The Great Social Media Debate : Scheduling Tweets, Good or Bad

scheduling tweets ethical or not the social media debate 300x214, The Great Social Media Debate : Scheduling Tweets, Good or BadTwitter has become an important part of people’s life (especially the ones who are internet savvy). Even if one is busy in his work, he still tweets via mobile, that’s the level of addiction twitter has. As one gathers more and more followers and starts engaging, it becomes a really difficult task to balance work and twitter.

The problem lies with the fact that social networking is an endless task and so if a person starts his day with twitter, then he/she is bound to lose time which was required for doing an important job.  It has been a problem faced by many and the solution came in the form of scheduling tweets. Through scheduling tweets one can schedule a tweet at a time, when he can do some other job. So is it ethical to schedule tweets?  I would like to point some pros and cons of scheduling tweets and then it is your verdict.

Pros of Scheduling Tweets

  1. Scheduling saves time spent on social media which can be utilized for some other work
  2. By scheduling tweets at a time when you are usually asleep, you can connect with a large number of twitter followers compared to what you can without scheduling tweets.
  3. Users that tweet a lot have a habit of tweeting at frequency of 1 tweet/min or even higher which is very harmful for your twitter reputation. So Scheduling can help in spacing out the tweets and maintaining a lower frequency (for eg 1tweet/5mins)
  4. Scheduling can give you more time to engage. Once you have scheduled the tweets, then you can easily engage with twitter users.

Cons of Scheduling Tweets

  1. Scheduling tweets can result in low conversation which is bad for twitter as there will be lesser social networking.
  2. Scheduling tweets can be annoying for some as they cannot interact with people, because they are not present at that time.
  3. As scheduled tweets are a little old, so there are chances that the tweets are little old and may not make sense in the present context.

That’s just some of the points I could think of. What  is your opinion on scheduling tweets?? Is it Good or Bad

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  • http://www.buildthatlist.com Tom | Build That List

    I will admit that I do it, but have toned it down from every hour to every 4 hours. I find it a great way to left my followers see links that they possible have not seen yet. And in between those four hour slots I will network with my followers.
    .-= Tom | Build That List´s last blog ..The 4 Reasons People Unsubscribe Mailing Lists =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      That is a great strategy, sharing links ate regular intervals and interacting in between. This is good as then you focus on a single job.

  • http://timgier.com Tim Gier

    Some twitterers are primarily providing information, links, opinions. etc and scheduling tweets for them is fine, probably necessary. Other twitterers are primarily tweeting for the social interaction and for them scheduling tweets defeats their purpose.

    There are some people who follow no one & interact w/ no-one, there are others that follow tens of thousands and reply to many of them.

    Knowing who you are following and why is what matters, not how the twitterer tweets.
    .-= Tim Gier´s last blog ..What’s Your Point? =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      You are right with the fact that scheduling is good for sharing great content but bad if one is looking to converse and scheduling will not serve the purpose, because conversation has to be real time.

      • http://timgier.com Tim Gier

        I do think that some accounts, even ones that deliver great content, short-change themselves by not benefiting from the give & take that defines social media. Perhaps they don’t realize that other twitterers can be the source of equally good content.

        Thanks for writing the post and for providing the forum.
        .-= Tim Gier´s last blog ..What’s Your Point? =-.

        • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

          I think you are right. There are accounts that just share and do not converse at all.. These are the ones that don’t know the full meaning of twitter.

  • http://www.alephnaught.com/Blog/ Bob Hays (@purplehayz)

    Ever since Twitter began rate limiting tweets, I’ve used scheduling – I got tired of being locked out every hour. I then took advantage of scheduling to spread out all the stuff I’m reading that I think is useful.

    You can learn more about how I tweet at http://www.alephnaught.com/Blog/2009/12/24/how-purplehayz-tweets/.

    Keep up the good posts and have fun! – Bob

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      That is a good technique and I think it can simplify your work if you schedule first and then take part in the conversation.

  • http://twitter.com/car4dave Dave

    I do not mind scheduled tweets but think they are for commercial organizations or major blogs. I think one of the joke twitters I follow is scheduled, that does not bother me.
    But otherwise I prefer live action on twitter and would not schedule my tweets. Sometimes it looks like it though, friendfeed has a bad habit of holding a bunch of posts and posting all at once.
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..car4dave: @devlzadvoct aww.. btw nice av lol :) =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      If it doesn’t bother people, then scheduling is good and like you said it can be used to send useful stuff like jokes. obviously, excess of everything is bad.

