The benefit of using third-party social media tools like HootSuite is that you can schedule your posts ahead of time so you're not spending time every day updating Facebook.
Unfortunately, Facebook's algorithm for determining which updates to show in a user's newsfeed favors those updates that are posted manually on Facebook over those using third-party tools. Meaning your update has a better chance for being seen by more people when you use Facebook to post it instead of a tool like HootSuite.
Up until a few months ago, if you were posting manually, it had to be shared right away. But this summer Facebook rolled out Scheduled Posts. Now you can schedule updates from your agency's Facebook Page to appear at a later time.
Scheduling a Post
It's easy to schedule an update. Write your post like normal. Attach photos; add links, YouTube videos, tag other pages and events; or just type your post.
In the bottom left corner of your update is a clock icon. Click on it and select the year, month, day and time you want to share the post. Notice you can also backdate an update if you wanted to fill in your Timeline.
You're able to schedule your posts up to six months in the future. If you try to select a date that is more than six months out, Facebook will not accept it. The time is scheduled only in ten minute increments. You cannot schedule an update for 10:15 a.m. for example.
Note: You can target your scheduled update based on language and location as well, just like in your regular manual posts. Just click Public next to the Schedule button and add your criteria as normal.
After you have your update ready, just click the Schedule button.
Editing a Scheduled Post
The activity log is where you can see the post you just scheduled. You can access the activity log from the admin panel at the top of your agency's Facebook Page. Just click Edit Page and then Use Activity Log. Your scheduled posts will be at the top. Below that you can see your post activity and post engagement such as likes and number of comments.
You cannot edit an update once it has been scheduled. The only thing you can change once a post has been scheduled is the date and time. If you wish to change the text of your update, you must cancel the post and reschedule with the corrected text. To change the time or cancel a post, hover over the right corner of the update.
Things to Remember
If you have your agency's Facebook Page linked to your Twitter account so that your Facebook updates are automatically tweeted (go to www.facebook.com/twitter if you want to set that up), you should know that scheduled posts do not go out to Twitter. So if you want to schedule a Facebook update and you want that same update shared on Twitter, you must use a different tool to schedule that tweet.
If you're going to use the Scheduled Posts feature to schedule all updates on your Facebook page in advance, don't forget to check in on your Page occasionally so you can respond to comments or questions left on updates or on your Wall.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder