Yesterday’s post about using a tool called Buffer to schedule Tweets throughout the day had some folks cheering and some folks suggesting that scheduled Tweets ruined the conversation on Twitter and were kind of bot like.

What’s your thinking on this. Take the quick poll and leave your two cents in the comments if you like.

Image: born1945 via FlickrCC

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Lfredsouthwick

    More complex than a thumb up or down. There are pros & cons. Scheduling the tweets allows you to spread them out through the day, (ostensibly) giving you a broader time of communication and it also ensures that you won’t irritate people by tweeting a buncha stuff at the same time and cluttering up their feed.

    On the other hand, scheduling the tweets and not checking back diminishes Twitter’s capacity as a medium for direct conversation, which is definitely a drawback.

    As someone that’s used both Twitterstorm and scheduled tweets method, I think scheduling ’em is fine as long as you keep an eye on what people are saying back to you.

    • No question it’s more complex than that – I was measuring knee jerk here, just for fun, but I agree completely with your view on this – it can work well or it can be spambotish.

  • LeoWid

    Great idea John, I think this is fantastic to find out what the ratio on the debate is! Just voted – and Buffered the post! ūüôā¬†

  • I think it’s definitely more nuanced then yes or no. If you’re just posting a link to information, then scheduling is a huge help. But, if you’re actually conversing – asking questions, answering questions, etc., then scheduling is not a good idea.¬†

  • I agree with Seth that it depends on what kind of Tweet you are placing. For sharing stuff I do not see the problem but for other conversations it seems a stupid thing to do.

  • delwilliams

    I think ALL scheduled tweets is a turn off, but some is not bad. I know people who have all scheduled tweets, I mute them on my stream since most of the time it’s the rss feed to mashable or some other tech site. Buffer schedules 4 times a day, I seriously doubt that is going to “ruin” the conversation. I use buffer if I have one thing I want to push but don’t feel like looking for the link I posted before, and I don’t have to worry about people getting the same tweet too often. No harm no foul. I always wonder about the all or nothing crowd, since they insist they all want to talk and don’t really. Hmmm

  • davidmhuffman

    Assuming all the variables mentioned are true (you’re available to reply, etc.) I think scheduling tweets is a great idea.¬†

    There are some personal branding “presence” benefits I’ve heard others spout, but more than anything, I know I’ve personally benefited from others’ scheduling.¬† In that, I’ve seen helpful links I normally wouldn’t have.¬†

    So, I’ll do it from time to time.

  • Perry Wilson

    I use Hootsuite. I schedule tweets for specific topics during the week on Sunday because I wouldn’t have time to do so many tweets daily. I follow live through hootsuite and engage in conversations throughout the week as well, but I can get other things done at the same time.

    I don’t see any problems with scheduled tweets as long as you do other tweets as well.

  • I schedule my tweet for the day… actually 7 of them each morning or the night before.

    That doesn’t mean I’m not going to go out and chat or conversate just that I have 7 messages that I want to be delivered throughout the day so that I potentially catch everyone I can with that message.

    It doesn’t mean that there aren’t other tweets in between…

    Just my take.

    Ryan H.

  • Scheduled tweets are not necessarily a bad idea. As a busy small business owner or executive, you often don’t have the time to seek out spontaneous tweets throughout the day, or you may have just a few minutes here and there to engage in conversations. It is nice to have pre-scheduled tweets of helpful articles, or your own blog posts, or even local¬†destinations¬†you like,¬†just¬†to help spark conversations that are relevant to you when you sign in to engage with your social networks throughout the day and week. Scheduled tweets may make one less hassle for what may be the busiest times in your day.

  • Curious as to what your readers say. I use Buffer for three of my small biz accounts to share links four times a day.

    I also reply and tweet sparingly.

    I’ve had good success thus far, but I know it’s a huge turn off to some people.

  • I can just see it now. Oops. That wasn’t suppose to go out yet. $$$$ Lost. Someone is getting fired. Auto Tweets is just asking for trouble. Its easy enough to do from anywhere. Why automate something that is suppose to be for updating and right now news.

  • I tried scheduled tweets briefly about two years ago. My site isn’t selling anything, so there’s zero upside from upsetting people. And boy did it upset them, I think I only sent three or maybe four tweets in total, but immediately found myself the centre of a minor firestorm.¬†

  • Sarah Pohl

    I know someone who apparently goes to twitter once a day, for half an hour or so, and retweets and posts everything that he deems interesting instantly. That leads to an overload of maybe 20 tweets from the same person in my newsfeed. I wish he would use Buffer!

    I use it to spread interesting news I see over the day – so I don’t forget what else I wanted to say – but still post additional stuff which can’t or shouldn’t wait, e.g. in conversations, right away.

  • Jennifer

    I schedule tweets that are my thoughts on articles I read using Buffer, so there is not a huge push of tweets from me all at once.  I tend to do my article reading in the morning, so it helps to spread it out. 

    Doing all schedule tweets is a big turn-off, especially when it is just pushing out your own content.

  • It does mean you could be incredibly annoying if you wanted to, but other than the novelty of Tweeting “I’m asleep now!” when it’s 4am I can’t really see much use for it. I suppose maybe you could order people you know about, “take the trash out!” I will not be using it, though.

  • Scheduled tweets do not exclude good conversations.¬†All one has to do is pay attention to replies or mentions (ie. “when spoken to”), and engage. just like in offline life.

  • Scheduled Tweets – why say everything in a 10 minute span of Tweets? If you are excited to share with the world, then spread it across the day so it can be enjoyed by many.¬† Then jump in and converse, schedule it in, and when time allows. That’s my take.

  • Hi John, I actually started using Buffer in an effort to try to be considerate of my followers. I do all of my reading in the morning and didn’t feel it was right to bombard people’s feeds all at once so I use Buffer to spread them out during the day.¬†

  • As many others mentioned, it depends what you’re doing it for. A couple of cases I think it’s useful to schedule a tweet:

    1) At an event (you’re the organizer or official twitter account): useful information like links to program page, announcement 10′ before a sessions tarts, etc

    2) When I blog, I usually tweet a comment & link to the content twice (across different time zones) for my readers in Europe and those in the US or Asia

    Instead when it’s about real interaction between people, scheduling won’t work and actually be a turn-off (no one wants to interact with a bot)

  • I recently saw a video by Gary Vaynerchuk where he was railing on the Oprah Winfrey Network for missusing twitter by sending spam tweets asking to RT and get the topic trending. ¬†The basic idea was that OWN (and most other businesses) just don’t get it, and that what really works in social media is genuine participation.

    People have this vague sense that scheduled tweets might not be the right thing to do, and we certainly wouldn’t want our followers to know we’re doing it. ¬†Why? I think the reason is that we all know that they aren’t genuine participation.