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Applications for scheduled tweeting: time-saving tools or a marketing faux-pas?

We’ve recently read an interesting blog on the topic of social media algorithms and whether they are necessary in the face of common sense: http://bit.ly/ODF5yP

While there are undoubtedly benefits of utilising applications for scheduling tweets, we at Harvey & Hugo personally don’t agree with them for reasons we’ll outline below.

Firstly, why scheduling tweets can be seen as beneficial

One of the main reasons that Twitter users give for using automated tweets is that it saves time while they get on with other things. At the start of a working day, they can write out a handful of generic tweets and then schedule them to go out a certain times during the day, while they take care of other jobs.

Secondly, as blogger Charles Dearing states in his article – 5 Twitter Tools for Scheduling Tweets in Advance – automated tweet applications enable individuals and companies to maintain a constant online presence whilst they are away from their desks and computers. Dearing also stresses that such Twitter tools allow you and your business to be more accessible to followers, and even to reach global followers in their own time zones.

This may all be well and good; but each of these benefits can also lead to serious disadvantages.

The disadvantages of scheduled tweeting

As a pro-active team, we at Harvey & Hugo disagree with the use of scheduled tweeting so that business owners and other individuals can carry on with other work. This can cost you dearly in followers as you ignore those who engage with one of your tweets and simply carry on sending out different tweets which are now irrelevant to your respondents.

Another way in which business owners justify the use of scheduled tweeting is by saying that it saves them having to use an agency like Harvey & Hugo to handle their social media accounts. While we understand the desire of businesses to cut costs as much as possible in this current climate, we also know that Twitter is classed as “social media” for a reason.

The key is to engage and interact with other users in order to build relationships and truly be seen on this crucial platform. And let’s not forget the fact that new business is more likely to come out of such activity.

There is one final issue to take into account when it comes to automated tweets: Will you remember to turn your tweets off when something comes up that renders them irrelevant and / or insensitive? For instance, you don’t want to be the events company that sends out excited tweets about a show that’s taking place in the evening, after your disappointed followers have already been informed that the event has been cancelled due to the host becoming ill.

Bad things happen – and if you forget to stop your scheduled tweets when they do, then the tweets will instantly become inappropriate and will likely be ridiculed by your followers rather than read.

Automated tweets are just not the Harvey & Hugo way

In summary, while scheduled tweeting can – in the short-term – be seen as a way of saving a few minutes (but only a few minutes), it can also have many negative consequences:

All of this can lead to a serious decline in followers, which is something we work hard to avoid for our clients. The long and short of it is that automated tweets just aren’t the Harvey & Hugo way.

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