Businesses using social media as a marketing tool have come to realize posts on Facebook continue to reach fewer and fewer users. In 2014, Ogilvy found Facebook’s organic reach was just 6%, with large pages over 500,000 followers seeing just a 2% reach. As of 2018, organic Facebook reach had dropped to 1.2% in 2018 across all business pages. Those numbers may still be ok if you have a page with a large following (and an advertising budget to boost those numbers), but if you are a small to medium business or a growing brand, a small percentage of a small number may not merit the effort of keeping up a Facebook page. However, smart brands – big and small – can still maximize their reach from Facebook marketing efforts. One way to achieve better results is to figure out your best Facebook posting times…and to beware of myths and reality.
The Best Time to Post to Facebook – Myths and Reality
We are all obsessed on how to make posts go viral. Marketers are obsessed with figuring out the best time to post on Facebook. Theories and data abound when it comes to making that determination. For example, according to data compiled by SurePayroll and Ghergich & Co., the best time to post on Facebook is between 1-4 pm, which (according to their research) results in the highest average click-through rate. On weekends, they suggest posting before 8 am and after 8 pm to get optimal results.
For brands seeking posts that get the most engagement possible, data from Adobe’s Digital Index team suggests that Friday is the day when users are most likely to Like, comment or share posts that come from brand Pages. Their data also suggests that posts perform the worst on Sundays. While Adobe mostly tracks social activity for extremely large businesses, including two-thirds of the top 50 companies in the Fortune 500, some believe the findings are relevant to most of the marketing community.
About one-fourth of all video plays for Pages occur on Fridays, according to Adobe’s data. The auto-play feature has helped the engagement rate for videos rise from 2.4 percent to 3 percent over the last year. Text posts continue to decline in effectiveness, with images currently being the most effective posts, with a 4.4 percent engagement rate.
The “Best Time to Post” Myth
What’s our consensus? There is no “one” best time to post to Facebook. Many reports out there are flawed. First, data collected is collected across industries, across the globe, and across time zones. This means that the data found by these studies will probably not work for your brand or business.
Many reports also base their findings on when Facebook users are online. While in theory this would get the most engagement – it also means there is more competition for eyeballs, clicks, shares, and comments. If you post when all other brands are posting (and advertising), you may have a harder time competing with the algorithm.
Instead – Find Out YOUR Best Time to Post To Facebook
Checking to see when your fans are online is a good starting point to figuring out when you will get the most Facebok engagement. We suggest a/b testing to find out when your brand will get the most engagement from your desired audience.
- Begin by testing peak times, then switch things up and post right before those peak times happen.
- Test posting at non-peak times
Then measure your results to see when your brand gets the most out of posting. It could be that your amazing content will fare best at peak times…but maybe your winning combination will be to post that amazing content when there is less competition for eyeballs. Basically, if there is less content in the newsfeed, there is a chance that your audience will see it.
Analytics Are the Key
The only true way for you to find the best time to post to Facebook is to look at Facebook page insights and to conduct tests over and over. Once you start to see a pattern, then you can begin to use this data to schedule your posts on a social media scheduling too.
When you begin testing, keep the following demographics in mind:
When analyzing the data, look at more than just posting time. Did you post a video that got a ton of engagement? That could be because Facebook favors video content. Is your audience clicking on articles that are a touch more click-baity? Replicate this and see if a pattern emerges.