You can’t be online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s impossible for you or anyone else to do, especially if you expect to run your business effectively. But, if you run an international business and you’re based in the UK, you want your customers in the US, Asia and elsewhere in Europe to see your tweets, respond to them and retweet them. You can see it’s important to learn how to schedule tweets ahead of time.
Conversely, your customers in other countries want to see updates and new information from you. If they don’t, they’ll look for another provider—something you don’t want. So, what is a good, effective business owner to do? Learn about scheduling your tweets so they are seen and acted upon at times convenient for everyone concerned!
ALSO SEE: Top Twitter Tools
Table of Contents
Should You Schedule Your Tweets?
Some social media experts shake their fingers and say you should never pre-schedule your tweets. They believe that because Twitter responds in real-time, you should as well. That’s all very well and good, but as you think of your customers in Japan, you may feel a shiver of dismay. Counting ahead, you determine when you’d be awake to send tweets in real-time.
Other social media experts hold a different position. You’re not on Twitter 24 hours a day. Nor are your customers. You should have the ability to share on Twitter even when you’re not in front of your computer, according to Razor Social. Work out when you’re on Twitter (and other social media), then do the same for your customers. If, because they are located in other countries, then yes, you will need to pre-schedule some of your tweets.
For UK-based customers, you can send tweets during your regular workday or when you or your social media person are in front of your computer screens.
Once you’ve set up a tweet schedule, you shouldn’t forget about it. Instead, you’re going to have to analyse your Twitter traffic. Look at the number of retweets you get per hour. What time of the day is this percentage the highest? The takeaway here is that if you see the highest percentage of retweets taking place at 10 AM Beijing time, then you need to keep this schedule. Your customers are seeing your tweets and responding to them, according to Kissmetrics.
Next, how many tweets should you send out per hour? On average, the fewer, the better. Kissmetrics states that if you send out between one and four tweets per hour, your customers will respond, click through and read the material you may have linked to your tweet. If you send out more than four per hour, your customers will feel overwhelmed and click away, representing a lost opportunity.
Steps to Schedule Your Tweets
Now that you know you can set up a schedule for sending out tweets ahead of time, let’s look at how to schedule tweets. You can do so directly from Twitter or use several scheduling tools. Let’s look at using Twitter for now:
Create an advertiser account. Even though you’ll now have an advertiser account, you don’t have to tweet paid ads. You can send regular tweets that allow you to keep your business and services in front of your customers worldwide. Another advantage of scheduling tweets through Twitter is that you’ll be able to post tweets with images, according to CNet.
Select a date to auto-schedule your message. As always, this should be a date in the future. It can’t be today. Select a time of the day, then whether you want the tweet to go out in the morning or the afternoon. Save, then schedule the tweet.
With this Twitter tool, you can select how many messages go out per day, the times the tweets will begin and end, and even the days of the week you want tweets to be sent. You’ll also be able to choose your time zones so that, even if it’s three in the morning for you, the tweets will go out during the working hours of your customers in other countries. No need to be awake at this hour of the morning, all to ensure that you’ve sent out a time-critical tweet!
Another Twitter service allows you to schedule tweets to go out ahead using the same set-up steps. If it isn’t running, your tweets will still go out as you originally scheduled.
Other tools do the same thing. They also allow you to add the time zones you need. Many of these services function similarly. You’ll have to choose which one to use based on the capabilities your business needs.
When you look, you’ll find six or seven websites or Twitter services that allow you to pre-schedule your business’ tweets so you can have them sent out, even when you aren’t in your office.
Benefits of Tweet Scheduling
- Elaborate on the numerous advantages of scheduling tweets, including:
- Enhanced Productivity: Schedule tweets in advance to save time, streamline content planning, and maintain a consistent posting schedule.
- Increased Engagement: Reach your audience optimally to maximize engagement, boost impressions, and foster meaningful interactions.
- Global Reach: Schedule tweets to reach a broader audience across different time zones, ensuring your content is seen and appreciated worldwide.
Step-by-Step Guide to Scheduling Tweets
- Provide a detailed, step-by-step guide on scheduling tweets using popular social media management tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social.
- Choose a Social Media Management Tool: Select a tool that aligns with your specific needs and budget, considering features, ease of use, and integration capabilities.
- Connect Your Twitter Account: Link your Twitter account to the chosen tool to grant access for scheduling and managing tweets.
