Learning more about your queue: Custom scheduling, Future Queue and Pinned posts
How Your Queue Works
Each of your connected social accounts will have its own Queue, which stores your posts that are waiting to be published. Buffer will automatically publish these posts according to the times you have configured in the Schedule tab.
Instagram works a bit differently than the other social networks. For more guidance on Instagram, please hop over to this FAQ.
When it comes to adding posts to your queue using the composer, you'll have a few different options (explained later in this article) and the default is Add to Queue. This will place your post at the bottom of the queue in the next available time slot in your schedule.
While most of your posts will likely only require you to add them to the queue, there are instances where a little more customization might be required. Have you ever prepared a post to share on social media and realized it would fit perfectly in next Tuesday’s 10:34am slot of your Buffer schedule? Or maybe you have big news or a launch that you’d like to announce exactly 9am on Friday? We have two features, which might be just what you need - the Schedule Post option and the Future Queue.
These two features are quite similar in that they allow you to pick a specific time for your post to be published. The key difference is that using the Future Queue option, you’re picking from one of your available time slots from within your Schedule tab, while using the Schedule Post option, you’re picking a completely custom time outside of your usual posting schedule.
In some cases, you might like to publish a post on a specific date and time, in addition to your posts that are part of your usual flow. Let's say you have five posting times configured in your Schedule tab, for every day of the week. On Monday, you'd like to share an extra post at exactly 9:15am, announcing a new feature you've just rolled out. You don't want to use one of your usual time slots for this post. This is where the Schedule Post option can come in handy!
When you're ready to add your post to the queue, click on the small drop down arrow to the right of Add to Queue and then click on Schedule Post. Once selected, you’ll notice a small calendar pop up, allowing you to choose the specific date and time that you’d like the post to be shared.
Posts created this way will be added to your queue as "pinned posts", meaning they won't be affected by anything else happening in your queue. You should be able to spot these posts easily as they will have a blue banner, highlighting the publishing time.
You can always change the time of a scheduled post by hovering over the time and clicking Change Time. Alternatively, you can remove the custom date and time by clicking Switch to Buffer Schedule. The post will then behave like a regular queued post and be affected by anything else happening in your queue.
At Buffer, we custom schedule posts on a weekly basis to prepare for the BufferChat we host on Twitter. We prepare and schedule all announcements leading up to the BufferChat, as well as the questions, ahead of time. We’ve found this to be a great way of ensuring that we’re always prepared, on time and ready to chat!
Custom scheduling posts can be a great asset to your social media planning and allow you to set up posts far in advance, so you can be prepared to share all the wonderful events you think your followers would enjoy during the year. It is also a great tool to use when planning time-sensitive events to make sure everything gets shared at the right time!
Please note that the Future Queue is only available on the Awesome and Business Plans. If you're on the free Individual Plan, you will not see empty time slots in your queue.
The term "Future Queue" relates to the empty time slots that you see in your queue, allowing you to plan posts into the future. If you're not seeing any empty time slots, please check that a) the Show empty slots toggle at the top right of your queue is ticked and b) you have a schedule set up under the Schedule tab.
Let’s say that Halloween is just around the corner and you have a special post to share with your followers on October 31st. However, you don’t want to add an extra post to your sharing flow on that day. The Future Queue is a great feature to use for this case.
Head into the queue of the social account that you’d like to add the post to. Scroll past any scheduled posts and you’ll notice empty time slots from your posting schedule. You can click inside any of your empty time slots to schedule a post for that specific date and time, and thus pin it in place.
Create your post as usual and click Schedule Post.
Posts created in this way will be added to your queue as "pinned posts" and will be published as part of your usual posting flow, i.e. this post will occupy one of your usual time slots from your schedule. These posts will also be highlighted with the blue banner.
We'd love to summarise this article by providing an overview of the various ways you can create a "pinned post".
- Use the Schedule Post option when adding a post using the composer. This will create a post to be published at a specific date and time of your choosing, in addition to posts added to your usual time slots.
- Click inside any of your empty time slots within the Future Queue. This will create a post to be published within that specific time slot and thus your usual posting flow for that day will not be affected.
- Drag an existing post into an empty time slot within the Future Queue. Again, this will pin the post within that specific time slot.
Posts will not pin in place if switched with another post. This will simply reorder the posts and you can read more about that over here.
Here's a quick video for the visual learners out there!