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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

best time to post on facebook 2019

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 tool like Socialdraft.

When you begin testing, keep the following demographics in mind:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Behavior
  • Location

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.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

Once you’ve done the work to figure out what your best posting times are and what types of content your audience responds to, you’ll need an all-in-one tool for Social Media management. That’s Socialdraft. With Socialdraft you can:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram
  • Have different people create content
  • Give those people different permissions
  • Give clients access to view their calendars and leave notes for you and your team
  • Pull reports
  • Schedule content in bulk via CSV
  • Schedule reposts from Instagram to all other connected social networks
  • Engage your audience
  • And tons more…

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial.

With posts on Facebook reaching fewer and fewer users, everyone is striving to find ways to expand their reach. Posting photos is one way to drive engagement on Facebook pages. And some marketers believe using multiple images in a Facebook post may increase Reach even further.

However, according to Buffer’s Kevan Lee, when sharing content on Facebook, the best results will come from links.

Link posts that use the built-in Facebook link format receive twice as many clicks compared to links typed into a photo update. And Lee adds that this information is derived from Facebook itself, which conducted studies on the number of clicks for different post types.

Their findings suggest that link format outguns photos, and when sharing content on Facebook, the best results come from links.

So what does a link post look like compared to a photo post? And how can you publish one and not the other?

Link posts take advantage of meta tags from the webpage, including information on the page’s title, description, and photos. When you paste a link into the update box on your Facebook page, Facebook will pull this information in automatically and place it in a link format.

Photo posts require uploading and attaching a photo to your update, along with the custom text you choose to add. You can include a link in the custom text and these are the links that fail to get the better click rate compared to link posts.

Lee points out that when you’re writing a new update, you won’t see an icon to enter a link. The options up top are for Status, Photo/Video, and Offer/Event. To share a link, copy and paste a URL into the composer window, and Facebook will display the link’s meta information—title, description, and photo.

With the link that you share, you can control the text and image by editing the open graph tags on your page. Lee has written here about how this whole process works, and if you want to check your progress before publishing an update, you can plug in your URL into the Facebook Open Graph Debugger tool to get a preview (and check to see what might need fixing).

Lee provides 4 more posting tips he characterizes as establishing the perfect Facebook post.

1. A perfect Facebook post is short, as little 40 characters if at all possible

Facebook's post should be 40 characters.

Posts at this length tend to receive a higher like rate and comment rate—in other words, more engagement. A Buddy Media study of 100 top on Facebook found that 40 characters or fewer receives the most engagement on average (it also happens that these ultra-short posts are the least frequent types of posts on Facebook).

Other studies have confirmed the “shorter is better” maxim. BlitzLocal studied 11,000 Facebook pages and found that engagement increased as posts got shorter. Track Social noticed the same effect in its study: So-called “tiny” posts of zero to 70 characters saw the most likes, comments, and responses.

Facebook post length

And keep in mind that you’ll also get to use the link’s title and description text to entice readers to click, comment, and engage. The 40-character intro is more of a teaser, supplemented by the text in the link itself.


2. A perfect Facebook post is sent at non-peak hours

The thought process goes like this: You compete with hundreds of thousands of posts to be seen in the News Feeds of your fans. If you post your updates when few others are posting, your updates stand a better chance of making it through.

We’ve referred to this “Late Night Infomercial Effect” before. And Track Maven found some data to back it up. In their study of 5,800 pages and over 1.5 million posts, Track Maven came up with best practices and advice for brands. Among the tips, post on Saturdays and Sundays and post after regular work hours.

In order to land a spot on a user’s Facebook News Feed, try shifting your scheduling strategy from posting during the most popular times in the workweek to the most effective times. The best window for a workday is 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time. For another bump in engagement, try posting on the weekend.

3. A perfect Facebook post is part of a consistent sharing strategy

Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster analyzed data on 8,000 Facebook pages (data courtesy of AgoraPulse) to identify how brands were impacted by the apparent drop in organic reach. They came away with some intriguing stats (more than 70 percent of pages had a 30 percent or more decline in organic reach) and some best practices from the handful of pages that are succeeding.

In particular, they focused on four pages that had found success and the four characteristics that each page had in common:

* They target an audience with a strong passion

* They publish very good content (at least, very good for their target audience)

* They publish very consistently (at least once a day, often more)

* They get a LOT of shares (thanks to the 3 points above), and shares are what offers the highest level of “viral” visibility for a page’s content.

Let’s assume you have an audience that is passionate about your page (which is why they became fans, right?). Let’s also assume that you are publishing good content.

What’s the key third ingredient? Consistency.

The successful pages in this study posted at least once a day, creating an expectation among its fans of consistent, quality content. There are several ways of staying on schedule with your Facebook posts; set up a content calendar or sign up for a free scheduler like Buffer. Then start filling your queue with quality content.

4. A perfect Facebook post includes a newsworthy element (optional)

This last point might not apply to some brands whose content and industry don’t lend itself well to timeliness. Still …

If there’s ever a way to slip in a newsworthy angle to your Facebook post, do so.

Facebook’s latest tweaks to its News Feed algorithm give a slight boost to timely, trending topics.

We’ve heard feedback that there are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game, or talking about the season premiere of a popular TV show.

Facebook is making this update in two ways:

* Factoring in trending topics

* Looking at when people like or comment on a post

The first element is related to Facebook’s “trending” section of the site, which identifies topics and conversations that are popular among users.

facebook's trending topic

The second element factors in the rate at which users are liking or commenting on a post. Facebook currently looks at total number of likes and comments as a factor in whether or not to display a post in the News Feed.

With this latest update, another consideration will be when those likes and comments occur.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:

Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
Monitor your online reputation
Have multiple people create and post content
Pull Reports
and much more
If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial.