Create timely tweets
Those are powerful words. It allows me to produce when I can and publish when I determine. I schedule blog posts and delay delivery time of emails (Tip: Try Boomerang for gmail) so scheduling tweets made sense to me from the first day I discovered the function.
- Talk when others are listening. Posting links at 2am just won’t see much traction.
- Prevent flooding my friends timelines. I read hundreds of blogs via RSS and I doubt anyone wants to see me share 20 items at once.
Social dashboard apps like Hootsuite and Cotweet introduced this ability but we are now seeing a new breed of apps that aim to simplify the process. Instead of requiring you to schedule each tweet you focus on creating and the schedule is predetermined.
Don’t miss the great comments below. @BufferApp responds concerning mobile updating, @tacanderson shares how he uses a combination of these 2 services, @nwbingham brings up an additional issue I failed to mention.
Buffer helps you build a queue of tweets that will be posted on a timeline that you predetermine. Set your schedule and write tweets. Easy.
- To get started visit BufferApp.com and create a free account. (They do offer pro plans that allow multiple accounts and larger buffer starting at $10 a month but for most individuals the free account will work nicely.)
- Create a schedule of the days and times you want to tweet.
- Write tweets and add to buffer.
Buffer has a nice analytics dashboard so you can judge the effectiveness of your schedule and they offer bit.ly API integration for link shortening. They also offer a number of browser extensions and bookmarklets to ease buffer creation.
2 criticisms of Buffer
- Their lack of a mobile app and or mobile web page. (Buffer if you are listening I hope I can scratch this statement very soon.)
- Buffer should remove the “Suggest an update” field it is bot-like behavior.
Timely.is is a competing solution build by the folks at Flowtown. The major difference is they tweet at the times they determine to be most effective for your account, it’s a very cool feature but personally I prefer a bit more control.
Time.ly doesn’t offer the extensions or bookmarklets like Buffer but they are worth a look.
Concluding thoughts on scheduling
Some folks don’t care for scheduling tweets. I can respect that but I find this function useful for the reasons I stated above. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
- Don’t schedule when you are unplugged – If you are going to be away for hours on end don’t tweet. If you can’t be responsive in a reasonable amount of time then you are sending the message you aren’t listening.
- Be prepared to pause – Sometimes big things happen and your scheduled tweets will look thoughtless. So when a major quake devastates a country or the President is announcing the death of a major terrorist pause your queue.
What would you add to this list? What are you thoughts on tweet scheduling?