Automated Posts vs Scheduled Posts: How to Tell the Difference and What to Avoid

I recently attended a fabulous webinar hosted by Alexis Grant. Fabulous goes without saying, because all of her webinars, newsletters and blog posts are fabulous. This particular webinar was on the topic of Twitter for Power Users.

One of the questions asked during the webinar was about the difference between automated posts and scheduled posts. Inspiration struck, and this blog post is the result. Here’s how to tell the difference between the two.

Automated Posts

An automated post is essentially when you have your posting set up on one or more social media account so that whenever you publish a new post there, that post is automatically sent out via your other social media profiles as well. There are a few problems with this.

First, Facebook is not meant for hash tags. Seriously. Why people?

Second, no one is going to follow you on all of your profiles if you simply post the same exact thing everywhere. Variety is the spice of life. Apply the same philosophy to your social media habits!

Finally, no one is going to listen to you! If I had automated posts set up on this blog, the second I hit the ‘Publish’ button, a tweet/Facebook post/LinkedIn update would be sent out saying the following: “Automated Posts vs Schedule Posts: How to Tell the Difference and What to Avoid”. That’s it.

Scheduled Posts

Scheduled posts are different from automated posts. These updates are created in some sort of social media management tool, such as HootSuite (my fav) or Buffer. You write these posts yourself, and then you pick a future date and time for it to be automatically sent out.

Scheduling posts are great for if you have a weekend trip and don’t want to be in front of the computer to update your Twitter or Facebook or whatever it may be. This way, you can enjoy your trip and not have to worry about it. Scheduled posts can also work well if you want to post something at a certain time but will be preoccupied or unable to get to your computer or phone.

The difference here is that you choose when exactly the update is posted, what exactly the update says, and exactly which social media profiles the update is posted to. These updates are also editable and removable, should circumstances, events, news, etc. change to make your future post inappropriate.

Why you should delete automation from your blog

Automated posts are one of my pet peeves. Don’t do it. Just don’t. Please.

My first issue with automated posts is: did you really not have enough time to pop over to Twitter, Facebook or whatever your medium of choice may be to craft an original update?

My second issue is the lack of marketing on these posts. An update with a bit of a teaser, some mystery, some enticement, is much more likely to get clicked. Think about it this way, which of the following two would you be more likely to check out?


In case you missed it, automated posts should be removed from your social media strategy. Focus on scheduling posts when appropriate, and be sure to check them so that they don’t get sent out inappropriately (i.e happy-go-lucky posts during the Boston bombing incident).

Do you use automated or scheduled posts? How can they help to make a more effective social media plan?

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  1. Great post on clarifying scheduled vs automated posts. I’ve never thought about that. When I post to FB, it automatically goes to Twitter. What are your thoughts on that?

    • Eek I cringe. But I mean that in the nicest way possible! It’s a good idea to post differently on each outlet. If you are automatically posting the same thing, people won’t feel the need to connect with you both on Facebook AND Twitter. Spicing things up will keep it interesting for your followers. It’s also a good way to show your wealth and diversity of knowledge. Hope that helps! :)

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