Nitpicking on small details like the best time to post something on Facebook may seem like an exercise in futility to many. After all, if you are producing engaging, relevant content that is worthy of sharing, the time that you choose to post doesn’t make a difference, right?
Mainstream social media platforms, and especially Facebook, are moving towards a pay-to-play model. Meaning, the Facebook algorithm’s favoritism towards organic reach is being brought down to encourage more Facebook pages to invest in Facebook Ads.
The organic engagement for Facebook pages had already declined by a factor of 50% between 2017 and 2018. As we enter 2022, it is safe to assume that the trend has continued and the organic engagement commanded by Facebook pages has declined further.
This means, if you are still interested in building a Facebook community with the power of organic reach, you will need every kind of advantage you can get working on your side.
One such advantage is knowing when your content stands the best chance of garnering handsome engagement from your audience.
So, what is the best time to post on Facebook?
Fortunately, a number of reputed organizations have conducted studies and surveys to determine the answer to that question. Let’s take a look at what they have found.
Top Brands Answer: What’s The Best Time To Post On Facebook?
Almost everyone marketing on Facebook wants to know the best time to post on Facebook. As a result, top companies have made efforts to answer this age-old question. Here’s what they have found:
- – According to Buffer, a social media scheduling tool company, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1 PM and 3 PM on weekdays and Saturdays.
- – According to Hubspot, an incredibly popular content management tool company, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1 PM and 3 PM on Thursdays and Fridays.
- – According to Coschedule, another popular social media scheduling tool, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1 PM and 4 PM on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Out of these, Coschedule’s study is perhaps the most revealing. Not only does Coschedule also provide information obtained in over twenty other studies, but their own study also gives industry-specific information. Here’s what it looks like:
Looking at the different studies makes one thing very clear, there is no one perfect time for posting on Facebook.
While one of the studies has explored the different timings suited for different industries, the study assumes that all kinds of businesses operating within a single industry will target a similar audience.
However, for most industries, that’s simply not true.
For instance, an online certification provider and a university may be both operating in the same industry. However, the course creator may be targeting individuals working or studying within a specific industry with their specialized offerings. On the other hand, a university may be targeting fresh school graduates that are exploring higher education options.
With that said, that’s not the only or even the most pressing reason behind the fact that there is no universal right time for all types of Facebook pages to post on the platform.
Why There Is No One Right Time To Post On Facebook
Let’s say we take a study from the most reputed brand out there and assume that their findings are correct. Now, the problem is that this information is public. Meaning, almost every competitor you have, and every other brand in your industry, will be posting at the prescribed best time, essentially overwhelming the users that you are trying to target.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a hypothetical situation anymore. Facebook has been around for many years now and a significant number of users have more than a thousand people added to their friend’s list. These users have also followed thousands of pages, many of which they probably don’t even remember.
Meaning, when you post at the ‘best time’, you are actually competing with the content posted by your audience’s friends, family, and the other pages that they follow.
In other words, if everyone is posting at the ‘best time’ determined by the studies mentioned above, there would be so much competition that only a handful of them would actually become visible to the user.
Now, the first solution to this predicament that comes to mind is to post at an off-peak time. Once again, if all brands notice that they are not getting the desired engagement because of the high competition during the suggested time to post, all of them will start posting at a different time.
The result will, ultimately, be the same.
Hence, there is no one perfect time to post on Facebook that suits every type of business and Facebook page.
However, that does not mean that there is not a best time to post on Facebook for your business. Let’s see how you can figure it out.
How To Figure Out The Best Time To Post On Facebook For Your Business
By now, it should be clear that the right time to post on Facebook is simply when your audience is the most active. There are a few ways you can find when your audience prefers using Facebook. Let’s look at them:
Build Buyer Personas
Creating buyer personas offers dual benefits. This first, and the most pressing benefit of creating buyer personas is simply building a better understanding of who your ideal audience it. The second benefit is that this better understanding of your audience will enable you to correctly guess the time when they are most active on social media platforms like Facebook.
A buyer persona is nothing but a semi-fictional representation of your ideal buyer.
Semi-fictional because some aspects that define the buyer persona are data-driven, while others are based on educated assumptions. For instance, based on the product or service you are selling, it is possible to make a pretty accurate guess of the job profile of your ideal buyer, or their average age. Similarly, based on your sales data, you can also figure out the problems that they were facing before they identified your product or service as a solution.
Buyer personas can actually be divided into two parts. The first part is demographic information. This information can guide you to understanding their online browsing habits accurately, and in turn, help you figure out a good time window for posting on Facebook.
Bonus Tip: Here, I want to put some light on the second part of a buyer persona. However, since it isn’t directly related to figuring out the best time to post on Facebook, I have included it as a bonus tip.
The second part of the buyer persona is the problem defining part, one that is often overlooked by marketers. However, from a marketing point of view, it is the most important aspect of a buyer persona.
This part is dedicated to understanding the buyer’s problems and challenges, understanding the solutions that they have already tried and are unsatisfied with, and understanding how you can position your product or service as the perfect solution for them.
Building this understanding can inform almost every marketing activity that you undertake in a positively impactful manner.
Factoring In Time Zone Differences
Alright, so you have the demographic data of your audience. For the sake of understanding the concept, let’s say your target audience is that of females between the ages of 27 and 37.
From this information, you can derive that these are mostly working women or relatively new mothers. This means, in both cases, their schedule probably does not allow them to surf Facebook during the late morning. However, some may be able to spend 5-10 minutes on the platform early in the morning, before their day actually starts.
