements that you want your audience to be aware of ahead of time, I do not see why scheduling is not part of that strategy. It leaves you more time to be engaging in between time. But, I must add, that you don’t want to come across as not being personal in your tweets either. Read over it and use the right voice for the audience you want to reach. Thanks for sharing this post.

  33. binreminded says:

    I schedule tweets with binreminded.com [my own product] because the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Imagine if an artist could only describe a painting he was planning but you couldn’t see it.

    I’m always surprised when I read investors say Buffer or Hootsuite etc are great. When you check their timeline they’ve never used it or don’t afterwards.

    p.s. binreminded.com is a tweet scheduler just in case you missed the point.

  34. We have had many conversations about Social Media strategy and optimization. I think there are as many ways to do social media as there are people, brands and products.
    Since no two people are alike. No two strategies should be alike.
    I compare my personal social media usage to that of a TV/Radio station or any website.
    We keep going back to those for good content. There is a reason you have over 300,000 and are consistently ranked one of the top social media personalities in the world: its YOU. The things you chose to share your audience have drawn people into your world. They watch/subscribe/view/listen to you as they would their favorite program.
    I know for sure that you keep me TWuning in! xo

  35. I find that a lot of my ideas for tweets come at the wrong moments. Scheduling tweets when I make a 2am discovery just makes sense to me! I try to not over-use it though to avoid the ‘robotic’ feel.

    Best example of the worst, famous robotic tweeter: Guy Kawasaki.

  36. If it weren’t for scheduled tweets, my presence on Twitter would be seriously lame.

    I recently discovered Buffer App and it has changed the way I tweet. I know this sounds like an infomercial, but it’s true! Being able to batch process my blog reading and RTs has made it possible for me to share so much more. It just wasn’t realistic for me to send individual tweets in real time.

    Interestingly, although I schedule a set of “core,” content-based tweets via BufferApp, I’ve found that since I began doing that, I’m actually doing MORE real-time, manual tweeting as well. With the “burden” of getting those core tweets lifted, I have time to go into Twitter and engage more personally with other Twitter folk. It’s been a win-win!

  37. Sunil Jain says:

    Hello Ann :)

    You just came up with the right topic on right time. Recently when I had a tweetup with few of Indian tweeps, they had asked me “You Schedule Tweets a lot, Don’t you think that’s very unfriendly way of Tweeting?? ”

    All I had to say them is I do interact with everyone time to time and meanwhile schedule tweets in between.

    As you’ve said there must be a page break, I agree with you completely.

    Happy Tweeting :D

  38. Sneha says:

    Yet another good post :)
    In the beginning I was not scheduling my tweets but with time I have realized that followers are from different timezone and no one is going to come to my profile to check what did I tweet. Along with that I saw that there is a specific slot of time when the followers are most active and I need my tweets to reach them during that time slot..buffer helps me to do that..
    So scheduling tweets is important according to me.

  39. The idea of scheduling does sound and is robotic. However, I am not against it for a few simple reasons: First, I think the key is for you to stay on message and true to your followers because they pay particular attention to certain people. It matters when the posting is derived from your finger tips rather than a Calendar for the personal nature of everything is always great. Second, I do understand some people have become so successful on Social Media that manageability has become tricky to stay on message. I personally would not schedule at this time as I am in the process of building an identity and because I want the full personal reward one feels after building a community of followers which comes from knowing you built it, one string at a time, and with your own interacting finger tips. And I think people may loose a bit of interest if scheduling becomes too popular. Nonetheless, the case for is it’s better to have you interacting at some level than not at all because you are too busy to manage.

    Regards
    Emerson

    • Ann says:

      Hi Emerson,

      If you are just starting out on Twitter, I wouldn’t recommend it. I did not start scheduling my tweets until almost into my second year. Thank you for sharing.

      Ann

  40. A.R.Karthick says:

    Ann, everyone might have a different opinion on this issue. But I’m with you on this one. No one wants to fill their and their friends Twitter streams in quick time. So scheduling tweets is a better option and it’s the only viable choice for any entrepreneur/biz people, employees and students. Critical post. Thank you for sharing your view with us.

    • A.R.Karthick says:

      Having said that, one shouldn’t forget to engage with their friends/followers whenever possible, particularly to the individual @ mentions. I never failed to answer those.

    • Ann says:

      Hi A.R.

      It’s funny that it’s still a hot topic after all these years on Twitter ツ Thank you for sharing.

      Ann

  41. I couldn’t agree more with you and Sean on this issue. Social media is global and most people have built relationships with people from all over the world. In order to reach everyone, some automation is a necessity.

    I think curation is key and scheduling tools do help tremendously to spread out posts across timezones.

    Great post Ann!!!

    • Ann says:

      Hi Marty,

      Yes, it is all in the content and reciprocating within your scheduled tweets. Thank you for stopping by and sharing with us.

      Ann

  42. This is a great post Ann! It is always a balance for me. ;)

  43. Well done! This is a non-issue with me. You have to reach out to new people, and expand your online brand. On top of that, if you have ambitions that go beyond the borders of your country, or your continent, how do you respond to people on the other side of the planet? Stay up at all times of the day? That’s not possible.

    If you’re a college student or small business owner, you can’t be online all of the time. Scheduled tweets should be apart of a strategy. And you clearly have one.

    Another great post Ann.

    ~2K

    • I’ve generally always been against automating and scheduling as I felt that it took away the ‘personal’ touch but after reading your interesting post Ann and Sean’s comment, it may be time to change my opinion.

      I tend to hop in and out of Twitter so my Tweets aren’t very well spread and I would therefore guess that I’m sharing with the same people most of the time and missing many in my community.

      So I’m willing to change and give it a try. I still think it’s vital though to actually read the content you share as you are effectively endorsing it and to draw a clear distinction between scheduling and automating.

      Many thanks for yet another thoughtful post Ann :-)_

    • Ann says:

      Hi Sean,

      It’s interesting to see the feedback on this topic. ツ Thank you for your contribution to this post.

      Ann


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