How Scheduling Your Tweets Could Be Bad For Your Brand

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In this podcast, we are talking about the dangers of automation and scheduling your Social Media updates.

photo credit: photosteve101 via photopin cc

Does it come down to just being careful or should we not schedule at all? Let me know down below! :)

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Paul Cooley
Paul Cooley is a consultant, speaker, coach, preacher & soon to be author. He is all about breaking the mold to traditional business, branding & life. Paul helps his clients define and express their core message and image through Social Media and other online platforms. He also helps people discover their passions and skills and make them profitable. Paul shares his "street smarts" training on his Rule Your Realm blog. It's time to #RuleYourRealm!
Paul Cooley
Paul Cooley
Paul Cooley
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  1. bojandjordjevic says:

    You're overreacting.

  2. Completely disagree. You can't manage life or business based on the rare circumstances. You manage it for day to day and become fluid as needed.

  3. Twitter is a different bird. It's the only network I would want to be around the clock. In order to be active around the clock you need to schedule. As you mentioned Tweets have a very short shelf life.

    My stance on Twitter is you need to be active if you want to get anything out of it. I'm not talking about tweeting every 2 minutes 24 hours a day, but a tweet every 20-60 minutes around the clock is not only acceptable, but something I would highly recommend especially if your audience is worldwide. You don't schedule and walk away for 3 days, but you don't need to have eyes on it 24/7.

    Twitter is not an in your face network, so while what happened in Connecticut is beyond tragic, seeing a company tweeting something promotional that day wouldn't have had me up in arms. I was at a Dunkin Donuts in New York City when the story broke. They didn't close the store. It doesn't work that way, whether we like it or not. If this tragedy happened 7000 miles away is it ok for US companies to send a promotional tweet or no? Where are the lines? Now if a company was sending out promotional tweets and using #sandyhook as a hashtag, that's plain disgusting, and a whole different conversation.

    • Hi Steven! I totally agree that you can never stop exposing. Once you do, business can go down hill.

      Although, it has become acceptable to most, I still have to ask if it is a smart move to announce and be known for scheduling. I know I don't engage people as much when I know they aren't really there. Like I said in the podcast, I am not saying don't do it. I am just saying think it through before you do. If the masses are doing it, I have to question it. :)

      Unfortunately, I have seen brands use tragedy to promote their products and service. I have seen it multiple times just this month. It's sad!

    • Not much to add. Steven nailed it. Combined with short shelf life of tweets and the fact that my company serves clients in Canada, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean, we really do need to have an on-line presence in other time zones. That is impossible to do without scheduling tweets or using a tool that will schedule them.

      I am a big believer in Triberr and Twitterfeed. The key is to vet what you share from other tribe members and only put bloggers you really trust on your Twitterfeed. I learned this the hard was a couple of years ago:

      Twitter and Twitterfeed: A Delicate Balance http://bit.ly/twitterfeedshock

      I did an in-depth blog series that included 2 Twitter Chats focusing on this topic in which Triberr, Paper.li and ilpostano were hosts. It seems to have had an impact on at least one major Twitter Chat host who seems to have changed his tune about Paper.li, The series was inspired by a debate I got into with him and 1 other tweep one night. Glad to see he is now a fan:

      - What's Up with Triberr & Paper.li Bashing? http://t.co/IdcDvCT1

      - 10 Tips for Using Triberr & Other Scheduled Sharing Twitter Tools
      http://t.co/PAkL15ek

      I hope ou will find this to be of some benefit

      • Hi Anne!

        How are you doing? Thanks you for your comment and resources, I will check those out for sure. The main problem I have right now with the automation is that is not what Twitter was intended for. I totally get having clients all over the place and the need to get the message out at the right times. And there are people that do that very well, but unfortunately the majority does not.

        I remember when Twitter first started and the analogy used to explain Twitter was having a conversation around the water cooler at work, or being at a networking event. At that time, it really was like that. I get times have changed, but I have a hard time saying they have all changed for the better.

        It has never been more easy to show up without being there and that is where we can lose the rawness of Twitter that once was there.

        So I do get what you are saying and agree, if you are going to use scheduling tools, it must be done delicately. Because no matter how we use Twitter, it is saying something about us to everyone else that is watching.

