You’re a busy business owner and social media is just one of the plates that you are trying to keep spinning.

With that in mind, the idea of being able to “set and forget” your social media can be extremely appealing, and it’s something I’ve shared tips on over the years. But the game has changed in recent months and it may well be that setting and forgetting your social media is now hindering your progress.

What does it mean to set and forget?

You sit and create a whole batch of social media posts and schedule them in for the weeks ahead. This means that you can tick that job off of your packed to do list for now and move your focus onto other tasks, safe in the knowledge that your social media is taken care of for a period of time.

It’s great from a productivity perspective!

You might also find that creating and scheduling posts in batches allow you to take a more birds-eye view of your strategy and plan your posts more effectively.

There is still a place for working in this way, but social media now demands a little more…

Social Media has changed

We are in the age of Social Media 2.0 and users expect more.

We want to connect with real people, whether that be friends, family or businesses, in real time. We want to have meaningful conversations and we want to be heard.

Live broadcasting on social media introduced us to the idea that we can interact with content creators in real time. It opened up the conversation to include the people consuming the content. Really, that has been the intention of social media since the beginning, but it somehow got lost along the way.

So, going back to setting and forgetting your social media… can you create the connection that your crowd crave if your posts have been scheduled a month in advance?

When you schedule posts too far in advance it is easy to fall into broadcasting your message, as opposed to inviting conversation. What’s more, you can create a disconnect between yourself and your content. I’ve long held the belief that the energy you inject into your social media marketing has an impact on how your posts are received and have found time and time again that posts scheduled far in advance lose their impact.

Is it OK to schedule social media posts?

Now that’s absolutely not to say that you should abandon scheduling tools and post everything in real time.

Relying on posting in real time, all of the time is a recipe for inconsistency. There will inevitably be something that gets in the way of you posting when you planned to and you can begin to feel forced to create when you’re not feeling creative.

Scheduling your social media posts helps you to post consistently. It enables you to embrace inspiration as it strikes. It gives you more control over when your posts go out. So, use scheduling tools to your advantage!

But don’t to disconnect from your social media.

If you want to schedule a batch of posts and then tune out, what makes you think that your crowd won’t tune out too?

Your crowd want to connect with you, so you need to be connected to your social media and ready and willing to connect with your crowd.

It’s about finding a balance. You can, of course, schedule posts for the days ahead, but also look out for opportunities to post in real time. What’s coming up in your world that your crowd would love you to share with them?

If you’re going to ask a question or start a conversation then make sure you schedule that at a time when you’re around to engage. If your crowd are going to take the time to respond to you, you need to be there to respond back. Remember, it’s about two-way conversation.

And, even if you have posts scheduled for a particular day still take a few minutes throughout the day to check in, see how your posts are being received and respond to comments.

If you disconnect from your social media then you will be doing both your crowd and your business a disservice. Embrace the very thing that makes social media such a special and powerful tool – the ability to make meaningful connections!

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