As an entrepreneur or business owner, you want to get your product, services, and brand in front of as many potential consumers as possible without investing too deeply in unnecessary advertising costs. You’ve done the right thing and set up profiles on all the top social media platforms, but how do you capitalize the biggest audience out there? By creating a posting schedule for Facebook!
Arguably one of the most influential mediums in modern history, Facebook has garnered the attention 1.94 billion active monthly users worldwide (as of March 2017) and is closing in on the 2 billion mark. Access to such a broad audience is literally a game-changer for businesses looking to build and boost brand recognition and loyalty amongst the masses. But once you’ve generated meaningful content, how do you know when to post it so that it will be seen by the most people?
There is already a lot of advice out there on how to determine the times your target audience is consuming content. The thing is, not every audience for every product is the same. What works for Nike isn’t going to work for a local coffee shop because their specific audiences operate on different schedules and motivations.
To take the guesswork out of it, and using sophisticated algorithms that make most of us feel inept at life, Facebook has made it as humanly possible to get your brand’s message out there in as few steps as possible. Their insights and analytics tools provide a visual representation of when users in your target demographics are actually online and looking for content similar to yours.
Facebook takes it a step further and offers a scheduling tool as well that provides an auto-post feature which allows you to post your content during the peak hours for visibility without having to be seated at your desk to do so. The downside is that not all of your content will be seen by all of your followers. For all they allow you to do and share on their platform, Facebook has, unfortunately, instituted a sort of “pay to play” policy. The more people you want to see your content, the more you’ll have to pay to “Boost” it.
If paying for boosted posts isn’t in your budget, the other option is to post multiple times per day (which you should be doing anyway). Now, you don’t want to come across as spammy or pushy like a used car salesman, so the content you post needs to add real value to the lives of your followers. This is where using Facebook’s scheduling feature comes in particularly handy because it allows you to build up a queue of future posts that will automatically be shared with your followers at pre-scheduled peak viewing times without a second thought from you.
There are other platforms out there that allow you to auto-schedule and post your content such as Hootsuite, Agorapulse, and Buffer. While Hootsuite and Agorapulse both let you post content and monitor your social media feeds all from one platform, Buffer actually lets you create graphic content as well with their Pablo tool. The important thing to remember about each of these types of social media scheduling tools is that they all use different metrics to gauge peak viewing times. If you choose to use one of them, it’s best to ensure you manually check to make sure their posting times match up with Facebook’s analytic predictors or the research you’ve conducted yourself.