How to Schedule Status Updates on a Facebook Fan Page

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.

Facebook Scheduler Tool 1

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).

Facebook Scheduler Tool 2

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.

Facebook Scheduler Tool 3

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:

Facebook Scheduler Tool 4

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:

  1. Change the day/time the post is scheduled
  2. Publish the post now
  3. Delete the post

Here is what the teaser for this post looks like in my page’s Activity Log:

Facebook Scheduler Tool 5

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).

 

Tweet It!

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]

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  • Carrie Schmeck

    Makes me think they had our conversation bugged! Weren’t we just griping about the admin functions this week?

  • http://twitter.com/jbmthinks Janis Meredith

    It’s good to know Facebook does this, but it seems more time consuming than using Hootsuite.

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Janis, I agree that it is a bit more time-consuming, but I’ve heard Facebook gives more “credit” or visibility to updates that are published directly from within Facebook, as opposed to using third-party schedulers. This is probably their way of getting people to be more loyal to Facebook and to stop using third party dashboards. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in their next round of EdgeRank changes, they make it so people are severely penalized for using third party tools. I believe that allowing scheduling from within a page is their first step in that direction.

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    The Facebook spies must have been listening in. And I’m glad of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001486674768 Laura Hunt

    This is my first day here, and this post is just one reason I’m so excited to have found you!  Thank you; I know I’m going to learn a lot here!

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Glad you’ve joined us, Laura.

    From another Laura

  • DeDe@DesignedDecor

    Wow, thank you soooo much! Love it! I am scheduling posts right now!

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    I’ve been using the scheduler more and more often. Other than the cumbersome calendar (you have to click year, month, date, hour, and minute separately), it’s pretty nice.

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  • DesignedDecor

    I have been using scheduled posts, I love it thank you! How do I view what I have scheduled? I went to the help center on Facebook and it gave me instructions, but I do not see the admin page they are talking about? Do you know how?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Yes. Click “Edit Page” and then click “Use Activity Log.” Any posts you have scheduled will display at the top under “Scheduled Posts.” You can click the dropdown menu next to each one to either change the scheduled time, publish immediately, or cancel the post. Unfortunately, you cannot edit the post itself — you can only edit the publication date.

  • http://futurescheduler.appsicum.com/ Appsicum

    Check out Future Scheduler app for iPhone,
    Android and Blackberry this will help you in scheduling status update on
    Facebook.

  • Antje

    That was extremely helpful! Thank you so much!! After I prepared one week of holidays, today it doesn’t work any longer :-( Any idesy, why?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Antje – I have been having trouble using the scheduling option over the last week for a couple of the pages I admin. I think it must be a Facebook glitch. Hope they get it worked out, because it’s irritating!

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzanne.faris Suzanne Faris

    When I click on the gray clock icon nothing appears — what’s wrong?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Suzanne, Before you can schedule a post for the first time, Facebook requires you to input a “date established” on your page’s Timeline. Of course, they don’t inform you of that fact until you attempt to schedule something! To do that, click on “Event/Milestone” in the status update area and create a Milestone that indicates when your Facebook page, business (or whatever you’re using your page for) was founded. You can backdate the milestone. Hopefully, once you’ve created that, the scheduling icon will become functional.

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  • gal

    they just took it away!!! why?!?!

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    I just checked the scheduling feature on all the pages I manage, and it’s still there.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FO6PB6YYBGOYJ77XJVKEGMLUMA aldo

    Try fbtweetbot.com it allows you to schedule facebook updates and tweets

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  • K Heitmann

    Or you could try http://social-kick.com

  • telorayam

    can’t schedule for 6 month..just for a day :(

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    You must have a glitch in your account. I just tested this feature on one of my client’s accounts, and it allowed me to schedule it exactly 6 months from today.

  • jaginsburg

    I’ve been having grief with this lately. I prepare a post and it just thinks and things and thinks and never uplaods. It’s such profoundly lame software…

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    I agree — I’ve been experiencing the same issues for the last few weeks. I click the dropdown to enter the year and I have to wait at least a minute while it “thinks.” It eventually lets me schedule it, but it’s so slow and frustrating. It used to work fine, but whatever “improvements” Facebook has made to this function have definitely NOT improved it!

  • jaginsburg

    Thanks to much for the response, Laura. FB drives me straight up a wall.
    I want to play, but the basic software is so…buggy. And there’s no
    one to complain. No one letting you know if there are issues on the
    system. They’re too unreliable. Weirdly, I can post from the newsfeed
    things that won’t upload from timeline. But I need to preschedule or
    it’s lost the point. They’re driving me to hootsuite… And, off Facebook. If only G+ had the traffic, it’s quantum better software…

  • rjbrownie

    There is no “date established” link in my status update area. When I click on the clock, I am only able to schedule for that day.. not the future. ahhh!

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    I believe this is a FB glitch, as I have that same issue from time to time, and others have told me it happens to them, too. When I click the “Year” field, often nothing happens. But if I click it and then wait a minute or two, the range of years suddenly appears in a dropdown menu.

    If you’re not getting a date at all, you might check to make sure that you have entered a date for when you first established your Page’s Timeline. Facebook makes you put in a “start” date first before it allows you to schedule updates. That’s because their scheduling function gives you to ability to backdate posts that you want to appear on your timeline, and they will only backdate them to the year that you instruct them your business first started.

  • JMinneapolis

    Do you know if there is a way to do this with photo albums on a page? I can’t see a way, they just post immediately.

  • NikhilTiwari96

    please visit http://sociota.tk for facebook and twitter updates scheduler.Sociota brings you premium social media features and services without the costs. You can add unlimited Twitter and Facebook accounts on Sociota and enable them with features like automatic updates/tweets, direct messages and smart interactions.

  • Mike

    there is also a free app that you can use to schedule posts and it works a lot faster and better. you can schedule as many posts as you want on your wall, page, group or even on more of them at the same time. check it out : http://www.facebookplanner.com/

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    Just tweeted your post.:) I don’t focus too much on Facebook but this would be a great help for busy bloggers that may want to schedule their post in advance. In a way, they’ll have more time on engagement. Nice post as ever @laurachristianson:disqus. :)

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Thanks, Belinda. For future tweeting purposes, my Twitter handle is @bloggingbistro.

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    Yes. I already did follow you on twitter. :)

  • Steve Haas

    Is it possible to backdate a post to a time before the page was created on FB? I have a business client that just created their page, and they naturally want to show their press releases from the last few months on the page.

    FB is not allowing this, and seems to think that I am up to some devious trick so they won’t even allow me to ask the question on their own forum.

    I suspect that there is a way around this, anyone ever hear of a way to do what I am attempting?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Steve, I don’t believe you can do that. But you may be able to change the date the page was “started,” which would then make it possible for you to backdate posts. To do that, from the Admin Panel, click “Edit Page” and then “Update Page Info.” Six settings down, you’ll see a heading called “Start Info.” Edit that area and change the date to whatever you want. That should do the trick. If you found this info helpful, I’d love a little plug from your Facebook page for https://www.facebook.com/bloggingbistro.

  • http://www.gamedownloadx.net/ M Tahir

    nice work…

  • Michele Rowley

    Thanks for the helpful info. I am wondering if you can add a link to the post in the first comment before it is published. Do you know how to do this?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Michele – I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to. Are you saying you want to leave a comment on a Facebook post before it is published and schedule the comment as well? You can’t do that as far as I know, but you can insert a link in your Facebook update itself and then schedule it.