When I present on Facebook as part of my social media workshops, I introduce a number of Facebook tools for business that I would divide into the following categories:
- Application platforms (for Facebook contests, etc.)
- Tab creation apps (for customized content iFrame tabs)
- Analytical applications
- Posting applications
The subject of this post, Post Planner, is a posting application that I have always introduced together with its “competition:” Facebook and Buffer. True, you can also post to Facebook from a number of other social media dashboards such as HootSuite and Sprout Social, but Facebook, Buffer and Post Planner work at a fairly native level to ensure that you get the most from your EdgeRank, while using other 3rd party applications might negatively affect your EdgeRank.
Facebook currently allows Business Page administrators to schedule a post for the future by simply selecting the clock image in the bottom lefthand corner of a post as indicated in the below screenshot. That being said, as you can see from the different fields to choose from in determining your date, it can be cumbersome to quickly schedule a post, especially when compared to Buffer and Post Planner.
If you don’t use Buffer, you will probably be surprised to see the green “Buffer” button next to the dark blue Facebook “Schedule” button. While I don’t have any data to back this up yet, the fact that Buffer is integrated deeply into Facebook as indicated by its button appearing within the Facebook user interface hints to me that EdgeRank is using Buffer is better than using other 3rd party applications. The beauty about Buffer is that it can be used across multiple brands and social networks, so it is the easiest way to manage the posting of your messages across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The killer functionality about Buffer, though, is the ability to create a “buffer” of posts that will be published based on rules that you give Buffer such as indicated in my screenshot below. This is a huge time-saver, especially when compared with the clunky 5 fields that you need to enter every time you schedule a post on Facebook.
So where does Post Planner fit in? In this age of social media dashboards that are trying to expand their reach to help you post to any and every social media platform that exists, Post Planner is an example of an app that goes deeper into optimizing your presence on Facebook than any of the other more “general” apps do. Up until now, in addition to providing you the ability to schedule Facebook posts in the future (remember, Facebook never offered this functionality until fairly recently), Post Planner also offers the following three cool features:
1.) Effective Status Post Ideas to Easily Implement
There is a formula for the types of posts that tend to drive engagement in Facebook, and Post Planner provides them to you with what they call their “Status Idea Engine.” They provide you with thousands of sample status updates in a variety of categories, so if you are having an uninspiring day, Post Planner is there to support you!
2.) Customized Publishing via YOUR Branding
If you use a 3rd party tool to publish on Facebook, after the date stamp it will indicate the name of the app where the posting came from. With Post Planner, you can actually customize this so that it can say the name of your brand – and the brand name can be linked to any page to facilitate visitors to visit your website. In the example below, clicking “via Windmill Networking (the former name of this blog)” will send visitors directly to my website. A nice way to increase your Facebook branding – and website traffic!
3.) All Publishing Easily Done inside Your Facebook Dashboard
If Post Planner wasn’t awesome enough, they have now added a killer content curation functionality inside their tool to help you more effectively curate and schedule posting of your Facebook posts. In previous blog posts, our content marketing expert Bob Geller has already explained why content curation is important to social media marketing as well as the story of how content curation has allowed one page to quickly gain 100,000 Facebook fans. Post Planner now gives you the ability to do this in a personalized way by adding any Twitter handle, Facebook profile or page, or any RSS feed to your content curation dashboard as a source of content. Only content with links is displayed in your dashboard, and you can setup a new post to publish in two easy clicks.
Post Planner goes beyond merely allowing you to schedule a curated link. Anyone who knows anything about Facebook realizes that it is better for EdgeRank purposes to post an image in lieu of a link. That’s why Post Planner makes it easy to do so: When you select content to post, you can select to post as an image, in which case the title of the post and link are automatically pre-populated in the photo description as in the image below. It doesn’t get any easier to post than this!
As you can see, for purely posting content on Facebook, Post Planner is my tool of choice for the above four reasons. Do you use Post Planner? What other Facebook tools would you recommend for posting?