living an unconventional life, one cocktail at a time

Why I Hate Scheduled Social Media Updates.

I’m not a fan of automating social media and scheduling Facebook updates or Twitter posts.

That being said, I admit to doing it sometimes. It’s a necessary evil at times because managing several accounts on top of a million other responsibilities at work and home is difficult, and accounts would often go neglected without a few scheduled updates. I only schedule updates for things that won’t change, like daily drink specials at the bar, or a link to the latest blog post that I want to send in the morning instead of late at night, or things that are informational only that I don’t expect people to ask questions about.

I use Hootsuite to manage my Twitter accounts, and while it allows you to schedule Facebook updates, I never do— I’ve only ever scheduled Twitter updates. Something about seeing the little Hootsuite icon in Facebook and knowing that a post came from that app instead of a manual post directly on Facebook feels a little too inauthentic to me.

Recently, Facebook rolled out their own method of scheduling posts. I thought I should at least try it out, if for no other reason than to report back to fellow members of the Social Media Club of Lawrence how it worked.

It didn’t. At least not perfectly.

Here’s an update I scheduled on the bar account (because if I screw something up on that account, it doesn’t really matter and no one will care but me):

Facebook status update

Notice how it says “Scheduled Posts,” yet the date it’s scheduled to be posted is TWO DAYS ago? Yeah.

So I tried to cancel the post:

Cancel Facebook post screenshotWell, that didn’t work. And thanks for telling me I can go to the Activity Log to delete the post that hasn’t posted yet.  Next step, try to reschedule the post.

Reschedule Facebook post screenshotNope. That didn’t work either. So I tried the final option available- publish the post immediately.

Publish Facebook post screenshotAnd we have a giant fail. I’m out of options.

So this “scheduled” status update is stuck in Facebook limbo, where it apparently can’t be canceled, rescheduled or published. I have no idea when it might decide to finally post, and when it does, it will inevitably be AFTER the event mentioned in the post.

At last week’s Social Media Club meeting, we talked about the pros and cons of scheduling social media updates. One major drawback to scheduled posts is that one might auto-post during a catastrophe or some other event when it sounds totally inappropriate. Several people asked, “well, can’t you just go in and cancel any scheduled posts if {insert major world event} happens?”

In theory, yes. But let this be a lesson— apparently, not always.

I should add that I scheduled several other Facebook updates this week that posted just fine at the times they were scheduled. However, knowing this one is stuck and not knowing what will happen to it gives me yet another reason to be wary of scheduling social media posts.

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