When it comes to posting online, there are fewer things that are as important as timing. As we mentioned in our previous post, What’s the best time to post on Social Media?, timing is key to a fantastic social strategy. What’s the best time to post on Facebook?
There are hundreds and hundreds of studies that exist on the web from 2014 and 2015 summarising the key times to post on social media, but without testing them for ourselves we couldn’t comfortably run our social media strategies for our clients.
This 2016, it was time to take the gloves off, get our hands dirty, and run an experiment of our own to find out once and for all what the best time to post on Facebook is.
In early 2016, we decided to work closely with one of our largest B2B clients to discover the best time to post on Facebook. The client has a key goal, looking to create a really positive brand perception on social and help to modernise their brand online, as well as running a series of product-led paid ads.
One thing that they were finding prior to working with us was that their social strategy wasn’t particularly organised and they generally just posted items as and when they thought of them – with no split testing, no analysis and generally no improvement.
It was time to find out exactly what time would be most successful for them – and they’ve been kind enough to let us share their results with all of you on our blog, too. This is particularly useful because they have a wide demographic of customers, 185K fans on Facebook and a combined organic and paid ad reach of 100,000 on average every week.
We’ve had a consistent approach and analysed the time, reach and engagement rates of all of their posts since the beginning of January 2016 and have now compiled our results to share them with you.
Initially, we looked at the time that the core audience were online and decided to test the assumption that the time that the majority of the audience were online would be the most effective time to post. We ran a series of posts at the 8pm and 9pm mark for this reason and the results were resounding. We found that, across reach and engagement, these posts did significantly worse than ones posted earlier in the day and we were able to dispel the idea that the best time to post on Facebook is when Facebook indicates that the majority of your audience is online.
We moved away from those time frames and began to test earlier slots, 9-10am, 10-11am, and moved through the timeslots in the day in that manner. After running test after test we started to find a pattern with some of the posts, and the difference between the successful ones and the not so successful ones was huge.
We split tested the exact same post across a series of times within the day and found that posts that went out after the four pm mark generally got around 2.5K reach and 29 engagements. The posts going live at 12-1pm had an average reach of 27.7K around 500 engagements. Even if just considering the few examples taken from just over a month’s worth of posts, it’s clear that the ability to get your Facebook timings correct is now more essential than ever.
Conclusion on the best time to post on Facebook:
The key time to post?
You should post before the peak time that customers come online, for maximum results. In this example, early afternoon is the best time. Between 12 and 1pm. Try to avoid posting later in the day and if you can, ensure all posts go out prior to the 8pm mark.
The key days?
Weds, Thurs, Fri are the best days, with Sat & Sun following closely behind.
The times stated here are a great starting point for you to try with your own business, though we can’t state that these are cut and dry rules we are confident that a strategy about the time that you post on Facebook is core to great social media marketing results.