It happens to everyone eventually. You wake up, sip your first cup of coffee for the morning, and watch your twitter feed scroll by, then pop into your social media scheduling tool of choice…and see your first tweet of the day hasn’t gone out. And it’s no longer in the tool either. What was the link that you’d shared in your optimal time to tweet today?
This happened this morning to users of Hootsuite’s publishing tool (and is ongoing as of this writing). A favorite amongst distributed social media teams, among other things the tool allows multiple people to schedule posts to social media accounts, without having access to the login information.
But when the tool goes down, what’s your backup plan for keeping your social media channels on schedule?
1. Have a backup scheduling tool
When I figured out this morning’s scheduled tweets were missing and presumed floating through the ether, I swapped over to Sprout Social, another social media productivity tool I use regularly, and entered in the tweets I had scheduled for the day.
2. Archive tweets in a shared file, complete with all links, tags and scheduled send time.
It may be tempting to manually insert your tweets into your scheduling tool and forget about them, especially if you’re using a plugin that automates it from wherever you’re curating your content. But if you aren’t archiving your content in a separate file, you won’t have it in hand and ready to re-post elsewhere if your scheduling tool fails you. Insert this into your workflow by creating and approving your social media content in a template that you save to a place your entire social media team can access. As a bonus, your template can remind contributors of your key style and formatting guidelines, thus providing greater consistency for your community.
3. Make sure several users have access to account logins for manual updates
In a large corproate team setting, it may not feel practical to have a backup social media scheduling tool that everyone is cross-trained on. If you decide not to have a backup tool, you’ll need to ensure you have someone on call who has access to the account logins who can manually post if necessary. Ideally, you’ll want to rotate this responsibility through the team, and ensure there are multiple ways to reach this person (emails, cell, home phone).
4. Take a deep breath and regroup
Yes, it’s an annoyance and an inconvenience when your favorite social tool is not available to you. But at the end of the day, posting angry tweets about it won’t help the service provider fix it any faster — you will just increase your blood pressure! Check-in with your team and discuss how to split up the listening and responding until the tool is fixed. If you are a team of one, this may be a good time to try out a few new tools to ensure next time this happens, you can make a smooth transition to your backup.
Check out one of these recent social media tool round-up articles for some ideas on what to use in place of your usual tool, should the need arise:
- 25 Awesome Social Media Tools (Your Brand Should Be Using) [INFOGRAPHIC]
- 38 tools to help you rock content marketing
What are your tips for surviving an automation tool melt down? Share your tips — and your favorite tools– in the comments.