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Tweet to the future

Twitter unrolled a huge update recently, enabling users to schedule tweets up to one year in advance. This is a long-awaited feature that will be widely used by all types of users, with brands and business owners potentially benefitting the most. Any Twitter account can also schedule picture tweets using Twitter’s pic.twitter.com service. While social media management tools like HootSuite have enabled scheduled tweets for users in the past, this is the first time that users can schedule a picture tweet.

How do I schedule a tweet?

Twitter has made the process of scheduling tweets fairly simple. You can schedule a tweet in only six steps:

  1. Go to ads.twitter.com and log in with your Twitter account.

  2. Navigate to Creatives -> Tweets -> Compose Tweet.

  3. Click Scheduling.

  4. On the next screen, Twitter will suggest a time for your tweet to be published, but you can modify this to any date and time you desire.

  5. Write your tweet.

  6. Click Schedule Tweet.

Scheduling your tweet is as simple as that.

Who benefits most from scheduled tweets?

Brands with active social media campaigns benefit the most from scheduled tweets. Ideally, brand marketing managers can input an entire week’s worth of tweets in the span of several minutes, making the manual process of precisely planned tweets a thing of the past. Marketing experts familiar with HootSuite may find scheduling tweets especially easier when it comes to photo tweets, as pictures hosted on pic.twitter.com appear automatically embedded in a tweet. This results in higher engagement levels, which is precisely what brands are seeking on Twitter. For example, a company that creates contractor software can now conveniently provide different selling points throughout the week, inputted all in one place.

Of course, you don’t have to manage a brand to benefit from scheduled posts. Any normal user can increase their prominence on Twitter as well. Witty tweets within a few minutes of one another may not receive much attention, as they appear clustered together on other users’ feed. Scheduling tweets allows all users to separate their witty 140-character banter throughout the day, likely resulting in more users viewing their tweets, since the content is spread out rather than jumbled together.

What’s the outlook of HootSuite after this update?

HootSuite has been acclaimed since forming in 2008. It currently has over seven million users. However, Twitter’s unveiling of scheduled tweets may be a detriment for HootSuite, as scheduling tweets was a feature that attracted many to HootSuite, since it was not possible to do directly through Twitter until now. While this may negatively impact HootSuite slightly, it is unlikely that the software will dwindle significantly in popularity.

HootSuite is also used by many social media experts who manage numerous pages throughout social media networks. As of now, Twitter does not allow the ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts simultaneously, which means HootSuite should remain a popular tool for now. While Twitter may seek to eradicate third-party management options like HootSuite in the future, Twitter does not have enough options or management functionality to knock them off the block just yet.

Are you excited about the new scheduling feature? How are you going to use it?

Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer who covers trends in social media and social marketing. She has written for Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, and Search Engine People, and is always looking for new opportunities. To see more of her work, follow her on Twitter or check out her blog, Pongra.