Scheduling Updates

Ben Reed —  October 13, 2010 — 9 Comments

Ever wonder how some people always seem to be online?  They’re posting updates to Twitter and/or Facebook all throughout the day, even into the night!  I’ve got 2 explanations for that.

1. They’re online all of the time.

OR

2. They’ve learned how to schedule their updates.

If you fall into the first category, then please, please, please…get off of your computer, call a friend, and share a face-to-face conversation.

I am often asked, “How do you have time to always be on Twitter/Facebook?”  My answer: “I don’t.”  Part of my strategy is scheduling my updates to go live throughout the day.  Keep reading to find out which I use, and how to schedule out your updates.

There are many programs out there to schedule your updates (Twuffer, Future Tweets, Tweetdeck, Tweetlater, Social Oomph, Sendible…just to name a few), but the best that I’ve found (by far) is HootSuite.  

Here’s why I like Hootsuite:

  1. It’s free.
  2. It’s really easy to use.
  3. You can manage multiple social network accounts (including Facebook, Facebook Page, Twitter, FourSquare, MySpace, LinkedIn, Ping.fm, and WordPress).
  4. It supports Twitter lists.  Which means you can put certain followers into lists, and see their updates first.
  5. URL shortening.  It shortens your links so they’re not 3 lines long.
  6. Scheduling is incredibly simple.
  7. You can use it on your phone (iPhone or Android) and your desktop, and have them sync lists and settings.

How do you schedule updates?

  1. Sign up for an account at Hootsuite.
  2. Add your social networks (if it doesn’t prompt you automatically, simply click the picture of the owl in the top left corner of the screen.  Scroll down to “Setting” and click on “Social Networks.”  At the top of the middle column, click “Add Social Network.” Your social networking options will be on the left side of the new popup box.).  Remember, you can add multiple accounts, and update them all from Hootsuite.
  3. Indicate which social network you’d like to post to by clicking your avatar (right beside the status bar at the top of the screen)
  4. Type your status.
  5. Click the icon below your status that looks like a calendar (it should have the number “30” in the middle of the icon, and when you hover your mouse over it, it should say, “Schedule Message”)
  6. Choose the date and time you’d like to post your update, and click “Okay”.
  7. Click the “Schedule” button, on the bottom right corner of your status update.

Now, you can schedule out your updates so they don’t all happen at one time on one day.  In fact, the way I often update my accounts is this way, sitting down for 5 minutes and typing out (and scheduling) lots of updates at one time.  This saves me the time and hassle of logging back onto Twitter or Facebook (or both) to update my status regularly.  It frees me up, and keeps me from being tied down to my computer and/or phone.

What do you think?  Is this do-able?

Do you feel deceived that I (and others) use scheduling, and don’t post everything live?

 

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Ben Reed

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Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.
  • http://www.thechurchofnopeople.com Matt @ The Church of No People

    Huh…I actually did not know that. *The internet has lost all meaning to me!*

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Sorry to burst your bubble, Matt!

  • Mrsmilton0304

    I think it’s awesome. I didn’t know you could do this. I’ll be working on it tonight.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      It’s a game-changer, isn’t it?

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony J. Alicea

    Personally I have no problem with scheduling blog posts. I schedule mine a few times a day because most people follow so many that they may never see it in their stream.

    But honestly, I think scheduling for more than blog posts is lame. If you don’t have time to be in the space, don’t do it. If you can’t reply immediately to a response to your tweet, then it isn’t very engaging. Hours and days are like weeks and years on Twitter.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      There’s a lot of truth there, Tony. But the reality is that sometimes I have time to put up a Twitter post, but because of “life” I can’t immediately respond to all of the replies. I wish I could, but for me, it’s just not always possible.

      I agree, though…hours and days are like weeks and years on Twitter. You should coin that!

    • jacobwinn

      I don’t think it’s lame at all. It’s no different than me posting a tweet from my phone then sticking it back in my pocket for a coouple of hours before checking twitter again. I do think it can be abused or overused though.

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  • jacobwinn

    I think it’s a great way to be connected without always being ‘connected’. I don’t feel deceived at all, however I worry that people would think that I actually am on all day. Of course I shouldn’t really worry about that anyway.

    Thanks for sharing your secret. I’ve read some about future updates but haven’t seen it explained so well and concise.