Facebook lets you schedule posts up to six months in advance (this is called Native scheduling), so why all the fuss around third-party scheduling apps (like Swayy and DrumUp)? That’s because third-party apps come with several added features that you’ll find extremely useful as a social media marketer.
What you can do on Facebook, and what you can’t
If you’re scheduling posts natively on Facebook all you can do is set the date and time when you want your post to go public. You’ll still have to spend a considerable amount of time creating or curating the content you’d like to share. Not to mention, you’ll still have to manage all your other social media platforms individually.
This is where third-party apps come into play. You could use free content discovery and social media management apps to discover, schedule and share great content on multiple social media platforms from a single dashboard. This will save you time and effort on finding interesting stories and will also help you in efficiently managing multiple platforms.
The case against third-party scheduling apps is false
A few years ago some social media marketers held that using third-party apps on Facebook would adversely affect your EdgeRank. The term ‘EdgeRank’ itself has been suspended from usage, but Facebook continues to use an un-christened newsfeed algorithm that is rather complex. In any case, claims of limited reach and engagement for posts made through third-party apps have been put to rest and here’s why you don’t have to worry:
No more collapsing – Earlier, users wouldn’t even be seeing notifications from third-party apps, because Facebook would collapse such notifications. However, the social network has dropped this practice for a long time now. Additionally, experts have clarified that using third-party scheduling apps does not affect your EdgeRank.
No attribution to third party apps – Another feature that’s not in use any longer is the attribution to third-party apps. Say, for example, you used HootSuite to schedule a post on Facebook. When this post went live, the user would have seen a ‘via Hootsuite’ attribution made at the end of your post (see screenshot below), but not anymore. Facebook has removed attribution, and posts through third-party apps look just like native posts, so the user sees no difference between the two.
Most Big Brands Use 3rd party Apps – If you remember the time when Facebook attributed to third-party apps, you’ll recall having seen attributions made to third-party apps on several popular pages. Clearly, none of these brand pages have suffered by using third-party apps, or they would have unsubscribed a long time ago. Seagate and WWF are just two such global brands that see the benefit in using a third-party app.
It’s safe to say that Facebook does not penalize you for using a smarter and better alternative to native scheduling. The trick is to maintain a balance of content creation and content curation in your social media strategy so that your fans see something interesting every time they visit you page.