In the wake of the Aurora, CO shooting tragedy during the midnight premiere showing of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, people have taken to social media platforms to sound off on their feelings surrounding the event, updates on the future trial for James Holmes and some even posted footage from the horrific scene. However, some posts have been off color, insensitive and what most would consider “too soon.”
In their defense, the tweet was likely scheduled through an social media management tool such as Hootsuite. This program enables social media managers the ability to schedule, in advance, tweets to publish to their accounts. Admins can pick the time, date and from what account each tweet is published. This program and others, such as TweetDeck, are excellent for managing several accounts at a time and posting tweets at the most optimal time of day. However, as the NRA tweet so painfully points out, there are some drawbacks to this type of scheduling system.
In order to successfully schedule tweets, a social media manager must always cross check his or her work. The egregious error committed by the NRA could have been avoided—spend some time at the beginning of your day surveying the media. Find relevant material and track what is happening in the news. If any of your scheduled tweets seem contradictory, disrespectful or lack relevance, delete them before they post. If you do make an error and a scheduled tweet goes public, be sure to respond accordingly. In the case of the NRA account, it has since been deleted, and what’s more, no further comment has been offered concerning their mistake. In fact, NONE of the NRA accounts have made any tweets since July 19, a day before the Aurora tragedy occurred—these include the accounts of the Friends of NRA, NRA News, NRA Official and the NRA Blog.
Overall, scheduling systems are very beneficial for social media specialists. They cut down on time spent on specific accounts and help track outreach analytics. However, it is important to remain present and responsible for all social media activity. While the ability to schedule is great, it’s important to use the tool with caution.
How do you stay accountable for scheduled posts?
Pyxl is deeply saddened by the events that took place in Aurora. If you’re wondering how you can help the shooting victims, Mashable outlines several online campaigns that have materialized over the week. If you know of any others, please comment below.