Written by Stephanie Leishman

March 13, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Social Media Content: Post Now, Schedule, or Queue?

Are there only two types of social media managers?

You might imagine one type, the managers who post everything in the moment. They are always on, have their phone ready in their back pocket to whip out at any moment.

And you might imagine a second type–the super-scheduler who spends only their Fridays, masterfully queuing up content like a parent who cooks for the whole week, and divvies it all out into plastic containers in the freezer.

These two types might exist somewhere in the universe, but most social media managers fall in between. That’s because some content is best posted in the moment, some content is best scheduled ahead, and some content is best queued.

Posts to Send Right Away

There are some posts that only make sense in the moment. This is the type of content that can’t be prepared ahead of time. Let’s have a look at some examples.

Content from live events

You have invited a distinguished guest to speak at your event and they share something that your audience will love! This is great time to tweet an image of the speaker or publish a quote from the speech to Facebook. You can’t schedule this type of content!

Instagram screen to start a live video

Live video

Imagine you’re at the top of a mountain on a beautiful hike. You could take some photos to share later, but you feel that pull to go live on Instagram and show everyone the glory of the sunrise.

You want to chat with your followers (who also happen to be early risers) about where you are and how long it took you.

You can’t predict this type of content all the time. However, you can schedule a “save the date” post leading up to a live video, if you’re planning ahead (see the “schedule these posts” section below).

Congratulations and thank you posts

Did you just find out that someone in your community won an award? The moment you find out is probably the best time to send your congratulations. Same goes for a thank you— if someone does something nice, like share your blog post with their followers, you’ll want to thank that person in a timely fashion.

Some weather-related posts

Maybe there’s a blizzard outside and you’re closing early. Or perhaps you want to gush about how beautiful it is outside today so your followers will get motivated to take your yoga class in the park. You can’t just schedule a rainy day post for another day and hope it’s raining that day, too.

weather related post that can't be scheduled

This Boston-area business couldn’t wait to schedule or queue this weather-related post.

Milestone celebrations

Unless it’s an anniversary, hitting a milestone can’t be timed. You don’t know when you’ll hit your 10,000th Facebook fan or the exact date the organization giving you an award will publish that press release.

You might know roughly down to the month or week, but day or hour is tricky. In this type of situation, you can put together a draft and save it until you know for sure when it’s appropriate to publish.

Posts to Schedule

As a marketer or business owner, you need to find ways to “scale up” your efforts and do more with your time.

Scheduling is helpful because you can compose posts in batches on one day and schedule these posts to publish throughout the week. When you group your tasks together in this way, you save time that is otherwise wasted switching from one task to another.

Get more viewers for your live video

I mentioned above that live video is an in-the-moment experience. However, you can schedule this type of content ahead of time.

If you want more viewers to show up, give them a heads up. If you decide to do a live video tomorrow, schedule a few reminder posts to go out before then, even up to an hour or ten minutes before you plan to go live.

Event promotion

You know when your event is happening and likely where it’s going to be. Don’t keep reminding yourself with sticky notes that you need to publish another event promotion post– just schedule all of them at once.

To make it super easy, use your content calendar. Read up on what your marketing should look like before, during, and after an event, then schedule your posts in one day and let them auto-publish through Agorapulse’s fancy scheduler.

Welcome to the event

You’re running an event and you want to tweet at the beginning of the event to welcome everyone.

You don’t have to wait until the event is starting composing your post– just wait until setup is done. This might be the night before, and if you’re in an inside venue, it will look the same tonight as it will tomorrow morning. Take a pic, schedule it for the morning, and experience less stress as the event begins.

Wishing everyone a Happy Friday

Because hey, it’s Friday. This could apply to holidays or other special days too. You know this day is coming– there is no “rain date” for the first day of Spring. You can schedule this content with confidence.

meatless monday scheduled post

Meatless Monday is a weekly event that can easily be planned in advance.

Promotions, sales, and discounts

Are you doing a Labor Day Sale or promoting a 48-hour discount code? Schedule all your content leading up to the discount and post reminders through the days your sale is live. Maybe even throw in a “surprise – you get an extra day!” post.

Blast to the past

Sounds ironic that you’d schedule a #throwback for the future! But think about it: whatever it is, it happened years ago. There’s no urgency to talk about it. So schedule it for a time when it seems perfectly relevant. For example, on your business’s five-year anniversary, post a photo from your opening five years ago.

Post to Queue

Some types of social media posts should be queued, not scheduled. Queuing is a feature available in your Agorapulse dashboard and it is so clever that international social media influencer Jeff Bullas takes full advantage of it.

Queuing is especially effective for evergreen content — that is, content that doesn’t isn’t tied to a particular date and can be useful well into the future.

With these pieces of content, there’s no need to select a specific time for your post to publish. Instead, add these posts to the queue as you go, and Agorapulse will send them out in a steady stream. Not only that, but you can set Queue Categories, meaning you can have certain types of content go out on specific days of the week and times of day.

The Agorapulse queue in action

Let me explain some of the categories I’ve set up in the queue slots you see above.

Promote your blog posts

When you’ve written an excellent blog post, a single social media post isn’t enough to promote it. You could go in and schedule a post to go out every seven days, but if you have other content to promote as well, you don’t want to constantly shift the dates around.

queued post example

People are increasingly more interested in building a brand on Instagram, so this Agorapulse article is worth posting quite frequently. A PERFECT queue candidate.

So instead of all that constant scheduling hassle, you can queue your post! That way, as you queue other blog posts, you can keep adding to the mix. In Agorapulse’s queue feature, you can drag and drop queued posts to reorder them quickly.

Or use the shuffle button to instantly rearrange all the content in your queue!

pause shuffle queue

Promoting others’ content

Here’s a tip: make sure you share others people’s content and not just your own. This could mean featuring a local business, sharing customers’ success stories, or sharing useful articles from other sources.

All of this content usually doesn’t have a specific date it needs to be posted, and you don’t want everything you found today to go out today. So queue it up!

 

queued other example

Agorapulse queued this helpful article from marketing expert Lilach Bullock. This information will be helpful to its audience at anytime, so it was a perfect candidate for the “others” queue.

With Agorapulse’s queue categories, you can categorize content so that it’s published in a balanced way. For example, you might first queue up all your blog posts, then move on to queue up posts from other sources.

Instead of going in and reordering all posts to create a balance, you can just create two queue categories: Mine and Theirs. “Mine” posts can go out every morning and “Theirs” can go out every evening.

social media agencies tool

Highlight products or services

What I love about Agorapulse’s queue feature is the ability to queue specific types of posts on set days. This means that I can have a steady stream of posts, but also make sure that all my product posts don’t go out too close together.

So pick a few days, maybe Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a time on those days, for the queue to send your product-related posts. Then, as you compose your post, select the product category and let Agorapulse do the rest.

choose queue category

 

Post Now, Schedule or Queue?

Now that you have an idea of what types of content are appropriate to post now, schedule, or queue, plan your content with these types in mind.

Save time by scheduling and queuing content, and use that reclaimed time to engage with your community with live content. Are there other types of content you would add to this list? Send me a tweet and let me know!

Sophia Dagnon

May 15, 2018

Stephanie Leishman

Stephanie Leishman, founder of Apiarity, helps businesses meet their goals through exceptional social media. She is an experienced public speaker who has helped multiple organizations restructure their processes to optimize the time and resources they invest in online marketing.

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