      Friendfeed has that problem of publishing in batches like google buzz publishes twitter updates in batches. It can be really annoying and something must be done to fix these problems
      .-= Gautam´s last blog ..5 Golden Rules of Relationship Blogging =-.

  • dahara

    i agree with those who want to use scheduling tweets, sometimes could be necesary to give more to your followers but i also belive in interaction, you dont have to loose that even when u schedule twits.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mlomb @mlomb

    Right on! Covered the pros and cons quite nicely. There is no magic rule. It depends on your goals. Some of the most successful accounts (Guy Kawasaki, ihatequotes, etc use scheduled tweets). As far as following goes, users do not favor conversations. If you want to have a large, popular, successful account, scheduled tweets are a necessity. The key here is using the right software, but that goes beyond the scope of the article.
    .-= @mlomb´s last blog ..mlomb: Surmounting difficulty is the crucible that forms character. Tony Robbins #quote =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      ok! I think if you want to do 100 tweets a day and still have work along with it, then scheduling is a must because you don’t have time to tweet all 100 tweets at large span of time.

  • http://veronicasopher.com Veronica Sopher

    As with most things in life, moderation is key when it comes to scheduling tweets. It also depends on the goal of that particular Twitter account. My personal account is reserved for conversations, so I don’t schedule tweets for it. On the other hand, scheduling tweets is often appropriate in the management of an organization’s Twitter account. Event announcements and reminders are one of my top reasons for scheduling tweets for Social Media Club Seattle.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      Yes scheduling is for businesses, ones who want to constantly update readers with the latest happenings. And conversations are for the individual. So, scheduling can be used for marketing purposes.

  • http://extremeezine.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

    I don’t schedule tweets but I don’t have a problem with it if done respectfully. By that I mean if you are going to be elsewhere when you want to tweet a reminder, for example, go for it. Personally I would rather tweet via mobile phone but to each their own. With that said, I get very frustrated seeing all those tweeting via programs such as Twitterlater and the only thing being tweeted is just pulled from feeds based on keywords. Nothing is going out from the user, just automated junk that is supposed to fool everyone I guess. I never follow those back and normally block them. I guess in my book scheduling tweets are fine as long as they are your tweets.

    I do allow automatic tweets to go out with a WP plugin every time I publish a new post. I guess that could be considered scheduled.
    .-= Brian D. Hawkins´s last blog ..Connect With Me – Leave Your Links =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      publishing latest news from blogs is not scheduled but just some bots automatically tweeting. It is good to use feeds, but if it is done in moderation.

      The ones you are focusing on are the spam bots that automatically retweet when they find a particular keyword. I agree, they are really annoying and normally block them too.

  • Maria

    If used in moderation, I can see a benefit to scheduled tweets. I use them rarely to provide links to stories of interest to the people I interact with, and may not be on twitter at the same time. It’s used rarely and, at most, repeated two or three times over a several hour time frame.

  • http://www.johnmijac.com John Mijac

    I schedule and I interact. Most all of my scheduled tweets are references to trade journals and articles of interest in my profession. I do most of my reading in the early morning, prior to the day’s business. When I find news and articles of interest to other Realtors or people interested in Real Estate, I schedule them throughout the day to avoid trashing the stream with these items of interest. I interact throughout the day when I see tweets that spark my interest.

    My feeling is that these links provide a service to some, open the door for new interactions while I keep conversations with my close friends.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      I like the way you schedule the tweets you find useful first and then converse when see a conversation starting.

      I think tweeting useful content is your responsibility and you need to maintain even if you are busy and that is why scheduling has been developed for twitter
      .-= Gautam´s last blog ..5 Tips to Increase Productivity while Blogging =-.

