Facebook purists will pan this post. They will say that the best way to post to Facebook is to post whatever you’re doing or thinking right now, that “planning” posts is not only insincere but that it undermines the point of Facebook altogether. Their points are valid and noted. Now, let’s talk about reality.
Busy people who have their own social media and potentially the social media profiles of sites and companies with which they work need tools. It’s true that the best way to post to Facebook is through the native interfaces – Facebook.com itself and their mobile app. However, there are drawbacks. You can schedule posts that go on pages through Facebook.com, but you can’t schedule for profiles. Perhaps more importantly, Facebook has an on again, off again glitch with scheduled posts that often “batches” them into an unintended album for any posts that are not at least 24 hours apart. This holds true for mobile image uploads as well. The problem there is that these batched albums cannot be liked, shared, or commented on in the news feed. If they can’t be interacted with in the news feed, they don’t really exist. Nobody clicks through to interact with them.
These are some of the tools that I’ve used in the past or that I’ve seen others use that have shown to be effective. To be effective, they have to be easy to use, formatted properly, displayed well in the news feed, and “play well” with EdgeRank. Keep in mind, EdgeRank can be adjusted based upon interaction. For example, if your posts from a certain tool tend to get more likes than posts with other tools, those future posts from that tool will appear higher in the news feed. The opposite is true as well. If posts from a certain tool are not as effective, they’ll fall further in the feed and become less visible as a result.
At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. Which tools work for you? These work for me and people that I know, but that doesn’t mean they’ll demonstrate the same benefits for your posts. Go with what works. This is only a guide of a handful of suggestions.
This tool is invaluable to me. It allows me to manage my profile as well as my pages from within the Facebook environment because it’s an actual Facebook app. I pay for it and it’s worth every penny. I am able to control branding and links through it – everything I post has a link to my “app” which is a redirect to my blog. My only complaint is that it only works in 5-minute intervals. It would be nice to post at any time but I understand the constraints of the Facebook environment. Given what they had to work with, the end result was amazing.
This isn’t just great for Facebook. It works nicely (maybe even better) for Twitter. I often cross post an image to both networks and this is the only tool I’ve found that handles that properly, showing in both networks as an uploaded image rather than a link. You can find the times that work best for you and set it up to post at different times on different days if you choose. It works chronologically so there’s no need to input times. You add something to the feed and it drops into the next available slot. Moving posts up or down is also relatively easy and there’s even a shuffle option if you’re scheduling a lot ahead of time.
The social media “recipe builder” is nothing short of brilliant. “If this, then that” allows you to connect your social profiles in ways that are changing the lives of users. It makes it simple to integrate so many different types of content that if I had to pick a favorite based upon pure ingenuity, this would be the hands down winner. For example, you can have a recipe that says if you post to Buzzfeed, the post will appear on Facebook as well and here’s how you want it to look. Takes a little while to master but once you get it, nothing will be the same.
If you weren’t one of those who abandoned the service once they went rogue with their terms of service, you’ll be happy to know it’s still a very nice way to put interesting personal posts on Facebook. In fact, it’s my app of choice when posting images that I’m taking from my smartphone. Nothing fixes the low quality of smartphone images like a hipster-friendly filter. Don’t overpost – the app has a tendency to batch and appears lower in the news feed as a result.
Use sparingly. Pinterest has an interesting way of getting batched. If there have been two pins posted to Facebook recently, they show up side by side or one on top of the other with unique interaction buttons. It’s a nice way to mix it up, but it doesn’t appear as well on the news feed. Still worth the occasional post.
What NOT to use to post to Facebook
As with any good list of tips, there needs to be some advice about things to avoid. These are some of the tools that do not work as well on Facebook and should be avoided if the goal is exposure.
- Tumblr – For whatever reason, whether it’s just the threat of another addictive social network or a challenge in the coding, Tumblr posts that go on Facebook do not perform well.
- Foursquare – The app plays okay with the news feed, but people simply don’t like it as much. Even when images are included, people are less likely to interact with the excellent stalker app as they are when Facebook places integration is used.
- Twitter – I’m likely in the minority on this one, but I’m not a fan of any interaction between the two services. I don’t like Tweets that come through on Facebook and I don’t like when Facebook status updates come through as Tweets. Call me what you will but neither path seems to work as well as posting independently of each other, even if it’s the same content being posted.
- Hootsuite – I really like Hootsuite for Twitter and as an overall social media management tool. The Google+ integration and automation has been a lifesaver with all of the G+ pages that I manage. As a posting tool to Facebook itself, I had to stop using it a month ago. It just didn’t do as well in the news feed as the other tools available.
- Flickr – Just like with Tumblr, Flickr doesn’t do very well. It could be because Facebook spent a billion dollars on a direct competitor with Instagram. That might just be my imagination. However, I love using IFTTT to post from Facebook to Flickr, so not all is lost.