When Is the Best Time to Post on Facebook?

Danielle Cormier
Danielle Cormier Manager, Constant Contact

Posted on June 4th 2013

When Is the Best Time to Post on Facebook?

I can’t begin to count the number of studies I’ve read that claim they know the best time or day to post on Facebook.

While most of these studies conflict with one another, they also consistently conflict with my own analysis. This may not be what you want to hear, but the best time to post depends on your business and your audience. With a little extra effort and a little creative thinking, you can determine the best time for you.

How can you determine the best time for your business?

Focus on understanding your audience

Research shows that a Facebook post receives half of its reach within 30 minutes. Consequently, you should try to determine when your fans are on Facebook and aim to schedule your posts around that time.

Step 1: Determine who your audience is

Look at your Facebook demographics. They may be different than you think. You can review the age range and gender break down by opening your Facebook Insights and visiting the “Likes” tab. If you have multiple locations or a large customer base, you will want to review the location of your audience as they may be spread across various time zones.

Step: 2: Think about what their day looks like

Now that you know the demographic of your audience, think about their day — is your typical fan a mom? A student? Likely to work at 9-5 job? All of these factors can help determine the best time to post on your page.

Step 3: Apply what you know

Use the information you now have about your audience to post effectively. These Facebook statistics might also help provide more insight about posting best practices.

Facebook statistics about usage

best times to post on FacebookToday, more people access Facebook from a mobile device than a desktop — 751 million monthly active users to be exact. Smartphone owners even spend more time checking Facebook on their mobile device than they do using Google. (For those who are skeptical about their fans viewing their Facebook content via mobile, don’t worry. You can check it all out in Facebook Insights.)

Think about this…80 percent of 18-44 year olds check their smartphone as soon as they wake up. It’s likely that your fans are reaching for their phones and scanning their newsfeed as they start their day. This creates an optimal time to post. In the last month or so, I’ve tested posting between the hours of 6:30-8:30am on the Constant Contact Facebook Page and have seen great results.

Smartphone owners tend to reach for their phones around meal times and 86 percent of mobile internet users report using their device while watching TV. These individuals also spend almost double their time accessing social media via a mobile device on the weekends compared to weekdays. Don’t jump to any conclusions just yet though. Weekends and weekdays, between 5:00-8:00pm, aren’t necessarily the optimal time to post because of newsfeed competition. During these hours, you’re likely to compete with your fans’ hundreds of friends and the other brands they follow.

On the Constant Contact Facebook Page, I’ve noticed that our posts receive the most engagement during off-peak hours when less overall posting is going on. Try to find your engagement sweet spot by determining the intersection of time when the majority of your audience is on Facebook and the time when the least overall posting is occurring.

Studies have also shown that more than half of users only access Facebook when they’re not at work or school. Also, the hours that people are commuting to and from work shows mobile usage peaks. Although it’s not safe if they’re driving, many mobile social media users are checking their phones on the way to work, which creates a great time to post about your business.

Let’s review. When is a good time to post on Facebook?

 Early morning

χ During work (9am – 5pm)

 Between work and dinner

χ After dinner (TV time)

 Bedtime

χ Weekends

The bottom line?

The best time to post on Facebook is when your audience will see it. And this is going to be unique to you and your business.

Using Facebook Insights

If you want to analyze actual numbers to determine if past posting times (or if trying new posting times) are working effectively, simply follow these steps for using Facebook Insights.

1.  Export the “Post level data” from Facebook Insights for your preferred time period.

2.  Open the Post level data in Excel within the “Lifetime Post Stories by action” tab (the third tab) and delete all columns except D, H, I, J, and K. Don’t delete E if you’re interested in seeing what types of posts work well for your audience.

Note: This does not include clicks on links. It includes only “Likes,” comments, and shares. To review link clicks, simply review the same columns in the fourth tab in “Lifetime Post consumers by type.”

Don’t forget, timing isn’t everything! Determining the ultimate time to post on Facebook won’t increase your engagement if your content isn’t engaging.

Do you believe in a universal best time to post on Facebook? What time do you think is the best time to post? Tell us in the comments below.

This article originally appeared on Constant Contact Blogs and has been republished with permission.

(Facebook posting times / shutterstock)

Danielle Cormier

Danielle Cormier

Manager, Constant Contact

Social Media Corporate Community Manager at Constant Contact in Boston, MA. My interests include, social media, new marketing technology, skiing, fashion, Boston sports and social psychology. 

