This summer, Facebook has released several new features for Facebook Pages that allow organizations more control over creating, releasing and managing content and messages. The newest features include scheduled page posts, unpublished page posts, and page admin permissions for third-party apps.
- Scheduling posts is a feature previously available to Page administrators using third-party solutions, like HootSuite, to create a post and designate a date and time for publication. The new scheduling feature allows post scheduling to be centrally managed within Facebook.
- “Unpublished Page Posts” are posts released on a limited basis to a target segment of the Page’s audience, such as a specific age demographic.
- Page admin permissions allow your Page administrator to grant levels of access for managing the Page, which can now be applied to third-party apps.
For government agencies, these new features can be leveraged to connect with citizens on topics they are most interested in and reach them when they are most likely to be online. Here are four specific ways your government org can try out the new Pages features today.
Manage Posts Up to Six Months in Advance
Facebook’s scheduling tool allows you to create and schedule posts for future times between ten minutes from the time of creation up to six months in advance. These posts can later be rescheduled or deleted. Government organizations can take advantage of this feature by strategically creating “inventory” of content ahead of time. Writing and scheduling these posts can be a regular task outside of urgent projects, especially for organizations that work around a “busy season” or a seasonal increase in projects.
The scheduled content can be scheduled and re-scheduled to ensure timely and relevant content is consistently released to citizens, even during times when your communications staff may be strapped for time or content. For example, a post linking to summer safety tips could be created in advance and scheduled for the week after the Fourth of July, when you know most of your staff will be out on vacation. The post could then be rescheduled for another date if additional content becomes available.
Schedule Posts at Times that Maximize Reach of Your Organization’s Message
The ability to schedule Page posts allows you to release a post at the time when you expect the most citizens to be online and looking for the information you are providing. For example, perhaps you have noticed that more users “Like” and comment on your organization’s posts about weekend community events when they are shared on Thursday afternoons, but you usually have time to work on Facebook content on Mondays. You could create and schedule event-related Page posts during Monday mornings, and use Facebook’s features to reschedule or delete the posts as-needed as the weekend approaches.
Run Segmented Message Campaigns with Sponsored “Unpublished Page Posts”
Facebook’s new “Unpublished Page Posts” allow organizations to create posts that, instead of being shared widely and publicly, are shared via the sponsored post feature on Facebook that allows targeting of specific market segments. Organizations willing to pay Facebook’s fee for sponsored posts can now share information with citizens that is tailored to their specific interests, making the organization more approachable to the target audience. For example, your organization could sponsor a post on your area’s fall-time tourist information campaign and “advertise” to individuals who do not live in the area.
Create Roles and Permissions for Page Admins
Roles and permissions for Page admins are more of a “behind the scenes” feature than those previously mentioned. They allow you to share the responsibility of your agency’s Facebook Page for better engagement and improved content. Given the resources, your organization could enlist resources to manage certain aspects of your Page. For example, an intern could take on the responsibility of managing comments and reporting on insights, while another member of your communications department focuses on creating and scheduling content in order to maximize interaction with the public based on the intern’s feedback. Third-party apps can also be granted limited permissions in order to gain monitoring or content management without giving up too much access.
The new Facebook Page features give government agencies powerful tools for reaching the public and starting meaningful conversations. Has your organization tried out scheduling posts, creating segmented message campaigns, or adding Page Admin roles? We would love to hear all about your experience in the comments!