Scott Stratten of UnMarketing doesn’t like scheduled tweets. He thinks they’re impersonal and pretty much the antithesis of the real-time promise that social media has for us.
For the most part, he’s absolutely correct. Scheduling tweets and then walking away from Twitter and Facebook IS a bad idea. No one wants to interact with a robot and it’s boring to read canned updates.
But there are times when scheduled tweets make sense, like when you discover a cool link in the middle of the night, have an event you’d like to remind people about and/or have USEFUL information that’s not especially timely. And because we know from Dan Zarrella that timing plays a huge role in people clicking links, posting something during high-traffic times, daily, is a good way to get your message out.
Here are three schedulers that I use and enjoy:
Yes, Hootsuite is far more than a scheduled update app. For many people running multiple accounts from different computers, Hootsuite’s functionality makes keeping track of updates easy. While scheduling ONE tweet is a snap, I recently discovered that I can publish multiple tweets up to a week in advance.
For the love of everything you stand for, be sure to follow their instructions and use the sample sheet. One guy I know really well spent hours messing with CSV files only to have Hootsuite reject them because of incorrect formatting. If you need to upload multiple updates for clients and then have a spreadsheet ready to input results, it works great.
You’ve probably seen people posting from Timely for a while. I sure have, but never bothered to check it out until last week. Timely allows you to queue up tweets, connect to bit.ly for easy tracking and even has a “suggest Tweet” feature (please use it as inspiration, rather than copy and paste).
You can set 1, 3, 5 or 9 posts per day (free version) and Timely will scan your 199 previous tweets to see when the most interaction occurs and post at the appropriate time. It does tell you when it will post next, but you can’t set a specific time.
Great for thoughts in the middle of the night or anytime you have a barrage of funny jokes that will overwhelm followers if posted all at once.
Buffer is my new favorite. It’s similar to Timely in that you can queue up tweets, but it tweets at preset times according to their own algorithm. The send times are editable and bit.ly tracking is available. Even better is that you can edit tweet times per day, so as not to waste good tweets on Saturday nights or Sunday mornings.
You can also send to Facebook, but uh, let’s rethink publishing the same content to multiple sites, m’kay?
Like Timely, it has plug-ins/bookmarklets for every browser, though it doesn’t load a new page when using them. For people like me who often forget to copy links or text, or just want to see whatever content is on my current page, Buffer’s pop-up-like box feels less intrusive (Delicious’s bookmarklet works the same way Timely’s does and it annoys me for some reason. Maybe I’m just prickly).
I’m currently using Buffer on Chrome and Timely on Safari (Chrome for biz and Safari for personal) and am happy with them both. All of the above programs offer tiered levels of service, but because I know most people are cheap and won’t pay money for such, I’ll let you figure out if paying a bit more is worth it (I pay $4.99 for Hootsuite).
Don’t let your brilliance be limited to your waking hours.
Twitter Account: @tdhurst
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