See Full Profile >

Comments

joshill5
Posted on June 4th 2013 at 11:48AM

Nice article Danielle, really useful!

I work in social media and with an audience dominated by students. I find that not only do the times of the day matter when posting content, but also the time of the year. During the Summer months and the Freshers period I find it generally better to post around lunchtime (12-2pm). This demographic seem as though they are either ... just getting up!

However, during exam period (as it is now where I work), I definitely get more interaction in the evening. From being a student only last year, I know work and productivity decrease after dinner (6pm) so students are on a look out for opportunities to procrastinate!

Elisabeth Michaud
Posted on June 4th 2013 at 3:19PM

Danielle, I love this post! I can't tell you how important I've always thought it was to customize posts/posting time based on the unique audience a brand has (on Facebook and other networks). I'm always skeptical when I read blog posts with titles like this one, but you really nailed it. 

If you're ever interested in checking it out, my company uberVU (I'm our social media marketing & community manager) offers a "Smart Scheduling" feature in our product that automatically schedules Facebook and Twitter posts for a time when audiences for the connected profiles are most likely to be engaged (based on real-time data!). It's totally customized for each profile I want to schedule the post for - which, I'll admit, I tend to geek out over from time to time. We're at ubervu.com or on Twitter @ubervu if you want to take a look.

Danielle Cormier
Posted on June 6th 2013 at 2:15PM

Thanks Elisabeth! It amuses me that so many people write about an exact universal time that is best to post on Facebook. 

disruptivedigitalmarketingdotcom
Posted on June 4th 2013 at 4:02PM

Thank you for sharing Danielle.

It is so true that posting on Facebook is a boutique approach--it all depends on your business and your audience. 

Thanks for taking the awareness one step further by showing us how we can personally put the awareness into action with our own projects. 

Danielle Cormier
Posted on June 4th 2013 at 5:15PM

No problem! Glad you liked it. 

Danielle Cormier
Posted on June 4th 2013 at 5:15PM

No problem! Glad you liked it. 

Cindyelich
Posted on June 5th 2013 at 2:24PM

Thank you for the information.  I have been posting, before school 7am-8am, lunch time 11:30-1:30pm, and evening between 6-7pm.  People will comment when it's interesting to them.  I work for a municipal government agency so the "social" can mostly be informative. 

emarketing .
Posted on June 6th 2013 at 7:08AM

Great Stuff! Loved your blof Danielle! Social Media is truly the best way to target audience and Facebook is probably one ofthe best social networking site so far which is user friendly and it also helps in promoting products or services of a company.

Danielle Cormier
Posted on June 6th 2013 at 2:13PM

Thanks Ajay!

Aaron Mackel
Posted on June 6th 2013 at 8:05PM

There is almost never a one size fits all situation and as you have pointed out Facebook is no different. Good post!

AntonyA
Posted on June 7th 2013 at 11:48AM

Great post, thanks. The issue of time zones is a tricky one because the web is, well, worldwide. If you're running a page for a local business (coffee shop, whatever) it's a no-brainer. But if you're running a page with some global appeal and support it becomes a mine field. I'm in this situation.

There's a Bitly study which suggested afternoon to early evenings, Central US time, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I've done the conversion to understand it based on the zone I'm in and place ads based on those times. I don't have enough of a budget to experiment so I stick with it. Results are generally underwhelming in recent months but I think that's just Facebook; if ad were more successful then I wouldn't need to spend so much money :)

Salvosa Johnsten
Posted on June 7th 2013 at 6:28PM

sdays. I've done the conversion to understand it based on the zone I'm in and place ads based on those times. I don't have enough of a budget to experiment so I stick with it. Results are generally underwhelming in recent months but I think that's just Facebook; if ad were more successful then I wouldn't need to spend so much money :)

PervaraKapadia
Posted on June 17th 2013 at 6:59PM

Great Post thanks. The good time to Post on Facebook differes from Category to Category. One needs to understand the Audience Mindset and the Brand Personality....

josephcmarcus
Posted on June 18th 2013 at 7:02PM

I echo the sentiments of many who commented before me: It truly does vary by a page's user demographics.  I have noticed for the page I manage (predominately composed of females 35-54) that weekday mornings (~8:00am) and nights (~6:00pm) tend to elicit more reaction and generate more reach than any of the posts I make on weekends during the same times.  

It's always hard to gauge weekends because they are often the exceptions/breaks to individuals' regular routines. 

