3 Things You Must Know About Scheduling Facebook Posts

Welcome to episode 279 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

All right, guys. Episode 279. I am your host the Stacey Harris, social media strategist and trainer helping entrepreneurs build community through social media. Today, we’re going to talk about how we can provide value to our community through content, specifically on Facebook. We’re going to talk about three things you must know about scheduling a Facebook post. We’re going to talk about scheduling a Facebook post in two ways, to groups, as well as to your page, because both are relevant.

Number one thing you must know is, first, where is it possible to schedule and what’s the best way to do it? First of all, things you need to know, scheduling in groups is only possible if you are the admin of the group. To do it, you would need to use a third party tool like Buffer, or eClincher or Hootsuite, etc. I think pretty much all of the Facebook major scheduling tools will allow you to schedule to your groups but again you have to be an admin. If you are not an admin, you will not be able to schedule content. That’s because, last year, 2015, Facebook made some changes to their API so that you could no longer schedule to groups as a member of a group, which personally I love. I think it’s a great idea.

If you want to know more about organizing your content and scheduling your content, be sure to check out the show notes page for this page. Go to thestaceyharris.com/episode279 and I will link to an episode I did on scheduling content or organize your content through Trello so that your group content can still be pre-created, and organized, and really maximize your time, but you’re not using a third party tool to actually automate the scheduling so check that out. I also did a blog post over at Social Media Examiner on the topic. I tell you how to do that there. Check that out if that’s something you want to know.

On the flip side of your pages, you can schedule using a plethora of third party tools like eClincher, or Hootsuite, or Sprout Social, or Buffer, or whatever, whatever, whatever, pretty much any major scheduler. Here’s the deal. You can also schedule right through your Facebook page. I have tested this with my stuff. I have tested this with client stuff and there is a small but measurable difference in the organic reach when you talk about scheduling via Facebook versus scheduling via a third party tool. I suggest taking the time or taking your VA’s time to actually schedule it through Facebook. There is a small but measurable difference. With the algorithm changes that are coming, I will talk about that in a second, it’s even more important that you be doing whatever you can to make sure that you’re getting in front of your followers, getting in front of your page likes, getting in front of your community so do whatever you can, whatever it takes.

Number one, of course, again, is scheduling on Facebook is possible. It’s possible to pages you’re an admin of using a third party tool, and it’s possible to your page using a third party tool or right on the page. I suggest using the scheduler that Facebook is providing you right in your page. That really is the way to go.

Number two, what I want to talk about is frequency. How often should you be posting? Here’s the thing. There’s no one right answer for everybody. However, if you’re going to be scheduling once a week, once every couple of weeks, really don’t bother. I know that sounds obnoxious but really don’t bother because here’s the thing. With the algorithm changes I mentioned … By the way, I’ve got a link to the actual post from Facebook over on the show notes for this episode, but there are some new algorithm changes coming. Don’t freak out. There’s algorithm changes coming all the time. What we need to pay attention to instead is making sure we’re doing everything possible to provide value to our audience and engage them.

Frequent, consistent, quality content, that’s what you want. You don’t need to be posting to your page 27 times a day, but you need to be posting to your page regularly. The sweet spot for me with my clients and myself is three-ish times so somewhere between two and five really seems to be the sweet spot. Pay attention to that number. Start there and then test the frequency for yourself, paying attention to your analytics. I know. Insights, I talk about them a lot, but they’re valuable. If you don’t understand Insights, if you don’t understand what I mean when I say check your numbers, be sure to join us backstage. We’ve got an entire training inside the Facebook ads and backstage dedicated to your Insights. We’ve also got an entire training in there on how I use Insights, actually walk you through how I use them to make decisions. That’s really valuable stuff and you can get it right now for $25. Come join us backstage if that’s a question you’ve got.

Again, I tend to hit around three posts a day. It works really well for me. It’s worked for several of my clients. I do have some clients who are more localized and are really, really specific on what gets shared. They’re sharing more in the neighborhood of one or two times a day. That’s still working really well for them because that quality and that engagement point matters as much, if not a little bit more than the frequency. The thing I like about more increased frequency is there’s more points for people to touch base on. Again, on the flip side of that, you don’t want to inundate your page with 25 posts a day because, at that point, you’re competing against yourself for attention in the newsfeed, meaning Facebook is not going to show all 25 of those posts to all of your followers so pay attention to that. Again, that sweet spot seems to be closer to two to five posts a day.

Then make sure that it’s quality content that’s worth engaging in. Frequency is not the only thing that matters. It’s also really, really important that there will be quality touch points. It should be a mixture of your content, and other people’s content, and value, and sales, and content, and photos. Pay attention to the mixture.

A couple of years ago now, maybe three years ago now, photos took over Facebook. Everybody needed to post a graphic because it was the only way to get seen. Now, I think we’re seeing the same thing happen with video. We’re hearing a lot of experts say, “The only way to get seen is video.” I agree. Video is critical, especially Facebook Live. It’s a massively valuable tool and it’s a really fast way to get seen by your audience and actually get placement in the newsfeed because even once you’re done going live, the video is getting a lot of good play in the newsfeed.