  • http://Twitter.com/TrendTracker Glen D. Gilmore

    I do schedule some of my tweet when, for example, I come across a goldmine of content and want to share it but don’t want to overwhelm or hog the Twitterspace. Also use it to connect at prime time with some of my friends across the globe. While I may be sleeping when they are sent, I always reply (unless I’ve just missed it) to @s and DMs. The engagement is still there and real, albeit, in different time zones. We gotta sleep a little!
    .-= Glen D. Gilmore´s last blog ..TrendTracker: @AnneDGallaher @HowellMarketing – yah, we got love. As I say, when it comes to love, the more you give, the more you get. =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      Glen, you are master at scheduling and tweeting super useful content. In my opinion scheduling at regular intervals increases the visibility of the tweet and hence there are chances of more people noticing your tweets than if you wouldn’t have used the schedule button.

  • http://www.punitpandey.com Punit Pandey

    It also depends upon the nature of tweets. For example, if those are timeless wisdom quotes (the way I do on @punitastrologer), scheduling should not make any problem. It helps broader time zone coverage.
    .-= Punit Pandey´s last blog ..4 Cool New Goolge Wave Features =-.

  • http://leonewball.com Leo Newball

    There’s NOTHING wrong with scheduling tweets. I schedule blog posts all of the time, but does that mean I’m wrong in doing so? If it helps some marketing agenda, or has a purpose, it’s fine.

    For instance, if I know I’m going to be somewhere at 6:30 pm, it could be a cool idea to schedule that tweet as I may be out of range, and people can use it as a way to understand, I’m not available for contact.

    For businesses, it may behove them to use it as a way to promote a project at a certain time. Say, product launches.

    If your scheduling tweets just to be an asshole or spam all of the time, you’re beginning to abuse the point.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      I use scheduling for marketing purposes as i am not available all the time and scheduling makes my job simpler. I think it is a person’s choice to use or abuse. Anything on the world can be abused, it all depends on the person using it.
      .-= Gautam´s last blog ..Top 5 Drupal Secrets =-.

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  • http://www.extremejohn.com Extreme John

    If I had the time to sit down and schedule 5,000 scheduled tweets I would. Twitter is about sharing information, if you have information to share it should be shared. With that being said you never see a Coke commercial just one time, or a Verizon phone ad once, you certainly don’t hear radio advertising only once per brand/product. If your an active twitter user, and you have something to offer I see nothing wrong with not scheduling tweets.

    I sound great, now if I can only find the time to sit down and schedule a few out. I have excellent results every time I do.
    .-= Extreme John´s last blog ..A Day in the Life of Extreme John Episode 7 [video] =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      I agree, if the product it should be shared. After all we are all here to share useful stuff. Scheduling os good if you have found something extremely useful but don’t have time to tweet.

  • http://www.navapavan.com NavaPavan

    Before I used to use schedule feeds, but I observed the change and later removed it.
    .-= NavaPavan´s last blog ..Password Protect Your Files With Protect Me =-.

  • http://shakthisoft.net Shakthi (@v_shakthi)

    I use scheduled tweets to tweet tech content when I am not physically online and don’t want my followers to loose out on them . That being said , I have seen people who schedule good morning tweets . That is taking things to a total extreme and is counter-productive . It also beats the purpose of twitter .

    I also believe in interacting and talking to people A LOT . The day i cannot make a new friend on twitter will be my saddest day as a tweep .

    But like anything else too much of auto tweets make you a BOT

    :)
    .-= Shakthi (@v_shakthi)´s last blog ..Wil twitter replace mainstream news media ? =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      I think scheduling greeting messages is a disater as you are showing you are there, but you are actually not, so it actually defeats the point.

      I think interaction is a must for building relationships and it is also the essence of twitter.

  • http://www.evolutionarydesigns.net/blog element321

    I schedule tweets. I use it to schedule my new post or posts I am marketing. I try and do this once during the day and once during the night.

    I also started scheduling tweets even when I am online. I do this so I can make sure I keep the flow of RTs and link sharing lighter and not dump a bunch a tweets in a row and cause annoyances with my followers.
    .-= element321´s last blog ..11+ Tutorial Sites For Adobe Photoshop CS4 =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      I had faced the same problems. I schedule tweets because i am not cluttering my followers’ timelines. Scheduling helps maintain a constant frequency which decreases the annoyance factor
      .-= Gautam´s last blog ..Mixing the Right Ingredients =-.