Danielle Cormier
Posted on June 18th 2013 at 7:46PM

Our page has about the same demographics and the same success during early mornings and dinner time during the week.

Recently, I've been testing early Saturday morning (~9am) and Sundays at ~11am, ~4pm or ~7:30pm. Saturday morning and later Sunday night have worked best so far (although not as successful as weekdays) - expect holiday weekends.

bluetreedigital
Posted on July 16th 2013 at 4:46AM

There really is no exact formula to how many times or when you should post on Facebook. It all depends on your target audience and the messages you need to deliver. But as a general, rule, if you post normally and send relevant and useful content that your followers would appreciate, you’re okay.

Teenyweeny
Posted on July 31st 2013 at 3:30PM

I agreed with Danille, knowing the behaviour of your target audience is the primary key. Afterall, the purpose of the fans page is really to communicate to a specific group that shares something in common with what we do or what we advocate.  

Pia Alves
Posted on August 2nd 2013 at 5:49AM

Thanks for sharing and luckily I had read this post!! It is very informative!!

 

Danielle Cormier
Posted on August 5th 2013 at 6:01PM

Thanks!

Sheersocial
Posted on August 11th 2013 at 9:19PM

Good points Danielle, but with the NEW facebook insights you can REALLY see when's the best time to post. The new insights graphically display when your fan page audience is on Facebook by day as well as time on a weekly basis.  In my opinion, it's one of the best improvements FB has made to Insights since they were first provided. 

Tracy Sestili
Posted on August 22nd 2013 at 7:38PM

Hi Alice, I agree it's a nice improvement, but time will tell on whether it is accurate or not. Looking forward to finding out!

Danielle Cormier
Posted on September 9th 2013 at 2:27PM

Hi Tracy & Alice, I took a deeper look at this issue in my most recent post: http://socialmediatoday.com/danielle-cormier/1715301/can-you-determine-best-time-post-facebook-new-facebook-page-insights 

Tracy Sestili
Posted on August 22nd 2013 at 7:36PM

Allelujah! These studies annoy me too. It will be interesting to see how accurate the new FB Insights "Best time to post" will be, but I couldn't agree more that people need to pay attention and know who their audience is. Thanks - great post!

Danielle Cormier
Posted on August 22nd 2013 at 7:45PM

I agree. I've been tracking how successful posts are during the time periods the new Facebook Insights indicates as 'best time to post' / most reach / most engaged fans. So far they don't seem very helpful. 

Woyster1
Posted on September 6th 2013 at 6:44AM

Great post Danielle.

There are several studies that claim to know and blog posts gallore.  Following a universal best time to post is normally better than just posting willy nilly (yes I said willy nilly) nothing beats paying close attention to your stats.

The NEW Facebook Insights allows you to ad a layer or two to your analysis.  If you cross reference your busiest times of the day and week with the type of engagement ("Likes and comments" vs "Shares") looking for matching trends, you may uncover "posting sweet-spots" that optimize the likelihood of gaining the type of engagement your targeting.

Danielle Cormier
Posted on November 5th 2013 at 2:49PM

Thanks Denver,

In a more recent post, I wrote a little about the new Facebook insights: 

Can You Determine the Best Time to Post on Facebook with the New Facebook Page Insights?

Jide Ogunleye
Posted on September 10th 2013 at 9:15AM

Great article Danielle. I agree with you. The best time to post should be based on insights about your target market. What applies for ages 18 - 28 might not necessarily apply for ages 25 - 45.

Proper insights is required based on target to know the right time to post. It should not be generic.

MaryGWilson
Posted on September 17th 2013 at 2:04PM

It still all comes down to the same thing ... audience. Over a 30-year career, no matter how much our tools and methods of marketing change, audience remains king in terms of how, what and where you communicate with them. 

Danielle Cormier
Posted on November 5th 2013 at 2:46PM

Exactly! 

Michael Durwin
Posted on September 19th 2013 at 6:04PM

Danielle,

In comments you say "It amuses me that so many people write about an exact universal time that is best to post on Facebook.", yet in your article you say "I’ve tested posting between the hours of 6:30-8:30am on the Constant Contact Facebook Page and have seen great results."

