Debunking the myth: Do social media scheduling tools affect reach or engagement?

Kirsty

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The short answer here is no. But for those of you who need a little more convincing, we suggest you read until to the end.

Social media scheduling can sometimes be a controversial topic. But to be honest, it really shouldn’t be. Scheduling your content in advance can help your channels to be so much more consistent in their output, and allow you to be more strategic by posting at peak times of traffic. Creating and scheduling your content in advance can even lead to better quality content.

“But surely social media needs to be reactive?” Says the man in the back

Well, of course. Social media scheduling doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be consistently logging into your social accounts to respond to comments, engage in conversations, and generally nurture your following. But while being reactive and automating your social sound like opposing concepts, they’re actually two very complimentary ways to manage your social media that can lead to an increase in follower growth, engagement, and all that other good stuff.

Social media scheduling is something that can help the busy 9-5 worker manage their social pages when it suits them, without having to drop everything they’re doing multiple times a day just to send out a tweet or push out an Instagram post. While we absolutely encourage people to be keeping their accounts active by checking in daily (at least), social media scheduling is just one extra step you can do to give your pages an extra push into the limelight.

“If it’s not true, then why do so many people believe it?” Says the lady in the corner

It’s a very good question, and there is a logical answer. Way back in 2011 Facebook confirmed that their algorithm at the time was favouring content that was posted natively. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Facebook has undergone several updates in the last 7 years, along with all of our other favourite social networks. Nowadays algorithms are more content based and completely unbiased towards content posted from a third-party source.

No seriously – there’s even research to support that scheduling or natively posting your content makes absolutely no difference when it comes to engagement or reach.

Starting to believe us now, hmm? Here’s a few quick points to keep in mind if you are going down the social media scheduling route

1) Don’t make it look automated

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with scheduling your content, but you still want your channels to appear as if there’s a person on the other side. To avoid looking too automated, make sure to vary your content and post about lots of different topics (that are still relevant to your content plan). You also need to post at times of day that seem natural, by spreading your content out across the day and not, for example, posting every hour, exactly on the hour. And finally, if you schedule any content that’s prompting a conversation with your audience; be present when it publishes so you can engage with the responses.

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2) Don’t put all your eggs in the scheduling basket

While scheduling your content comes with a whole range of benefits, it’s still important that you take care to stay up to date on relevant news, keep an eye on trending topics, and get involved wherever you can. Jumping on some ‘hot topics’ will get more eyes on your content, as well as making your posts more valuable to your existing audience. While you can predict some trending topics and schedule content in advance (such as pancake day), you can’t account for everything.

3) Reflect on performance

If you’re looking to keep your channels healthy and growing, you need to be checking in on content performance to assess which content received the most engagement and was ultimately the most successful. Many scheduling tools will be able to show you this kind of analytical information allowing you to learn and improve your content for the future.

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Just remember… if your content isn’t as successful as you might have hoped, you now know not to blame the scheduling tool.

The pros outweigh the cons do they not? If you’re looking to try your hand at a simple and intuitive scheduling tool, create your free ContentCal account today.

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