  • http://weblogbetter.com Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter

    In the wrong hands, yes scheduling tweets can be a bad thing. But scheduling allows you to extend the life of your friend’s tweets/posts. It allows you to share content with a different group and helps you spread out your tweets so you don’t flood the stream with back to back tweets.
    But this doesn’t mean you should schedule and leave, I schedule tweets, but I’m still present to engage and converse with others.
    .-= Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter´s last blog ..Scheduled Tweets vs. Automated Tweets: There’s a difference =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      I do the same, I first schedule tweets, so i buy some time to engage with my followers and share information

  • SusanLorelei

    Just think how wonderful twitter would be if everyone schedule API tweets. Wow, we could log on and read blip after blip of someone’s soapbox tweets! Uggg …. hate them … IMO

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  • http://twitter.com/raybeckerman Ray Beckerman

    I don’t think it should be done unless (a) you’ve personally prepared and carefully considered each tweet and (b) you’re at the computer (or other interface) & are ready to engage in conversation. No one wants to feel they’re reading things that were sent to them by a bot.

    Because I tweet a high volume, I use it sometimes to space the tweets out a little. But I pause them or cancel them if I’m not going to be on line, ready to interact.

    Good article; I think you’ve captured the pros and cons.
    .-= Ray Beckerman´s last blog ..RayBeckerman: Dear @Eugene_Robinson Your voice is so important. Please become more active on Twitter. =-.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jessica731 Jessica

    I do the majority of my news-scouring in the morning right when I get into work, so that’s when I come across a large amount of the content I feel compelled to share. Since I don’t want to flood my followers’ timelines with rapid fire updates, I schedule them throughout the day.

    I’m glad you brought up the point about how scheduling tweets can decrease interaction, because I think that’s important to consider. I have TweetDeck up all day long, and I get a pop-up notification on my computer screen whenever I get an @ reply. This allows me to respond almost immediately.

    In the end, I think as long as you are smart about it and are using Twitter for the right reasons, scheduling tweets can be both efficient and authentic.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Jessica731: Looking forward to #Cloudchasers Thurs @ 1:30 ET. @Ruv, @JBultmeyer & @Leslie will discuss adoption of cloud computing http://bit.ly/cWGfqG =-.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      Yes, we need to be smart about. Scheduling tweets at a regular basis is not a sin until interaction is lost in the process.

      Don’t overdo it and use it to save time for interaction. These are some of the points i have gained from this dsicussion
      .-= Gautam´s last blog ..The Secret For Creating a Successful Blog =-.

  • http://www.thesocialmarketingdiva.com Kathryn Gorges

    I think it depends on the purpose of the tweet — there are some things I want to share with different groups of people in different time zones and I can’t live on twitter — so I schedule — most for business events and information. I don’t schedule quotes or links to my blog or facebook or any of that — seems to me that is best done organically.

    However, although I have a large following on my personal id @kagorges I find it increasingly difficult to find anyone who is actually there behind the tweet ;)) Twitter seems to be heading towards an announcement and news source primarily, and only occasional conversations… anyone else have that experience?
    .-= Kathryn Gorges´s last blog ..Social media engagement options for your business =-.

  • http://tgcgs.com Daz

    Good points in the post and equally great points in the comments. This has come at a good time for us as we are about to start scheduling tweets to increase the readership of our blog. I think there comes a cross over point when your readers assume the role of the tweet scheduler by retweeting your content. I say that with fingers and legs crossed in hope, that is our aim at least, to use scheduling as a self deprecating tool.

  • http://blazingminds.co.uk Karen @ Blazing Minds

    I have to admit, I am guilty of scheduling tweets, but usually when I have a lot to tweet such as on FollowFriday, instead of blasting my Twitter with one after another in short succession, I will spread them out over the day, which looks a lot better ;)
    .-= Karen @ Blazing Minds´s last blog ..How To Earn Money By Adding Videos on Your Blog With GoViral =-.

  • http://nofaultinsuranceguide.com francis

    I think it depends on the person. If you are addicted you have no choice but to schedule yourself. But if you are self control, you don’t need to schedule when you can tweet.

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  • http://misssocialmedia.wordpress.com Nixie

    I agree with most of the comments already expressed above. I used to overwhelm followers by retweeting links as soon as I read something. Now I schedule out great tweets every hour, around the clock. However I don’t limit my engagement to scheduled tweets. I tweet random thoughts, respond to links, share content I find through the day. That’s true for the business accounts I manage as well as my personal account. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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