- Compose Your Tweet: Craft a compelling tweet that captures attention, conveys your message, and adheres to Twitter’s character limit.
- Select the Scheduling Option: Locate the scheduling feature within the tool and choose the desired date and time for your tweet to go live.
- Review and Schedule: Preview your tweet to ensure accuracy and consistency, then finalize the scheduling process.
Advanced Tweet Scheduling Strategies
- Introduce advanced scheduling strategies to enhance your social media marketing efforts:
- Identify Optimal Posting Times: Analyze your audience’s online activity patterns to identify the times when they are most engaged, ensuring your tweets reach them effectively.
- Utilize Tweet Variations: Create slight variations of the same tweet to test different messaging approaches and optimize engagement.
- Leverage Hashtags Strategically: Employ relevant hashtags to increase tweet visibility, attract targeted audiences, and participate in trending conversations.
- Schedule Tweets with Visuals: Include eye-catching images or videos to capture attention, enhance engagement, and boost overall tweet performance.
Optimizing Tweet Scheduling for Specific Goals
- Provide tailored advice on optimizing tweet scheduling for specific social media goals:
- Increase Brand Awareness: Schedule regular tweets that showcase your brand’s voice, values, and offerings to establish a strong presence and attract new followers.
- Drive Website Traffic: Share blog posts, landing page links, and promotional content to generate clicks and direct traffic to your website.
- Promote Events and Campaigns: Schedule timely tweets to announce upcoming events, introduce new products or services, and generate buzz around your campaigns.
- Enhance Customer Engagement: Schedule tweets that encourage conversations, respond to customer inquiries and foster a loyal community around your brand.
Tools for Scheduling Tweets
Now that you’ve decided to begin scheduling your business’ tweets ahead of time, you need to know which tools will help you. Here are a few:
- Twitter. You’ll need a Twitter Ads account, which carries the scheduled tweets option. Sign up with an advertiser account, then visit ads. Twitter to get started.
- Hootsuite. Using the AutoSchedule option, you’ll easily be able to pre-schedule your tweets to go out on specific dates and times. In addition, you can choose an option to get an email when an auto-scheduled tweet has gone out.
- Buffer. Here, you’ll only be able to schedule your tweets in advance. Buffer has no free dashboard that carries all your social media accounts. If you want that, you need to pay for it.
- Tweetdeck. Similar to Hootsuite, TweetDeck acts as a social media hub. Here, you’ll have to pre-schedule individual tweets, which can be time-consuming.
- FutureTweets. This is an independent website that asks for access to your Twitter account. Once you’ve granted access, all you need to do is write out your tweet, schedule it and click on “schedule.”
- Twuffer. This web-based service is similar to Future Tweets. With this site, you can set up a record for each scheduled tweet, even creating separate tabs for sent, currently scheduled and failed tweets.
- LaterBro. This service has one difference. In LaterBro, you can schedule Facebook posts and your tweets.
- TwitTimer. The capabilities of this service are similar to the others just outlined, with one big difference. By adding your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, you’ll also be able to schedule posts relevant to your business.
- Later – Visual scheduler perfect for planning Instagram and Twitter together. The affordable Pro plan unlocks more features.
Evaluate your tweet volume, cross-platform needs, budget, and ease of use to pick the right scheduling tool.
Best Practices for Scheduled Tweets
Getting the most from scheduled tweets requires an effective strategy. Here are some proven tips:
- Mix in real-time tweets – Don’t over-schedule. Leave room to respond and post spontaneously too.
- Schedule tweets when your audience is engaged – For most tweeting at 11am-1pm and in evenings drives best results.
- Use visual content – Tweets with images, videos, GIFs, polls etc perform much better than text-only.
- Leverage trending hashtags – Monitor trends and ride timely viral hashtags while relevant.
- Retarget website visitors – Segment email lists by site visitors and target them with related tweet content.
- Analyze performance – Review tweet analytics to continuously refine scheduling approach based on top-performing content.
Consistent high-value scheduled tweets will help you gain Twitter followers, amplify your brand, and increase website traffic.
Crafting Compelling Scheduled Tweets
Applying these best practices will maximize the impact of your scheduled tweets:
- Lead with value – Offer useful tips, exclusive deals, breaking news, etc, rather than self-promotional messages.
