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New Facebook feature – scheduling posts – the good and bad news for brand page managers

How to use the new Facebook scheduling feature for weekend engagement

Despite Facebook engagement rates in multiple sectors rocketing at the weekends, on Sunday in particular, reports from organisations such as Buddy Media show that very few brands are in fact posting content at the weekend. Those brands that do post outside of normal business hours enjoy 20% higher engagement rates.

One of the reasons for this tardiness is likely to have been the lack of ability, until recently, to schedule updates on Facebook without using a third party tool such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.

Furthermore, using these may not be a great idea. The Facebook Edgerank algorithm appears to favour posts inserted directly into its platform rather than those scheduled via Hootsuite. Eloqua claim that there is 61% less visibility when a third party tool is used rather than manual posts. Personally I don’t like using Hootsuite for this as despite the convenience of scheduling, it means you have the Hootsuite branding on your post.

So this reason alone would perhaps explain why so few page admins have been posting at the weekends. They simply want to forget about work for a couple of days.

However, of course, for brands who do post at the weekends there are significantly less brand messages competing for attention on Facebook. So it's worth you thinking about how you might extend your communications over Saturdays and Sundays too. You probably won't find this opportunity lasting for long since Facebook announced the introduction of scheduled posts.

How to schedule you posts in Facebook

Now it is possible to schedule posts directly into Facebook. It's dead easy to do but you may have missed this new fantastic piece of functionality. Here's how it looks:

Note the little clock symbol in the bottom left hand corner. This won't show until you start typing in the box above.

First enter your status. Then click the scheduling button bottom-left.

You'll then be asked to select a year, then a month, then a date, then a time.

Next make your selection and hit "schedule".

Now you can leave the office on a Friday afternoon knowing your fans are going to be receiving your communications messages all weekend while you are at home enjoying yourself.

Remember not to overdo it?

Scheduling posts is all very well. But you'd be mad not to be checking in on the reaction to your posts, being ready to deal with any issues that arise, chatting with and giving feedback to fans, liking their comments.

Social media is always-on. It doesn't take the weekend off!

By Marie Page

Marie Page @marie_page is one of the UK’s leading Facebook marketing experts. She is a founding partner of digital marketing consultancy The Digiterati and the Digiterati Academy, an e-learning portal for marketers and entrepreneurs. She recently published a book and online course “Winning at Facebook Marketing with Zero Budget”.

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