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Facebook Posting Times: Best time to post on Facebook, a complete guide

Facebook Posting Times: Best time to post on Facebook, a complete guide
Finding the best Facebook posting times to post on Facebook can massively help your business stand out and reach more of your audience - even as Facebook's organic reach continues to decline.
But knowing the best times to post can be a challenge and we'd love to help.
In this guide, you'll learn exactly how to find the best time to publish content to your Facebook page for maximum reach, exposure and engagement.
Ready?

Facebook Posting Times: Is there a good time to post on Facebook?

There is probably no single best time to post on Facebook.

Many studies that have attempted to uncover a "best time to post on Facebook," Twitter, Instagram, and almost every other social media marketing channel, with each study providing a wide range of results.

According to a Buffer study, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1pm and 3pm during the week and on Saturday. We also found that employment rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays.

However, other studies have found that the best time to publish is on Facebook:

  • Thursdays and Fridays from 1pm to 3pm are the best Facebook posting times to post on Facebook [Hubspot].
  • Thursday at 8:00 p.m. (TrackMaven)
  • 1-4 p.m. late in the week and on weekends [CoSchedule].
  • Off-peak hours [Buzzsum0].

All of these studies can be helpful in pointing marketers in the right direction. But almost every study shows a different "best time to post," and in reality, the best time to post depends on a number of factors specific to each business: What's your industry? What location is your audience based in? When are they online? Are you sponsoring your post?

Why there is no universal best time to post on Facebook.

The content crush is really on us. There is more content shared on Facebook than any of us could ever consume, and so Facebook's News Feed algorithm helps determine what we are being shown every time we open Facebook.

In their business blog, Facebook's VP of Advertising Technology, Brian Boland explains:

On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in the News Feed every time a person logs into Facebook. For people with lots of friends and page likes, up to 15,000 potential stories could appear when they sign in.

As a result, competition in the News Feed - the place on Facebook where people see content from their family and friends, as well as from businesses - is increasing, and it's becoming harder for any story to get noticed in the News Feed.
Whenever you post on Facebook, you're essentially competing with at least 1,500 others who are posting for a spot in the News Feed, and timing is just one of several factors that determine what content appears.

With this in mind, it's also possible that the best Facebook posting times could also be the worst times. Let's say a study found that the best time to post is 6pm on a Friday, and every brand should try to share content for their audience at that time, it's likely that very few of those posts will be seen due to such high competition. The same goes for saying that off-peak is the best time to publish - if all brands publish off-peak, there will be more competition, and therefore they should go back to publishing at peak times.

It's all very convoluted and there is no clear answer. As such, I would argue that there is no particular time that is best to post on Facebook.

So, when should you post on Facebook? A few strategies you can try.

If there's no "best" time to post, how do you decide when to share your content to Facebook?

To answer that question, I think there are two approaches we can use:

  • When your data tells you (feedback)
  • If it's relevant.

1. if your data tells you to

When it comes to marketing and digital strategy, the best data is always your own. And luckily, Facebook has plenty of data available for all page owners and administrators. A comprehensive understanding of your audience on Facebook and how your content is performing will yield more success than generic insights from studies on a variety of pages across a variety of industries and brands.

2. if it's relevant.

This one is a little less scientific. But some content works best in the moment or at a time when it's most relevant. A great example of this is the content that many sports teams share on Facebook to inform fans about scores or breaking news.

The same can be true for your business. Some content will work best when it's relevant. For example, the best time to release content related to the launch of your new product is usually right after the announcement. Or if you had an ad on a local television station, it's best to create and share social content around the same time it airs.

How to use Insights to find the best Facebook posting times to post on Facebook.

If you want to find the best time to publish on Facebook, Facebook Insights is the first best place to start.

To see your page insights, click Insights at the top of your page:

Once you're in the Page Insights dashboard, there's a wealth of data available to you. However, for this post, we're going to dive into a few specific areas to help you figure out when you should publish your content.

How to find out when your fans are online

In the Insights dashboard, select Posts in the left column. This will take you to a detailed breakdown of the days and times your fans are most active on Facebook:

This chart shows the average times over the week. You can hover over each day to get an overview of how that day compares to the averages. Here's an example of how Sundays tend to look for our site (the dark blue line is data for Sunday):

What does this data tell us?

Here at Buffer we can see that our audience is online 7 days a week and that there is no particular day where we see a spike. We can also see that from around 9am the number of online visitors gradually increases until around 4pm where the number drops slightly.

There are many ways to interpret this data. But for me, it would mean that our best times to post during the workday are between 9am and 5pm, when our audience is most active on Facebook. I would recommend testing a variation of times between those hours to see what works and if there is a best time at all.

Another experiment we've tried on the back of this data is posting at off-peak hours. Brian, our social media manager, recently posted when fewer of our audience members are online and we've had some success between 3am and 5am.

How to find Facebook posting times for successful posts

Facebook Insights tracks reach and engagement numbers for every post you publish to your Facebook page, making it the perfect way to find your perfect Facebook posting times. You'll find this data in the same place as the data when your fans are online. Go to your Page Insights, click on Posts and below the graph of when your fans are online, you'll see 'All Posts Published'.

Here, in the "Published" column, you'll see the date and time each post was published to your Facebook page. With this data, keep an eye out for any trends over time. For example, posts published within a certain time tend to get more reach or engagement.

Note: If your posts are sponsored or boosted (as many of us are in the screenshot above), this could also skew your data a bit, as these posts will likely have significantly more reach than organic posts, regardless of when they are published.

What does this data tell us?

Personally, I think our data on the Buffer Facebook Page is pretty inconclusive at the moment. It's clear that posts published between about 10am and 12pm seem to do well, as do posts around 5pm. But I'd like to test a number of other variables before drawing any clear conclusions.

Putting your data into practice

Once you've established your best times for posting on Facebook, it's worth testing those assumptions in the real world. One of the easiest ways to do this is to schedule your Facebook posts - this saves you from opening Facebook and manually posting at each of your best times. Contact Contact us to learn more.

Guide Source: Facebook posting times from Buffer