So, are you advising an exact time or not? And, if so, or if you're just suggesting a loose time of day, are you refering to EDT, CDT or PDT? Or are you talking about 6:30-8:30am in the UK? Are East Coast Constant Contact users on Facebook at 9:30-11:30 while your West Coast customers are on Facebook 6:30-8:30 PST? Or do you have different time zone versions of your Facebook page? Or are you reposting the same thing multiple times so that you're actually hitting your audience at 6:30-8:30

Your article suggests pretty specific times that are best on Facebook, despite several studies that show the peak time for Facebook is actually 3PM EDT. Hopefully people reading this will ignore the majority f your post and realize that they should be looking at the peak attention target for just their audience, and not yours. Because I think that point, if that is the point you're making, gets lost.

For my particuar audience, which WAS segmented by time zone, I found that 5PM Friday offered the best click through rate for case studies targeting ecommerce owners and managers. So; 5PM EDT (US only audience), 5PM MDT, 5PM CDT, 5PM PDT. So that was a combination of specific industry target, time zone target, content target.

 

Michael Durwin
Posted on September 19th 2013 at 6:04PM

Danielle,

In comments you say "It amuses me that so many people write about an exact universal time that is best to post on Facebook.", yet in your article you say "I’ve tested posting between the hours of 6:30-8:30am on the Constant Contact Facebook Page and have seen great results."

So, are you advising an exact time or not? And, if so, or if you're just suggesting a loose time of day, are you refering to EDT, CDT or PDT? Or are you talking about 6:30-8:30am in the UK? Are East Coast Constant Contact users on Facebook at 9:30-11:30 while your West Coast customers are on Facebook 6:30-8:30 PST? Or do you have different time zone versions of your Facebook page? Or are you reposting the same thing multiple times so that you're actually hitting your audience at 6:30-8:30

Your article suggests pretty specific times that are best on Facebook, despite several studies that show the peak time for Facebook is actually 3PM EDT. Hopefully people reading this will ignore the majority f your post and realize that they should be looking at the peak attention target for just their audience, and not yours. Because I think that point, if that is the point you're making, gets lost.

For my particuar audience, which WAS segmented by time zone, I found that 5PM Friday offered the best click through rate for case studies targeting ecommerce owners and managers. So; 5PM EDT (US only audience), 5PM MDT, 5PM CDT, 5PM PDT. So that was a combination of specific industry target, time zone target, content target.

 

Michael Durwin
Posted on September 19th 2013 at 6:04PM

Danielle,

In comments you say "It amuses me that so many people write about an exact universal time that is best to post on Facebook.", yet in your article you say "I’ve tested posting between the hours of 6:30-8:30am on the Constant Contact Facebook Page and have seen great results."

So, are you advising an exact time or not? And, if so, or if you're just suggesting a loose time of day, are you refering to EDT, CDT or PDT? Or are you talking about 6:30-8:30am in the UK? Are East Coast Constant Contact users on Facebook at 9:30-11:30 while your West Coast customers are on Facebook 6:30-8:30 PST? Or do you have different time zone versions of your Facebook page? Or are you reposting the same thing multiple times so that you're actually hitting your audience at 6:30-8:30

Your article suggests pretty specific times that are best on Facebook, despite several studies that show the peak time for Facebook is actually 3PM EDT. Hopefully people reading this will ignore the majority f your post and realize that they should be looking at the peak attention target for just their audience, and not yours. Because I think that point, if that is the point you're making, gets lost.

For my particuar audience, which WAS segmented by time zone, I found that 5PM Friday offered the best click through rate for case studies targeting ecommerce owners and managers. So; 5PM EDT (US only audience), 5PM MDT, 5PM CDT, 5PM PDT. So that was a combination of specific industry target, time zone target, content target.

 

Michael Durwin
Posted on September 19th 2013 at 6:04PM

Danielle,

In comments you say "It amuses me that so many people write about an exact universal time that is best to post on Facebook.", yet in your article you say "I’ve tested posting between the hours of 6:30-8:30am on the Constant Contact Facebook Page and have seen great results."

So, are you advising an exact time or not? And, if so, or if you're just suggesting a loose time of day, are you refering to EDT, CDT or PDT? Or are you talking about 6:30-8:30am in the UK? Are East Coast Constant Contact users on Facebook at 9:30-11:30 while your West Coast customers are on Facebook 6:30-8:30 PST? Or do you have different time zone versions of your Facebook page? Or are you reposting the same thing multiple times so that you're actually hitting your audience at 6:30-8:30

Your article suggests pretty specific times that are best on Facebook, despite several studies that show the peak time for Facebook is actually 3PM EDT. Hopefully people reading this will ignore the majority f your post and realize that they should be looking at the peak attention target for just their audience, and not yours. Because I think that point, if that is the point you're making, gets lost.

