Social Media has become one of the best ways to build your brand and reach targeted audiences that want to hear what you have to say. Most businesses today have established an online presence on at least one major platform in order to amplify their message and communicate directly with customers and prospects.
While it’s known as being an effective means of advertising and engaging, social media can also be an enigma for many companies. A lot of time and resources are spent creating unique, compelling and engagement-worthy content, but if it’s posted at the wrong time, it may never be seen. We know that posting whenever you feel like it isn’t a winning strategy - so when is the best time to post? In this 3-part series, we’ll look at the latest research and explore optimal posting times and strategies for the top social media platforms - LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Do I need to use Facebook?
If you are considering using Facebook to promote your business, the short answer is, it depends. Forbes asked three different social media experts and got three very different answers. Jay Oatway, author of Mastering Story, Community and Influence: How to Use Social Media to Become a Social Leader, said “Every social network has its own unique culture. The Facebook culture is still, despite years of trying to professionalize it, very much like that of a college dorm. This may not be a good fit for every business. But every business should look for a social network that suits them.” One point on which the three experts did agree was that if Facebook ends up being the right platform for your business, it is wise to set up a business page rather than use an existing personal one.
Business page vs. Personal page
If you’re not familiar with the differences between a Facebook business page and a personal page, think if it as a simple way of keeping your personal information and your business information separated. We all know there are things we talk about with close friends and family that we wouldn’t talk about in a professional environment. Facebook, fortunately, has made it easy to do that online as well.
There are even more benefits to setting up a business page:
- Advertising ability
- Unlimited friend count
- Access to Facebook Insights for analytics
- Ability to collect reviews
What days should I post on Facebook?
Every audience is different and it is highly recommended that you test out a few posts and gauge your own engagement rates, however, several studies have been conducted and that data does tell an interesting story. The best marketers know the goal is to deliver content at a time when your target audience is most likely to notice it – and has time to engage. Facebook tends to be a mixed demographic, and we see that reflected in the data.
A 2017 Huffington Post study suggests that the best days to post on Facebook are Thursday and Friday, with Monday through to Wednesday getting the lowest engagement rates. In addition, Facebook spikes by 10 percent on Fridays.
What times should I post on Facebook?
We know that nobody operates on the same schedule. Nor does everyone check their social media at the same time of day. According to that same Huffington Post study, generally speaking, the best time of day to post on Facebook is between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and more broadly, 9 a.m. through to 7 p.m. This is in line with the fact that the Facebook demographic is very diverse and consists of both B2B and B2C audiences.
What are best practices for posting on Facebook?
In addition to days and times, there are several ways to optimize your social media posting strategy:
- Post consistently. The consensus seems to be at least 1x per day for Facebook.
- Provide a variety of content (real pictures, product news, thought leadership, etc.) and rotate those types on a schedule
- Regularly monitor and respond to comments and questions posted on your page
- Take advantage of the built-in scheduling feature to better plan your content strategy
- When using pictures or images, make sure to size them according to Facebook specifications. We know it’s a pain having to resize for each platform, but it provides a better user experience when visuals are easy to see
Based on the overall data, the sweet spot for posting on Facebook is Friday from 1-3pm. That, of course, is not a one-size-fits all model and should be tested to make sure you are seeing the results you want. A lot of research has been collected, but it is important not to become too reliant on it, instead use it as a guide. If you listen to what your users tell you, you’ll find your optimal time to post to Facebook.
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