So if you’re not as famous as Ashton and Britney (and let’s face it, most of us aren’t), then automation and strategic scheduling are tactics you can employ to maximize your social networking strategy. I discussed automation previously.
Scheduling it just what it sounds like — plotting the release schedule of blog postings, ping updates, and social comments, etc. The idea behind scheduling is to spread out the content you are distributing so that something “new” is posted every couple of hours. This is relatively easy if you’re the only one doing the posting. It becomes harder if you have to coordinate these efforts with other people or other departments.
The automatic aggregation makes it even more difficult still. TweetDeck, Hoot Suite, Feed Burner, Ping.fm, and the like don’t all operate instantaneously. They update in batches. So for example, Feed Burner distributes this blog via RSS to our Twitter feed, but there is a discrepancy between when this blog is posted “live” and when Feed Burner syndicates the feed to Twitter. Normally, this discrepancy isn’t that big of a deal, but when you’re trying to schedule postings in advance, such a delay complicates matters even further.
While I realize strategically what would be optimal, actually accomplishing such a lofty goal as strategically scheduling social content is still mostly a pipe dream I have. For example, if one watches our own Twitter feed, one often sees 3-4 tweets come in quick succession (within a matter of seconds or minutes) when it would be best to spread those out across several hours. In fact the only true tactic I’ve successfully accomplished is by scheduling my own blog posts to go “live” in the afternoons. This is because I know our other blogs and social activities often (though not always) take place in the morning. In other words, it is important enough to me to play a role in what keeps me up at night, but not really important enough for me to mandate some schedule with other people/departments at Outskirts Press.