Scheduled Tweets and Poor Timing: A Recipe for Marketing Failure

With programs like HootSuite and TweetDeck, it’s easy to schedule a week’s worth of tweets on Monday morning and walk away.

And for many tourism and hotel brands, the ability to pre-schedule tweets is the only way your marketing department can maintain a ubiquitous social media presence.

But in the middle of a tragedy, your pre-scheduled tweets are a recipe for marketing failure.

Last year, as the northeastern states braced themselves against Hurricane Sandy, we turned to social media platforms to get live news updates and check on our loved ones.

And to that effect, Twitter rose to the occasion. People were tweeting breaking updates before the major news networks could report on them. We connected with loved ones in the area, or let our loved ones know that we were okay.

It was amazing.

We also saw, very clearly, which brands were using auto-scheduled tweets. While we were glued to Twitter hoping that nurses and first responders could safely evacuate a New York Hospital’s NICU down nine flights of stairs, an obtrusive tweet about a marketing blog post or a new analytics program would try to force its way into the Twitter conversation.

And these obtrusive tweets failed for two reasons…

1. No one was listening.

In marketing, it’s hard enough to get people to pay attention to you on any given day. No one cares about what you’re selling. People want to know about how your destination will keep conference attendees entertained. Or how your hotel will be a home away from home.

Eyes glaze over when your audience sees a self-promotional tweet or a sales-y Facebook post.

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So when a major tragedy like Sandy hits the nation, you’d better believe no one is paying attention to what you’re selling. People are glued to Twitter to get the latest news updates. They’re refreshing Facebook every five seconds to make sure loved ones are okay.

No one is paying attention to your poorly-timed tweets about your latest blog post.

The tweets are certainly not going to convert but they will get you noticed, which leads to the second reason poorly timed scheduled tweets are a marketing fail…

2. People will notice your tweets, but not in a good way.

No one is paying attention to your poorly-timed promotional tweets, but you are getting noticed.

And not in a good way.

In the hours leading up to and following Hurricane Sandy’s arrival on the East Coast, Twitter users were using the platform to have a live conversation about what was happening.

And marketing tweets stuck out like a sore thumb. They proved these brands were obviously not part of any conversation. They were self-absorbed.

Social media is all about having genuine conversations. Your posts should, at the very least, appear personal. And while we know pre-scheduled tweets are a necessary evil, we don’t have to be made aware that posts are automated.

But when you’re auto-tweeting throughout the night about your new campaign, we are very, very aware that your posts are automated.

And it’s hard to justify following you.

At the very least, these poorly timed auto-tweets left a bad taste in our mouths. Worse yet, they can cost you followers and damage your brand’s reputation.

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Do you know any tourism marketers who could benefit from this info? If so, please share by clicking on the ClicktoTweet link below:

Tourism marketers, are auto-tweets and poor timing killing your brand? –ClicktoTweet

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