Social media has always been thought of as a real-time place to share what you’re thinking or doing at the moment, but smart marketers know that while there is a time and place for tweeting at the moment, being able to schedule tweets in advance is a timesaver – and lifesaver. After all, as marketers, we have a lot of responsibilities, such as keeping multiple social media accounts and managing many other tasks, often simultaneously. Being able to set Tweets ahead of time lets us finish that task and focus on other things.
With that said, scheduling Tweets wasn’t always an option. This is especially true since Twitter was originally conceived as a way of sharing thoughts in real-time. It has only been until fairly recently that Twitter has officially supported a scheduling option on its mobile app or website, but there are alternative ways to schedule tweets that might interest you.
Let’s explore the options. Hopefully, you’ll find that one of the ways how to schedule tweets works well for you.
Why Schedule Tweets on Twitter?
Scheduling Tweets in advance can seem counter to the purpose of the platform. After all, many people consult Twitter to see what is going on in the world. Witness the “Miracle on the Hudson” story, for example, where an expert pilot saved the lives of passengers. This was an important story that played out on Twitter before it broke in other news forums. It might not seem like evolution in your work style but being able to access a scheduling feature is an absolute game-changer for any business. Here’s why:
Scheduling neutralizes time zones
First, if you know how to schedule tweets, you can schedule for any time zone so you can tweet even while you are asleep or not working. This also allows your tweets to be exposed to a larger audience. While this isn’t as important of an advantage for small businesses that have one location or a limited geographic reach, it’s a major boon for larger companies.
Think about it this way. For many of us who work with large companies, potential customers are located over several time zones. In addition, there are ideal times to reach customers, such as earlier in the morning when people check their phones, and over lunchtime. If these ideal times are the middle of the night for us, then scheduling a Tweet is about the only way to deliver messages when they’re most likely to be effective.
Scheduling helps keep your feed full
By scheduling your tweets you can ensure that your feed is consistent and you don’t run out of tweets. After all, you can compose a bunch of Tweets with a unified theme, then schedule them for the right time and in the right order. Many Twitter users, brand and individual alike, tell stories in 280 character bites. They sometimes do this by breaking down something that’s larger, or by composing standalone Tweets that promote a certain message.
And keeping your feed active is important. The best way to build your Twitter following and gain ROI from the platform is through consistency. People love to “check-in” with their favorite Twitter voices on a regular basis to see how they’re doing. Scheduling tweets allows you to meet customer demand through consistent messaging. Remember, you don’t need to make every Tweet a branded message. Cool stuff like inspirational quotes and humor are also welcome.
Knowing how to schedule Tweets saves you time.
Scheduling tweets in advance, especially in bulk, is a form of batch processing that will undoubtedly save you a lot of time. As with other social media networks, if you know how to schedule Tweets you can set up an entire week’s worth of messages at once. In some cases, you might even schedule out farther, though this depends on the method you choose and other considerations. Once you’ve scheduled your Tweets, unless there’s a reason to intervene, you can quit worrying about constant posting.
Further Reading: The Five Awesome Twitter Features You Should Use Now
How to schedule Tweets on Twitter
While scheduling Tweets is one of the more complicated aspects of using Twitter for beginners, it doesn’t have to stay complicated. Depending on your scheduling method, the process can be streamlined significantly. In addition, different scheduling methods have different limitations. Once you see these different ways how to schedule Tweets, you’ll probably find that more than one method is useful to you on different occasions. However, not all methods are suitable for everyone.
1. Schedule Tweets on Twitter itself
This is the easiest answer to how to schedule Tweets, especially if you don’t use a social media manager or general-purpose scheduler. Twitter has allowed you to schedule tweets through Twitter.com since May of 2020 and afterward added Twitter App support. This way, you can schedule a Tweet on the run, if you need to. For instance, Tweets can be scheduled on the train into work or during a long layover while flying across the country.
Prior to May of 2020, the ability to schedule Tweets within the Twitter infrastructure was very limited. Back then, you could only schedule tweets through the Twitter Ads platform. With that said, you could schedule both organic and promoted Tweets this way, and you could schedule up to a year in advance. On the other hand, you still need ads to account for this way how to schedule Tweets. For that reason, further discussion will involve the more recent version of the scheduling feature.
Like most things on Twitter, this feature is easy to use.
Step 1: Compose your tweet as you normally would. This includes adding any links, Twitter cards, or graphics. Make sure it looks the way you want it to.
Step 2: Click the calendar icon. You can find this at the bottom of the composition box along with the emoji and GIF icons. This will let you choose dates and times.
Step 3: Schedule tweets in advance according to your desired publishing date and time. First, you’ll select the date, then the time, using a drop-down menu. Next, click “confirm” in the top right-hand corner, then “schedule” to finalize. If you want to see what’s scheduled, later on, you can see a list of them below the drop-down menu.
