FAQ: What's the Best Time to Post on Facebook?

jenpicard
Jen Picard CEO, Marketing Consultant, JD Marketing

Posted on September 8th 2013

FAQ: What's the Best Time to Post on Facebook?

One of the most frequently asked questions about Facebook marketing is: What is the best time to post on Facebook?

The quick and easy answer? The best time to post on Facebook is when your audience is online!

Until recently, there wasn’t an easy way to see when your fans were likely to be online, and marketers had to experiment with different times to figure out what worked best. Well, good news -  the new “When your Fans are Online” Facebook Insights tab was specifically designed to help you find the best time to post on Facebook.

Here’s how to find the best time to post on Facebook:

1. Go to your page settings (looks like a gear), and click on “View Insights”. (Note: you must be a Page Admin.)

Best time to post on Facebook - View Insights

2. Click on the “Posts” tab, and then on the “When your Fans are Online” tab.

Best Time to Post on Facebook

3. Find the best time to post on Facebook by looking for times when you have the most fans online.

How I use this to find Meltwater’s best time to post on Facebook

The “Times” section (see below) is what I’m most interested in because it shows me how many of our fans are online each hour. When I hover over the graph, I can see that our peak is at 7am (in my timezone):

Best time to post on Facebook is 7am

I can also go deeper than this, breaking down what time my fans are online each day of the week. To see this, I just click on any day of the week in the “Days” section, and a line appears over the original graph:

Best time to post on Facebook on Tuesday

This shows me that a large number of my fans are online between 6-9am on Tuesday, so I definitely want to post in the early morning to maximize my reach. Since Meltwater is an international company, I will also use this graph to determine the best time to post status updates in other time zones.

Please note that these times are unique to Meltwater and will vary from the times that work best for your Facebook page because you have a unique set of fans. This will change weekly – so check back often.

Why knowing the best time to post on Facebook matters more than ever

It’s important to know the best time to post on Facebook because the News Feed algorithm has been updated to reward engaging posts with “Story Bumping“. Facebook explains, “organic stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see can reappear near the top of News Feed if the stories are still getting lots of likes and comments”. This means that if you post status updates when your fans are most likely to be online, you have a better chance of getting more likes and comments – which may help move your post to the tops of your fan’s News Feeds that haven’t seen it yet. Imagine the visibility!

To benefit from this update, it’s important that you also use Facebook Insights to understand which types of posts your audience responds to best. You can find this data in the “Posts” tab, right next to “When your Fans are Online”. First, take a look at “Best Post Types” to get a high level view of how your status, link and photo posts perform.

Facebook Insights Best Post Types

This tells me that status posts get the highest reach, but that photo posts get the most clicks. Link posts sit in the middle, getting a higher reach than photos, and about the same number of clicks as status posts, so I will continue using all three post types. Again – your audience is different and will react differently to the variety of content you post on Facebook, so make sure that you’re checking this insight frequently to stay up to speed on the kind of content your audience likes.

Next, I will take a look at the “All Posts” tab to see exactly which posts have the highest reach and engagement.

Facebook Insights Posts

A photo post immediately stands out as one of our posts with the highest reach and engagement, so I know that I should post more pictures of Meltwater employees in cool locations (easy to do, since we have an awesome global team that sends me pictures to share). Our next best post is a text post about social marketing ROI, which I know is a hot topic – so I’ll try to share more content with an ROI perspective (and also ask our content team for more ROI-focused blog posts and an eBook). As you can see, this data makes it really easy to find what content I should be sharing more – and what content isn’t really resonating with my audience.

This information, coupled with the best time to post tab, gives me the information I need to maximize my Facebook presence and deliver content that my audience wants to see, when they will be online to see it. Give it a try and see your brand’s best time to post on Facebook.

jenpicard

Jen Picard

CEO, Marketing Consultant, JD Marketing

Jen is a marketing consultant who works primarily with marketing and HR/recruitment technology startups. When she's not doing marketing for her clients you can find Jen snowboarding in Tahoe, traveling abroad, or enjoying a night in with friends and a good bottle of wine. She's a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in Socio-Economic and Political Global Studies.

Connect with her on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.

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Comments

montessori4autism.org
Posted on September 11th 2013 at 11:23AM

This was very useful - thanks!  I run a child advocacy website www.montessori4autism.org and I am just learning the ropes of social media.  Posts like these are much appreciated.

jenpicard
Posted on September 16th 2013 at 12:26AM

Hi Vera - Glad to hear it! I also recently wrote a post about my favorite social media blogs - check some of them out for more great tips: http://www.meltwater.com/social-media-blog/social-media-blogs-i-love/.

affluencemedias
Posted on September 11th 2013 at 6:38PM

Hi,

 

Thank you but is it possible that tab is not active on my Facebook Page Account ? I am the Page admin, but I see this: http://mattetsuzie.com/files/facebook-bug.png

Thank you

Matt ;)

Chriselle Militar
Posted on September 13th 2013 at 7:49PM

It looks like you still have the old Facebook insights

jenpicard
Posted on September 16th 2013 at 12:24AM

Hey Matt -

Facebook only rolled this out to a small number of Facebook page admins, but it should be rolling out to everyone very soon - the initial announcement said late summer (https://www.facebook-studio.com/news/item/updating-page-insights). Get excited, it's awesome.

Talking Finger
Posted on September 13th 2013 at 2:42PM

I love this new feature

I was getting so tired of the useless infopgraphics put out that people took as the way to do this. 90% of those infographics were based on big brands and specific verticals that left the other 90% of companies out.

