As business owners and marketers, we are constantly trying to get our messages in front of potential clients. In the social media world, we know that the game is always changing and evolving. Which means it gets real difficult to stay on top of trends and what’s working. That leads us to searching the web and reading reports to save us time and money in hopes of finding some new little golden nugget of knowledge. Over the last few years, a nugget that has constantly been debated is the idea of, “When is the best time to post on Facebook and other social media channels”.
In theory, trying to post at the “optimal best time” sounds like a good idea. But we are here to tell you why that probably won’t work.
What is the Best Time to Post on Facebook?
There has been a lot of research done on the topic of the optimal time to post. Some of the social media marketing juggernauts were kind enough to share there research on this topic. Their research is based on the goal of trying to reach more of your audience and get more engagement (likes, comments, and shares). Here’s what they say are the best times to post.
- Hubspot says Thursday and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- TrackMaven says Thursday at 8 p.m.
- CoSchedule says 1-4 p.m. late into the week and on weekends
- Buffer says Early afternoon during the week and Saturdays
- Buzzsumo says off-peak times are best
Based on the above research, you can assume that later in the afternoon is ideally the best time to post. This makes perfect logical sense. Many people are at work, and they hit that afternoon slump. They don’t feel like working anymore so why not log on to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc and see what’s happening there. As a business owner or marketer, it sounds like a great idea to share or schedule your content to be shared at that time, right? Hold on, there’s more to this equation…
The Facebook News Feed Algorithm
It shouldn’t be a surprise that there’s more shared content competition on Facebook than ever before. Meaning, everyone is sharing their content, which is resulting in less screen time for each post. When you look at the overall organic reach of your posts on Facebook, you’ll probably see that it has been declining.
The VP of Advertising Technology of Facebook, Brian Boland wrote about this on Facebook’s business blog. He said:
“There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. 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.”
Basically, anytime you post to Facebook, your content could be competing against 15,000 other pieces of content!
The Big Picture
When you combine the fact there’s increasing competition for content on Facebook, with the idea that many social media experts are all suggesting that you share your content at a certain time; this creates the perfect storm for your content to be missed. Think about it. If everyone is sharing their content on afternoons, it’s only going to increase that potential 15,000 other pieces of content. That’s why following the “Best Time to Post on Facebook” approach won’t work. Simply put, there is no best time to post.
In fact, following that strategy might actually continue to decline your organic reach on Facebook. But don’t worry, there’s no need to get frustrated. There is still hope.
A Better Strategy
Instead of following the advice of others on the best time to post on Facebook Twitter, or Instagram, why not use your own data to make those decisions. Jump into your Facebook Insights and look at when your audience is online. Search through your Twitter and Instagram analytics and base your decision off of your own data. Find out what is currently working for you right now!
As you search through the data, look at the type of content they are engaging with. Are they reacting to visual content (pictures/photo quotes), links, text updates, videos, etc? See if you can draw any conclusions as to a time of day or day of the week when you’re getting a greater return on your efforts. We bet you’ll quickly be able to see that certain types of content are performing better than others.
Also, don’t be fooled into thinking that finding a good time to post will always work. As you go through your own data, also look at the quality of the content as well. If you let your quality of content slip, then so will the results. Always ask yourself if the content is worth sharing. If you have great quality content, the time you share it, won’t matter as much.
If you’re truly want the best time to post on Facebook, the best data you can possibly use to get a greater return from your social media marketing efforts is your own data. Find what’s working and share more content like similar to that.
We Can Help Your Business
The social media world is constantly changing and you have to change with it. We know it’s a constant struggle and it can be exhausting trying to follow things. If you or your business are tired of getting lack luster results, why not work with professionals that follow the trends and know how to get results. We can help you. We love all things social media and can help you get your message in front of your fans. Just contact us and let’s start a conversation.