How to Schedule Your Tweets
The Sprocket Report
While the whole point of Twitter is supposed to be real-time communication, sometimes we have to put the smartphone down and get other work done. Scheduling tweets can help you stay top-of-mind with customers when you’re busy elsewhere.
For a while you could schedule tweets right from your Twitter account, just like you do on Facebook. Some experts say you still can if you open an advertising account and register a credit card, but the details about how this works are hard to find. Fortunately, there are many third-party applications that you can use instead.
While there are advantages to paying for Hootsuite Pro, most small businesses will get plenty out of the free version, including Twitter scheduling. The dashboard is fairly simple to set up and easy to use.
- The Publisher screen shows you what you have scheduled. The free version only shows you a list of tweets, but the paid version has a nice calendar display as well.
- You can Retweet and Favorite messages from the dashboard.
- The Hootsuite dashboard also includes Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn so you can manage all those social media accounts at one time.
- Links can only be shortened to ow.ly, Hootsuite’s brand, which sort of tips people off that you’re using a scheduler.
- Click-through activity on ow.ly links is only revealed with the paid version.
- Schedule times are in five-minute increments, another hint that you’re not tweeting live.
TweetDeck has gone through many incarnations and once looked even more like Hootsuite than it does now. It was purchased by Twitter some years ago and dropped the other social media accounts it formerly handled to focus exclusively on Twitter.
- Links are shortened by Twitter as if you were tweeting straight from your account. Or go into Settings and choose to use Bit.ly, if you prefer.
- You can schedule a tweet to be sent at any minute you want which looks more like live tweeting.
- The dashboard lets you Retweet and Favorite messages.
- Analytics about your tweet activity is available from your Twitter account, but not from within TweetDeck.
Twuffer is another Twitter-only application like TweetDeck. It’s main attraction is that with such a limited dashboard you can’t get distracted by any activity. There’s nothing to set up; you just open Twuffer while logged in to your Twitter account.
- The pop-up scheduling calendar offers simple, clickable time choices which makes it quick to load your tweets and be done.
- You can use Bit.ly rather than a proprietary tool to shorten links and track click-through.
- You can’t Favorite or Retweet other people’s messages because you don’t see your stream.
- Tweets are only scheduled in five-minute increments, a tip-off that you may not be live-tweeting.
Maintaining a respectable Twitter feed helps prospective clients feel positively about your professionalism so it makes sense to post on a regular basis. Scheduling a week’s worth of tweets using one of these tools is a simple way to keep a Twitter presence with minimal effort. If even this seems like too much to squeeze into your day, give us a call. We handle social media for many clients and would be happy to help you, too!