When Should I Post on Facebook – The DIY Version

This is one of the most frequently asked questions by my clients.  And one for which many seem to want a simple answer, like 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

A year ago, some social media consultants firmly stated that 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. was the ideal time to post on Facebook. Some even have specific posting rules, like this blog post which urges you to “post on the 9s” – 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The real answer used to be far more complicated for small organizations who are managing Facebook pages without the benefit of scheduling and analysis tools, but now you can do it yourself and, if you take some time to test and analyze, can find out which posts get the best results when your fans are online.

This is easier now with one of the enhancements on your Facebook Insights for Company Pages.  If you have a Company Page with 50 or more fans, you can see a chart like the one below by going to View Insights, then click on the Posts tab.

Example 1: New Fan Page

facebookchartsmallpage

This chart shows a new page which has just reached 50 fans.  It tells you which day of the week most of its fans are online and the second part of the graph shows the times which they are online.  If you hover over a day of the week, you get an additional line of information which tells you the activity for that specific day.  For this little page, the times of the week when most of the fans are online are:

Monday, 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Wednesday, noon and 3-6 p.m.

Friday, 3-6 p.m.

Example 2: Established Company Page

facebookchartlargepage

The second chart shows a larger page with more than 1,000 fans. For this page, the most number of fans are online during these days and times:

Wednesday, 4 – 9 p.m.

Friday, 3 – 9 p.m.

Saturday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

These two pages have no “optimum posting times” in common. That’s why the Insights are so valuable. So if you are a doing your social media campaigns without benefit of fancy tools, try posting during those times and see if you are getting a better reach.  To really test your theory, drop the stats for each post into a spreadsheet and you might even narrow it down further. But keep in mind that optimum posting times are not set in stone. The best day of the week or time of day can change from one month to the next. So what is the best time to post on YOUR Facebook page?