For my particuar audience, which WAS segmented by time zone, I found that 5PM Friday offered the best click through rate for case studies targeting ecommerce owners and managers. So; 5PM EDT (US only audience), 5PM MDT, 5PM CDT, 5PM PDT. So that was a combination of specific industry target, time zone target, content target.

 

CRJ
Posted on September 25th 2013 at 1:57AM

In your article, you check off 8-5 as inefficient times to post, but what if our target audience is completely business users, who may also check Facebook during the day? 

Would you recommend targeting early morning before normal working hours then?

Thanks

Colette

Danielle Cormier
Posted on November 5th 2013 at 3:06PM

It could be that your audience is using a mobile device to access Facebook and scrolls through their news feed on their way to and from work or during their lunch break.  I'd recommend testing posts during those times.  

I'd also recommend checking out the 'People Engaged' tab within the new Facebook Insights (in the 'People' section).  The fans that are engaging with your page may be different than what you assume! 

 

This post breifly touches on that:

Can You Determine the Best Time to Post on Facebook with the New Facebook Page Insights?

aldinga1
Posted on October 8th 2013 at 5:03PM

Thank you for posting this, Danielle. I hear so-called experts promote a one-size-fits-all approach which makes me shudder. My product/blog/market is different from your, etc. Resrearching to understanding ones customers - their behanviour and needs - spells success. As Jessica Michelle says, a boutique approach is where it's at!

SandraFelder
Posted on October 8th 2013 at 10:52PM
This is good information. I am trying to get more people to join my team with a couple of online businesses I'm involved in.
bluesbandit
Posted on February 12th 2014 at 11:09PM

I agree Sandra, this information is something I have not considered but I will becase I like you

am trying to get more people on my team also.

Jay North
Posted on January 2nd 2014 at 3:37PM

A well researched and a very good article. Thank you for this,I'll try to implement the ideas of this very article.

Addpro Bala
Posted on January 13th 2014 at 10:15AM

Nice post, these updates and tips about facebook will help me a lot.

RankMyAgent
Posted on February 7th 2014 at 7:36PM

Thank you, Danielle! A very informative article.

MattMiaFL
Posted on February 13th 2014 at 9:25PM

Thanks Danielle for being the first (that I'm aware of) to put this out there - there really is no best time to post, there are too many variables involved to make a blanket statement of what times are best!

muhamed.habimana
Posted on March 16th 2014 at 4:24PM

Very interesting. i like it

Digital Age Journalist
Posted on March 17th 2014 at 1:05PM

Your article is the voice of reason. I definitely find that my facebook community and I walk to the beat of a different drummer. I cozy into computer time after dinner and check in with all my facebook friends and colleagues, worldwide. They do the same. 

I am not very technically savvy to actually measure facebook activity or the activity on my other social media accounts. But if I find that a certain time works best, the people I connect with most likely find that time works for them too.

Thank you and sincerely,
http://www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert

twitortat
Posted on April 8th 2014 at 12:18PM

Nice article, Danielle. Are you aware of tools that may help with figuring out what the best times are?

Kristin Hovde
Posted on April 10th 2014 at 3:45AM

Thanks for sharing this insightful article. Knowing who your audience is will give you some idea of when they will most likely be looking at Facebook. However, now that we are able to get access to social media through our phones, a lot of people are checking it throughout the day.

James Meyer
Posted on April 13th 2014 at 10:52PM

It's a good article Danielle.  I did exactly the same thing but for Twitter accounts http://netprofitsmedia.blogspot.com/2012/07/time-your-tweets-terrifically-tomorrow.html and found similar conflicts with "industry best practices" compared to my actual test results.

Marketers need to test and refine, test and refine.

NicolaPyt
Posted on June 18th 2014 at 7:41PM

This is SPOT ON.  Social sites you manage are like parties you host.  Don't have a late night gathering if your friends all have 8-5 jobs and be alert -- you won't know what dip is popular until it disappears and when it does, refill it immediately...stop pushing the ambrosia (no one likes it)!  :-)

 

bobbygzus
Posted on August 25th 2014 at 12:49PM

Just what I was looking for...Thank You!  I have been telling clients for as long as I remember that there is no universal formula - it depends on your business and what your trying to accomplish!   It is an ongoing process of testing each component in the overall marketing mix to come up with what works best for each business to achieve their goals.


BG