Social media calendars are anti-social.
Scheduling content is one of the most alienating things you do for your brand.
Before you protest, let me explain myself:
Although there are beneficial content management tools—many simplify the lives of social media managers—I don’t advise using them.
Most casual users don't schedule their personal social media content. Instead, they think of something to say, then post it (usually immediately). Or, they read something a friend has said and respond to it. The same applies to sharing posts and newsworthy content.
“Set it and forget it” hinders your ability to engage with breaking news. It lacks authenticity. Worst of all, the community-management model (scheduling posts written by people who only do customer service on social) is incredibly lazy.
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Scheduling posts mainly adds to the noise. It takes us further away from using social media to benefit our customers. It does nothing for our relationships with them.
Scheduled posts often appear on third-party platforms. They take us completely out of the interface our customers interact on. This method is like posting from an ivory tower, looking down on the ants below.
The only thing worth scheduling is an original video or audio segment that takes time to edit, upload and render. Instead of auto-posting something at 2 a.m. when your audience isn’t online, choose a more opportune moment.
Once you stop scheduling, you force yourself to be more attentive to the needs of your audience. Consider posting manually—even if it’s for just a trial period. It could make a huge difference in the way your message is received.
Tara Hunt is a digital marketing executive and principal at Truly Social Inc. A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.