To Schedule Or Not To Schedule

Ahh yes, that old chestnut. Should you or should you not schedule social media content?

The truth is there are arguments for and against scheduling.

I used to schedule a lot. Now I don’t schedule so much. That’s because I started to feel that the noise was so overwhelming and I was just feeding it. I stopped thinking about how I could provide value and got into the mindset of ‘Ohhh no banana splits, I’ve got to get X amount of posts scheduled.’ I can tell you, in very hypocritical fashion because I am a social media marketer, that is not a strategy. It’s not sustainable and it won’t ever lead to results.

So let’s break it down to my best *strategic* advice.

Schedule… sometimes.

You can and should take advantage of social media scheduling. Realistically, when you’re a small business owner with limited time, skill and resources, it’s the only way to ensure consistency on social media.

If you are sharing content that is helpful and valuable to your community at any given point in time aka evergreen content, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t schedule it out. In fact, it’s a great time management tool.

You can schedule time into your diary once a week specifically for content creation and curation. Using this time blocking technique, you can really focus on the key messages you want to share and make sure they fit with your overall purpose for being on social media. Once your content is created, you can then schedule it to go out when your audience is most frequently online and you don’t have to worry about it again.

The key thing to note here is that while you can schedule out some of your content, that doesn’t mean your job is done and you can forget about social media.

The purpose of scheduling content is to free time. Some of this free time should be put towards your community. You should be using this time to engage with them, build conversations, listen to what they are saying and the topics they are talking about.

Remember that social is meant to be social and the true magic lies in building solid relationships. You can’t schedule or automate relationship building. That’s all natural and has to be in the moment. Ideally, you’ll make yourself present around the same time this content is going out so that you can initiate the conversation around that content as people see it.

You’ll also want to create some content on the fly, as it happens. Have fun with social media. If you embrace it and get a feel for what it’s like as a user, it will become the norm. You’ll start using up those spare few minutes in the day to chat with your community, ask questions, share advice and maybe even post the odd selfie.

So often as small business owners, we fear social media because we think ‘sales’ and ‘marketing’ and those words can be kind of scary. The reality is that when we strip it all back, social media just provides the technology for us to communication. That’s it. We’re not robots, we’re people and we like to communicate with one another.

Yes. Take advantage of social media scheduling. Use the tools you have available to make life a little bit easier. Just keep in mind WHY you are on social media and never lose touch of what it means to have those conversations with your community; to care. At end of the day, that’s what closes sales.

I truly hope that has solved the to schedule or not to schedule question. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this hot topic in the comments below. Much love from my heart to yours.

Chloë xx