This method of how schedule Tweets has a couple of advantages. First, you can schedule a tweet without leaving the Twitter app or the page, depending on your device. For that reason, scheduling is very easy. All you need to supply is creativity. Second, anyone can do it. The other methods we’ll talk about require third-party apps, many of which cost money or are only accessible on certain devices. If you are just starting out and haven’t chosen your tools yet, or need to work away from your computer, this could be a problem. And, if you only need to schedule one or two Tweets, this method can’t be beaten.
2. Schedule Posts Using a Social Media Management Tool
Unfortunately, while you can schedule tweets for free on Twitter, you have to do them one at a time. Depending on how often you Tweet, consistent scheduling can be a major chore. It adds several steps to Tweet composition, and this must be done every time you Tweet. In other words, you lose much of the “batch scheduling” advantage we talked about earlier.
Luckily, if you have a social media management tool or dashboard, there’s a high chance it’ll let you schedule Tweets. In particular, your tool of choice needs to support Twitter. With that said, using the right social media tools you can manage how to schedule Tweets with ease.
How does this work? Generally, a social media dashboard will allow you to upload multiple tweets from a .csv file or RSS feed. With this method, you not only skip having to type each Tweet into the dashboard, but the tool handles nearly everything for you. Simply compose the Tweets that you want to send and add the desired dates and times to different columns of the spreadsheet or RSS feed. Depending on how your content creation is set up, it can be a simple drag and drop job.
Of course, like anything else on Twitter, timing is everything. Luckily, some tools will even recommend the optimal times to tweet based on engagement data, such as Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature, and even automatically choose a time for you (Hootsuite, SproutSocial). How do they perform this task? In general, social media tools will recommend times based on analytics data. That’s because most well-rounded tools have analytics features, and they’ll help you send Tweets at the most successful times.
Better yet, if your social media dashboard selects the Tweet scheduling times for you, there’s little guesswork involved. Simply set your parameters as necessary, and then upload your desired Tweets. You might even get help with hashtag research from the dashboard, though that’s beyond the scope of this post.
There’s a wide variety of social media dashboards on the market these days. Popular examples of these tools are Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Buffer, Sendible, Agorapulse, and Social Pilot. You can find a listing of the best social media dashboards here.
To give you an idea, this is the power that social media dashboards like AgoraPulse can bring you in terms of scheduling tweets. To schedule a tweet here, you first compose the tweet:
Notice at the bottom you have options to publish now, add to queue (see below for an example of that), or schedule for a certain date and time in the future. Once you select schedule and press next, you will see the following screen where you enter the exact date and time:
Further Reading: The 21 Best Twitter Tools for Marketing
3. Schedule Tweets in an Evergreen Queue Using Scheduling Tools
Comprehensive social media dashboards aren’t the only way how to schedule Tweets through a third party. In fact, there are other tools made for scheduling tweets that allow you to create queues based on categories and repeat the tweet after a comfortable interval. While you aren’t technically allowed to repeat a Tweet, you can avoid making all your Tweets new out of whole cloth. By making minor changes to a Tweet, you can give it new life. Better yet, some tools will make the changes automatically.
While there aren’t as many scheduling tools as comprehensive dashboards, there are several tools that are mostly limited to scheduling. Examples of these tools are MeetEdgar, RecurPost, SocialBee, and SocialChamp. Generally speaking, these tools help perform content curation and oversee evergreen content. Depending on the tool, you can also add fresh Tweets for scheduling. Alternatively, you can leverage a scheduling tool alongside your regular dashboard. This is especially useful if you’re leveraging the schedulers for content curation or evergreen posting.
Further Reading: Why Evergreen Tweets are Critical to Twitter Marketing Success
To get a feel for this, here is what it looks like when you schedule a post on SocialBee. Notice the robust options it has.
Finally, keep in mind that your best scheduling option may vary from one moment to the next. For instance, if you have an important company announcement that needs to go out across time zones and languages, the individual posting flexibility of in-Twitter scheduling can be very valuable. It’s also great when you are new to Twitter marketing and don’t have a lot of content yet.
While knowing how to schedule Tweets was much more difficult before 2020, this is one part of a marketer’s life that has improved during the pandemic. And it’s even more important now that we often work remotely, or move from one device to another. With that said, the ease of scheduling Twitter posts will remain critical as we move on from the challenges of the last couple of years. Making any platform more user-friendly is generally advantageous for everyone. No matter what your needs are, be sure to try one of these ways how to schedule Tweets today.
Further Reading: The 22 Best Twitter Schedulers to Ramp Up Your Twitter Marketing
Hero Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash