How to… know when is the best time to post on Facebook
I get asked this one a lot.
“What’s the best time to post on Facebook?”
Here’s the bit you probably don’t want to hear. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, because each Facebook audience is unique.
But the good news is there are some tools out there that make it simple for you to decide when best to post to your audience.
Third party tools
If you don’t want to sit and work it out, Sprout Social’s queue function is a pretty good option that has worked for me in the past. This is a premium option though and is available through their subscription service (although you can get a free trial if you want to test it out. BufferApp also provide a good scheduling service. They have free and premium models available.
Do it yourself (for free)
If you don’t want to pay to use a third party service, there are tools that exist within Facebook pages for you to work this out for your pages.
The tool we’re going to look at is the Posts report in Facebook Insights on the desktop version of the website (this isn’t available on the Pages Apps as far as I can tell).
Simply go to your page, go to the Insights tab on your page and then select Posts from the secondary menu.
The default view for this report is split into two sections:
- When your fans are online
- Your published posts
When your fans are online
This report actually tells you when your fans are online. So you can see (without having to do any guess work) when your fans are online. The reports looks back over the last seven days and shows the average number of fans online per hour. You can also get a day by day breakdown by hovering over the days just above the graph.
Your published posts
The next part of the report gives you a breakdown of your published posts, including:
- the date and time that they were published
- the post type
- and engagement
From here, you can see what content that you have been posting is doing well, and what content is not doing so well.
So what is the information above telling us?
(1) Well, first off, it tells me that of all days, Thursday was when the most fans were online. Second, it tells me that traffic was at its peak at 10pm each day. So I might want to try posting content at 10pm on a Thursday and seeing how well it does.
(2) But don’t stop there. Look at your published posts too. Look at whether there are any patterns with engagement based on when the posts were published. Have you posted anything at 10pm? If so, how did it do? Also, look at the type of posts that you are using. Do link posts get more engagement than text posts? Do you get more video interactions in the morning or the evening?
(3) Finally, think about the conversion you are trying to achieve. Are you posting a sales link that could be potentially time consuming once the user has clicked the link? If so, are your fans likely to do this at 10pm, when they might be browsing from their beds? It might be better to post this earlier in the day. Yes, your reach might not be quite as high, but your conversion rate may be greater.
**BONUS** You can also see top posts from pages you watch, which will help you to get a good idea of what content works for your competitors too.
So to answer the original question posed: when is the best time to post on Facebook?
Well, to answer this, you need to look at your Insights. Go to the Post tab and look for three things:
- When your audience are online
- When your current content gets the most engagement
- What type of content that you post gets the best reach and engagement
The next step is to test test test!
Make sure that when you test, you only change one or two variables. So try posting two similar pieces of content at different times to see if there is a correlation between when your fans are online and when they engage. Or try posting a different piece of content at 10pm each night to see if fans engage with one content type more than another at this time of day.
Now it’s your turn.