Facebook has updated its post scheduler for brand pages. They replaced the cumbersome method where you had to click separately on the year, month, day, hour, and minute with a simple calendar.
I have been asking myself why they didn’t do this in the first place, but then I remembered: We’re talking about Facebook here. Why make anything simple and user-friendly when they can make it frustrating, time-consuming, and complicated?
Thankfully, this new method is much more intuitive.
How to schedule an update on your fan page
Click inside your Page’s status update area, and a small blue clock icon will appear in the lower lefthand corner.
Click on the calendar icon or on the date link and select the year, month, and day on which to schedule your update. When you open the calendar, it will default to today’s date.
You can schedule updates up to six months in advance, or your can backdate your post (helpful, if you want to highlight an earth-shattering event that has already happened).
You can also schedule your post to be published at a certain time of day, which I recommend. Before you do that, however, take a peek at your Page Insights to get an idea of the best time of day to publish.
From within Insights, click the “Posts” tab. A graph will show you when your fans were online during the previous week. When I looked at my page’s graph, for instance, it showed me that my fans are on Facebook from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time (your graph displays times for your computer’s local time zone). Thus, I schedule my posts between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
To select a specific time of day (Facebook allows you to choose 5-minute increments), click the box next to the calendar icon. Type in the first numeral to designate the time of day you want to schedule. I typed in “9″ and range of options popped open.
I noticed, however, that all my 9 o’clock options were marked 9 pm. It didn’t even give me any “am” options (a kink in the system that Facebook needs to work out).
There are two ways to work around this. The easiest way is to manually type in the time you want to schedule, such as 9:05 am. When you type in the “a,” the scheduler will figure out that you mean “am” and it will fill in the rest.
If you forget to do this and the scheduler automatically inputs “pm” when you want “am” (which it did for me), you can override the incorrect designation by highlighting “pm” and changing the “a” to “p” (or vice-versa). A bit tricky, but doable.
Once you have mastered all this “am/pm” business, click the blue “Schedule” button.
After Facebook saves your update, you’ll see this popup box:
Click “View Activity Log,” where you can review exactly what your post will look like when it’s published. You can click the arrow that will display in the upper right hand corner of the post (when you hover over that area) to do one of three things:
- Change the day/time the post is scheduled
- Publish the post now
- Delete the post
Here is what the teaser for this post looks like in my page’s Activity Log:
What You Still Can’t Do
The only thing this tool does NOT allow you to do is to edit the update itself (unless it’s a photo update; you can edit the text caption that accompanies the image).
Here’s a ready-made tweet so you can share this tutorial with your Twitter friends. Who knows; some of them may use Facebook, too.
Illustrated Tutorial: How to use Facebook’s new scheduler tool for pages [Click to tweet]