There are a multitude of factors that determine the success of your Facebook posts. Ever since the early days, one thing has been often hotly debated – when is the best time to post to Facebook? There are many theories that have done the rounds. 9 am is a good time because everyone has started work, or perhaps 11 am when people are likely to get a coffee and take a break? Are people in a better mood on Fridays? Surely the approaching weekend means more time scrolling on one’s phone or laptop? With all these variables, we need to look at both the global and national data to get a better handle of what could be optimum times. Everyone’s situation is ofcourse different, so a hard and fast “ideal time” to click publish should be taken with a grain of salt.
Data: If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.
Hootsuite conducted a comprehensive study of over 30,000 social media posts and found that globally, the best time to post on Facebook was 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is quite a broad time range, however, and here’s where you want to narrow down on your data.
If you have a long history of consistent and regular engagement in social media for your business, then you will want to look at the metrics associated with each post. Your specific and type of content will determine your followers, and different types of followers will engage media at different times of the day. For example, a product offering to new mothers may find that their posts are more heavily engaged with at different hours than another service (say one targeting builders or gamers).
If you're just getting started
Assuming that your business is just getting started engaging social media and its users, then you will not have a lot of past data to go by – in this case, between 8am and 12pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays could be a good place to start. The key is, no matter your starting position, to test and measure your results. As the old adage goes, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. If you are still figuring out you social media strategy, check out the article What’s Your Perfect Platform? The Low-Down on Being Seen Online.
Test other times and days
Hootsuite based its study in America, and it goes without saying that whilst these trends may be somewhat similar, cultural and local differences can also affect the best time to post for your business.
Other popular times of day are after 5 pm, where people are more likely to be catching up on their social media following work. This might not be the global optimum time, but if you are in Australia and according to your target audience, this could turn out to be the best time to post for you. In Japan, where the working day tends to end after 7 pm, perhaps 7:30 would be the ideal time. To find out, spend a few months consistently posting at different times of day and see which gets the best response.
Timing isn’t everything
Whilst timing is important, it is not be-all and end-all. Ultimately, the success of your post depends hugely on the quality of the content. Are the posts useful and engaging? Do they add value? Am I spacing my call for action with other great content that people want to engage and share?
Increase your engagement, by engaging.
As well as creating catchy content, always take the time to authentically connect, respond and interact with your audience when they comment and engage in your posts. Not only is it good manners – but it naturally leads them to engage more and will increase the likelihood in the future. When other followers see that you respond to comments, they will more likely comment too. Facebook algorithms like and reward posts with a high number of comments with greater reach, which is ultimately what you want as a bigger audience means improved prospects for your service, offering or campaign.
Final thoughts: If you're feeling overwhelmed..
There comes a time when you have to suspend your due diligence and take action. Or as the great Gary Vee says “Stop thinking, stop pondering, stop strategising, stop debating, just do.”