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Facebook Scheduling Feature

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Facebook schedulerNow that Facebook scheduling has been out for a little while and most of the bugs have been worked out of it, I’ve been using it more and more often. Manually posting updates to Facebook seems to generate more impressions than using third-party software, so it is likely that Facebook’s own scheduling feature will enjoy the same Edge Rank benefits. So with that, let’s explore Facebook scheduling.

 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to the status update box on your Facebook page and enter your content.
  2. Click the clock icon located in the lower left-hand corner of the posting interface.
  3. When clicked, you will see an option to select “year” from a drop-down menu. Posts can be scheduled up to six months in advance.
  4. When done, click the “Schedule” button located in the lower right-hand corner.

 

Facebook Scheduled Post

By clicking the clock icon in the lower left corner of your status update box, you can set a future date for new posts, or backdate posts. Facebook only allows you to backdate posts to the date your company was founded.

 

 

Facebook scheduling for fanpages is only open to those pages that have set a founded or launched date for their company.

 

If you want to view, change or delete those scheduled posts, you need to go to the Admin Panel -> Edit Page -> Activity Log.

 

The Pros of Facebook’s New Scheduling System

There are some benefits to this new scheduling system.

  • You can backdate posts. This is a create way to create history milestones in the life of your company and flesh out your Timeline more fully.
  • No need for third party apps when you can do it right from your FB interface (likely what Facebook was going for with this change)
  • NO EdgeRank visibility penalty like 3rd party apps (assumed)

 

The Cons of Facebook’s New Scheduling System

While it’s still early and subject to change, there are definitely some downsides to this feature so far.

  1. It doesn’t seem to work correctly on anyone’s personal pages. At first, mine would not work at all. Now it allows me to choose the year, month and day but not a time so basically, it’s useless on my personal account. All it will do is post it at the current time- no post dating.
  2. It does not offer any support regarding when to make your posts (the best time to post to your target market, etc) like some apps do.
  3. Difficult to find an edit your scheduled posts. The option is there in your acidity log but most cannot find it and making changes is not as streamlined as it could be.

 

3rd Party Scheduling Apps

But wait a minute now… what about those 3rd party scheduling apps we’re always talking about? Is Facebook’s new system going to wipe those out? Well, while they might be trying to, they just don’t have the means to compete with them as of yet.

 

Here are some examples that we like:

 

Buffer:

BufferApp is a fantastic tool to schedule tweets and help you manage the content that you put out to your Twitter stream. It also works for Facebook, and now LinkedIn as well. Not only does it allow you to simultaneously post to both places, it also helps you schedule these messages to go at just the right time of the day to have the full effect you want. Read more in Schedule Tweets: 5 Tips to Master BufferApp and Twitter Marketing Made Easy with BufferApp.

 

HootSuite:

HootSuite is a social media management tool that allows you to publish, monitor and measure across networks, securely and with ease. You can post-date posts to different platforms, organize lists and more. One of the greatest benefits to HootSuite is how it allows you to manage multiple social profiles from one dashboard. This is something that Facebook scheduling simply cannot compete with.

 

3rd Party Apps vs Facebook

Facebook seems to have a love-hate relationship with 3rd party apps. At times, it will seem they are open and friendly to them, as evidenced from the developer accounts they allow, but then Facebook will turn around and penalize posts that originate from 3rd party apps. Only recently (since Facebook launched their own scheduling), I have also begun seeing the option to share missing from posts that were made with 3rd party apps like Buffer. If this is permanent and not a temporary glitch, it’s going to be detrimental to the social media management campaigns of everyone who uses these apps. It will completely ruin some of these applications.

 

What’s the point of making the post if FB removes the option to share it? We want our content to be share- and shared, and shared and shared some more.

 

It is assumed that this native scheduler will have no EdgeRank visibility penalty, unlike other methods of scheduling posts to Facebook such as Hootsuite and Buffer, however, Facebook does not actually publicly clarify this. I’m still experimenting to see for myself but so far, testing has shown Facebook’s scheduler to perform closer to manually posted updates.

