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The Impact of Timing on Facebook Post Engagement

Ever wonder when is the best time to post on Facebook? Of course you do — you're a marketer. And as a marketer, you want to optimize everything.  

Well, we all know the short answer: the best time to post on Facebook is whenever your audience will see it. But with increasing competition for scroll-space in the News Feed, it is more difficult to optimize your Facebook posting schedule. Every day, there are upwards of 1,500 possible stories that can be displayed on a typical user’s News Feed. And as more people and Pages continue to join the network, there is more competition to organically appear in the News Feed.

At TrackMaven, our clients are enterprise marketers, so we set out to uncover opportunities for brands to maximize their Pages' reach on Facebook. We put our platform to work and analyzed 1.58 million pieces of real-world Facebook posts generated by brands of all shapes and sizes. Our Marketing Maven's Guide to Facebook report contains data on everything from the optimal post word count to maximize engagement to the average post post grade level, but here are a few of the key takeaways from our report specific to the impact of timing.

Weekends and After Hours Are Ripe For Facebook Post Engagement

The breakdown of Facebook data by schedule indicates that posting on weekends and during after-work hours offer underutilized opportunities for engagement. As the graph below shows, while the percentage of posts published on weekends [TEAL] drops nearly in half over the weekend, the average number of interactions per post [GREY] trends sharply upwards over the weekend.

Facebook Post Frequency and Effectiveness by Day of Week

Facebook Post Frequency and Effectiveness

Posting on Sundays is especially potent. Only 8.73% of Facebook posts are published on Sundays, but those that are have the greatest engagement, with 2.72 average interactions per post.

Looking at the data by time of day, we see a comparable opportunity for engagement during after-work hours. As we can see in the graph below, competition for content to be seen in the News Feed is highest between 8am - 5pm EST, when the greatest volume of posts are published.

Facebook Post Frequency and Effectiveness by Time of Day (EST)

Overall, 62.7% of Facebook posts are posted during this window, but engagement hovers around 2.24 average interactions per post. Lunchtime (12-1PM EST) is the most popular time to post on Facebook. However, the average number of interactions per post trends upwards between 5pm - 1am EST as posting frequency drops, averaging 2.49 interactions per post.

So what does this mean for all the marketers elbowing for space in the News Feed? While Facebook marketing and distribution might be your day job, that doesn't mean you have to post on Facebook exclusively during work hours. While the best time to engage your brand's audience on Facebook can only be found through structured experimentation, consider that weekends and leisure hours have less competition, and offer ample time for Facebook users to peruse their News Feed and interact with the content that resonates with them most. 

For more data and surprising findings to optimize your Facebook marketing strategies, download TrackMaven's complete report: The Marketing Maven's Guide to Facebook.

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