How to Schedule Facebook Updates with Post Planner or HootSuite

Scheduling Facebook updates using a third-party tool such as HootSuite or Post Planner is a great way to consolidate your marketing activities and be more efficient. Some reasons why you might want to do this are

  • You have an event you’re promoting and need to share updates throughout the week.

  • You have a blog or contest you want to share now and also later, when other viewers may be online.

  • You want to increase your efficiency for general status posts by creating several at one time, but you want to schedule them to post intermittently.

  • You want to share several things but don’t want to flood your readers all at once.

Post Planner and HootSuite are useful tools for users at any level. You'll find one of these tools useful if you’re sharing information on multiple social networks or if you want to be more productive by sharing specific marketing messages planned throughout the week, month, and so on.

HootSuite allows you to manage both your personal timeline and your business page, as well as Twitter accounts and other social networks.

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Post Planner focuses on posting content to Facebook profiles and business pages.

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We find these tools most useful for creating updates that you want to share on multiple social networks. Both are free, and you can access them online through a browser. Post Planner is an app used inside the Facebook platform, whereas HootSuite can be used by logging in to their site or as an extension in your browser or on your mobile device.

HootSuite and Post Planner both enable you to post and to plan posts, but HootSuite also allows you to post to Twitter and respond to posts. On the other hand, Post Planner allows a huge array of content curation methods that HootSuite does not. Both allow multiple accounts, allow scheduling, and can be accessed through the web. Both applications also work with one or more business pages and personal timelines.

Following are some of the Facebook functions you can manage from these tools:

  • Posting status updates: The core function of any Facebook user is posting an update. You can do this in HootSuite or Post Planner.

  • Scheduling updates: Post Planner and HootSuite offer post scheduling, including a batch upload through a .csv (comma separated values) spreadsheet for bulk uploading of updates.

  • Commenting on your own and other people’s posts: HootSuite displays content in vertical streams. Your news feed column is one of the standard column options, and you can create others. When you see a friend's update in the news feed column, you can comment on it in HootSuite. Post Planner doesn't have this capability.

  • Finding status ideas: Post Planner supplies users with many methods of finding content to post. The Status Ideas engine has tons of categories and ideas to choose from, such as questions, fill-in-the blanks, seasonal posts, and Facebook contests. You simply choose one and post to your accounts. You can also find trending content in the Content engine, which contains feeds from blogs all around the globe based on keyword.

  • Creating keyword searches: Creating a keyword search based on your brand name or topics related to your industry is one of the most interesting ways to learn about your market or find out when someone is asking about the services you provide. HootSuite can perform keyword searches. Post Planner doesn’t offer keyword searches for Facebook.

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When you schedule posts to your personal timeline or business page, don’t forget to interact with the post. It’s one thing to plan and schedule your content, but if you're not going to interact with and engage with those following you, there's no point in posting.

If you’re updating a business page and a personal timeline at the same time, consider the audience of each. If many of your Facebook friends are also followers of your business page, they are likely to see the same post back to back. Always separate these by at least a few minutes. It might also be wise to differentiate the content so that it comes across as fresh.

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