[Publish] Best practices for scheduling content

Keeping your Facebook accounts safe and avoiding being flagged for spam or bot behaviour
Limitations with sharing duplicate content on Twitter
Buffer Publish should not be used for sharing duplicate content to employees’ LinkedIn Profiles

Keeping your Facebook accounts safe and avoiding being flagged for spam or bot behaviour

When sharing the same content to multiple Facebook Pages, posts that are published at the same time, can be flagged by Facebook as spam or bot behaviour. This can result in the posts failing to send and your access token being revoked, causing you to need to reconnect the account to Buffer Publish. In some cases, Facebook may even suspend your account.

There are some steps you can take in order to keep your accounts safe. When setting up your Posting Schedules, it's a good idea to make sure they're different from one another, even if the times are just a few minutes apart. For example, let's say you have five Facebook Pages and you'd like to publish a post to them each morning at around 9:30am. Rather than having a 9:30am slot in each Posting Schedule, we'd recommend something like:

  • Page 1: 9:30am
  • Page 2: 9:34am
  • Page 3: 9:39am
  • Page 4: 9:42am
  • Page 5: 9:47am

When scheduling posts, we'd recommend using the Add to Queue option, which will save your post in the next available time slot from your Posting Schedule. This ensures that posts are sent out at the staggered times you've configured. If you use the Share Now or Schedule Post option when scheduling a post for multiple Pages, all of the posts will be sent at exactly the same time, which increases the chances of Facebook perceiving this as spam or bot behaviour and could result in them flagging your account.

Variations to the post can also help to greatly reduce the likelihood of Facebook flagging the accounts for spam. If you're planning to share a post to 100 Facebook Pages for example, instead of crafting one post and sending it to all 100 Pages, it's much better to create four or five variations of the post.

Limitations with sharing duplicate content on Twitter

In February 2018, Twitter announced new guidelines to prevent people from misusing multiple Twitter accounts to artificially amplify a message. Twitter have provided detailed definitions of what constitutes spam in the Twitter Rules and Automation Rules, but have advised third party apps and all users to keep two specific policies front of mind:

  • Posting duplicative or substantially similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts you control, or creating duplicate or substantially similar accounts, with or without the use of automation, is never allowed.
  • Posting multiple updates (on a single account or across multiple accounts you control) to a trending or popular topic (for instance, through the use of a specific hashtag) with an intent to subvert or manipulate the topic, or to artificially inflate the prominence of a hashtag or topic, is never allowed.

This means that third party services, like Buffer, are no longer permitted to enable users to share the same post to Twitter, either on multiple Twitter accounts, or multiple times on one account. The deadline for third party apps to comply with these rules was March 23, 2018. Since announcing these guidelines, Twitter continued to highlight them on their own feed, which means it's very important that Buffer, and all third party apps, comply.

For this reason, we have made some changes to Buffer Publish, which means it's no longer possible to duplicate content, either across one, or multiple, Twitter accounts. You will still be able to schedule content to multiple Twitter accounts using one Buffer Publish account, just not the same message.

Although these kinds of changes can be a little disruptive at first, we think this is great news for the Twitter ecosystem, and we believe that our new composer experience is a small step towards helping marketers create authentic content.

Buffer Publish should not be used for sharing duplicate content to employees’ LinkedIn Profiles

Whilst it is technically possible to connect a large number of LinkedIn Profiles to Buffer Publish, this is not recommended and can result in issues like account suspension (on LinkedIn’s side).

Social networks in general, but particularly LinkedIn and Facebook, have started to actively discourage personal Profiles being used for business and advertising purposes. They intend for personal Profiles to be approached and treated as independent, personal accounts, where the content shared is authentic and created/shared by the owner of the Profile.

If LinkedIn notice that duplicate content is being shared to lots of Profiles, they will often suspend those accounts. Suspensions are usually temporary, but will happen over and over again if the behaviour continues.

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