It’s important to maintain an active social media feed and Facebook is one of the most widely utilized social media platforms. It offers the ability to schedule posts in advance although just because the capability is there, there are potential downsides as well as benefits. In this blog, we explore the pros and cons of scheduling Facebook posts in advance for a Facebook business account.
The Pros of Scheduling Posts in Advance
- It’s free
- No additional social media software interface is required, it’s easy to do within Facebook
- Marketers can schedule posts at an optimal time in the day – that may be when most viewers are online or it may be influenced by marketing across time zones (for instance, if a theme park in the US is being marketed to Europe then posting early in the day will reach US clients and also those in Europe about 7 hours ahead)
- You needn’t be awake or available at the time you post (this could mean posting at an unconventional time or being in a meeting, or away on vacation)
- Less pressure on maintaining a set number of posts per week or month
- Even when set, they can be edited, rescheduled or deleted if you change your mind
The Cons of Scheduling Posts in Advance
- It’s easy to forget special dates which you would normally want to mention specifically in your post eg Holidays, promotion end dates
- News is very unpredictable and there are days when happy, upbeat posts will fall flat
- It’s easy to get carried away and flood your feed, making viewers bored and less likely to engage
- Posting to any social media channel is not a ‘set it and forget it’ interaction, even if posts are scheduled, the ongoing monitoring of the campaign and prompt answering of messages is essential
Scheduling Posts in Advance – How?
It’s really easy – instead of clicking Publish when you have prepared a post, click on the drop down arrow next to it, click on Schedule and then select a date and time and click on ‘Schedule’.
How to Check which Posts are Scheduled
From your Facebook page, scroll down to underneath the box where you can enter a new post. If posts are scheduled it will appear like this:
Click on ‘See Posts’ to see each post listed with their scheduled publish times. (Posts can be edited, rescheduled or deleted from within this section)
How to Know Which Times of the Day are Popular with Viewers
Within Facebook, click on the Insights tab and then Posts on the left. A chart will form part of the data with times of the day vs traffic.
Here is an example:
Publishing at the least popular time would mean that viewers may not see the post or may have to scroll to the bottom of their daily feed.
A Great Alternative
One way to do some of the work in advance but not commit to a publishing time is to create Drafts in your Facebook Page. This way you can do 95% of the work on your post and it is ready to go whenever you decide to publish it (or indeed, schedule it).
On your page you can save several variations or just keep a stockpile in case inspiration is running low one day.