We all know that everyone is different. Some friends are morning-people while others are night owls. Your Facebook audience should be viewed the same way. This blog post will explain the best times to post on Facebook, as well as lay out the guidelines for discovering the exact times your audience is on social media.
Know Your Audience
First, you’ll want to fully understand who your target audience is and what their lives look like. For instance, one of our clients works in the SEAL fitness space and their audience consists of go-getters, workout lovers, aspiring leaders, and ideally, Navy Seals. As you can imagine, this group gets up earlyin the morning for workouts, meditation, or simply to start their day prepared. The majority of this audience is on social media as early as 5:00 AM with the peak of the day at 8:00 AM. Thus, posting as early as 7:00 AM would be beneficial.
Adversely, other target audiences may have their peak in the evening around dinner time. This is the case for brands that have products that cater to health-conscious mothers, whose audience consists of females aged 35-55 who most likely are busy mothers. The majority of their audience is online at 6:00 PM.
As the data illustrates, each audience is unique and should be looked into in order to base your posting habits on actual data instead of a generalization. Likewise with timing, days of the week work the same way and can be researched within Facebook. For the most part, people check social media every day. And whether or not you’ll admit to it yourself, people check their social media on their phones, on their laptops, at work, at home, and whenever else they can. So posting on a Wednesday instead of Thursday will not have a dramatic difference.
Support Your Actions With Data
To find out when your audience or your client’s audience is online, log into the Facebook Business Account and enter the Insights tab. From there, click on posts and you will see the following screen.
Facebook will pull in the exact number of fans that are online each day of the week, found at the top, and each hour of the day, found in the middle. Below this, you will see all of your past posts and the data for each of those as well.
If and when you post enough to collect your own data, see what posts, what days of the week, and what time of day worked the best for your brand and your audience. Testing and optimizing are the best ways to understand how and when to speak to your audience.
What If I Don’t Know My Audience Well Enough?
If you are just starting, testing, or still learning your audience, it is best practice to schedule your posts on Facebook for a time between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Other sources say that click-through rates are the highest between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Also noteworthy, times that have proven to be ineffective are before 8 AM and after 8 PM on weekends.
Looking for the absolute best days? Microsoft put together an infographic displaying Thursday and Friday as the optimal days for posting. These time frames and days are a good base to start with and optimize off of if you do not have historical data.
Consider Time Zones
Do you know where the majority of your audience lives? If they live on the West coast, you’ll want to consider PST as your standard. If there is not a clear divide, then consider both when posting. For instance, if you are posting a “Good Morning” message, you’ll want to schedule it around 8 AM PST so that it still reaches the east coast in the morning or at least early afternoon.
Strategize Your Content
Surprise, surprise. It turns out people are actually happier on Fridays- go figure! Take advantage of this by posting your fun or funny content on this day to maximize your potential engagement. Likewise, play off of the Monday blues to gain some extra likes like Planet Blue’s Instagram example below:
Ultimately, there is no perfect day or time to post content on Facebook. It all depends on your audience – who they are, where they live, and when they are online. If you are unable to narrow in on this right away, follow the standard guidelines above. For an extra bonus, consider your content into the mix, such as morning posts, weekend posts, or even the “Monday Mood.” From there, test and optimize to perfection.