With these insights, you now have the right times to post on Facebook. However, there’s one catch. Your audience, while it may be made up of individuals with similar habits and problems, may be spread across different time zones. Even if your business only operates in the United States, you are looking at an audience that is spread across various time zones (unless you are operating a hyper-local business).
In other words, while determining the best time to post on Facebook, it is important to factor in the time-zone differences. If you are operating a business that only serves customers in the US, you may be able to make an enormous impact if you follow either the Eastern Standard Time or the Central Time Zone. This is because over 80% of the population of the US resides within these time zones.
If, on the other hand, your business caters to an international audience, you should check where most of your website visitors come from, and target their time zones. This information can easily be obtained using website analysis tools like Google Analytics.
Speaking of analytics tools, Facebook has one and it can help you further decide which times are best for publishing content on the platform.
Using Facebook Audience Data To Figure Out The Best Time To Post
Facebook offers free insights to all page owners. You can find these in the ‘Insights’ section of your Facebook page. Once you are within the ‘Insights’ dashboard, click on posts. The resulting screen will display different graphs of days and times and how active your audience is during those days and times.
Based on this data, you can easily figure out when your audience is the most active, and target your posts during that time. The data may reveal a large window of time, sometimes to the degree of 8-9 hours. If that is the case, you can experiment with different, shorter time windows during those hours and figure out what works best.
To do this, you will need access to the performance data of specific posts published at specific times. Luckily, that data is displayed right under the audience insights. It looks something like this:
Based on the engagement numbers and the time and date of posting, you can determine which times and days drive the best engagement for your Facebook posts.
With that said, keep in mind that if you are backing some posts with an ad budget, your post data may be skewed. This is simply because any post backed by a paid promotion will usually command a much wider reach than an organic post.
Making Sure You Never Miss A ‘Best’ Time To Post On Facebook
Posting consistently during the times your audience is active is critical to securing organic success on Facebook. However, with haphazard workdays and changing daily routines, ensuring the same can be difficult, especially for businesses that don’t have a dedicated social media marketing team.
To help such businesses continue posting at critical times, there are tools that allow users to schedule their posts in advance. This doesn’t just let you ensure that you are posting at the correct time, every single time, it also lets you be more consistent. Instead of creating one post every day and rushing to post it on time, you can dedicate one or two days to creating Facebook posts in bulk and scheduling them using a social media scheduling tool.
The best part is, top social media scheduling tools allow you to schedule posts on multiple platforms, meaning, your consistency will not be limited to just Facebook. Some of our top recommendations are Buffer, SproutSocial, and Loomly.
The ‘Off-Peak’ Strategy
Even if you are trying to determine the best time to post on Facebook on nothing else but your own audience insights, you must consider the possibility that there may be a major overlap in your audience and the audience of your competitors. With 60 million active business pages on Facebook, this should not come as a surprise.
An audience overlap means that whatever window of time is ‘best’ for you to publish content may also be the best time to post for many of your competitors. If that is indeed the case, you may be losing out on precious visibility despite posting at the most appropriate time.
This is where an ‘off-peak’ strategy becomes relevant. This has been mentioned earlier and the strategy works on the assumption that at least some percentage of your audience is active during the hours that are not the highest activity hours for your audience. Meaning, even if you post at a time outside of your ideal publishing window, you will stand a chance to reach a certain percentage of your audience. With the absence of your competition, there may even be a chance that you get a better reach and visibility as compared to your ideal publishing hours.
Of course, this isn’t a surefire success strategy but it does work for a lot of brands and is definitely something you should at least try. Who knows, you may end up getting some amazing engagement during the wee hours of the night.
The Right Time To Run Ads On Facebook
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Facebook has started favoring paid reach over organic reach. Meaning, if you are truly looking to reach a large audience, you will have to spend at least some amount of your marketing budget on advertising. Now, this isn’t to say that organic marketing doesn’t work at all on Facebook. It’s just that organic is difficult on Facebook and the efforts it demands are usually not worth the outcomes that those efforts drive.
Since your ads will be backed by money, the stakes of ensuring the maximum engagement (and impact) are higher than ever. Knowing when to run an ad to get the lowest cost-per-click and the highest engagement is critical to success.
Once again, using your Facebook audience insights is a superb way of determining the right time to run ads. However, you can also refer to some industry research about this. According to Facebook, the average cost per click, across industries, is the lowest on Sunday and Monday.
However, just because Sunday and Monday are the cheapest days, doesn’t mean that they are also the best days to run ads. You should use this information about the average CPC on different days in conjunction with what you know about your audience’s behavior.
Moreover, you should also conduct ad tests to determine which days are the best for running your ads.
Conclusion- Publishing Time Won’t Matter If Your Content Is Lackluster
By now, it must have become clear that even by looking at your audience insights, you may not be able to definitively pinpoint an hour when your posts are the most likely to get the most engagement.
This definitely does not mean that you should not figure out the best time to post on Facebook. It just means that you, as a content creator on Facebook, must realize that nothing is more important than the quality and relevance of your content.
Low quality, irrelevant content posted at the perfect moment will not be able to drive any engagement. However, valuable and relevant content that is posted on an off-peak time still has a good chance of generating engagement and interest.
If you are looking for help with such content, do get in touch with us through our ‘contact us’ page. If you have any questions regarding this article or want to make this article more valuable with your insights, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.