One of the most common questions I see posted in Facebook groups for entrepreneurs is whether or not it’s okay to post from external schedulers.
If you’ve been online for very long, you’ve probably heard about social media schedulers–Hootsuite, Buffer and the like. There are tons of programs to schedule your social media posts, and there’s a huge debate about whether those are dinged by Facebook. People wonder whether or not Facebook restricts page reach for those who are posting via external schedulers. People are quick to quote research that states Facebook penalizes all content scheduled externally. There are anecdotal quotes and from time to time a legit publication with a huge following will back this statement up.
I want to jump into the debate and talk about it, because the truth is there is no current data to support the claims that Facebook penalizes externally scheduled posts.
The old study everyone quotes, something about 67% less reach, likes, and engagement is actually findings from 2012 (http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32124/Facebook-Content-Published-Via-Third-Party-Tools-Suffers-67-Fewer-Likes-New-Data.aspx#sm.00000fdekzjmugez6s8n37jkdgd7t) . 2012 may not seem like a long time in the life of an adult, but in the lifespan of social media time, that’s like 20 years ago. In social media, everything has changed since 2012! The other interesting thing about that Hubspot study is the majority of the auto-schedule posts were coming directly from WordPress blogs, and it often appeared sort of generic due to service limitations. The images weren’t carrying over correctly, links were super long, and depending which service provider you went with, you had less control over the excerpts.
In 2012, ‘scheduling’ was a totally different animal than the sophisticated scheduling software that’s available today.
The second important thing in this debate is Facebook changed their policy in 2011. When you look in the 2011 Facebook archives, you’ll find they stopped restricting your reach. Hubspot even amended their original post in 2013 to reflect this update. Facebook stopped filtering posts coming from external scheduling programs and no longer reduces their reach. If you post on your business page via Hootsuite or Sprout Social or one of those apps, you’ll notice that the public no longer can see it’s scheduled by an external program.
If you’re using these to schedule on your personal page—which I don’t recommend—then everyone can see you’re scheduling posts, so keep that in mind.
The third thing to take into account when you get into this debate about native versus external posts is that consistency is the key with posts. Scheduling your posts is going to allow you to maximize your time without losing your mind, because time is your most valuable resource. So if you have to jump on Facebook and schedule your posts, and then type the things into Twitter, and then into Pinterest, and then Instagram, you’re not honoring that resource of time, which is your biggest resource as a small business owner. Consistently posting 7, 8, 9, 10 times per day is going to give you the best reach and the best engagement–and scheduling will help you achieve your goals.
Finally, don’t put much stock in theories that are based on the foundation of Facebook being a mean monster out to destroy the small business owner.
I personally have been scheduling with Hootsuite for the last two years and have not seen any difference in my native reach versus my external scheduling reach, and I’ve done lots of research on a lot of articles. Any time you see an article that tells you there is a limited reach and engagement, I want you to look at the footnotes and citations and see if they’re going back to this 2012 Hubspot article or another one like it. I recently saw an article from a high profile social media magazine that was still citing that original data, even though Hubspot amended the original article. Be smart and do your research!
If you are concerned about reach and engagement, make sure you’re posting fresh content on Facebook and use the external schedulers.
Scheduling tools are a HUGE protector of your time and will prevent you from being constantly interrupted or stuck jumping onto multiple social media channels to post things in real time. You’re going to save a ton of time. Don’t shy away from leveraging scheduling tools just because of the old reports because with them you can post regular content without spending all day online!
Stop buying into the hype that Facebook is a mean, manipulative monster, and choose to run your business efficiently!
Want more tips to build your business? Join my free BOLD Women in Business and Ministry group. I’d be happy to share more business building business tools!
Angela J Herrington is a passionate coach who co-creates massive momentum with her clients. She loves moving women entrepreneurs from stuck to living their dream! Her ideal client is someone who is willing to embrace their creativity, explore life outside of the traditional box, and blaze their own trail! She helps coaches, authors, and business women break out of their warm market by leveraging the power of social media. She brings a powerful combination of 20+ years of business, marketing, customer service, event promotion, and administration to her coaching and consulting practice. Monthly she reaches 200,000 people in 40+ countries on her social media and blogging platforms.
Angela J Herrington is founder of Broken Beautiful BOLD online women’s ministry and Life and Leadership Coach for Christian Women.
In addition to operating a successful boutique social media agency, she teaches women how to recognize, cultivate, and unleash their God given leadership ability. She holds a BA from Indiana Wesleyan and a Masters in Leadership from Wesley Seminary. Her graduate research project focused on leadership development and opportunities for Gen X women in the US church.
Angela is a Lark’s Song Certified Life Coach who reaches hundreds of thousands of women in 40+ countries each month on Facebook, IG, Twitter, Pinterest and two blogs. She is Director of Communications for Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy, a women led organization dedicated to engaging, empowering, and equipping women to lead in the church.
She is the host of the soon to be launched God Sized Calling Podcast and has also been published in Hope for Women and HOPE is Now magazines.
Angela is a also wife, mom to 6, and proud resident of Marion, Indiana with her family when they’re not traveling the US in their RV.