By Anna Sonnenberg.
Before you slate a spate of content for a later date, be mindful of these common mistakes.
Scheduling social media content helps boost productivity and efficiency, but automating your publishing workflow can backfire.
If you err too far on the side of automation, you risk making embarrassing gaffes—or brand-bruising blunders that can ignite a crisis.
Avoid these 10 major social media scheduling mistakes.
1. Failing to tailor posts for each platform.
If you publish the same content on each platform, your followers are likely to see—and scroll past—repetitive posts.
Mindless cross-posting also means you’ll miss out on each platform’s unique benefits and functionality. Have you ever scheduled a post for multiple channels using an Instagram-only call to action, such as “Click link in bio”? Whoops.
Tailor text for each platform. Write captions that appeal to the specific audience you’ve amassed on each channel. Craft a call to action for each platform to generate peak results.
2. Scheduling each post individually.
Rather than scheduling posts one at a time, bulk-publish your content instead.
This enables you to upload dozens of posts at once, so you can have weeks’ (or even months’) worth of content scheduled in minutes.
Just export your social media calendar as a spreadsheet, and upload it directly to your scheduling tool.
3. Publishing content just once.
Some posts should be a “one and done” deal. However, it’s wise to rerun top-performing, evergreen posts periodically.
When you schedule social media content in advance, you can easily set your top posts to republish regularly.
4. Ignoring each platform’s posting rules.
For example, rather than scheduling the same content on multiple Twitter profiles, you can retweet it from one of your brand’s other profiles instead.
If you want to schedule Twitter content in advance instead of taking the time to retweet, you can schedule similar tweets across your brand’s various Twitter profiles. Just make sure each tweet is unique.
5. Overlooking image optimization.
A blurry or poorly cropped image can ruin an otherwise excellent post, and poor visuals can sink your credibility.
6. Forgetting to leave room for timely content.
If you overstuff your content calendar, you’ll hamper your ability to respond to breaking news or other timely topics.
Publishing your regularly scheduled content during an unexpected turn of events can make your brand seem out of touch, clueless or callous.
Leave space in your weekly or monthly calendar to post about timely events.
Alternatively, you can pause your queue of posts when news breaks, and resume regularly scheduled programming once things return to normal.
7. Skipping your team’s approval process.
It’s tempting to automate a month’s worth of posts, but don’t forget about editing.
Vetting each post adds time to your workflow, but avoiding embarrassing typos or tone-deaf jokes (or worse) is well worth the extra effort.
8. Neglecting engagement.
Scheduling more social media content in advance can cause you to step back from live posting. That might mean you aren’t online quite as often, which can lead to a decline in live engagement.
Because active engagement is a key to cracking the Facebook algorithm—and winning over your audience—make sure someone is monitoring mentions, questions or feedback.
Create a schedule for monitoring engagement on each platform, and assign response times to ensure your team quickly addresses questions or issues.
9. Disregarding your social media metrics.
Instead of setting and forgetting your social media schedule, regularly review your results.
Tweak tactics, topics and timing according to what’s working—or not gaining traction. Don’t be afraid to tinker with your scheduling strategy to maximize clicks and interaction.
10. Overdoing social media automation.
Remember: Even if you can post more often on social media, that doesn’t mean you should.
If you annoy or overload your audience with stale content, what useful business results are you achieving?
Instead of shooting for an arbitrary amount of posts to fill your schedule, focus on being a useful, helpful resource for your followers.
Find a healthy cadence for your content, and don’t let automation diminish your efforts to spark genuine, productive engagement.
A version of this post first ran on the Agora Pulse blog.