Social | November 11, 2013

What’s the best time to post on Facebook?

Ah, this old chestnut! People are always asking this, looking for a definitive answer like 8.42pm on a Tuesday. But it just is not that simple. In fact we can’t stress how difficult it is to anticipate when you will have the biggest impact as there are many factors that affect it. This doesn’t mean that it is impossible though; here are some tricks to finding the best times to post:

Know your audience

Who you are trying to reach plays a huge part in finding the optimum time to post, as different people will be active at various times throughout the day. Your Facebook insights can give you a lot of information about the demographics that interact with you, allowing you to access things like: age range, gender, and location which lets you be very specific with your targeting. The more you know about your audience the better, as you can predict the times they will be on social media more accurately – for example if your target audience is 14-18 year olds then having posts at between half 3 and 4 on weekdays should reach them when they check Facebook after getting in from school. This will be very different to the young professional, who may be better targeted around lunch time as they take a break while at their desk.

Fully utilise insights

When logged into your Facebook page as an admin you have access to their social media management tool, called insights. In this section they have a tab entitled ‘When Your Fans are Online’ which will then provide you with details about how many people that are connected to you are active every hour. This will then give you peak times to target in order to reach the largest number of your audience – which can then be narrowed down even further to show activity on each day of the week. These times are likely to change throughout the year so make sure you check back regularly to ensure you’re still hitting the right times of day.

See what works

Sometimes the best way to find what works for you is trial and error. You may be hitting the right times of day but with the wrong type of content. Experiment with different types of posts to see what works best with you – it may be that your fans react better to pictures than status updates or funny posts than informative. If you believe you’ve found the right time to post but still aren’t getting the results you’ve hoped for then try different approaches and adjust the time by a half hour either way.

Think about paying

In the last year, Facebook has completely changed the way people see posts by companies and fan pages. Now unless people subscribe directly to your Facebook page they won’t see every post you put out, this was introduced as a way to stop businesses spamming their audience with unofficial advertisements. For thousands of pages this saw a drastic reduction in the amount of audience they saw, regardless of what time they posted to the site. If you want to be guaranteed that people will see your update then it may be worth promoting your posts, as these can be specifically aimed at your target audience and give you thousands of views a day.

So what you need to take from this is that there is no shortcut or simple way of finding the best time to post to your Facebook. However, through a bit of investigation combined with trial and error you will be able to expand your reach in no time.

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