Curating and developing the right content to post on your Facebook page is only half the battle. Choosing the right time to post is key to making sure that your message is actually seen. Hitting that sweet spot increases the likelihood that your loyal fans will engage with your content – which can lead to better visibility in more of your fans’ newsfeeds, which can lead to even more engagement, which can lead to even more visibility…you see where this is going. It’s a sort of snowball effect. So how do you find that sweet spot? With some simple data that you already have (yup!) and a little testing.
Pinpoint when more of your fans are online
Facebook Insights has a lot of great features and one of my favorites is the When Your Fans Are Online section, found at the top of the Posts section.
Check which days have the highest numbers and hover over the specific day to see how the timing changes on those specific days. Test posting more frequently at those high points to see if that increases reach and engagement.
Next time you’re getting ready to post something to your page, take a look at your Insights. If it looks like more people are likely to be online later that day or the next morning, schedule your post to go up then.
Look back at what’s worked
After a month or more of testing posting times, look back at your posts to see if certain times worked better than others. Facebook Insights comes in handy here again. In the Posts section you can view a full list of content and performance metrics. Are you seeing more engagement on Sunday mornings vs. Friday afternoons on image types of posts? Post content plays a big role, so that’s important to keep in mind as well.
Just because fans are online doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to be engaged. For the average person, time spent online during a weekday is different than time spent on a Saturday or Sunday. MarketingProfs summed up findings from a recent TrackMaven content timing report best, “The most popular days and times that brands post content to various marketing channels aren’t necessarily the most effective.”
It’s easy to build theories about when we think the best time might be, but every audience is different. Testing is the only way to see what works. This doesn’t have to be a science with spreadsheets and data analysis (although I do love both of those things). As you continue to test different days and times more regularly, you’ll get a natural feel for what works better based on real time response alone.