Why social media scheduling tools might be a bad idea

social media scheduling tools bad idea

Let’s face it, you don’t have enough time to do everything you want or need to do.

You don’t have enough time for all the clever marketing ideas you heard on the latest podcast. You don’t have time to keep your website perfectly updated. And you don’t have time for social media.

So you turn to social media scheduling tools.

You quickly discover there are lots of options: Buffer, HootSuite, coschedule, edgar, smarterqueue … lots of them. And they all make big, bold promises that sound like instant solutions:

“…easy to manage your business’s social media accounts.”

“Social media scheduling without stress.”

“Social media management made easy.”

“Save over 5 hours every week.”

At the risk of sounding biased, one-sided, self-serving and just a little bit defensive, here’s why scheduling software might not be such a great idea after all.

At the risk of sounding biased, one-sided, self-serving and just a little bit defensive, here’s why social media scheduling tools might not be such a great idea after all. Click To Tweet

First, let’s look at what social media was designed for.

The real reason we use social media

Social media is first about being social — sharing personal updates, helpful news, valuable resources and connecting.

Sure anyone in business is happy to receive business from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and we can advertise there as well. But, we go to social media first for the social.

“Creating content online that educates, adds value to people’s lives and inspires” wrote online marketing expert Jeff Bullas, “is something worth aspiring to.”

When you post the same content over and over you send the wrong message. It’s like the same TV commercial interrupting your favourite sitcom … again and again. Pretty soon, you just tune out.

One day a trusted friend tells you about some scheduling tool that has saved their bacon (isn’t it fascinating how we love to brag about some solution, even if we’re not completely convinced it works?). And after clicking on their suggestion, plus a bunch of other sites – all promising that the burden of keeping up with your social media will soon evaporate – you enter your credit card and create a password.

Um, did they happen to mention the real work is about to begin?

scheduling social media is hard work, so you turn to tools...

Let’s take a minute and look at the real cost of schedule software.

The real cost of social media scheduling tools

Most advice about online marketing and social media is given by people whose job is to (surprise!) do online marketing and social media. They live and breath this stuff. And their advice about using social media scheduling tools should come packaged with the warning, to borrow from TV shopping channels: “results may vary.”

Let’s break down the real cost of scheduling tools for someone who is not an online, social media expert. I think you’ll quickly see that the cost of the software subscription is only a small part of the real cost:

  • The typical cost of a software subscription: $10 – $99/month
  • Time to learn the software (assuming you value your time at $100/hour): 2 – 10 hours @ $100/hour = $200 – $1,000 sunk cost.
  • Time to keep software actively loaded every day: 2-4 hours/week @ $100/hour = $800 – $1,600/month.

So, using these very rough numbers, if you were completely dedicated and undistracted, you could be up to speed at a sunk cost of  $200 – $1,000 and investing $810 – $1,699/month (time + subscription fee) to update and maintain your schedule.

Here’s the rub.

I don’t know any business owner who is 1) dedicated enough to commit 8 hours a month to anything that doesn’t produce an immediate ROI to their business or 2) organized enough to stick to a routine this demanding for more than, oh, I don’t know, a week?

That’s why (this is when we start to sound a bit biased) we created BlogWorks.

Why we created BlogWorks

We are small business owners – just like you. And we know you don’t sit around thinking “Gee, I sure wish I had some software I could while away a couple of hours loading some stuff into.”

Not likely.

So we created a solution that does what you should be doing to promote your blog, and we use real people to do it.

BlogWorks does what you should be doing to promote your blog, and we use real people to do it. Click To Tweet

At BlogWorks we turn your blog posts into social media updates that are original, clever, relevant and just happen to be written by a thinking human (all of our team are professional writers living in Canada.) We also research and include articles from top performing sites like inc.com, Harvard Business Review, entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, brenebrown.com, huffingtonpost.com.

Sure, we also do other nifty things, like: update hashtags, promote top performing blog posts, double check for grammar and spelling and monthly reporting.

It’s like having a trained, dedicated marketing assistant, but without the hassle of recruiting, hiring and training and without the high price.

A day late and a dollar short

Let’s face it, no solution is perfect—in an ideal world we’d all be sipping drinks with umbrellas and working Tim Ferriss’s 4 hour work week. But we don’t.

Time is scarce and we need to make smart decisions to keep our business growing and keep our calendar clear (of course, I’m assuming you’re not 18 and living in your parent’s basement).

Sure, you can sign up for any one of a dozen scheduling tools and feel great. For a few minutes.

The problem comes when you (or Mary at the front desk) try to keep up with the loading, adjusting, tweaking, relearning and the messing around it takes to make your new, fancy social media scheduling tools actually work.

When you’re ready to offload all of that and get back to what you do best, give us a shout.

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