Facebook’s new algorithm has hit many social media marketers where it hurts recently, resulting in drastic reductions in both reach and engagement. So how can your Facebook page recover after such a critical blow? One of the most important things you need to know about is Facebook post timing. In other words, you need to know the best time for you to make your Facebook posts. The following tips should provide you with all of the necessary information for you to determine the best Facebook posting times for your page. Read our easy guide to Facebook post timing to make your way up the social media ladder.
Some social media researchers, such as Dan Zarrella of HubSpots, have determined the best general times to post to Facebook. According to Zarrella, those times, both in the Eastern time zone, are Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Post frequency can also make a huge difference in reach and engagement on Facebook. In general, recent research has shown that posting once every couple of days may get the best results. However, other statistics have shown that posting once or twice a day can lead to higher levels of audience engagement, as opposed to posting more frequently. The most important point to take away from these conflicting numbers is that there is no specific frequency that works for every page.
Another factor that can affect the best time for you to post on Facebook is your target market or industry. For example, if your industry is retail, there is research that indicates that your lowest post engagement would occur on Fridays, while the highest would be on Sundays. It is also important to realize that posting after business hours may actually lead to an increase in engagement of up to 20 percent. This makes sense, as most working professionals either cannot access Facebook during business hours, or they may simply not have the time or opportunity while at work. You may also wish to try incorporating specific keywords like “exclusive” or “limited time only” into your posts to catch the attention of Facebook’s EdgeRank system and increase the likelihood that your post will be seen by your audience.
Keep in mind, however, that all of the statistics in the world, though they are helpful starting points, are no substitute for conducting your own research based on your own Facebook page and with your unique audience. One way to do this is to post more frequently, every two or three hours if feasible, for a predetermined test period, such as two or three weeks. If you feel uncertain about how your audience will accept these changes, simply inform them that you are only testing it out for a short period of time, but stick to the same type of content that you normally share. Once the test period is up, it is time to head over to your page’s Facebook insights.
The most important insights that you will be looking at during the testing timeframe (you can select the date range) are the best times for your posts’ reach and for audience engagement. To make it easier to analyze your insights, Facebook gives you the option to export your data to a spreadsheet file. Once that statistics are in spreadsheet format, you will only need to look at the type of post, the times and dates of each post, the lifetime organic reach of each post, and the lifetime engaged users for each post. After you condense your statistics down to only these four columns, you should easily be able to compare the top times for both reach and engagement, allowing you to determine the best Facebook posting times specific to your page.
If you are feeling more ambitious, you could also look at which post types received the top ratings for engagement and reach. Depending on their target audience, some pages do best with posts containing links, videos, or photos. Other pages see the best engagement and reach from polls, open-ended questions, or fill-in-the-blank questions. You should also use the full URLs when posting links, as the majority of Facebook users are still wary of the shortened URLs and will usually refuse to click them.
In addition to Facebook insights and the EdgeRank system, you may also wish to incorporate other analytics tools, such as Constant Contact, Page Lever, or KISSmetrics, to give you a more in-depth picture of the effectiveness of various posting times. If you do your own homework with your own unique page and audience, the information in this article will guide you through the process of determining the best Facebook posting times for you.
Did you learn something new about your page’s performance by utilizing the information in this article that you would like to share? We would love to hear about it!