For the most effective marketing reach, brands are advised to tweet 15 times a day, according to 10-data-driven studies analyzed by CoSchedule. Other professionals recommend one, three, six, eleven and up to 20 tweets a day. Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of tweets. And a lot of time. That’s where Twitter scheduling tools come in to ease the burden and keep your marketing campaigns humming.

What Are Twitter Scheduling Tools?

Twitter scheduling tools are software applications that let you create a tweet now and schedule it to be posted later. Write your post as usual, then choose the day and time in the future when you’d like it posted. 

What Can Twitter Scheduling Tools Do For You?

Scheduling tools help you organize your Twitter marketing. These apps have a variety of features to take advantage of, depending on the tool you choose. Use Twitter scheduling tools to:

  • Schedule sales, events, announcements, holiday specials and other matters that are coming up on a certain date but you know you’ll be too busy to tweet about. 
  • Analyze the effectiveness of tweeting at different times by purposefully scheduling tweets during specific blocks of time. See which times get the most engagement, and plan your marketing strategy around them.
  • Schedule tweets to hit your target audience when you aren’t normally on Twitter, such as early mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays.
  • Some Twitter scheduling tools work across other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. This streamlines your marketing efforts significantly if you market across several platforms.
  • Schedule tweets to be retweeted automatically. This is effective for getting your evergreen content reposted so it stays in front of your audience.
  • Post a series of reminder tweets ahead of a podcast, event, release or other announcement to get people excited about the date.

Why Use Twitter Scheduling Tools?

A brand that actively uses social media marketing positions itself to reach a wide audience. Tweeting is free, so a business can easily reach thousands and potentially millions of customers without a budget. But since tweeting takes time, using Twitter scheduling tools can give you a higher return on investment by giving you more time to do other tasks. Consider these additional benefits to decide if using a scheduling tool is for you:

  • Keep your brand actively online when you’re busy creating content or doing other business-related tasks.
  • Scheduling in advance is a safety net if you think you might forget to tweet when the time for the event comes.
  • Hit your target audience in a different time zone or across the world when they’re on Twitter, but you may be sleeping.
  • Save time by efficiently creating several or many posts at once. While you’re in Twitter mode, you have the right tabs open on your desktop and are thinking about hashtags, images and so on that you need to create effective posts. 
  • Twitter does not discourage scheduling tweets in advance, which is made clear by the fact that it has its own scheduling tool.

Are There Any Downsides?

Automating your tweet schedule can have its cons. Consider these points:

  • You’re not actually online when your scheduled tweet goes live, so you won’t be responding to comments in real-time. Counteract this by setting up Twitter notifications so you’re alerted immediately when you have a comment and can join the conversation. Or, schedule time into your daily schedule that is set aside for checking your posts for comments. 
  • Think ahead to your long-term needs to make sure the scheduling tool you choose doesn’t quickly outgrow your business.
  • Stay away from any scheduling tools that automate likes, follows, unfollows, adding users to lists in bulk or adding your tweets to collections in bulk. These features go against Twitter’s policies. You may get your Twitter account suspended or have your tweets filtered from search results, negating your marketing efforts.
  • A scheduled tweet may come off as offensive or insensitive if it’s tweeted during a major national or international tragedy or natural disaster. You should be aware of putting your regular tweets on pause during these times and instead tweet your condolences, support or helpful information related to the current event.

5 Twitter Scheduling Tools

Developers, including Twitter itself, have created many scheduling tools, and more are surely on the way. To choose the one that’s right for you, consider your budget, the features that will be most beneficial to your marketing strategies and if the app can grow with your brand. Many tools have a free plan. This is also an advantage to you as you can try out several apps until you find the one you like most. Here are five to consider:

TweetDeck

TweetDeck is Twitter’s free, integrated browser that puts all of your Twitter tools in one place. From one page, create tweets and access your home feed, notifications, messages, trending tweets, linked accounts and settings. Schedule the date and time of your tweets as far into the future as you want. Manage multiple accounts, and edit or delete scheduled posts at any time.

  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Tweet schedule limit: Unlimited
  • Social networks supported: Twitter

Twitter Ads

This is Twitter’s paid advertising tool that lets you set up your marketing budget across multiple campaigns. Its built-in scheduling tool plans tweets up to a year in advance. Choose to promote your tweet to a targeted group or organically to all of your followers.

  • Free plan available: No
  • Tweet schedule limit: Unlimited
  • Social networks supported: Twitter

Twittimer

Twittimer’s free plan gives lets you schedule tweets in advance, with the added benefits of scheduling posts of your Facebook and Linkedin accounts and adding an RSS feed. Its two paid plans give you additional benefits, including:

  1. Up to 30 Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn accounts per Twittimer account
  2. Up to 30 RSS feeds that show your 10 latest posts
  3. Unlimited timetables that let you set up fixed dates and times when you want your posts to go out
  4. Bulk upload of messages or messages with images via CSV to save time
  5. Linked with your Bitly account
  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Tweet schedule limit: 10 posts (across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) per month with free plan, 500 or 1,000 with paid plans
  • Social networks supported: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

HootSuite

HootSuite lets you manage your Twitter account as well as all of your other social networks from one dashboard. HootSuite has a free plan, but after that, its four plans are geared more toward established marketers and businesses, unless you have a lot of spare pocket change to support its lowest-tier plan. The free plan includes two social profiles and a total of 30 messages that you can post in advance. You cannot schedule more until one of your messages is posted or deleted. Some of the features of paid plans include:

  1. Multiple users and up to 35 social profiles
  2. Analytics and reports
  3. Ad spend limit from $500 to $5,000
  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Tweet schedule limit: 30 posts with free plan, unlimited with paid plans
  • Social networks supported: 35 social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Later

Later is friendly to both individuals and businesses. Its free plan is for one user and lets you:

  1. Include one account from each of four social media platforms
  2. Schedule 50 tweets, 30 Instagram posts, 30 Facebook posts and 30 Pinterest posts for free each month
  3. Include photos with your tweets and posts

This application has four paid plans and is designed to grow with you. Some additional features included with paid plans include:

  1. Multiple users and profiles per social media platform
  2. Hashtag suggestions
  3. Robust analytics across platforms
  4. Best time to post suggestions
  • Free plan available: Yes
  • Tweet schedule limit: 50 tweets with free plan, unlimited tweets with paid plans
  • Social networks supported: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest

Twitter scheduling tools streamline the process of posting your tweets. They help your brand keep its presence on Twitter around the clock so that you can reach a broader audience and stay engaged even when you’re busy doing other things. Consider the pros and cons of using scheduling tools as well as the various features of specific tools when choosing what’s best for your marketing program.

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