To Schedule or Not to Schedule Posts

Today’s tragic shooting at an Aurora, Colorado midnight premiere of “Dark Knight Rises” shows how pre-scheduling and/or outsourcing social media posts can have negative consequences.  Below is a screen shot of a national business who had a very ill-timed, pre-scheduled Facebook post:

Example of a pre-scheduled Facebook post gone wrong
Click to enlarge

Now, we believe that they definitely made the right call in the way they addressed the situation, up-front and honestly. BUT, the only way to avoid something like this (which can really spin out of control in a hurry) is to post LIVE. This is especially true when you link up your social media accounts together (ie. Facebook auto-posts to Twitter, which auto-posts to your LinkedIn account). Then you have a problem to solve on all 3 platforms (see below).

Twitter and Facebook pre-scheduled post example number 2
Click to enlarge

Here at Cosmetic Social Media, we prefer to post live, and from within the platform.* This means that when we make a Facebook post, we post live and while signed into Facebook (instead of using a 3rd party platform such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc.).  Prior to this past month, Facebook did not have a way to pre-schedule your posts from within their platform. You can do this now using the little clock icon (see graphic below).

Facebook Post Scheduling Icon

All this being said, there are times when pre-scheduling is a very handy tool. You might be traveling or giving a lecture and a pre-planned post can put activity on your page where there would otherwise be none. Just remember, if you do decide to pre-schedule a post, make it something benign such as a lovely quote about beauty or a “Happy Patient Quote of the Day“, so you don’t end up with a PR disaster on your hands.

*Note: We have been known to schedule a post here and there, but we do try to make it a rare exception, not the rule. 😉