Now 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:
- Go to the status update box on your Facebook page and enter your content.
- Click the clock icon located in the lower left-hand corner of the posting interface.
- 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.
- When done, click the “Schedule” button located in the lower right-hand corner.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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 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!