When it comes to posting on social media sites, timing really is everything. You want your content optimized for substance and time. You want to promote yourself, your brand and your company. You want your followers to see your content and engage with it; otherwise, what’s the point in posting it? But trying to find that sweet spot or optimal time when your audience will be active and engaged can be hard work.
Differences in social media platforms
Many different factors go into determining the best time for posting on social media, and each social media platform is different. They all have their idiosyncrasies and tricks to navigating them. They all have different ways of reaching an audience and different purposes. But for most professional brands and organizations, learning how to best use most if not all of the popular social media networks is vital to a successful, fully integrated social media marketing plan.
Managing different social media platforms can get especially infuriating — what works for one platform probably doesn’t work for others. This goes for content, imagery and time. But figuring out the optimal posting times for your company can increase your social media presence and propel your social media strategy. It’s a task that takes time, dedication, and patience — but at the end of the day, it’s worth it.
For the sake of this piece, we will be talking about the best time to post on Facebook, as there are some extra steps that need to be taken to ensure you’re getting the most out of the platform. For Facebook, there are very specific factors that go into posting a status update — many of which revolve around the new newsfeed algorithm.
When are the best times to post on Facebook?
So, when is the best time to post on Facebook?
That depends on an array of different ingredients. Who is your target audience? What industry are you in? What time zone does your audiences live in? Are you trying to increase your reach? What are your short-term and long-term goals for Facebook? Are you looking for likes, shares, comments or click-through rates? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start finding that posting peak time.
Finding the best time to post on Facebook has become increasingly difficult due to the new algorithm Facebook used to sort your newsfeed. Newsfeeds are no longer chronological so there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration when posting.
But research done by Hootsuite, Hubspot, Trackmaven and Microsoft all show that certain times do yield more engagement than other times.
Some ideal times include:
• 9:00 am on weekdays
• Thursday at 8:00 pm
• Between 1:00 – 3:00 pm
• Thursdays and Fridays
Additionally, there are best practices for when not to post on this social network, though these are relatively straightforward and not exactly set in stone:
• Generally, posting on the weekends yields lower engagement. Fewer people are engaged with business accounts on the weekends, as they're more interested in posts from friends and family.
• There also seems to generally be less engagement before and after work hours on weekdays. When people aren’t working, they tend not to check in with Facebook accounts that are also work-related.
• As far as the weekday is concerned, as well, Mondays seem to see the lowest engagements rates.
But just because these days and times see the lowest engagement doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post at these times. Test it out to see what works best for you.
How to incorporate these times into your Facebook strategy
With these statistics in mind, it’s important to craft a social media strategy catered for this social network.
1. Produce content for all weekdays.
Facebook is a platform that is active for users every day of the work week, so make sure you’re producing content for Monday through Friday with a focus on creating engaging, frequent content for Thursday and Friday.
2. Post engaging and relevant content midday.
It also seems to be apparent that professionals are most likely to be searching through and engaging with content mid-day — this could be because people are on their lunch break, or they’re trying to get through the afternoon slump. Use this to your advantage by creating posts that engage with these audiences and increase the reach of your brand. If you’ve got a workshop or webinar you want people to sign up for or a new product unveiling that you want people to be aware of, make sure your content is visible during these times.
3. Use A/B testing.
To find out what works best for you, A/B testing could show you the ideal posting times and days. You can then analyze these results using native analytics, or other social media aggregators for analytics. Always track your results and engagements — what kind of engagement you are seeing, how often and when. This will give you insights into how well your social media strategy is working, if your hard work is paying off and when to schedule additional content going forward.
4. Use autoscheduling features.
Maybe you want to start slow and let Hootsuite autoschedule to determine the best times to post. With its internal analytics, Hootsuite social media tracking can tell you when your audience is most active and give you a breakdown of who they are, where they live, and what their interests are. This can be helpful especially when trying to decide what kind of content an audience is most likely to engage with.
5. Keep track of your data.
Regardless of how you test, it’s important you don’t make the same mistakes twice. Know what worked in the past and know not to do it again. If posts with GIFs don’t see high engagements and click-through rates, then stop using GIFs. If nobody likes a post after 6 P.M., don’t post after that time.
Also, don’t be afraid to take risks and experiment! Use videos. Use GIFs. Make jokes. Use puns. As long as you are on brand and are using the appropriate voice, it’s OK to experiment with how you engage. Facebook is a great platform for highly visual, witty, and fun content. Use that to your advantage. But keep it short and sweet. If people want to read more, they will click on the link or video you are sharing. Don’t bombard them with too much copy that can weigh down your posts and turn people away.
The bottom line
Finding the peak time for social media posting can seem like a nightmarish endeavor to take on, but with the right insights, and a strategic social media marketing plan in place for driving traffic, likes, comment and shares, you’ll find the perfect timing schedule. All it takes is some time, determination, creativity, and patience. Whether you’re new to the social media marketing game or are trying to get past a social media slump, these tips could help get your Facebook game on par with the experts. These guidelines are sure to put you and your company on the path towards social media success. Happy posting!