Facebook has now added the ability for you to schedule your posts in advance. For a while, I’ve been recommending that you think about scheduling social media in advance using a program like HootSuite. Well, Facebook’s latest move may end up driving those third party posting platforms out of business entirely.
Now, you can take a block of time each day, and think about what you want to post about that day. You might think about contests coming up on the air; morning show content that’s going to happen at a certain time; web pages you want your big fans to know about; on-site events that you want people to show up for; and so on and on.
Because it’s easy to schedule all those in advance, you can think about things like, “Well, my morning show will be playing ‘Don’t Say Uhh’ at 7:10, so I want to schedule a Facebook post about it to make sure I catch people at least a couple of quarter hours ahead of that.” You write the post, schedule it to run at, say, 6:40am, and boom, you’re done. Do that for all the key things that you want your heaviest listeners to know about. You can also link to information you find online about your core artists or lifestyle topics that people are likely to be talking about.
When you do it this way, only one (maybe two) people have to talk on behalf of the station on Facebook. That’s a good thing so that you always have a consistent “brand voice.” Instead of turning it over to, say, the entire air staff, you can pick the one or two people who really write well and have the best sense for who the target audience is.
If you’ve been using a program like HootSuite, more of your brand posts will get seen this way by more of your Facebook followers. That in itself is just a good nuts and bolts reason to do this. Scheduling in advance, you’ll avoid the last-minute posts … or even forgotten would-be posts … that don’t help to get brand usage going. Also, the way Facebook works, if you use their system to post, they’ll favor your posts over ones from third-party platforms. That means more visibility by more people.
When you want to schedule a Facebook post, instead of just posting it immediately, here’s what you do. First of all, you have to be one of the administrators of your brand’s Facebook page. That’s easy to do … if you’re not sure how to make that happen, find someone who already is an admin for your page. If they don’t know what to do, contact me, and I’ll walk you folks through it.
It starts just like making any other post on Facebook. You may need to click on “Status” or one of the other choices in that top line first, but you’ll see a small, pale clock symbol in the lower left corner of the posting box.
Click that clock, and then, one by one, you can pick the year you want to post in, the month, the date and the time, like so below:
Click “Schedule” when you’re done setting the date and time you want the post to run. If you want to check the status of posts you scheduled (revised 6/6/12 to reflect change in brand pages):
- Go to your brand page. Find the top strip labeled “Admin Panel.” (If you’re not an admin, you won’t see it)
- Click “Edit Page.”
- In the drop-down menu, click “Use Activity Log.”
Your scheduled posts will be at the top of the page. If you have more than three, you may need to click “Show More” to see them all. Here, you can change the scheduled date and time for your posts, or delete them. You can’t edit them … if you don’t like what you have scheduled, you have to delete and start all over again.
One other cool thing … when you use this scheduling system, after your posts show up, Facebook will show you what sort of reach you’ve achieved with each post.