A Reality Check on When to Post Content on Facebook

A Reality Check on When to Post Content on Facebook

When is the best time to post on Facebook?

Have you typed that question on Google with the hope to figure out once and for all, at what times you should be posting content on your Facebook Page? I know you have at least wondered around this question.

But, can we really answer that question for you?

Let’s start by looking at some of the data available out there through studies, surveys and Infographics and, then I’ll tell you why today we might be able to answer the question of when is the best time to post on Facebook…

The first one is an infographic from KISSMetrics. According to this data from Dan Zarrella:

  1. Most shares on Facebook happen on Saturdays and
  2. The best times are noon and then again, in a smaller scale, at 7pm

Which makes total sense to me. Most Facebook users visit the network for personal reasons. This week, give Saturday a try if you haven’t.

Best days and times to post on Facebook

Also some time ago, Bit.ly, which tracks millions of links every day, published these findings:

  1. Links posted between 1pm and 4pm have a higher Click-through rate (CTR)
  2. Highest point was found in mid-week: Wednesday at 3pm

Facebook CTR by time

And this other diagram that shows how Facebook traffic also peaks around mid-week, 1 to 3pm and then fades after 4pm

Facebook traffic by time

And more recently, last week to be precise, SocialBakers made public this great report from an impressive research on almost 3 million posts from 23,000 Facebook Pages between April 30th and July 28th.

They looked at what days these pages prefer to post content and which days represented the highest “Engagement Rate” potential. And according to this…

  1. While Friday seems to be the busiest day for content
  2. Monday offers better chances to rank as an engaging post

When it pays to post on Facebook

Alright, so it’s all great data and it helps us with ideas on what to test and a way of benchmarking your efforts BUT (yes, I’m going with an all-cap “but”), I’ll tell you why you, as a Page Admin, should not focus 100% on this information.

These numbers are extracted from thousands of pages, they are averages, and there are way too many variables to take in consideration when you are looking at your specific business.

In other words, your business is unique in so many different ways, for example your demographics, the percent of gender groups or age groups in your audience or your location or time zone.

This is research and it should give you a better understanding on things but should not be considered a metric to make business or marketing decisions.

So, is there an answer to the “when do I post to Facebook?” mumbo jumbo?

Actually, there is.

In the recent update to Insights, Facebook introduced a metric called “When Your Fans Are Online“, which shows you the amount of Fans that are logged in to Facebook at different times and days of the week.

The answer is simple but you’re not going to like it:

The best time to post content to Facebook is when the majority of your Fans are connected [tweet this]

In other words, having the highest number of possible ears to hear your message.

And this is what makes this new metric relevant, at least in paper.

Report by Day

The following image shows the chart from the SocialMouths Facebook Page Insights report and, as you can see, the number of Fans that are connected to Facebook by day varies very little. We’re talking a range between 10.1 to 10.7k

When are your fans on Facebook

Can I make a marketing decision based on this information, you bet I can: I will continue to not care what day of the week I post content and, if it is a really sensitive post, I’ll consider doing so between Monday and Wednesday.

Report by Hour

The hourly report gives me a little more to chew on. I can clearly see that the highest possibilities are from 8 to 10am.

I’m glad to see this because I recently read in a post from a known blog that you should NEVER post anything to Facebook before 11am. Funny thing is, between 10am and 11am I already lost about 100 possible candidates to see my post…

at what time are your fans on facebook

The report is based on the average number of your fans who saw any posts on Facebook in an hour.

The important thing here is that these numbers are representing your business, your page, your audience.

This should be the focus of your starting point. Of course as we all know, marketing is a testing game.

Conclusion

My point is that you now have a metric that will allow you to make more educated decisions. Research is great and I do pay attention to it but, when it comes to your own audience, you need to know more about THEM.

I will continue to be careless about the days I post and I will adjust my posting times to start a bit earlier based on this report. We’ll see how it goes.

You must absolutely NOT pay attention to what I’m suggesting here, you should head over to your insights and make your own conclusions.

Your thoughts

How about you? Have you been experimenting with different posting times? I’d love for you to share what your experiences are.

About Francisco Rosales


Co-Founder and CMO at TabFoundry. Author of the kick-ass Social Media blog SocialMouths, lover of mountain biking and fan of Dr. Sheldon Cooper. You can also connect with me on Twitter.

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    Yeah I wish everyone would stop releasing these studies so that the sheep will figure things out on their own by testing..

    • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

      Amen. It’s really about testing, sometimes we find ourselves trying to cut corners but… truth is, like you say, you have to do your own testing.

      Thanks for stopping by Scott!

      • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

        Yeah I’ve been preaching on our blog to stop listening to gurus that claim there is a best time or best day to post. Or even a best post type. Any stat they show you will be skewed and out of date almost immediately.