What You Should Know About Facebook Scheduling
With the ever increasing importance for a company to have a social media presence, there is no doubt that having a Facebook page is on top of anyone’s to-do list. But, to be successful in this platform, you have to consider the fact that since you are dealing directly with consumers or your customers, you need to be creative, entertaining and consistent in what you post. Thankfully, Facebook has allowed page owners to schedule posts straight from their page without any need to use a third party application. This post hopefully will tell you more on scheduling posts on Facebook.
Automation vs Being ‘Social’
Automation of content posting on Facebook or Twitter may not be ‘social’ for most people, but, in my opinion, it does help in ensuring efficiency and consistency with what you post.
As a Social Media Manager myself, scheduling posts helps in planning ahead, so that I can focus more on interaction on days when I already have contents planned and scheduled out. I don’t see myself frantically coming up with things to post since I already thought ahead. I can sit back and wait for people to interact with the client pages I handle as they see the contents I’m putting out. If anything needs changing, it’s easier to manage.
Facebook Scheduling vs Hootsuite and other Third Party Apps
This is slightly bad news for social media tools like Hootsuite and Buffer since many people will prefer to schedule posts through Facebook directly. I only use them now for Twitter and I have switched to using Facebook scheduling completely. Why?
No more annoying indication that the post was from ‘Hootsuite’, Buffer, Tweetdeck, etc. Even if you posted the content right away, it’ll still show you did so through Hootsuite. And this may turn off many people as they see you’re scheduling posts.Update: This no longer applies, but I still prefer to schedule through Facebook since I can easily view them on the Activity Log.
With Facebook scheduling, there’s no hint or sign that it was a scheduled post. This is particularly good for those days when you need to go on a much-needed vacation from maintaining your page. No one will know it was scheduled, unless they ask you questions and you were not able to answer on the same day.
There have been numerous reports (see this) that posts published through third-party applications like Hootsuite are not given priority and have very low Edgerank (in short, the chances for your posts to be shown to your followers on their Newsfeed) and there are some that are hidden altogether.
With Facebook scheduling, your posts will look ‘normal’ and, from what I observed, it doesn’t affect each post’s Edgerank negatively. It’s as if you posted in real-time.
Facebook Insights doesn’t track the likes, shares and comments on posts published through Hootsuite. This is one big downside.
No more Hootsuite Photos album. Instead, your images will show up under a new album called ‘Photos’.
I know, Hootsuite is still a very useful tool for bulk scheduling, reporting and monitoring, but if you are after the ‘social’ factor of this platform, Facebook scheduling is the way to go.
How to Schedule Posts on Facebook
Let’s get on with the tutorial. How exactly do you schedule posts on Facebook?
Important Note: If you have not entered a milestone yet like when your company or website was established / launched, you’ll be prompted to do so before you can schedule posts.
1. On your page, enter your message on the status box. If you need to attach a photo or video, do it BEFORE you choose a schedule. Good thing they already updated the time menu; now you have to type it manually.
2. Select your preferred schedule. Take note that the minutes are in intervals of 5.
Also, if you choose to schedule a post in less than 10 minutes from the present time, it won’t let you do so and will tell you to publish it now.
3. Once done, click on Schedule and you should receive a notification that your post has been scheduled.
Take note though that there’s a bug (see complete list below this post) that tells you your post wasn’t successfully scheduled because of the time, etc. So, make sure you have a copy of the caption or message you used. Also, before you schedule again, check the Activity Log to see if your post was scheduled or not to avoid duplicate posts.
How to View and Edit Scheduled Facebook Posts
Once you’ve scheduled your Facebook posts, where do you find them? On the Activity Log.
1. Go to the top of your page and click on Edit Page. It’ll then give you a menu. Click on Use Activity Log.
2. There, you’d see all your scheduled posts.
Remember the following:
a. If you’d like to change the time, check the upper-righthand menu (click on the arrow) and either click on Reschedule, Publish Now or Delete Post.
Don’t worry, you’ll be prompted first for Publish Now and Cancel Post.
You can only edit captions for photos. Plain status messages or captions for videos or links can’t be changed. You’d have to reschedule them again. Facebook now allows you to edit the caption of your scheduled posts.
NOTE: For photos, it’s best to use the Edit feature on the Activity Log than on the Edit caption when the photo is viewed in full. Why? So there won’t be a notification that your post was ‘Edited’.
That’s it! It’s a pretty straightforward tool and process, so I’m sure it’ll be a breeze.
Bugs of Facebook Scheduling and Areas for Improvement
After weeks of using Facebook scheduling, I have noticed a couple of bugs. If you happen to encounter anything else, please let me know at the comments section. 🙂
There are constant errors even when you did everything correctly. The errors are usually not choosing the right time, etc. Make sure you check Activity Log because 99% of the time, your scheduled post is already there.
Schedule resets. If you’re attaching a photo and you’ve already set a schedule, but you realized you chose the wrong image or you need to change it, the schedule will reset and you have to choose the year, month, and time again. When editing the caption, if you choose to edit the schedule too, it’ll mess up the whole time set, so DO NOT edit it from there. Instead, use the functions on the Activity Log page.
Choosing a schedule takes more time than it should. I don’t like that you need to select from dropdown menus for year, month, day, hour and minute. I wish they can change that to a much easier way to select the time and day.
You cannot edit status messages or captions for videos and links.
Thankfully, Facebook already improved the scheduling feature for pages so the bugs listed above no longer occur. Well, at least for me. 🙂
That’s it for how to schedule posts on Facebook. It is a very powerful tool, and the decision to utilize this is all on you. Do you think you, your business or your client will benefit from it? I say, with all its perks, you can be more efficient and still be effective, and ‘social’.
Let me know your thoughts about this at the comments section. 🙂