For Photographers - How to Automate Facebook Page Posts Using Google Calendar and IFTTT

May 29, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Have you ever wanted to schedule posts on your Facebook page? Maybe you're going to be out of town next week but you want to keep your content fresh on your Facebook page, or maybe you have some photos you want to share one at a time. You might have some specials that you want to promote several times over the course of a month. Or maybe you want to share other content on your page but you want to spread the love! Here is a simple but effective approach to accomplishing these tasks (and more...the possibilities are endless!). You can schedule posts when it's convenient for you, and they will be sent to your Facebook page whenever you want! I've personally tested this approach for 3-4 months and it has worked flawlessly.

First, to clarify, we're talking about a Facebook Page, not your personal Facebook Timeline. If you aren't sure of the difference (or which you are using), read more here. You can use a Timeline instead, you just need to activate the appropriate channel in IFTTT (more below on that).

Second, once you take a few minutes to set up the calendar and set up the IFTTT recipe using the steps below, you won't have to make any further settings changes. To use this technique once these are set up, all you have to do is go to the calendar and add an "event".

Prerequisites - What you'll need

  • A Google account (free; you just need the calendar app. If you already have a Gmail account you already have the calendar app. You don't have to use Gmail to use Google Calendar, though most people do.
  • An account at IFTTT (free)

Setting it up - Google Calendar

First, create a new calendar in Google calendar:

Call it your business name to keep it simple.

Second, create a new "event" in this calendar. This "event" will be the post that appears on your Facebook Page.

  • The event title I used below is #fbpagepost but you can use anything you want (just remember that it must be the same for every post you want to be sent to Facebook). And it should be something unique that is not likely to appear elsewhere in your calendar. The hashtag isn't required, but it helps make it unique. You could use #automaticpost or New Post to Facebook, etc. This text is what IFTTT uses to determine what items to pull from your calendar and post.
  • Set the date and time you want you post to appear. IFTTT will post it within 15 minutes of your scheduled time.
  • Choose the correct calendar! If you try this technique and it fails, this is the first thing to check. It's very easy to choose the wrong calendar and if you do, it won't work!
  • Whatever you enter in the description is what will appear as the page post. If you include a link here, then there will be a link in the post as well. Unfortunately you cannot embed images directly into the description field.
  • You do not need to set any reminders for this "event".
  • When you're done, click Save

Setting it up - IFTTT (If This Then That)

Go to your IFTTT account and activate the Google Calendar and Facebook Page Channels from the Channels option at the top of the page.

Next, Create a new recipe. Click "This" and choose the Google Calendar channel:

Choose the Event from Search Starts trigger option. This tells IFTTT to perform a search and send the search results to your Facebook Page.

For the keyword or phrase, enter  #fbpagepost or whatever text you used for your event titles and click Create Trigger. This is the text IFTTT will search for in your Calendar so it knows what you want posted to Facebook.

Click on That and choose the Facebook Pages channel.

For Action, choose Create a status message:

Don't enter anything into the "status message" box. We are going to pull this content dynamically from the Google Calendar event. 

Click the "+" sign and choose Description from the list. Click Add Ingredient. This tells IFTTT to post the content from the event's description field to your Facebook page (It's the "Hi everyone, just 4 days left to get your 20% summer discount!" text from the above example). 

Click Create Action to finish the recipe. You can also add a description so when you're logged into IFTTT you know what this recipe does.

This is the finished product. Every 15 minutes, IFTTT will run this recipe by searching the specified calendar for "events" that have a title matching your keyword or phrase. When it finds one, it will send it to the specified Facebook Page as a new status message. Pretty cool, huh?

This is a really easy way to automate Facebook page posts. Once it's set up, all you have to do is go into your calendar and create an event (make sure to choose the correct calendar if you have more than one, and be sure to use the same text for the title, e.g. #fbpagepost).

I also encourage you to check out all the other cool things you can do with IFTTT - there are many recipes that are applicable to photographers. For example, you can use this one to share inspirational images or blog posts to your Facebook page:

This recipe uses search results from an RSS feed to create new status messages on your Facebook page.

Good luck and have fun!


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