It’s common knowledge amongst social media marketers that Facebook’s organic reach is tough to get. It involves a hefty strategy of great content and consistency.
In fact, without continuously engaging your Facebook audience, you may lose credibility, authority and brand loyalty, on top of your reach. If the concept of maintaining a steady stream of content seems daunting, don’t worry—you have the ability to schedule Facebook posts in one of three different methods.
Automating your Facebook posts will create a streamlined process for you to focus on your overall Facebook marketing strategy. Your audience never sleeps and neither should your Facebook content.
Why you should schedule Facebook posts
Scheduling content ahead of time has a number of benefits. Discover more about why scheduling Facebook posts can be a smart productivity hack for your schedule.
Consistency is key when it comes to social media algorithms. So ensuring your Facebook posts remain consistent is going to be an essential part of your strategy. And scheduling ensures that reliability. If your internet is down or you can’t get to your computer, a scheduled Facebook post will still publish at the right time.
Time batching is a common time management tactic that is possible when you start scheduling your social media content ahead of time. Set aside a block of time to research and plan your content ideas, a block of time to create your content and a block of time to schedule your content. You’ll find you’re much more productive than if you did each standalone post on its own.
When you schedule content ahead of time, you can plan it for any time of the day or night, giving yourself the ability to properly reach people across a number of time zones. Instead of staying up late or setting a 3am alarm just to publish a Facebook post, reach audiences across the globe with a scheduled post.
When you’re scheduling social media posts for a full month (or longer), you can make sure they support the narrative you want to convey. For example, if you’re running a limited-time offer, you could craft and schedule each Facebook post to build a sense of urgency throughout the month.
Improved content quality
If you publish as you go, there are likely to be certain times that you’re not feeling as creative as others, resulting in a poor content strategy. But if you’re time blocking and saving content creation for one of your more inspired moments, you can end up creating much more quality content—consistently.
When you’re able to schedule content ahead of time and stick to a consistent plan, your audience engagement ends up increasing. Facebook’s algorithm will start to recognize that your page is a hub for regular, quality content, and put it in front of your audience, helping to boost overall engagement.
Finally, scheduling content is the perfect social media tip for boosting productivity. Beyond time batching, it can free up your time so that you’re not always having to have your phone or computer ready to publish a new post. Instead of needing to make time each day to publish Facebook content, you can free up your schedule for other important social media management tasks.
Best practices for optimizing scheduled Facebook posts
There are ways to make sure your scheduled posts find the right audience and help improve your strategy. Keep these five tips in mind as you schedule your Facebook content.
Tips for choosing the right scheduling time
First things first, you need to make sure you’re scheduling your posts for the right time. Ensuring you get your content out when your audience is most active is key in reaching the most people.
Global data states that the best times to post on Facebook are:
- Mondays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
However, you should also pay attention to your specific audience. You can check out your Facebook analytics and see when your followers are most likely to be online and schedule your content around those time periods.
You can also take advantage of Sprout Social’s Optimal Send Times feature that analyzes your audience and selects the best times to schedule your content.
Maintaining brand consistency in scheduled posts
Next, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping up with your branding throughout all of your scheduled content. If you batch your content creation, this should be a simple enough process.
Maintaining brand consistency includes things like:
- Keeping a similar brand voice throughout all of your captions
- Using the same color scheme and font choices throughout all graphics
- Sticking with the same filters and effects for all videos
- Creating graphics using similar templates so everything looks cohesive
If you’re reaching a wider audience due to your scheduled content, you want to make sure that content is representative of your brand and assists with overall brand recognition.
Balancing scheduled and live content
Keep in mind that not everything needs to be scheduled ahead of time. Your company might decide to put on a last minute promotion that you want to share on social media, you might have a stroke of inspiration and want to publish something different from what you had scheduled, or you might need to share a last minute company update.
Whatever the case, understand that you don’t have to stick to one extreme or the other—all scheduled content or none of it. You can still make last minute changes, switch up your content and share live posts when they come to you.
If you do, just make sure you’re not publishing a live post around the same time as a scheduled post is going live. Be sure to readjust your schedule to make room for your new content.
Don’t go crazy scheduling content—there is such thing as too much of a good thing, and you don’t want to end up with 5+ posts each day. Though many brands do post 4-5 times per day on Facebook, you don’t need to over-schedule. This can dry up your well of content ideas more quickly and annoy your audience if they see too much content from your brand.
