We hear all the time: “What’s the best time to post on Facebook?”
It’s one of those all-time international mysteries.
But in fact, we do have the ability to answer that question… Hear me out!
If you’re new to the concept, you may be wondering why you’d even need to know the best time to post on Facebook… I mean, as long as your post gets published, who cares, right?
Because just like Instagram, Facebook uses an algorithm which no one completely understands, and this means that posts can sometimes slip through your fingers if you’re not careful. So, it’s crucial to plan ahead and time your posts perfectly if you want bang for your buck.
Let me show you how!
Why there is no universal best time to post on Facebook
Let me just start this off by saying that there is in fact no universal best time to post on Facebook.
You may have heard rumors about a specific time when posts get incredible engagement, be it on Facebook, Instagram or any other social network for that matter. People often claim to have discovered the secrets behind social media strategy and try to rope social media marketers into the myth. But don’t fall victim to these rumors… it’s all fluff!
There’s no foolproof formula for identifying the best time to post on Facebook, BUT you can figure out your own personal best time to post with a little investigation. Basically, everyone using Facebook has their own individual best time to post, or best times, plural.
This next part will help you discover yours!
Here are 4 easy steps to follow in order to find your best time to post on Facebook.
1. Experiment with posting times
The long and the short of it is: at first, you’ll need to experiment.
Try posting on different days of the week and at different times of the day and night. Doing this will help you understand when you’re getting the most engagement from your fans, although do bear in mind the topic of your post obviously has a big impact on that. After experimenting for a few weeks, you will begin to see a trend or two appear.
While scheduling Facebook posts again and again might not be the most delightful task, it is a commitment you have to take if you’re serious about improving your performance on the platform. Numbers don’t lie! If you want to base your marketing decisions on thorough research, not assumptions, collecting data points should be an essential part of your to-do list.
Here’s a suggestion for experimenting with your posting times: Pick three days per week (Monday, Thursday and Saturday for instance), then rotate the posting times on those days (11am, 3pm, 6pm, for example); then pick the other days and rotate different times of the day until you’ve covered all bases.
Once you’ve figured out what days and times are working for your community and engagement, you can back that up by checking your Facebook Analytics.
2. Analyze your existing posts
Like everybody, you likely have some well performing posts on your Facebook Page, and others that didn’t perform so well. The next step in manually determining which posting times work best for your community, is to check again your existing successful posts.
In Facebook’s native Insights, you can look at your organic posts’ reach, engagement and click rate in list form, much like you would for paid ads.
In the example above, you can see that the carousel post from March 8th (a Friday) at 4pm, was especially successful. We also see that the post from April 10th (a Wednesday) at 4pm, got fewer engagements and a lower reach. What I’m getting at, is that the day AND time are important factors — so you shouldn’t simply regard 4pm as a “successful” time to post to Facebook.
If you want a more detailed overview of your posting history and post metrics, a third-party tool is your best bet.
In Iconosquare, simply go to Analytics → Engagement and scroll down to see all the different metrics for your existing Facebook posts.
You can find out, for example, how many engagements your posts receive on average (see graph below) and when you see a peak in engagement, go back to your account to check out the post in question, to see what time it was published, its content, etc.
You can also check up on the individual metrics for each of your posts, including data on total reach, impressions and reactions.
Other metrics such as post clicks are also available in this section of Iconosquare. The graph below shows the average number of clicks per post type, for example, which is interesting because it shows that there are other factors hiding behind the engagement of your Facebook posts. It doesn’t all ride on the time of publication!
This data can also help you to figure out what’s working with your community in terms of content. Never hesitate to revisit your content strategy rather than plodding on in the same old routine — content is an essential part of social media marketing, so ensuring your posts are top quality is a must for good engagement and visibility.
3. Check when your followers are online
The best way to see black on white when your community is active on Facebook is to use an analytics tool like Iconosquare.
Go to Analytics → Reach and scroll down to see the graph labelled “Fans online”. It looks like this:
This useful data helps you research into the behaviour of your Facebook audience more thoroughly, so don’t ignore it when planning your next post.
You can also see the same kind of graph for your previous engagement on published posts. Under Analytics → Engagement, is the Best Time to Post graph, which shows you your personal best time to post based on existing posts.
So the takeaway here is obviously to take the time to study your Facebook scheduler’s best times to post, and schedule your upcoming posts according to those times.
4. Schedule your posts for the optimal times
Can you first schedule natively? Yes, show how, but then oh, to save yourself the precious time, you can also use automatic schedulers, like the one from Iconosquare.
Using Iconosquare’s Facebook post scheduler, you have access to a user-friendly platform for planning, creating and scheduling your Facebook posts. In addition, there’s also a Media Library where you can store your images and videos for upcoming and existing posts, which is useful as you can keep all your content stored in one place.
The final cherry on the cake: the Scheduler shows you your own personalized indicators for your best times to post.
Best posting times are marked with yellow stars, so all you have to do is click into those windows and schedule your next posts.
These “yellow star” times are essentially averages of the times of your previous best-performing posts, which are selected based on the level of engagement rate they generated. It takes a bit of time for the data to build up — we don’t just blindly tell you 4pm because one post did really well at 4pm 3 months ago! — so get posting at different times to help us to help you!
Here’s exactly how to schedule a post on Iconosquare:
- In Publishing → Scheduler, simply click the “New Post” button on the top right of your screen.
- Choose your post format (Status, Images or Video)
- Upload your media or select it from your Media Library
- Write your caption, and select your geolocation if you wish
- Choose your preferred day and time of publishing
- Hit “Schedule”, sit back and relax!
You can also save your post as a draft if you want to leve it and come back to it at a later time. Simple!
Remember that whether you decide to use Facebook’s native Insights or a third-party tool as a way of keeping track of your best time to post on Facebook, you’ll need to experiment manually before obtaining accurate and reliable results.
Facebook is a huge platform with lots of potential for reach, so always keep in mind the importance of posting your content at your community’s “prime times” for best results.
Iconosquare offers a 14 day trial, totally free, during which time you can check out the best time to post feature and many more. Check out Iconosquare’s Facebook Scheduler with best time to post indicators now!