Stop Scheduling Your Social Media Posts in Advance

3 Ways Set-it-and-Forget-it Social Media Management Might be Hurting You

Pedro Sostre
Project Maia
Published in
4 min readApr 12, 2018


Actual photo of my face when a client tells me they want to schedule all their posts for the next 5 weeks. 📷

Countless businesses schedule their social media posts in advance — but as some of the most viral social media campaigns have proven — it’s best to “stay in the moment.”

I’m not saying you should never schedule anything — but spending one hour at the beginning of each month scheduling all your posts through Hootsuite is not the most effective social media strategy.

Don’t just blast out “look at me” content to everyone.

Social media is about engagement.

Whether you’re engaging with fans, current events, competitors, influencers (this list could go on…) the point is that you should be responding and creating conversations, not just blasting out “look at me” content to everyone.

Let’s look at 3 ways scheduling your social media posts in advance is hurting you:

1) Little to No Organic Conversations

One of the core reasons people use social media is to have conversations. Unfortunately, many brands forget this fact or overlook it with the excuse that it requires too much effort.

⚡Newsflash: Generating conversations on social media is one of the best ways to create a high ROI social media campaign.

When you pre-schedule all of your posts, you miss out on the chance to create genuine conversations. Instead of scheduling posts each week, take time to listen. What are people saying on social? How can you respond to them in a way that has personality and value?

Admittedly, doing this requires time and effort, but in the end, it’s worth it.

2) Too Slow to Respond to Trends

Another thing you may be missing out on is trending topics. Trends can come and go in what seems like the blink of an eye. If you’re pre-scheduling your posts, you may miss the chance to take advantage of a trend.

These trends could include viral videos, memes, hashtags, and more. Often, they’ll only be popular for a few days, after which they’ll hit peak saturation and your post is just one among the many. To truly make use of a trend, you need to catch it before it peaks.

Getting an early post out for a trend will get you the most ROI, but it isn’t easy.

Catching a viral trend before it peaks has largely been a matter of luck — but that will be changing soon. One of the upcoming features we’re planning for Project Maia includes trend discovery so we can alert our customers when a trend is picking up and they can respond quickly.

Until then, rather than pre-planning all your posts, plan to listen for, and maximize the use of trending topics.

3) Scrambling to Respond to World Events and Interactions

Another way scheduling posts in advance leaves you vulnerable is when you need to respond to a world event or interaction. These could include:

  • A troll or disgruntled customer spamming your page
  • A mention from a big brand, influencer, or celebrity
  • An important real-world event

Events like these are unpredictable. If your scheduled “Happy Hump Day” post goes live 30 minutes after a major tragedy is announced, you look like a self-centered organization that doesn’t care about the events that have just taken place.

By scheduling all your posts in advance, you make your social media a fire-and-forget effort. With that mentality, you’ll be tricked into not checking social media regularly, resulting in missed interactions and events.

The ideal mix is both in-the-moment social media engagement and scheduled posts.

What we’re doing at Project Maia to help

First off, posting in advance isn’t always bad. Scheduled posts are important and save time.

Product launches, sales, promotions, and content sharing can often be scheduled with great success. The ideal mix is both in-the-moment social media engagement and scheduled posts.

Currently, Project Maia’s main skill is creating data-driven social media post calendars.

After the system is done processing the post history of your company and your competitors, you get a 2 week schedule that includes:

  • what type of content to post
  • on what day, and
  • to which platform

But this doesn’t mean we want you to schedule all those posts at once.

That’s why we also built a reminder bot to send you messages on the day that your post is supposed to go out. This reminder comes complete with content suggestions based on what posts have performed well for you, obscure holidays, and (coming soon) world events.

This way you stay on schedule and aware of events that need to be considered when making your posts.

Just remember, if you’re only posting in advance you’re missing out.



Pedro Sostre
Project Maia

Accelerating startups through - I help early-stage founders launch better, grow faster, and raise smarter. Published Author & Speaker.