You’ve created your buyer personas, decided on content pillars, and planned your calendar of social media posts. But how do you make use of social media scheduling to share your content with the world?

Sure, you can share each post in your social media calendar manually. For some posts this makes sense. 

But often there’s a better way. We recommend saving time and working smarter by scheduling some–not all–of your posts ahead of time. Here’s what you need to know about social media scheduling tools, and how to strike a balance that works for you.

Pros and Cons of Social Media Scheduling

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to social media scheduling. If your budget for social media is large and you have a dedicated social team, it might make sense to post manually most of the time. This gives you the flexibility to make last minute changes and reserve space for reposting trending topics of the day.

If you’re a one-person team and social media is a small part of your job, schedule away!

Regardless of the size of your team, if you’re collaborating with an influencer who is scheduling their posts, you might want to balance these with more spontaneous content.

But these are just rough guidelines, not the whole story. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of scheduling your posts.

Pros

  1. Time Management: Social Media Managers are busy. Scheduling posts ahead of time can help you make the most of the work you’ve already put in, while freeing up time for other tasks. This is especially true for managers who wear multiple hats. If you need to carve out time for other work, scheduling can free up your mental space as well.
  2. Posting at the Right Time: Maybe you’ve noticed your followers engage most with posts on Thursday afternoons, but you have regular meetings during that time and posting manually is a challenge. Or maybe you’re preparing a post for an audience in a different time zone, who are most active when you’re asleep. Whatever the reason, scheduling can give you better control over timing.
  3. More Relevant Live Posting: If you pre-schedule posts of evergreen content, you can create more time to engage on social media in real time. Depending on your industry, this might look like sharing breaking news, live-streaming an event, or joining a trending discussion.

Cons

  1. Robotic Voice: Remember that the power of social media lies in connecting people. Your customers want to feel like a real person is behind your social media, not a machine. Scheduling too many of your posts can create so much consistency that your posts feel lifeless. When you get stuck in a rut, you can lose the spontaneity and variability that give color to your content.
  2. Outdated Information and Errors: The world is always changing, and sometimes changes that happen between scheduling and posting make a difference. We’ve all seen posts from brands that come out after a major news event and suddenly seem insensitive. And sometimes the start time for an event changes, or a speaker drops out.Similarly, your social content will contain errors from time to time. Maybe there’s a typo you didn’t catch or a problem with the way Facebook generates your link. Scheduling makes it more likely that errors will stay live longer before you can fix them.
  3. Temptation to Overpost: With social media, more is not always better. Remember that you’re trying to connect with your buyer personas, not with as many people as possible. Take a look at your buyer personas and consider the scope of your business, as well as the time you can dedicate to social media. You don’t have to be present on every social media platform, and you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too many posts.

How to Choose Which Scheduling Tool to Use

So you’ve decided to schedule some of your posts, but how do you choose which scheduling tool to use? 

Let’s start with the in-app options. Some social platforms offer an option to schedule directly in the app. If you have a limited budget and a presence on only a small number of platforms, we recommend starting here. If your business is on Facebook and Instagram, for example, you can schedule posts for both in the Meta Business Suite. Schedule a few posts to see how it works for you, and monitor the results to make sure you’re meeting your goals.

If you have a larger budget and social media is a significant part of your marketing strategy, a third-party app will likely serve you better. Scheduling tools like HootSuite and Sprout Social offer a streamlined interface for managing content on social platforms. Importantly, they also offer analytics tools to help you make sure you’re meeting your KPIs and getting the ROI you want.

Many third-party scheduling tools offer a free version and an upgraded version for those who pay. If you pay, you can expect fewer limitations on things like the number of posts, and greater access to tools for analytics and reporting.

Finally, if you work at a larger company that uses a CRM such as HubSpot or Zoho, you may have the option for social media scheduling in the CRM. This is a great way to cut back on the number of apps you use and work more efficiently. Keep in mind, some CRM’s offer social tools only at the highest subscription level, so check your account to make sure scheduling is available for you.

Remember there are no hard and fast rules for scheduling social media posts. Consider your goals, the size of your team, and the tools available to you. Then test, evaluate, and adjust as needed.


Do you need help with your social media strategy? GoViral Digital has more than ten years’ experience in inbound marketing. Request a proposal to take your business to the next level.