We are and always be firm believers and teachers that only your OWN anlaytics and metrics define what to say and when to say it.

Great article, Tweeted and shared...hopfully more comapnies will realize they need to define their own audience with a little work and dilligence for more successful long term social marketing.

jenpicard
Posted on September 16th 2013 at 12:09AM

Hi William - I totally agree. I'm so tired of seeing blog posts that push a difinitive "how-to" guides, telling everyone that the best time to post on Facebook is between 1-3pm, or that photos are the best type of status update - these so called best practices won't work for every brand, and shouldn't be blindly applied to every brand. I'm pretty excited Facebook is making it easier to see exactly what's working, and what isn't, for my unique company and our fans.

Danielle Cormier
Posted on September 16th 2013 at 4:44PM

Some of this reflects what I've seen and wrote about in my post; When is the Best Time to Post on Facebook? 

Personally, I’m not convinced the "When Your Fans Are Online" tab is the definitive solution to discovering the optimal posting time just yet. Yes, aiming to schedule your Facebook Page’s content when the majority of your fans are online is important for increasing engagement (a Facebook post receives half of its reach within 30 minutes), but the peak fan rate may not be the optimal time. I still believe that you can determine the best time to post on Facebook by understanding your audience and Facebook usage.

http://socialmediatoday.com/danielle-cormier/1715301/can-you-determine-best-time-post-facebook-new-facebook-page-insights

jenpicard
Posted on September 17th 2013 at 11:54PM

Hi Danielle!

I would agree that this insight does not provide a definitive time, but it sure is a good place to start as well as a great way to try to understand your audience. Brands should always be experimenting with new times to post, new types of content, frequency, etc, and this insight is an interesting new way to test the best time to post. For global brands like Meltwater, this data may not make much of a difference because our audience is online around the clock (which is, at the very least, good to know) - but I'm going to test it anyway. For local brands, however, this data may provide amazing insight about their fans' online behavior - maybe a late night pizza shop in a college town realizes that their audience is online at 2am, and they experiment with posting middle-of-the-night pictures of their pizza or a special offer to get students to walk over for a late-night snack. Different things will always work for different brands, but it sure is nice to have these new insights to have a better handle what kinds of things might work, and what already is working.

Jen

Danielle Cormier
Posted on September 16th 2013 at 4:44PM

Some of this reflects what I've seen and wrote about in my post; When is the Best Time to Post on Facebook? 

Personally, I’m not convinced the "When Your Fans Are Online" tab is the definitive solution to discovering the optimal posting time just yet. Yes, aiming to schedule your Facebook Page’s content when the majority of your fans are online is important for increasing engagement (a Facebook post receives half of its reach within 30 minutes), but the peak fan rate may not be the optimal time. I still believe that you can determine the best time to post on Facebook by understanding your audience and Facebook usage.

http://socialmediatoday.com/danielle-cormier/1715301/can-you-determine-best-time-post-facebook-new-facebook-page-insights

Created In Colorado
Posted on September 17th 2013 at 8:07AM

Thanks Jen, very interesting stats!  I can not wait to get access to all of this!

jenpicard
Posted on September 17th 2013 at 11:55PM

Thanks Nathalie! It's pretty cool stuff - I just wish everyone could see what I can... should be soon.

Sasha Zinevych
Posted on October 28th 2013 at 7:03AM

Dear Jen,

what about the different time zones - does Facebook automatically show when your fans are active using your native time zone?

jenpicard
Posted on October 28th 2013 at 2:30PM

Yes, the data is all in your timezone. Have you started playing around with the new Insights yet?

Sasha Zinevych
Posted on October 28th 2013 at 3:09PM

yep, and I must say that they are pleasantly better than the old version. More intuitive I guess

jenpicard
Posted on October 28th 2013 at 10:17PM

Completely agree!

Linda Masteller
Posted on November 8th 2013 at 11:41PM

I am not finding "View Insights" under the gear tab. I would really like to access this information. Why would it not be there on my own personal Facebook page?

jenpicard
Posted on November 15th 2013 at 5:02PM

Hm, not sure. As far as I know, all page admins have access to Insights - although personal profiles don't have this feature. Are you the admin of a business page?

Ariel Spencer
Posted on December 26th 2013 at 3:59AM

You need to have at least 30 likes before you can have access to insights. http://facebook.com/moola100

Benjamin Rey
Posted on December 9th 2013 at 7:20AM

Hi Jen,

You're really right on how important timing of posts is. When Facebook released their "when your fans are online", we also thought it would be great data to use to refine posting strategies. But we digged into the stats for 5K pages... and our conclusion is that if you post when most of your fans are online, you also post when they have the highest number of news competing for their newsfeed, hence you get lower performing posts.

We have a blog post detailing this, if you're interested: http://blog.wisemetrics.com/why-you-shouldnt-post-when-your-fans-are-online/

jenpicard
Posted on December 9th 2013 at 9:01PM

Hi Benjamin - Thanks for sharing your research! It's always interesting to see a different perspective, and that's exactly why it's important to test everything on Facebook.

Since the "When your Fans are Online" graph is unique to your brand's fans, it's not necessarily true for every Page that posts will be competing with too many other posts - your fan's friends aren't necessarily online at that same time creating stories. and other brands have a different mix of fans - so they aren't likely to be posting at the exact same time, either. However, I can see how friends would have really similar schedules, so posting when they're all online would definitely be a problem. Every brand should run a test for themselves to see what the best time to post is, but when your fans are online is an excellent starting point.