Just a quick search on Google will bring up thousands of articles discussing the “best time” to post to Facebook. While that would make our jobs so much easier, I hate to say that there simply isn’t a single best time to share to social media.
Here are just a few examples of times that some of the pros say you should be posting on Facebook:
- Thursdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. [Hubspot]
- Thursday at 8 p.m. [TrackMaven]
- 1–4 p.m. late into the week and on weekends [CoSchedule]
- Early afternoon during the week and Saturdays [Buffer]
- Off-peak times [Buzzsum0]
We don’t doubt that these studies are based on sound logic and can potentially be helpful to point marketers in the right direction. But almost every study reveals a different ‘best time to post’ and we firmly believe there’s no perfect time to post to Facebook (or any social channel for that matter).
Why, you ask? Well, the best time to post depends on a number of factors that vary for every business: What’s your industry? Where is your audience based? When are they online? When do they typically consume the type of content you’re publishing? And, are you sponsoring your post?
Instead of looking for a universal ‘best time to post’, businesses should instead be focusing on when the best time for their brand to post is.
Why There’s No Perfect Time To Post On Facebook
On their Business blog, Facebook’s VP of Advertising Technology, Brian Boland explains:
On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.
As a result, competition in News Feed — the place on Facebook where people view content from their family and friends, as well as businesses — is increasing, and it’s becoming harder for any story to gain exposure in News Feed.
So, when a business posts to Facebook, they’re essentially competing against at least 1,500 other posts. Furthermore, timing is only one of the factors that determines where your post will appear.
Consider this: What if you read a Hubspot post which says that the best time to publish on Facebook is Fridays at 6pm. You could start posting your content at this time, but other business owners may have read the same post. Now if multiple brands were also starting to post at this time, it’s likely that very few of those posts would be seen due to such high competition. The same is true for saying that it’s best to publish at off-peak times – if all brands post during off-peak hours, there will be more competition, and so they should go back to posting at peak time. And so the circle continues.
If there’s no ‘perfect’ time to post, how do you decide when to post on Facebook?
If I’ve learned anything from market research, I’ve learned that the best data is always your own. Thankfully, Facebook has a ton of data available for all page owners and admins; and it all lies in Facebook Insights.
A comprehensive understanding of your own audience and how your content is performing will bring more success than insights drawn from studies on a wide variety of Pages from many different industries and brands.
If you want to succeed on Facebook, your content will be the most important factor. Not the time it’s posted. Of course, timing can have an effect on performance if the post is timely or more relevant at set time – such as content aimed at reaching sports fans at the time when games are happening. But largely, your social media success relies on the strength of your content.