The Benefits of Scheduling Facebook Page Posts [Charts]

When Facebook provided brands with the ability to schedule Page posts in the end of May, I was cautiously optimistic. I saw potential for good and bad as a result, depending on how brands used it.

I tested it out for a while. I used it to target non-US and Canada countries while I was sleeping. But I eventually became frustrated with it and stopped.

There were several reasons I stopped. One was that I didn’t want to duplicate content, so I targeted specific countries. But then that made it too complicated as I only entered a handful of countries, and it was always a pain doing that every time.

But starting July 21, I came up with a strategy that worked. Following is what I did and the eye-opening results.

My Facebook Scheduling Strategy

Every morning, I post a new piece of content between 7-8 AM MT. I will occasionally publish at another time during the afternoon, but the morning is the one set time.

What I didn’t have was a way to resurface older, evergreen content. I wanted to do this for anyone who missed it the first time. This could be for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest is due to time zones.

I know I must neglect anyone in Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia. I post when it’s convenient for me, so people in these countries likely miss my content regularly. This doesn’t even consider people who simply have access to Facebook in the evenings only.

So the first thing I did was go through my old blog posts and make a list of evergreen content that I could share again. Since I write every day, this wasn’t that hard. I found a solid list of 18 posts.

The second thing was to determine a time to schedule each post. I decided that I wanted to go with two times: 7 PM and 2 AM MT. I would also only schedule one of these posts per day, so I would alternate whether that post would be shared at 7 PM or 2 AM.

The Analysis

Now that my test is complete, I want to compare some important data. I pulled Facebook Insights for the 18 days that I scheduled these posts (July 21 – August 7) as well as the 18 days immediately before scheduling (July 3 – July 20).

I focused on the following:

  • Number of Posts Per Day
  • Percentage of Daily Organic Reach to Total Likes
  • Number of Daily Unlikes

It’s important to use Percentage Organic Reach. First, it needs to be organic to cut out virality and paid reach. I also used a percentage over Likes since a raw number would provide misleading data as Likes were constantly increasing.

Finally, I wondered if there would be any negative feedback as a result of posting more often. I expected daily reach to increase, but would that also result in more unlikes?

The Results

In the 18 days prior to my test, I posted on 16 of 18 days, averaging 1.4 updates per day. During the scheduling period starting July 21, I averaged 3.1 updates.

First, let’s look at Percentage Reach. The line in the middle separates the two periods (dates on the left are without scheduling):

Facebook Reach Influenced by Scheduling

Whoa, how about that? The two lowest days were on 7/4 and 7/8, days on which I didn’t post anything. If the difference doesn’t look obvious to you, the numbers may make it clearer.

The average reach without scheduling was 23.6% while average reach with scheduling was 33.8%.

Next I wanted to look at Unlikes. One can assume that as I more than doubled my frequency of posts that I’d begin getting more people unliking my Page. Let’s take a look…

Facebook Unlikes

This was not the case. In fact, I never had more than two people unlike my Page after I began scheduling. I’ve gotta admit that this was a bit surprising!

This may be partly coincidental, but the main explanation for this is that users didn’t notice a sudden change. Those who were already seeing my posts before weren’t likely to see much difference since they probably weren’t seeing my late night posts. And people who were now seeing my late night posts went from nothin’ to somethin’.

The Verdict

I’d say this was a very successful test. This strategy of scheduling evergreen content at night and in the very early morning resulted in a significantly higher reach without the negative of losing Fans.

Oh, and this doesn’t even consider another added benefit: More website traffic!

So will I continue this going forward? You’re dang right I will. Now that the test is complete, I will go back through those 18 posts to determine what will remain relevant for a second round. I will then pull in other more recent posts written during this test that may qualify as evergreen.

I know what you’re thinking: But won’t you now be sharing the same evergreen content to the same people again? You’ll recall that I schedule at a different time every day: 7 PM and 2 AM. I will simply make sure that any content that was scheduled at 7 PM before is scheduled at 2 AM this time, and vice versa.

Sure, some may still see content and think, “Hey, I saw that recently.” Will there be backlash? I guess we’ll see. Stay tuned!

What strategy do you use for scheduling Facebook posts? Share your story below!

  • FlairMedia

    Hi Jon. Wondering if you have data comparing scheduling with Facebook’s tool vs. 3rd party tools. I’ve seen conflicting info out there but I think you’re on to something here with the scheduling coming from within. Look forward to your thoughts!

    • Jon Loomer

      Funny you mention that! I’m working on testing AgoraPulse right now. I’m coming around on third party scheduling. If you find a tool (like AgoraPulse) that creates a post that otherwise looks like a regular Facebook post and you follow typical best practices, I’m convinced there’s no reason your results should be any different.

      Read this post I wrote the other day about this:

      • Pamela Joy

        When I first started using to schedule my posts, instead of FB Activity Log, my reach went down dramatically. However, after 2 weeks, it has more than recovered. I am posting very regularly, at 8:08am and 5:08 pm AZ time, and I think FB has finally begun to trust me again. Bufferapp is so handy as a Chrome extension. I love it!

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  • Juliette Rule

    What a great idea for a test, Jon! I’m going to duplicate on one of my properties. This is the best illustration for content planning and data tracking I’ve seen … in the history of Facebook:) Thanks for sharing.

    • Jon Loomer

      Hahaha… You’re the best, Juliette!

  • Martin Bengtsson

    Hey Jon, Yet another great article.

    I’m not really sure what the time is over at yours, here in The Netherlands it’s just morning (very early so too!) so this scheduling was/is perfect for your early European readers who are just starting their days right now.
    Perhaps you are seeing an increase because you have quite some European time zone readers then?

    • Jon Loomer

      Correct, Martin! While close to half of my readers come from the US, quite a few come from elsewhere. I believe the next two are the UK and Australia. So there is definitely no “right” time for me to post!

  • socialfactory

    Intresting test. However I am not sure you can grant the scheduling all the credits. Was there a big vacation shift the 19th of july? Another thing that is intresting is that the maximum reach seems to be 40% careless of method used!
    Thank you for a great post!

  • Deni Jelincic

    Well, I post two posts per day, manually that is, one around 1pm and the other one around 5pm… I use scheduling only for weekends, when I’m out of the office and I post one post per day, usually in the morning. I’m getting the best results that way, so yeah, scheduling can be handy.
    I think scheduling is great for a small business which doesn’t have enough time to spend 4-5 hours daily on Facebook activity. But, other than that, I prefer manual posting and interaction with fans if there’s any in the moment when the conversation started.

    Thanks for another great article!

  • Carol C Lawrence

    Love this Jon! Thanks for taking the time to put this all together. I really like the Facebook scheduler. I also jump on and post live and engage as well several times through out the day. I think a lot of people are afraid of posting to much on Facebook. Very successful marketers such as Sandi Krawkoski post once an hour every hour of the day morning till night. She only spends 5 minutes each time. Her team schedules other posts throughout different times of the day. The more active I am on Facebook the faster I see results.

  • Marge

    Hi Jon,

    I’m new to your blog thanks to Mari Smith. You have great content and I particularly enjoy your Friday Pubcasts. One question – I use Evernote to capture content but for some reason the Evernote clipping function does not work on your page. Have any of your other followers commented on this? Do you have any idea why your content would be different from other website content?