In our 24/7 world, it is likely impossible for someone from your local business to be available to post to social media and hold online “conversations” at all times. However, it is important for your business to have a consistent Facebook presence. Fortunately, scheduling posts in Facebook is a good way to ensure your local business is maintaining the regular contact it needs with current and potential customers in a time friendly way.
It’s important to note, however, scheduling posts directly in Facebook instead of one of the other great tools out there may be the best route to select. The currently accepted thought on posting is your local business won’t be penalized for Edgerank purposes if you use Facebook’s scheduling tool. However, your local business may see some negative Edgerank results if you use another posting tool that’s available (like Hootsuite). Remember, it’s important to keep Edgerank “happy” as it is the algorithm which determines which followers will see your content in their newsfeed.
Ultimately scheduling can allow you to engage with your followers during the times when they are most active, such as at nights and weekends. However, these suggestions are based on the general findings for most organizations and may not fit the needs of your local business. It’s important to your business to pay close attention to when engagement is best, and then schedule your posts around what is most effective for your organization.
Remember, even though you may be leveraging technology to reach your customers, you can’t automate the interaction. Your local business still needs to ensure appropriate time and thought is put into creating great content to entice your customers and keep them coming back for more (in addition to referring others to your Facebook page, etc). If you’re successful in engaging your current and potential customers, you will also want to regularly check in and interact with them throughout the day.
It’s great if you have individuals connecting with your content. That’s exactly what you want. However, unless you’re involved in the conversation, you’re not truly creating the meaningful following your business needs. Finally, once you learn some of the response and interaction patterns of your followers, it will also become easier for you to know when someone needs to be checking in on Facebook. Ultimately, your business needs to respond to comments and foster a conversation on your Facebook page for optimal results.
In closing, perhaps one of the best reasons to schedule your local business’ Facebook activity is it ensures someone in your business is taking some time to think through and create content. Without some planning, it can be easy for your Facebook content to become an afterthought in your business day. Or worse yet, your business may not have regular posts – a definite no-no if you truly want to get the most out of Facebook.
For more tips and information surrounding this topic, check out the recent local business article by Stephanie Winans: Facebook’s Schedule Feature: Why Schedule Social Media?
Author Chris Marentis is the founder and CEO of local business internet marketing company, Surefire Social.