Is Hootsuite auto-post your go-to for scheduling your social media? You’re not alone! Hootsuite is a time-saving blessing for many marketers and small biz owners (we love it for scheduling LinkedIn). It’s a set-it-and-forget-it scheduling software that allows you to line up all of your social posts at once instead of remembering (or, more likely, not remembering) to post daily. Sounds great, right? In reality, you may be shooting yourself in the foot by exclusively using Hootsuite auto-post to keep your Facebook page fresh.
Why? Because, like everything in life, auto-posting is best when used in moderation. Here are our 4 top reasons why you should reconsider exclusively auto-posting, and some tips on how to use Hootsuite auto-post with grace if you find yourself in a time-crunch.
1. Facebook’s Algorithm Doesn’t Always Play Well with Schedulers
As a business, it’s already very difficult to pop up in your customer’s Facebook feed organically. When you use a scheduler like Hootsuite, you run the risk of being penalized for using an auto-posting tool. This can translate to a noticeable decrease in post reach. Facebook’s algorithm prefers when you post things in real-time. Or, at the very least, through their native scheduler. Better yet, if you really want results, invest in social media ads and pay Facebook to promote your posts.
Facebook is increasingly pay-to-play. If you want to make an impression, you’ll probably have to invest in Facebook and Instagram ads. You’ll also need to incorporate plenty of video into your Facebook feed, Stories, and profile. And experiment with Facebook Live. There are many ways to optimize your Facebook Business page so that your posts, whether scheduled with Hootsuite or not, get more engagement. If you need help tackling organic or paid social media ads strategy in 2020, Witty Kitty is always here! Just drop us a line.
2. The Hootsuite Preview Isn’t Always 100% Accurate
When we schedule or publish a post directly on Facebook, we can see exactly what our post will look like before we hit the publish or schedule button. Posts scheduled with Hootsuite, unfortunately, don’t always look exactly the same as we had hoped. We’ve found that sometimes images or blog article previews come out looking slightly wonky. Link previews sometimes take a few tries to show up, and when they do they are much more difficult to customize within Hooteesuite’s interface.
When you’re using a scheduler, we have found that you have to be extremely diligent about checking your posts each day to make sure they don’t need to be edited or tweaked. If you’re busy running your business it can be hard to remember to check in. We have never had this issue with Facebook’s scheduler or (duh) with immediate publishing. This issue isn’ necessarily a deal-breaker, but for an agency like us that always wants to deliver beautiful posts for our clients, Hootesuite auto-post leaves a bit to be desired.
3. You May Have to (Unexpectedly) Re-Link Your Facebook Account to Hootsuite
One of the perils of using a scheduler like Hootsuite, or just about any other auto-posting program available, is that sometimes the link between Hootsuite and Facebook breaks. When the two can’t communicate, your posts will not go live. If you’re busy, it is highly possible you’ll go a few days before you realize. Establishing a regular posting cadence is a key element to expanding your reach and retaining followers, so this is definitely not in your best interest!
Again, if you’re able to keep a watchful eye on your Facebook from day to day to make sure your posts are going live, this might not be an issue for you. If it is, we suggest skipping the scheduler. This issue isn’t unique to Hootsuite—every scheduler has this issue occasionally.
4. But, Really, Just Use Another Scheduling Tool
We hate to throw shade or promote any particular tool over another…but we’ve been in this social media rodeo long enough to know what we recommend to clients. Hootsuite auto-post isn’t it. Womp Womp.
While we always recommend incorporating as much manual posting into your marketing plan as possible, we also know that posting each day is just not realistic for most business owners and their teams. You need to manage all of your social profiles and view performance analytics in one convenient spot. So what tool is best? We use Planoly and Later for our clients and have nothing but good things to say about these scheduling platforms.
Some Bonus Tips
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to schedule your Facebook posts and you must do it through Hootsuite auto-post or a similar tool, there are a few things you can avoid to make it less obvious that you have used a scheduler. Here are a few!
- After you paste in a website URL and see that it has populated in the preview field, go back and eliminate the URL from your post. Leaving it is a classic tip-off that you’ve scheduled the post.
- You can generally schedule a post to go live at any time of day. Hootsuite limits it to 5-minute increments. Make sure to vary when you post, even if you’re scheduling for an optimal time, by at least a few minutes. If you post at exactly 4 p.m. every day, without variance, then it will be pretty obvious you’ve scheduled.
- Don’t copy edit posts in Hootsuite. Keep a working spreadsheet and edit and approve copy there, then copy and paste it into Hootsuite. If you accidentally send the post immediately to your feed, it will suck infinitely more if you’ve misspelled something or used incorrect punctuation.
It’s ultimately up to you to decide whether you’re ok with auto-posting instead of manual, and for which social media platforms. Don’t take our word for it—try different scheduling tools, compare engagement from scheduled and manual posts, and ask your marketer friends for their take.
If you’ve reached the end of this article and find that you just don’t want to deal with the headache of scheduling your own social media posts, well…we get it! Dozens of our clients came to us with similar feelings and discovered that they get better results from their social posts and ads when a professional team like Witty Kitty manages their accounts. Contacts us if you want to grow your following and convert more customers from social this year!
Editor’s Note: This post was previously published in 2019 and has recently been revamped by our team to offer the latest and greatest images, stats, and educational info. Enjoy!