So now Facebook allows Page managers (oh — and Content Creators and Moderators) to schedule posts. Considering it’s 11:40 PM my time as I type this and I know I want to share this post early in the morning, I am freaking psyched about this development.
That said, I have my reservations as well. So here are the four reasons why Facebook Scheduled Posts will make both a positive and negative impact on social media.
1) Pages no longer punished by EdgeRank for scheduling posts (presumably).
This is an assumption, but I can’t imagine Facebook would punish anyone for scheduling posts on Facebook as they do with third party apps. This used to be a major factor that prevented me from ever using HootSuite or any similar tool to schedule my Facebook posts.
2) Fewer poorly formatted posts, third party icons and updates that get no engagement.
I am hoping this will mean I’ll be seeing far fewer of these horribly formatted posts. You know the ones. Whether they’re scheduled or zipped in via RSS feed, they have no thumbnail, look ridiculous and everyone ignores them. It’s actually a complete waste of time, even if it takes close to no time at all.
By scheduling with Facebook, we’ll no longer have to see these things. As often, at least.
3) Brands able to maximize their reach with the help of Insights and scheduled posts.
One of the first things I did after writing my blog post about Scheduled Posts was dig into Facebook Insights to help determine when I should be posting to be most effective. I already use Insights, but without scheduling I find it very difficult to stick to a particular schedule.
Now that I know I need to post between 7-10 AM and Noon-2 PM MST, I can actually start scheduling my posts accordingly. That’s awesome, I say.
4) International audiences will benefit.
This is a big one. I have somehow built an international audience, and now I can actually target these people at times when I’m in bed. This is not only good for fans of my Page but international users in general. Brands had better see this opportunity and seize it!
Whenever a technology comes along that makes life easier, negatives will accompany it. So here we go…
1) Brands will get lazy.
You can bet this is going to happen. It’s already happening. But now there’s even more motivation to just load in a month’s worth of updates and walk away.
It will be obvious which brands are doing this. Please don’t forget your responsibility to manage your Page. Scheduling does not give you license to use Facebook as a PR bazooka. Even when you schedule, you must check back in multiple times throughout the day to respond to conversations your customers are trying to have with you.
2) Updates will become robotic and less reactive.
Maybe I’m getting lazy by not making this part of #1, but I see it as slightly different. One of the great things about social media is that it’s LIVE and NOW. Breaking news, we head to social media. Hopefully brands won’t lean so heavily on scheduling that they’ll cut out what made them interesting in the first place.
Scheduling should not be your entire content posting strategy. It should complement your current efforts and make you more effective. But you should continue to do many of the things you were already doing.
3) We’ll never know the difference between “live” and “scheduled.”
This is the Twitter Syndrome. I’ll get a direct message from someone that seems nice, but it just doesn’t smell right. It lacks specifics and a personal touch, even though it attempts to disguise itself as a sincere message.
I just hope that kind of thing doesn’t start taking over Facebook. Automation is good to a point. Just remember that the more you automate, the more soul seeps out of your public voice.
I have a fear that I am going to be rolling my eyes more regularly at posts that disguise themselves as being live when in reality they were scheduled three weeks ago. Let’s avoid this, please.
4) The increase in overall engagement will force Facebook to reverse the vortex with “new and improved EdgeRankPlus” in order to keep advertising dollars coming in.
I don’t know, I had to balance it out with a fourth “bad” thing. Then again, this could be an actual concern. Facebook is currently benefiting from the inability of brands to reach more than 16% of their fans. So what happens if scheduling posts — hypothetically — doubles engagement? Is Facebook happy about that? Because I guarantee advertising goes down as a result.
I guess we’ll see what happens with this one. Facebook has always done an interesting balancing act when there is misinformation and confusion spreading about EdgeRank. They don’t seem too rushed to silence fears since such things help build the case for advertising. Or that’s how it seems.
What Do You Think?
In the end, I think there is much more good than bad that will come of Facebook Scheduled Posts. For me personally, it’s going to save a lot of headaches. But I certainly expect some to misuse and abuse it.
What benefits do you think are missing from my list? And what are other potential concerns?