If you looked at your newsfeed lately, you probably are noticing a lot of the pages content you’re getting is video, is live video. That’s worth noticing, but it’s not the only kind of content you can provide. They’re still going to see value from those graphic posts. They’re still going to see reach, and clicks, and engagement from those link posts. I will say that I am not adding as many. In fact, I can’t actually remember the last time I had a plain text post on my page because they aren’t doing very well. I have seen pages where they are doing well with consulting clients and stuff. We’ve seen a couple of instances where it was a regular part of what they did, and the audiences are trained to expect it, and they were big engagement points. Again, that’s knowing your Insights, that’s knowing your numbers. It’s knowing your audience.

For me, graphics, links and videos, that’s what you’re going to see on my page because that’s what’s working, and it’s going to be a mixture of those. It’s worth noting that now is the time when we talk about frequency to not just talk about frequency of your post but how often are you going live.

A couple of weeks ago, I did a podcast about why going live is no longer optional, and I’ll link to that episode in the show notes in case you haven’t heard it yet. It really is true. Going live is a huge part of getting into the newsfeed and providing value for your audience. The benefit for you is there is a connection point that is unlike any other because they see you as a human. They see you as a person. You’re going live. You’re giving value. You’re sharing your message. You’re connecting as a real life face and that’s why video is so important and so valuable. Make sure you’re adding that to your frequency as well. How often do you want to go live? Do you want to go live once a day? Do you want to go live once a week? Do you want to go live twice a week?

Full disclosure: this is something I’m testing in July, the frequency. How well video does when I go live once a week versus how well it’s going to do when I go a couple of times a week? I don’t know that I’m going to do daily just because I don’t know if in July I can commit to daily. I suspect I will test it once my kid is back in school, full disclosure. In July, that’s not going to be the time for me to test it, but it is the time for me to test if an increase amount of times per week allows me to see more value.

I’m also testing times. Just as important as frequency is timing. Pay attention to when you’re timing your post live or otherwise what are we going to see as the most optimal times. Again, if you have nothing to start from, check your Insights. There is this really cool graphic in there that tells you when your people are on time or online. Pay attention to that. Partner that with educated guesses. When you know your idle client, you can hypothesize their behavior so do that. Make educated guesses. That’s really, really valuable.

So far we have talked about groups and pages, third party tools and scheduling it for Facebook. We’ve talked about frequency. The last thing I want to talk about is why this is so valuable and why it’s not just about scheduling your Facebook posts themselves. This is important because … I’ve breached over this a couple of times, but I really want to make sure you get this. It’s critical that you are providing value that’s worth engaging in because that’s what’s going to continue to get your content seen and that’s what’s going to move people from followers to community members to clients to brand ambassadors. That’s what’s going to move people through that process and that’s what we want. We want people to find us, see that there’s some value, really get behind our value and become fans, become clients and then tell their friends. That’s the dream, people. Make sure that you are making that possible by having a really clear place for them to get consistent, quality value from you.

Scheduling your content, you will allow yourself to get that out there, again, consistently. It allows you to make sure that when you’re out of the office on Thursday, content is still going out. It also removes that from your mind in the sense that … You know what? I forgot to post the blog post and now it’s 10 o’clock at night. If I don’t do it now, I’m going to forget again so I might as well do it. Then it gets seen by nobody because your audience isn’t there at 10 o’clock at night. That’s the value in getting that done ahead of time.

The other thing is scheduling your actual posts is not the only thing to do. That’s not the only scheduling you should be doing. I also want to see you scheduling time to be around. When you’re talking about a Facebook Live, for example, I want you to schedule 20, 30 minutes to be live. You may not go 30 minutes every time you go live, but I want you to have that on your calendar. Then I want you to have 15, 20 minutes after you go live that you’re around. When I have a Facebook Live on my calendar and, yes, they’re on my calendar as an editorial calendar just like this show is because it’s me creating content, I have an hour booked out for them. Now, I usually am live for somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes. That’s another thing I’m testing is the length and what does best as far as people staying around, and people getting the value, and quite honestly converting into wherever I’m sending them whether it’s an opt-in, or backstage, or to content, whatever.

I’m also leaving time for me to be around for the people who jumped on late or who didn’t see it until it was on the replay and they’re re-watching it now and leaving questions in the comments because I want to be able to engage with them. I’m also having time on my calendar later in the day to spend 10, 15 minutes going back and field comments. Scheduling your actual post is not the only scheduling that you need to think about. You also need to schedule this engagement time. Schedule on your calendar time to show up, time to engage.

This is especially critical for your groups. Going back to the point number one, you can’t schedule content to a group unless you’re an admin. You need to have on your calendar “I’m going to go spend 15 minutes in this group.” You pull whatever it is you want to share out of Trello. You paste it into the group and then you engage. You engage on the post you share, you get on other people’s post, whatever it is. That is just as critical as just blasting out your assets. That’s what makes social media a two-way conversation and not a megaphone conversation where you’re just spewing information out. Make sure that you’re thinking about scheduling from a automation perspective and the fact that you’re automating your content to go out, but also from an engagement perspective where you’re scheduling time on your calendar to invest in your community, invest in their growth, invest in the value you provide them because it’s critical.

Again, if you have questions … I know I’ve mentioned Insights a ton in this video. If you have questions about Insights, the best thing to do is join us at Hit the Mic Backstage. We’ve got two, maybe three different Facebook Insights videos in there. You can get access to all of them for $25. Come hang out. Hitthemicbackstage.com is the place to be for that. Head over to the show notes for this episode for links to Backstage but also the other links I mentioned in the episode. Go to the thestaceyharris.com/episode279 and I will see you next time.

Resources

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How to Manage Your Time in Facebook Groups

Going Live is No Longer Optional

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