Do you schedule your Facebook posts or not?
We use and recommend HootSuite for scheduling most of our routine social media posts for all platforms, then we manually post up to date news to all platforms as it happens. Incidentally, that link above will get you a free 30-day trial for the Pro version, which lets you post to up to 50 social media accounts, whereas the free version lets you post to up to three accounts, which may be all that you need anyway.
We find that it is quicker and easier to schedule routine posts all at the same time, once a week, rather than spending time every day posting multiple times to multiple platforms. But you still have the option of posting something immediately if there is a sudden break in your industry or market that your customers would want to know about.
Hope that answers your questions.
Yes I do and you should. I have heard that you wont get as much visibility by using 3rd party apps. The functionality is there within Facebook natively, so no need to go elsewhere to other apps.
Why you should schedule? It helps keep you planned, organised and consistent. If you don't plan ahead typically, you might be more likely to post for the sake of posting, without much thought put into it. I would have a content strategy in place where you have planned content, but also allow the flexibility to add unscheduled, timely posts as you need to.
Edward Plant ,
Strategic Leader at Lead a Better Business
Simply put yes. I do a balance of scheduled and in the moment. The scheduled are more educational and can be planned weeks in advance and complement the content marketing that we are doing. Why - basically so that it is planned and supports the overall business objectives for the quarter. If you don't schedule them you've always got to be on the Social Media sites regularly to remain active and engaged and also there are systems that can schedule across a number of platforms which means you can have greater impact in less time...
Shell Higgs ,
Owner at Copy Talks
+1 for Hootsuite here too. Write them, allow the autoscheduler to choose the best time and let it do its thing.
This way when you do go on to Facebook, you're there as a person engaging with your community and not treating it as a chore.
If weekly scheduling isn't your preference, you can also use a library loop system such as Meet Edgar. It's more expensive, but you basically fill up various categories with content to start, and it begins scheduling. Once a piece has been posted, it goes back to the bottom of the queue, ready to be recycled in a month or two. This works well because only a fraction of your audience sees a post, so it's always "new" content.
Yes because it makes life easier, but it's important to balance scheduled posts with spontaneous. Ideally, you're aiming for about 80% scheduled, and 20% spontaneous.
Scheduling also ensures that you don't forget about social media on the days where you're crazy-busy. If you have a content framework, scheduling is also quick and easy and you can measure the efficacy of your framework. ;-)
Jef Lippiatt ,
Owner at Startup Chucktown
I mostly curate all my feeds (6 Twitter Feeds, 2 LinkedIn, 1 Instagram and 1 Pinterest, 1 Facebook) manually and in the moment. I've made lists on Twitter to speed up posting but I do use a slightly different automation stack than has been mentioned above.
- Bitly - I use this as my primary link shortener, but I can post across many different twitter accounts quickly, plus it has a great dashboard that was just updated.
- IF or IFTTT - I use this platform to cross-promote. When I post to instagram it reposts on Twitter. Also anyone that mentions my account is dropped into a Google Doc to follow up on leads.
- Buffer - I just recently started using Buffer (similar to Hootsuite) to schedule posts across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. I haven't been keeping up with it like I should, but I'm working on that.
My audiences are fairly engaged, and I believe it is because I'm interacting with them frequently and very quickly based on when I'm mentioned or asked a question (secretly, I don't even use push notifications, I just login to the app frequently).
I think scheduling posts can be helpful, but as I always tell people trying to engage their audience (not just trying to grow numbers) social media is supposed to be social, not automated. If I tweet at someone or leave a comment and never get a response, I will likely stop following them because their feed is too automated for adding value.
Also, I'm personally very wary of any person or business that only re-posts the content of others. If I hit your account and scroll down to the 10 newest posts and don't see an original thought, I'm not interested. So please keep the (human / manual) aspect in mind.