It's about time we answered the age old question...
Ever since the beginning of time (or so it seems), businesses have been asking themselves (and us): when is the best time to post on Facebook? As with all good questions, the answer is not quite as simple as you might expect.
Is There a Best Time to Post on Facebook?
The best time to post on Facebook is the second Tuesday of every month at exactly 5:47pm (joke).
If you’re looking for a universal time down to the day/hour/minute, we’re sorry to say that you’re actually asking the wrong question. The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all. Instead, it’s best to determine what works for your brand.
However, we can observe general engagement trends based on time of post. Multiple studies have been carried out over the last few years, scrutinising every like and scroll, to provide an idea of which posts tend to perform best. We’ve taken the time to go through a number of these studies and collate their findings. Keep in mind that while the studies are helpful, they should be taken as guidelines, not gospel.
For top engagement, the best time to post on Facebook is likely to be a weekday. The studies tell us that engagement is higher during the week than on weekends. After that however, the results become a little more vague. In fact, nearly every weekday hour between 9am and 5pm was heralded as ‘The Best Time’ by at least one study. This fits in pretty well with our one-size-does-not-fit-all theory. The only hour not mentioned as a best time to post was 11am on Mondays and Fridays, so perhaps choose some other time… Despite the widespread results however, these studies revealed a few common themes. Below are the hours dubbed ‘The Best Time to Post’ by the most studies:
- The best time to post on Facebook is 1pm to 3pm on Thursdays & Fridays
- This is followed by 12pm to 1pm on Tuesdays & Wednesdays
- 1pm is generally the best time to post, regardless of which day it is
So there you have it, the starting point for finding your best time to post on Facebook. But remember, it’s much more valuable to focus on your audience specifically…
You are Not Posting to Facebook – You are Posting to People
Facebook users are people, not robots, so they all use Facebook differently. Therefore, before asking when you should post, you should first ask who you are posting to, and how they behave on Facebook:
- When are they online?
- Where are they located?
- How have they engaged with your content in the past?
Fortunately, Facebook makes all this information readily accessible to you! All you need to do is visit the Insights section on your Facebook page. How convenient is that? Now, if only there was a simple 3 step process to determine your brand’s best time to post on Facebook…
How to Determine Your Brand’s Best Time to Post on Facebook: A 3 Step Process
- Study your Audience. Under Facebook Insights, navigate to the Posts tab. The first thing you’ll see here is a graph showing the times of day your followers were online over the last week. Pretty cool right? You can even hover over each day to see specific hourly stats. Combining this data with the above study results should give you some good ideas for times to post.
- Put it to the Test. Schedule a range of posts for different times of day, on different days of the week. There’s only one way to determine whether your supposed best times are the best, and that is to compare them with posts published at other times. Makes sense, right? Of course, this process is likely to take some time, but it will be worth it.
- Review the Results. After a few posts have been published, pay another visit to the Posts tab in Insights, and scroll down. Here you’ll find every post you’ve ever created, along with their reach, engagement stats and (most importantly) date & time. See if you can notice any correlations between day/time of post and level of engagement. For example, you might find that posting after 2pm reached more people than before 2pm. Perhaps there was more engagement on Fridays than on Tuesdays. Are the results what you expected, or did they surprise you?
Go Forth and Post
So, while the objective ‘best time to post on Facebook’ is essentially a mythical creature, it’s not all bad news. There are particular times that your followers are more likely to see and engage with your posts, you just need to figure out when they are. It’s also important to continually review your posts’ performance and adjust accordingly. There’s no such thing as too much engagement after all. Happy posting!