Using Facebook Insights To Determine Best Times To PostSeptember 22, 2017
Timing is critical on social media, and knowing this can determine how far one can go on this global amplification platform. On Facebook the timing is even more critical because of the complicated News Feed algorithm. Not all times are equal and indeed certain times are better than others. It will be pointless posting content when people are not around to interact with it. Furthermore, a larger audience means more opportunities to boost engagement, drive traffic, increase likes and ultimately customers.
So, when are the best times to post on Facebook?
Unfortunately, there’s no perfect answer as different businesses may find different days and times work best for them. As a matter of fact, timing depends on the audience you are targeting (who they are, where they are and how they behave), your objectives and the type of content that you share. While there isn’t a perfect time to post, there are plenty of resources online that can give guidelines on optimal times to post, such as data from Hootsuite, Hubspot and Coschedule which all give times based on big data. The best times to post are:
- Between 12 pm. and 3 pm. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
- And Saturday and Sunday between 12 pm. and 1 pm.
I am more of a data driven marketer and I discovered that the best time to post is found within the Facebook Page Insights section of your page. Insights provide information about your Page’s performance such as demographic data about your audience and how people are responding to your posts. Insights can be used to:
- Understand how people are engaging with your Page
- View metrics about your Page’s performance
- Learn which posts have the most engagement
- See when your audience is on Facebook.
I am going to use this tool to determine the best times to post on Facebook using data from a page my team and I manage. This page has 272,000 Likes and 275,000 followers from Southern Africa. To access Page insights simply click – Insights at the top of your Page .
To get the best times to post, navigate down to the posts section and there you will find invaluable data that will help you determine your posting strategy.
The Posts tab is divided into the following 3 sections:
- When Your Fans Are Online: Shows you when the people who like your Page are on Facebook content
- Post Type: Displays the success of different post types based on average reach and engagement
- Top Posts From Pages You Watch: Gives you the engagement of posts from the Pages you’re watching
The first two sections have all the answers you need and here is what we can see on my client.
- Thursday, Wednesday and Friday are the best days to post
- Then Saturday and Sunday
With regards to time notice something interesting.
- My audience spikes at 9 am on average every weekday – 57,313 people
- Then drops down to 52,000 at 10 am. That’s nearly a 9% drop in usage
- Usage then moves up to 55,000 at 12 noon and keeps going up as high as 56,000 at 4pm
- At 6pm usage hits 57,000 and keep growing to nearly 63,000 by 9 pm – peak was 8 pm
Thus best times to post would be:
- 9 am,
- Between 12 pm and 4 pm
- Between 6 pm and 9 pm
- 8 pm best time
Most academic literature suggest posting twice a day on Facebook as they don’t want you to bombard your audience with posts about your brand / products. While good in theory, in reality this won’t be effective as organic reach on Facebook is in the single digits. I post at least 3 times a day (4 when I have the wherewithal as that late night audience is important and highly engaged) for this client and I see it working well.
Here is the reach and engagement of the different post types as well.