Social media marketing researchers often try to find out if there’s an ideal time that a business could choose to post to Facebook. They tend to come up with contradictory conclusions, though. The answer could be that there is no one best time to post on Facebook that applies to everyone. The best time to post on Facebook for your business can depend on the nature of your business and the audiences that you target.
Research indicates that when a Facebook post is placed online at a time when the targeted audience is online, it can take the post no more than 30 minutes to reach 50% of the intended audience. If the targeted audience continues to be online, it can take the post up to 24 hours to reach every member. You need to time your business Facebook posts half an hour before you expect most of your audiences to come online. The trick is to determine when your Facebook fans are online.
Find out who your audience is
You can’t really know who your followers on Facebook are until you actually look at your Facebook demographic numbers. These details can help you resolve your follower numbers by gender and age. If your customer base is spread across the country, you also need to take into account the different time zones that they are on.
Try to imagine the kind of daily routine your followers must have
If you have teen followers, they are likely to be in school until 3 in the afternoon and have sports and other commitments until early evening. If your followers are old enough to have regular jobs, they are likely to get on Facebook every time they have a meal. You can work out an estimate of when different kinds of members are likely to have the time to go online.
Look up Facebook usage statistics
You can go wrong trying to imagine your followers’ daily routines if you don’t know much about people’s habits in general. According to Facebook’s own statistics, more than a half-billion Facebook users access Facebook on a mobile device. Other studies indicate that most mobile Facebook users check Facebook first thing in the morning as they get out of bed. Publishing your posts at 7 AM, then, can get you immediate results.
Other studies indicate that most mobile Facebook users also like to check out their Facebook page while they commute to and from work, at each meal and while they watch TV.
These numbers change over weekends, though. People usually like to use Facebook to interact with their friends and family on Saturdays and Sundays. Businesses posting on weekends are usually lost in the deluge of activity.
The more information you have about the specific habits of your audience members, the more accurate your guesses are likely to be. In general, the best time to post on Facebook is when most of your users are online and aren’t very busy interacting with their circles.
These numbers can change
These estimates of when Facebook users are online only work out when your audience consists of the typical teenager, young adult or older adult. They don’t work well for people past the age of 55. You may need to work out your own estimates depending on the specific kind of Facebook audience you have.
Facebook Insights can be of help
The latest version of Facebook Insights is an excellent source of information if you want to know when your Facebook fans come online. Facebook calls the metric When Your Fans Are Online. You can find it under the Posts tab on Facebook Insights.
Facebook’s When Your Fans Are Online graph only shows information for 7 days preceding your inquiry. For this reason, you still need to bring in your own theories and research to determine when exactly your fans are likely to be online on a given day.
Eric Bryant is a longtime business owner and marketing fan. When he has the time, he likes to help others by sharing his insights online.