Instead, come up with a scheduling plan that makes sense for your business, your content creation load and your audience—and stick with it.
Track analytics and engagement
Finally, pay attention to your Facebook analytics and overall audience engagement. Although global data and your insights can give you a good idea as to when to start scheduling, keeping up with your analytics can show you which types of posts and which days/times garner you the most engagement.
How to schedule Facebook posts
Schedule posts with Meta Business Suite
Step 1: Start by logging into your Facebook account. Head to your Facebook Page, then switch profiles so you’re managing your Page. In the left hand sidebar, click on Meta Business Suite.
Step 2: Click on the Planner tab in the main dashboard to see your content calendar, then click Schedule post.
Step 3: Create your post and select which account (either your Facebook or Instagram account, if you have them connected—or both) you want it to publish to. Add your photo or video, input your caption, preview your post, then scroll down to select a date and time to publish your content.
That’s it! You now have a scheduled post. Repeat the steps above to schedule additional posts.
How to schedule Facebook posts with Sprout Social
Here’s how to create scheduled Facebook posts with Sprout:
- Click the Compose icon to open the Compose window.
- Click the Profile Picker to select the Facebook pages for your post.
- Create your post.
- Select Specific Days & Times from the When to post dropdown, then choose.
- The date and times for your post.
- Optionally add more scheduled times.
- Click Schedule.
Schedule Facebook posts with the Sprout Queue
What do you do when you have meaningful Facebook content, but don’t need to publish at any specific date or time? Use the Sprout Queue.
You can build your Sprout Queue to fill engagement gaps throughout the day with content around product tips, links to thought leadership articles or industry news.
Choose the number of posts per day, your date and times and Sprout will do the rest. To set up your Sprout Queue setup, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Publishing tab.
- Click Sprout Queue.
- Click Compose and create your post.
- Choose Auto-schedule with Sprout Queue from the When to post dropdown.
- Select Queue Next at the first possible time slot or Queue Last to move the post to the end of the queue.
- Click Queue or Submit for Approval to schedule your content.
Configure your queue timeline
Sprout’s suite of social media publishing tools places the content in the Queue Timeline for you to choose a specific time or date. There you can identify your publishing time gaps and plan your content.
You can configure this feature to run during specific times or dates. This makes it simple for social media managers to post during the best times to post on Facebook. Select various post times for each Facebook Page.
Sprout’s Queue even makes it simple to see your daily post times throughout all your different social media profiles.
Take advantage of ViralPost
ViralPost is Sprout’s tool for publishing at the most optimal times. Configure ViralPost in your Sprout Queue to publish your queued content at optimal times for audience engagement (only available in Standard Plans and above).
When you use ViralPost, it analyzes your audience’s usage and engagement patterns to determine the optimal times to publish content on your Facebook page.
To configure your ViralPost settings, follow these steps:
- Navigate to your Publishing settings.
- Click Sprout Queue.
- Click Edit for the profile you want to configure ViralPost for. The Configure Queue Settings popup opens.
- Select ViralPost for the Scheduling Method.
- Choose whether you want to set your schedule by Individual Day or Weekdays/Weekends.
- Select the number of times you want to post for each day of the week.
- Select the time range for your post.
- Click Save.
Add Facebook content to the Sprout Queue
It’s always best practice to queue content when it’s top of mind. Draft a message directly from Compose, share content you found on the web with Sprout’s Chrome Extension or add content to the queue directly from the RSS Reader. Whichever type of content you wish to publish on your Facebook page, our tools will suit your needs.
Pro Tip: Add content anytime, from anywhere by queueing content from Sprout Social’s web, mobile or browser extension apps.
Share your calendar
Last but not least, once you have your content in order, easily view, share and collaborate on your content calendar. Sprout’s Publishing Calendar gives you insight into your publishing schedule and more.
Here’s how to view and share your calendar as a PDF:
- Navigate to the Publishing tab.
- Click Calendar.
- Choose List, Week or Month.
- Select your Date Range, Profiles and Content Types.
- Click Share.
- Click Download PDF.
Simplify your Facebook post scheduling
Scheduling your Facebook posts makes it simple to manage your content and simplifies the overall Facebook management process.
It allows you to stay one step ahead of the game, reach your target audience at the right times, and reduce the amount of time and effort that goes into manually scheduling content.