When I first started out on twitter, I quickly heard about a feature within certain twitter applications (such as tweetdeck and hootsuite) where you could schedule tweets. ‘Schedule Tweets?!?!?!?’ Was my reply, why that’s the antithesis of what twitter is all about – uh hello, real-time conversations anyone?!
Then over time I became a little older, wiser and (sadly) greyer and realised that actually,there could be the odd valid use for scheduling tweets – sparingly. Below are some examples:
1. New Blog Posts – as there are only 10-20% of twitter users online at any one time and the volume of tweets is so dense (once you’re following a decent number of followers), it seems sensible to tweet about it a few times. I always get fresh comments and RT’s each time so it works for me.
So I will, I admit, schedule (on average) 3 different tweets every time I put up a new blog post – tweeters are largely creatures of habit and are either morning/afternoon/evening and/or weekend tweeters so I schedule tweets accordingly with my blog post link.
I schedule the tweets purely so my sieve of a brain doesn’t forget to post the blog post link again later in the day/the following day, not because I’m trying to spam people or become a bot!
2. Holidays – now I don’t know about you but I REALLY don’t want anyone and everyone to know when I’m away sunning myself, I kinda prefer to come home without it having been broken into.
I schedule a few fairly innocuous tweets whilst I’m away to keep up the pretence that I’m around – it’s a shame I even have to think about doing it but such is the world we live in. (whilst on this point, PLEASE don’t tweet/post about upcoming holidays, think before you tweet, remember ANYONE can see your tweets!).
3. Running Multiple Accounts – I now have 5 (!) twitter accounts: 2 accounts for Jelly (@ShropshireJelly and @UKJelly), my personal account where I do pretty much all my engaging (@JanMinihane) and 2 business accounts (@4StartersUK and a new one being launched soon).
I find as I don’t have a true split personality I can’t actively engage on all 5 all the time. The Jelly ones I do in my ‘spare time’ out of love of bringing businesses together and so for these in particular sometimes a bit of automation creeps in, usually when I find I’m RT’ing a lot of Jelly event posts I might spread them out so as not to swamp someone’s timeline.
It’s not ideal but there are only so many hours in the day, and I am but human. If anyone would like to help run the Jelly accounts then just shout …. ;-D
4. Big announcements/event promotions – say you work onsite all day with clients and you can’t get near your laptop or even your phone but you want to let everyone know about something new/exciting. You know the heaviest twitter traffic is between 8.30 and 11.30am in the UK so what do you do?? This has happened to me a few times and so yes, hands up again, I’ve scheduled the odd tweet early in a morning to go out on my behalf later in the day when I know I’ll be training or with a client.
Now before you think I’ve turned into a twitter bot, fret not – over 90% of my tweets are pure engagement (of course, what you see of that depends on who our mutual followers are) and always will be, I love the conversations I have on twitter & wouldn’t change that for the world. But I’m a busy woman, juggling a lot, so if I occasionally use the ‘schedule tweet’ function (interspersed with plenty of engagement) I can live with that!
Are you in the Yes or No camp to (the odd) scheduled tweet, would love to know what you think? If there are other circumstances when you think it’s ‘ok’ to schedule a tweet, please share it below