 

Only time will tell about the future of 3rd party schedulers, and whether or not other social networks follow suit. The ease of use is fantastic, and most of the early bugs have been eradicated from Facebook’s scheduler. Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments!

 

Lisa Mason

Lisa Mason is a Social Media Consultant and writer with more than 12 years experience. She helps brands connect with their target audience online. You can see Lisa's work at Social Media Satisfied and book your own special media solutions, or contact her on Twitter.

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13 comments

  1. “You can backdate posts. This is a create way to create history
    milestones in the life of your company and flesh out your Timeline more
    fully.” That is a little like lying; but may not work on personal pages at all, according to the article. I’m using Buffer which uses a pre-set schedule, but I can always go into the dashboard and change the schedule and/or the sequence of the the scheduled posts ‡¡‡

    • Not necessarily. The backdate feature is meant to fill in events marked as milestones for your company. I think there could be A LOT of dishonesty involving that feature if they added it to personal profiles. You’d basically have carte blanche to change your Facebook history. Police investigations routinely use Facebook. What happens when you can photoshop yourself at a Justin Beiber concert and date it to the concert date, when you were really out committing crimes? Instant alibi.

      • Adam, you say “not necessarily” and then you agree with me – that the backdating feature does not work on personal profiles. I understand the intended purpose of the backdating feature for company profiles, as long as they are clearly marked as fabricated for historical purposes. You really want to trust history (even more) to corporations? ‡¡‡

        • It’s not lying if your posts are honest. If I backdate a post to 1985 that says “Adam Justice was born” is that like lying? It’s not fabricated, and it’s 100% truth. 

          • Well it would be a “fabricated” Facebook post, and I would like to see backdated posts marked as such. I’m not suggesting you would abuse this, Adam, with a name like “Justice” how could you? – but the potential for invention is staggering.

            • You’re 100% right about that; people are already fighting with their significant others over Facebook as much as they are money problems. The cry of “check the date on my Facebook if your don’t believe me” would be substantial proof to the un-initiated.

              A special indication for backdated updates is a pretty good idea. I think that part of the concept of the Timeline layout is that it’s you can retroactively add things and edit posts so it becomes more substantial over time. However, there has always been a strong indication (whether intended or not) that the timestamps on posts are accurate; it’s misleading at the least.

  2. I had to quit using 3rd party aps completely for Facebook scheduling.  Impressions seem to be much lower on my fanpage – and as you pointed out – the share option was missing.  I didn’t realize that Facebook had started it’s own scheduling feature.  What a way to eliminate the competition – just remove the share option and make sure as few people as possible see posts from them.

    •  I’m having the same problem so I just scheduled a month out on 3 fanpages using the FB feature to compare the different is impressions. Let’s hope it works because it was more tedious than my previous methods of scheduling posts. :)

  3. I use Hootsuite as my 3rd party app. I love the idea of having calender view and scheduling the same post on several platforms. Facebook ‘scheduler’ is going into the right direction; however, Hootsuite is a much more powerful tool. Unfortunately, the number of impressions had significantly dropped.

  4. Is there any way to schedule shares on facebook yet? Or is it only possible to share and post at that time?

  5. writerlisamason /

    Facebook wanted Timeline for fanpages to be like a literal timeline- a charted collection of dates and milestones for your business, or let’s say if you are a public figure, it could chart important milestones on your way to becoming famous/well known. The idea is to fill in important things that happened *before* you were officially on Facebook, add pictures and even video, and create a virtual timeline that anyone can see and view. It’s not lying- it’s building a digital presence. You can tell the history of a company via their FB Timeline. 

  6. Is anyone else using Postling? I am unable to post to Facebook using Postling due to an error reporting “cannot get the albums from this page.” It’s always come up but fixed itself but now it has been going on for 36 hours and I think Postling is done as a company. They can’t even reply to support emails.

    This is HELL for me. I have a very popular page and cannot post using Facebook’s system as it gives errors all the time, e.g. lying and saying “you can only post in the future” when my dates and times are accurate.

    GRRR

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