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July 17, 2016

Automatic Posting on Facebook Pages/Groups as Members — 3 Third-Party Solutions Compared

Recently, a less technical friend of mine who provides services for a living wanted to advertise his services on Facebook groups of which he is a member. He asked me to take a look at the automatic posting solutions on the market. During the research, I had to make sure my suggestions are solid (legit – not some scams or fakes, proven to work – at least until this moment).

This blog post provides a brief look at three of the more popular ones which fulfill his needs (i.e. posting to not only fan pages but groups, and not only groups one administrates, but also groups of which one is a member.)

Know the Ethics First

Reading the product manual prior to use

As emphasized above (from the help page of one of the tools), this kind of automation tools, if used incorrectly (e.g. going over the posting limit, posting the same content over and over, abuse of the service, etc.) could upset the host (Facebook) and ultimately get your account restricted or banned. Therefore, it is important to do things right the first time by reading product manuals and consulting sales/support persons (support URLs below) to fully understand the manners in correctly using the tools and the associated risks.

1. ToolsStar

Available as a modern AJAX web application which can be used anywhere, ToolsStar feels smooth and easy to use. After registering as a Facebook Developer and completing the initial configuration, this web service can provide functions such as scheduled posting to groups, pages and comment sections as well as statistics and reporting. Based on a freemium model, it is the only of the three tools that provides a free version that is usable. One can also subscribe to unlock more of the features.

Product

URL

http://www.toolsstar.com/

Type

Web-based
(Can be run anywhere with a browser)

Free/Trial/Demo

Free version available with limited functionality. 
More features available through subscription.

Download URL

http://www.toolsstar.com/

Payment Means

Monthly subscription

Money Back Nil
Free Update Yes (Service is cloud-based and gets updated automatically)

Purchase URL

http://www.toolsstar.com/autoposter#Autoposter-Prices

Support http://www.toolsstar.com/autoposter.php?page=contact#Autoposter-Contact

Remarks

Free version already supports group-posting.
Modern web application.

2. Facebook Sharer PRO

Similar to ToolsStar, Facebook Sharer PRO supports scheduled posting to groups, pages, automatically adding comments to the last post in groups, etc. It is also a professional-looking web application which can be used as long as there is a web browser. Uniquely, it is available as both a self-hosted script (for webmasters or owners of web servers so you can pay once and use the application forever) and a yearly-subscribed hosted service (for the less technical who just want to focus on doing business).

Product

URL

http://www.sharecron.com

Type

PHP Script (Self-hosted) / Web-based (Hosted)

Free/Trial/Demo

No free version. Demo site available for a live demo.

Demo URL

http://www.sharecron.com/facebook-sharer-live-demo/

Payment Means

One-off fee (for script) + Optional yearly hosting fee

Purchase URL

http://www.sharecron.com/purchase-facebook-sharer.php

Money Back Yes (within first 30 Days of purchase)
Free Update Yes (within 12 month of purchase)
Support http://www.sharecron.com/support.php

Remarks

No free/trial version.
A set of PHP script for self-hosting webmasters.
Optional hosting service available for non-techies.

3. FB Virtual Assistant

Unlike the two choices above, FB Virtual Assistant does not require registration as a Facebook Developer, as it works in another way – a standard Windows PC application which comes with a built-in browser which receives instructions and act accordingly. Although you need to have an always-on PC in order for the software to do its job, there is no need for a subscription fee or a server to host the service.

Product

URL

http://createautomate.com/products/fbva/

Type

Windows software 
(Download and install on a PC)

Free/Trial/Demo

Trial version available with limited functionality

Download URL

http://download.cnet.com/FB-Virtual-Assistant/3000-2650_4-76472932.html

Payment Means

One-off license for single/multiple PC(s)

Purchase URL

http://createautomate.com/products/fbva/#scroll

Money Back Yes (within first 30 Days of purchase)
Free Update Yes (lifetime)
Support http://support.createautomate.com/

Remarks

Trial version provides limited scheduling features.
Traditional Windows application run on a PC.

Conclusion

While these utilities share a common goal – automated scheduled posting on Facebook pages and groups as a member, other areas such as the way they work, user interface design, running platform and payment options are quite different. Understand them better to meet your needs. It is recommended to try before you buy the software if possible, unless there is a money-back guarantee.

In addition, as cloud technologies are changing rapidly, what works now is not guaranteed in the future. For example, it is possible Facebook will update their policies or APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and break third-party utilities like these, so your advertisement plan or campaign may be interrupted until the developers of these tools have taken action to update their applications accordingly. For this reason, support and update are important factors; it may be more feasible to choose the hosted version (which may receive updates automatically) or one that provides a longer period of free update.

Reference

1. How to use Facebook Sharer PRO

For optimal performance please consider the following tips:

  1. Each campaign should use a message list with at least 4 different messages.
  2. In each message list please use different messages: some messages with text and links, some with images and links. Do not use images in all messages.
  3. To avoid posting duplicate content, we STRONGLY recommend to use SPINTAX in all your messages.
  4. Also, we recommend to set the campaigns to post maximum 1 message/hour in all groups.
    Using the script in this way you will avoid being blocked by Facebook.

2. How do I autopost in different groups without being spammed or blocked by Facebook?

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