To make life easier on Twitter you can try scheduling tweets. Scheduling your tweets is simple and can increase your followers and engagement if done right. We’ll go over the tools you can use and some strategies to follow when scheduling tweets.

The Benefits of Scheduling Your Tweets

Before we dig into how, let’s talk about why. What are the benefits of scheduling your tweets?

Consistency

One of the primary benefits is consistency. When you schedule your tweets you can post on a regular basis. This allows your audience to have a better understanding of when and how often they can expect to hear from you.

Less Likely to Neglect

Similar to being able to be consistent, scheduling your tweets makes you less likely to neglect Twitter. Social media is time consuming. When you have a business to run it’s easy to ignore social.

When you schedule out your posts ahead of time you can chunk your time to fit it in. Instead of it being a disruptive activity that you do every hour or so, you can choose a window of time once a week. You can even try to do it monthly if that fits best with your schedule.

Post at the Ideal Time

And lastly, a benefit of scheduling your tweets is you can post them at the times and days that you will receive the highest impressions and engagement from your audience. There are a few different ways to do this.

  • Stand-Alone Tool: You can use a stand-alone tool that specifically looks for this data such as Tweriod. You can use Tweriod to find the optimal days and times and then schedule during those periods.
  • Export & Analyze Data: You can export your Twitter data through the Twitter Analytics interface. Then, you can analyze the data in a spreadsheet to determine the optimal days and times.
  • Scheduling Tool: Some twitter scheduling tools have automatic scheduling included in their system so your posts will be set to send at the optimal times. We’ll dig into the tools in more detail next, but Hootsuite and Buffer both have this option.

Tools to Schedule Tweets

HootSuite

Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts on over 20 social networks, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They make scheduling simple by including an auto schedule feature that chooses the best day and time for your audience. They also provide a drag and drop calendar view to easily reorganize your posts.

They do have a free plan but it is limited. You can only connect up to 3 profiles and you can only have a maximum of 30 scheduled posts. If those limits won’t work for you I’d recommend the Professional plan. It’s $30 per month but it let’s you schedule unlimited messages on up to 10 accounts.

Buffer

Buffer is another good option. Specifically the Publish product. Buffer allows you to connect Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Pinterest. You can set up a schedule using data from your audience so when you add a post it can automatically be scheduled for the next slot in your set schedule.

Similar to Hootsuite, the free Buffer Publish plan is pretty limited. They allow you to connect up to 3 accounts and set a maximum of 10 scheduled posts. Their paid plan starts at $15 per month but only increases scheduled posts to 100.

Twitter

Another option is to schedule posts directly through Twitter. To do this you need to go to Twitter for Business and then navigate to Twitter Ads. You don’t need to run any ads but you will need to enter your credit card information to setup the account. Once you finish the setup, you can navigate to Creative > Tweets to schedule out your tweets. For full details, please view the instructions from Twitter.

If Twitter is the only network you want to schedule posts for then this could be a good solution. If not, you may want to try Hootsuite or Buffer.

TweetDeck

Another popular tool to schedule tweets is TweetDeck. This is a free tool and can be a good solution if Twitter is the only network you’re interested in. This can also be useful if you have multiple Twitter accounts you need to manage.

TweetDeck is owned by Twitter. And with TweetDeck, you can easily schedule tweets without setting up a Twitter Ads account.

My Preference: Hootsuite

My favorite tool to schedule tweets is Hootsuite with the Professional plan. Any of the tools we just discussed are good tools and I’ve used them all at different times. For me, I wanted to use a tool with an auto schedule feature to try and schedule my posts at optimal times for my audience.

Both Buffer and Hootsuite have an auto schedule feature. The system in Buffer is more rigid whereas in Hootsuite the experience feels more natural. In Buffer you have pre-set times so your posts are always at those times. In Hootsuite it uses an algorithm to determine the best next time to post. Because of that the posts are staggered in a way that feels very natural.

The combination of the auto scheduling, drag and drop content calendar, multiple social networks, and unlimited scheduled posts is why I went with Hootsuite.

Schedule Now, Edit Later

All of these tools let you edit your posts. Don’t be scared to schedule ahead. If things change you can always rearrange or edit your posts later.

How Often Should I Post?

With Twitter you can post much more often than other social networks before you start to annoy people. Some people say you should try to tweet at least 14 times per day.

Instead of trying to hit a specific target I normally aim for quality over quantity. I try to post content that is meaningful and important for my audience instead of blasting articles no one needs to read.

Even though I know the data shows you get more followers when you tweet more, I’ve been on the other side of it. I know how it is to follow a company you care about and then they tweet so much junk that you can’t sift through it to find the content you actually care about.

I’d rather have a few highly engaged people than thousands of people who do nothing more than increase my follower count metric. If someone cares enough about my brand to sign up for text notifications I don’t want to annoy them. I want to be a valuable resource on whatever channel people want to follow me on.

Remember to Engage People

When you schedule out your tweets it can be tempting to set it and forget it. Scheduling does give you a lot of flexibility with the time you spend on social but don’t forget to talk to people, not just at people.

If people comment on your posts, respond. If people share your posts, like them. And it’s okay to schedule out prompts to ask your audience questions. Start a conversation. Don’t only blast them with promotional content.

Remember Your Real Life Events

When you schedule tweets you still want to come across as genuine. You want your followers to understand you’re a real person. If you have public speaking engagement or meeting or public event where some of your followers may know you’re there, don’t schedule tweets during this time.

