Are you managing your first Facebook page and want to learn more on how to schedule Facebook posts? Or have you been managing a Facebook Page for a while, haven’t tried scheduling, but know you should?
Whatever situation you find yourself, here are things to consider before you take that leap into scheduling Facebook posts.
Why schedule Facebook posts in advance
While many people schedule Facebook posts, not everyone does so for the same reasons. One reason to schedule a post in advance is that you simply don’t want to block off your schedule for each post at the frequency you want your content to go out.
For example, if you want to publish two posts per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, it can be hard to block off your calendar every day at those two times to post manually. Scheduling several posts at once allows you to take a breather.
One reason I schedule posts is the simple fact that when you work on a lot of similar tasks at once you will use less time per task and create better content because you’ll spend sufficient time in that mindset. If I work on one post at a time, it takes setup and breakdown time: I have to login, get into the mindset, compose the post, and log out.
If I work on several posts at once, I only login once and get into the mindset once before working on that set of content. Then I log out when I’m done with the set. For me, scheduling content ahead of time allows me to work on and schedule several pieces of content at once with better time management.
Another reason to schedule posts in advance is if you own a business with customers that have very different schedules than you do. For example, if your business is based in Europe, but you have many American customers who are usually online around 3 a.m. your time, you have three options: stay up late and post manually at 3 a.m. your time, post at a time when your customers are not online but that is convenient for you, or the third and most convenient option: schedule the post now to go out later while you sleep.
But when should I post?
If you’re convinced of the reasons for scheduling your Facebook Page posts, then the next natural question to ask is “when is the best time to schedule my posts?”
You’ve probably already searched this question on the Internet. There are social media gurus out there creating infographics with global demographics showing when people usually are online to see your content.
My word of advice is to ignore these infographics. These infographics are sharing with you an average, mode, or median, but those calculations only exist because there’s a whole variety of data that result in that average. Not all businesses are the average: otherwise, they’d be identical, with identical customers. I have managed several Facebook Pages and one of my observations is that every business has a unique audience and the times they are online vary from business to business.
Tools to determine the best time to post
So, if you can’t trust the infographics, how do you decide what time to post?
There are two helpful tools that you can use to determine when to post: Facebook Insights for managers that publish several days per week and would like to fine-tune by time of day, and Agorapulse for managers that post once or twice per week and would like to know which day is best.
When you login to your page, click on the “Insights” tab and then choose “Posts” from the menu in the left margin.
You will see a visualization of when your audience has been online during a recent 1-week period. In the image here, you can see that the most popular time for this Facebook Page’s audience to be logged on to Facebook is between 8 and 9 a.m. This business would be wise to schedule their posts to publish each day around that time.
Facebook Insights is the tool you’ll want to use if you plan to post several times per week, but if you’re planning on posting once or twice per week or less often, you’ll need to look at the data in a different way. The Agorapulse reports feature includes a section that is most helpful for Pages that publish less frequently. This section shows the best days to publish. This can help you see how your content is performing on each day of the week and then make an educated guess for when to post next.
How to schedule Facebook Page posts
Hopefully now you’re convinced you need to up your Facebook game and start scheduling posts. And now you know a simple and strategic way to figure out a good time to publish your posts. The next question is: how?
Schedule directly within Facebook
One feature that makes Facebook unique is post scheduling. If you manage a Facebook page, first compose your post. Then click on the dropdown arrow next to the “Publish” button. You can then choose to schedule your post on a desired date.
Schedule with a software tool
If you want to be able to schedule social media posts for several platforms in the same place, you will likely prefer a third-party tool. Some dashboards such as Agorapulse let you schedule posts to several social media accounts within the same tool. This may save you time.
The Agorapulse publishing dashboard shows a monthly or weekly calendar with links to open up a compose box from the date you select. It’s helpful to see scheduled posts in calendar view.
You may choose to add your posts to a queue that you establish:
Or set your posts for a specific time based on what your page analytics suggest. In a tool like Agorapulse, you can also save you posts as drafts to finish at a later time or send to a teammate for approval.
There are many other tools that let you schedule Facebook posts. They all have similar features, but have different interfaces and approaches. Start a demo or free trial to find a tool that will be a good fit for how you work.
Now that you know the why, when, and how of Facebook Page post scheduling, you can improve your strategy. What timing has worked for you? What benefits have you gained from scheduling your Facebook posts?