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Now You Can Schedule Facebook Posts – and Promote Them Too!

Facebook has added many new features since introducing the Timeline in March.  In fact, if you haven’t been on Facebook since then, you may not recognize it!  Two of the more recent features breathe new life into your Page:  Scheduled Posts and Promoted Posts.

Scheduled Posts

Now Admins can create a post and schedule for it to be published hours, days, even years in the future.  Pictures, links, and events can be embedded into these posts just as you would normally.

Scheduling is an especially useful feature for those of us whose hectic schedules prevent us from being able to post every day, or for vacationers who don’t want to worry about updating a Page from a beach chair or ski lift.

To use this feature, click on the clock icon in the bottom left corner of the Composer.  This allows you to choose when you want the post published from a series of drop down menus requesting the year, month, day, hour, and minute of the future post.

It is even possible to backdate posts as far as 2009.  What is the use of this, you might ask?  If you are creating a new Page, this feature allows you to build your Page with posts about past events, awards, and other information without having every post say today’s date.  One client had commingled her Personal Profile with her Business Page for over a year and decided to separate them, but she still wanted to retain her past posts.  If this feature had been available at the time, we would have been able to repost everything with the original date.  Another example:  say a photographer finally sent you the pictures from an event that took place two months ago.  It is now possible to upload the photos and properly date them. This has the same effect as posting an update and later editing the post to change the date.

You can view your Page’s scheduled posts by going to the Admin Panel, selecting “Edit Page” and “Use Activity Log”.  This will allow you to view, edit and delete anything that has not yet posted.

Promoted Posts

In case you are about to release an extremely important update (or just need a visibility boost), Facebook has provided a way to inorganically increase the effective range of your posts.  Basically, a promoted post gets a boost to its EdgeRank.  The “Promote” feature is available to Pages with between 400 and 100,000 fans, and is accessed by the button labeled “Promoted Post” in the bottom right side of the Composer.

Posts can be promoted in the Composer just before they are posted, or within three days of the post date.  Posts cannot be promoted indefinitely because they are visible in the News Feed, which is meant to be full of relevant, timely information.  The most noticeable feature of the drop-down menu (besides the megaphone icon) is the dollar amount in the center of the box.  Yes, promoting is a paid feature that exchanges currency for exposure (really any type of currency, just in case you want to pay exclusively in Guatemalan Quetza.)  The estimated audience increases with the budget, which is a one-time charge, not a daily recurring charge.

Promoting changes nothing about how your posts are viewed:  people who like your Page can still see your posts that haven’t been promoted.  So why promote your posts at all?

Well, in the News Feed, not every post is given a lot of face time.  Some people have hundreds of Friends and Like dozens of Pages, all vying for attention, and your post can get swept up in the flood and lost.  It is unlikely that everyone will see every post you make, even those who Like your Page, because other Pages or Friends may be given preference over your business due to EdgeRank.  Promoted posts are viewed in the News Feed as “sponsored stories,” (labeled below the post itself) and are more likely to be viewed by your Fans and by their Friends.  Promote overrides EdgeRank, giving preference to your Post in your Fans’ News Feeds.  However, if a Fan has chosen to hide posts made by your Page, even the promoted post will not appear on their News  Feed.

Because promoting is a powerful tool to increase the influence of a post, it is important to use it efficiently.  Promote content that will really appeal to your Fans: special offers, new products, events, questions, and flashy videos.  Interactive or interesting posts are more likely to be discussed by your Fans and, through them, reach a larger audience.  Consider pinning promoted posts to the top of your Page’s timeline to maximize visibility over its lifetime.  Make the most out of a promoted post… remember, it only lasts three days!

What are some other reasons to take advantage of scheduling Facebook posts?

Do you think it is worth the effort and money to promote your posts?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.faceitsocialmedia.com/2013/07/now-you-can-schedule-facebook-posts-and-promote-them-too/

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