ImageAs more and more small business owners take up social media marketing, applications have been developed to make that process easier. Some of those applications have features that allow you to pre-schedule your messages for various social media outlets.

There’s nothing wrong with using these pre-scheduling features as long as you don’t come to rely on them. A part of the social media marketing success for those who use it boils down to making messages personal and interacting with your audience. Marketers who do that well report the best results. If you pre-schedule all of your messages, then you’ll never interact with your audience and you’ll lose a certain amount of spontaneity.

Social media is about audience engagement. To the extent that pre-scheduling messages allows you to do that, it’s okay to pre-schedule some of your messages. I would not, however, pre-schedule all of them.

So which messages should you pre-schedule?

I’d say it’s safe to pre-schedule the following types of messages on most social media websites:

  • Recurring messages that you send out on a regular or semi-regular basis
  • Self-promotional messages for specific products or services
  • Timed promotions (so you don’t forget or get overrun with events)
  • Dated messages

In essence, anything that MUST be posted by a certain date or time can be pre-scheduled if you think you’ll forget, you might be traveling, or there is a chance the message won’t get posted. Otherwise, you should spend a few minutes each day checking in to your social media accounts.