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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