The ability to schedule posts on Facebook has made our lives in the Lakeland public relations and social media fields considerably smoother. We use it to schedule posts to our own Facebook pages, as well as for our clients.
While we work to stay abreast of changes in Facebook’s best practices, doing so can be tough. Social media feels as though it moves at the speed of light sometimes.
When I was at a meeting recently and someone mentioned that Facebook’s algorithm punishes scheduled posts by preventing them from showing up as frequently in users’ news feeds, I got worried. How had I missed this?
To the Internet I went. Here is what I found.
Facebook punishes scheduled posts made by third party services
“Using scheduling services such as Hootsuite, Viral Heat, or Sprout Social to schedule your Facebook posts will gain you only one thing: an even lower reach,” according to The Social Business.
It makes sense when you think about it. These are services that aren’t affiliated with Facebook, so why wouldn’t Facebook do all it can to discourage users from using anything but its own scheduling tool?
That brought me to my next question: why would Facebook make a scheduling tool available to you, but then punish you for actually using it? I learned this:
Posts scheduled through Facebook’s scheduling tool are not punished
The Social Media Examiner wrote a blog waaaaay back in 2012 that specifically says you don’t get punished for scheduling posts through Facebook’s scheduling tool.
I began looking closer at our scheduled posts, and I’ve noticed our reach isn’t much different between scheduled and immediate posts. They still get likes, shares and comments.
I’m inclined to believe that although it’s old, this information still is true. But if you’ve heard otherwise, I hope you’ll add to the conversation in the comments.
How to schedule posts on Facebook
I spoke to a group of small business owners in January, and found that many of them are so entrenched in their day-to-day operations, they don’t always have time to use Facebook to the fullest extent to help them with their business. Many weren’t aware that Facebook posts can be scheduled.
If you fall into that category, this section is for you.
1. The first step is the easiest – write what you want your post to say!
2. Instead of hitting “post” as you would normally, select the down arrow button to the right of the “post” button as shown below:
3. You will then be given three options. Select “Schedule Post.”
4. A pop up window will appear where you can select the date and time you want this post to appear. Please note that you must schedule posts a minimum of 10 minutes later than the current time.
5. Once you have set the date and time you would like your message to be posted, hit schedule.