- Ask questions – Tweets that prompt responses and opinions drive engagement.
- Use visuals – As mentioned above, embed images, charts, videos, gifs etc to catch the eye.
- Leverage emojis – Strategic emojis can make tweets stand out, convey tone, and grab attention.
- Get personal – Share company culture, behind-the-scenes, and personality-driven content. Build a connection.
- Promote calls-to-action – Drive clicks to the website, downloads, sign-ups, purchases, etc. Include UTMs to track results.
- Be responsive – Monitor mentions and reply to as many as possible in real-time despite scheduled tweets.
Some common scheduling mistakes can hurt your Twitter performance. Avoid:
- Over-scheduling – Appearing robotic will cost followers. Mix scheduled and real-time content.
- Scheduling late at night – Unless the audience is in a different timezone, schedule tweets for when users are awake and active.
- Identical repeating tweets – Vary content throughout the week. Avoid blatant duplicate messaging.
- Scheduling weeks out – Current events can quickly make old tweets irrelevant. Schedule week-by-week.
- Not optimizing for mobile – Ensure tweets look visually appealing on mobile devices where most users engage.
Monitor tweet analytics and curate your approach based on lessons learned for improving future scheduled tweets.
Schedule Tweets: Just a Few Words
Do you regularly share links in your tweets? Twitter’s Scheduled Tweets service gives you these capabilities. If you’ve found a relevant article, video or blog post you need to share, you’ll be able to do so several times a day.
Once you’ve started sending out scheduled tweets, don’t forget to test their effectiveness. By noting when a tweet was clicked on or re-tweeted, you’ll know you’ve chosen a good time for pre-scheduling.
Oops! What to do in the Face of Tragedy
When you pre-schedule tweets, you’re not thinking about how future events or tragedies can potentially affect your business or its reputation. As a case in point, the shooting at the theatre in Aurora Colorado led to the deaths and injuries of too many movie-goers. On that morning, the National Rifle Association in the U.S. had pre-scheduled a tweet to go live about nine hours after the shooting took place.
Michael Moore, a U.S. filmmaker, caught the oversight. The NRA failed to take the tweet down after the shooting. What did their tweet say? “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday? Weekend plans?” Even for a national lobbying company, this was a huge oversight that blackened its reputation.
If a tragedy occurs at the same time as one of your scheduled tweets, delete it quickly, especially if the topic is too close to the type of tragedy that has happened. Replace it with one that references what has happened, remembering the victims and their families. While business is important, it’s equally important to put business to the side momentarily.
When a tragedy touches a nation (or several countries), give those affected top priority. Once a few days have passed, you can resume your regular pre-scheduled tweets. Your customers and potential customers will notice your compassion—and they will be much more likely to choose you when they need your services. Returning to the NRA, this lobbying group has, in recent years, suffered several self-inflicted injuries to its reputation by being so strongly focused on eradicating all gun control laws.
If, instead of sticking so closely to its message, this group had shown some compassion after school, workplace and movie theatre shootings, its message may have been a little more palatable. But. . . it is tone deaf. Take a page from their book.
Schedule Tweets: FAQ:
Q: How far in advance should I schedule tweets?
A: Schedule no more than 1 week out. Current events can quickly make old tweets irrelevant. Schedule most tweets 1-3 days out.
Q: How many times per day should I post scheduled tweets?
A: 2-5 scheduled tweets per day is ideal for most accounts. Avoid scheduling more than 5 per day as you don’t want to appear spammy.
Q: Should I use hashtags in scheduled tweets?
A: Yes, use 1-2 relevant hashtags, especially more generic ones. Monitor trending hashtags and work those into scheduled tweets when appropriate.
Q: Is it better to schedule retweets or original content?
A: Focus on sharing your original, exclusive content via scheduling. Retweet others manually in real-time for authenticity.
Q: What’s the best Twitter scheduling tool for a big brand?
A: Hootsuite and Sprout Social are great for bigger brands needing robust analytics, account management, and social media integration.
Schedule Tweets: Conclusion:
Scheduling tweets is a game changer for managing Twitter efficiently. Follow the guidance in this article to select the right scheduling tool and continually refine your content strategy. Analyze tweet performance to determine optimal posting times, frequencies, and approaches. With consistent high-value scheduled content, you can build an engaged Twitter following while freeing up time to focus on other priorities.