You don’t want to have a tweet go out while you’re speaking at a conference about something unrelated. It just makes it blatantly clear that you scheduled your tweet ahead of time and didn’t put much thought into it.

Of course, if you’re tweeting from an account for your brand instead of a personal account this is not as big of an issue. Just think about your real life obligations and make sure your tweets support them and don’t conflict.

Be Sensitive of Current Events

If there is a tragedy or big news event, you may want to pause your tweets. Be aware of what’s happening in the world around you and understand that sometimes tweeting about your company may not be the right message during difficult times.

Even if the current issue isn’t directly related to your industry, you might want to take a minute to be human. Be sensitive of others by changing up your regular content to express empathy for those affected by the situation.

Summary

Scheduling your tweets can make Twitter much easier to handle. If used wisely it can also increase the effectiveness by scheduling at optimal times for your audience. Just remember to be yourself. Engage with your audience when you can.

Do you normally schedule your tweets? Do you have any tools or tips you’d recommend? Please share in the comments!


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Using Google Analytics for social media metrics will help you understand where you should focus your social efforts. It will help you understand which networks convert and what content has the biggest impact.

Posting engaging relevant content on social media can be time consuming. Reviewing social metrics can help you understand the social ROI. This not only can help to persuade a boss that you need to continue, but it also is a nice motivator to encourage you to keep working hard.

Social media can be time consuming. And it’s nice to know if you’re on the right path before you get too far.

There are a couple of prerequisites you should take care of before you can track social media metrics.

Prerequisites to Track Social Metrics in Google Analytics

Prereq 1: Install Google Analytics

Before you can track and review social media data in Google Analytics, you need to configure your website to use Google Analytics. You can follow my guide to setup Google Analytics.

Prereq 2: Setup Goals

It will be hard to understand if your social efforts are having a positive impact if you don’t have any goals. Make sure that you understand what your goals are for your website. Then, configure them in Google Analytics.

Do you need to add UTM tags?

When you post links to your website on social media, do you need to include UTM tags to be able to track the data in Google Analytics?

No, when you a user clicks on a link from a social network it will show in your Google Analytics data as a referral. The medium will be Referral. You can identify the network by viewing the Source. The source will display as the URL (for example, twitter.com or facebook.com).

But, if you use a shortlink such as bitly, then you want to add UTM tags. If you use a URL shortener, then in Google Analytics that visit will show as direct traffic. You won’t be able to identify which social network or acquisition source generated the visit.

You also want to include UTM tags for paid campaigns. This will help you dig deeper into the performance for each campaign. It also gives you a more complete picture of the total impact social plays for your website.

Any time you add UTM tags to a social network make sure to use the term social for the medium tag. This will group the data in the social report along with the organic social traffic.

Speaking of reports, let’s discuss where you can view social data in Google Analytics.

Social Media Reports in Google Analytics

There is a slew of social media reports under Acquisition > Social. We’ll walk through these various reports and the primary benefits of each.

The Overview report gives you an at-a-glance recap of how social efforts contribute to the overall performance of the website.

The Network Referrals report shows you which social networks are the most popular sources your audience uses to access your website. It’s a nice report because it combines the traffic by source, regardless of the medium. So, organic Facebook traffic can be combined with paid Facebook traffic.

The Landing Pages report let’s you determine what content works best for social. Your top social landing pages may not be the same as your top Google organic search pages. Figure out what’s popular, and create similar content for future social campaigns.

The Conversions reports let’s you figure out what social efforts are having an impact on your goals. Often, social will play a role earlier in the sales cycle. When that happens it isn’t always counted as a conversion source because it wasn’t the last source that led to the conversion. Click on Assisted vs. Last Interaction Analysis to get a better picture of the role social played in the conversion funnel.

The Plugins report shows you which social widgets on your website are utilized the most. This data is not automatically collected. You need to add events to your social plugins to track this. Google has a guide to configure social interactions.

The Users Flow report gives you a visual graph that illustrates where users went on your website when they came from various social networks. This gives you a nice idea of what type of content works best for which network.

Isolate Social Traffic Using Advanced Segments

If those social reports don’t give you the data you want don’t worry, you can use any report in Google Analytics. You can create an advanced segment that targets social visitors and apply that segment to any of the other reports.

To create an advanced segment:

  1. Click on Add Segment at the top.
  2. Click the red New Segment button.
  3. Under Advanced click on Conditions.
  4. In the dimensions drop-down select Source. Then enter in the social network URLs into the type-in field.
  5. You can click OR to add additional network URLs.
  6. When you’ve entered the sources you want to include, add a name in the top left and click the blue Save button.

You can create multiple advanced segments and compare the data. So, you can create one for each social network you want to monitor. Or, you can create one and compare it to the default All Users segment.

Create a Social Dashboard

Once you know what social metrics you want to monitor, set up a social dashboard to make it easy to track the data.

Go to Customization > Dashboards > Create. Follow the prompts to create a new blank canvas and add the reports you want to monitor.

If you want to monitor data from Google Analytics as well as an outside source, create a dashboard in Google Data Studio instead.

Google Analytics dashboards are simple and easy to set up. They will typically get the job done. But, Google Data Studio takes it to a new level by making the reports even more beautiful and integrating with many more data sources.

What metrics do you like to monitor on your social media dashboard? Please share in the comments!

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