        Thanks again Anne. Hope you are having a great Christmas! :)

  4. Hi Paul –

    I can only speak for myself, but I'm available to respond to a tweet for as many hours I'm awake for the day. That can be 17-20 hours per day.

    I don't think the masses are necessarily doing it. I think the masses send a couple of tweets one day, are inactive the next three, and maybe a couple of more tweets a few days later. Of the now 200 million active monthly users, I think most follow this pattern. I don't see too many with even 10K tweets lifetime.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family Paul :)

    • Yeah that can be very true. I think it is probably different for everyone. And I don't doubt you make yourself available to respond at all. :)

      Have a great Christmas and New Year Steven! Let's makes 2013 the best yet! :)

  5. Kittie Walker says:

    Hmm… food for thought, but I think I come down on the side that I'm fairly comfortable scheduling.

    There are over 10,000 deaths from gun violence in the USA every year, everyone of those deserves a pause for thought so that would be 34 reasons to stop your business processes everyday for those atrocities alone.

    If there is a nationally (from the head of government) called moment of silence then I respect that. I also don't tend to gossip about tragedy. I find that tasteless and not at all respectful to the victims or their families.

    I'm firmly in the Steven Hughes camp on this one.

    As regards to scheduling itself – yes it is a useful tool to help manage your social media profiles and like any tool it must be used in the context of your wider efforts. That's where people fall down. Junk in = Junk out!

    Your podcasts are always thought provoking, keep up the great work!

    Happy holidays :)

    • Thanks Kittie! That was ultimately my goal… I am afraid so many entrepreneurs start doing things simply because everyone else is doing it.. Not the #SMrebels of coarse. :)

      Aside from the tragedy examples, there is concern that for many of the not so professionals or even misguided, that scheduling allows them to get away with Social Media without ever showing up, which causes more clutter and noise. Yes, we will always have that problem, but it does seem that it is becoming easier and easier for people now to show up and be present. We say social media is a conversational platform, but if no one is really showing up, it loses it's effectiveness. We've seen those kind of cycles on many other platforms and marketing methods.

      Anyways, just food for thought as you said.

      Keep up the great work Kittie and have a great Christmas and New Year! :)

  6. Paul- I think Kittie and Steven are on the mark with my feelings on this subject. Certainly many who are on the platforms make contextual miss-steps but, the engagement is the key. Scheduling is a great tool but how one uses it is the key…we (b2b) read all and verify that the content is in-line with our business mission or supported cause, if not then it is not in the hopper. Timing is very important to our planning keeping in mind our message is delivered and read globally.

    • I hear ya Randy! I think what you said about verifying everything that gets posted is key.

      I do think it's important that we don't have the same mentality with Twitter as we do email marketing and so one. Every platform is different, but with Twitter and Facebook it appears to be much more live. I don't know if I would want people knowing that I was scheduling if that was the case. Because then it seems to lose some of it's authenticness, don't you think? Maybe it depends on the brand's goals.

      It's funny, after chewing on this the past few days after hearing people's thoughts. I wanted to see what others might say about the topic. I actually found a blog post on one of the stories I mentioned in the podcast! Although, not everyone will agree with Scott, he nails it pretty good: http://www.unmarketing.com/2012/06/16/worst-sched

      Thanks for your comment Randy, always appreciate your insight! Have a great Christmas and New Year! :)

      • Good catch Paul. I see many who systematically use automation, those that have post/tweets sourced based on subject and not proofed but total auto sourced, it is a spotlight on what you state!

  7. I have used scheduled tweets on a moderately limited basis and, I thought, carefully (especially bearing in mind my work in the people fields). As I listened to the podcast I found that I had indeed been making mistakes. Previously I had 'noticed' some of these, but not fully. Besides, on listening to the podcast, realising that I had not been using scheduling 'mindfully', I became fully aware of some glaring errors which would have adversely affected others' perceptions of me in a way I did not intend, nor want.

    The errors I had been making were not in the worst category (such as auto sourced tweets for example), however some were significant. I liked the point that Paul highlighted about Twitter being social. Who do we know who chats after they have gone to sleep? ;-)

    • Thanks for sharing Alex! I appreciate your honesty!

      As much as I am not expecting the majority to agree with me on this, you got my main point. How will you be perceived? So I feel better! lol

      I think it is so very easy to forget to keep the Social in Social Media.

      So thank you again for your comment Alex! Let's make 2013 the best year yet! :)

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