When is the best time to make a Facebook post?

As any Social Media Manager will tell you, Facebook fans don’t operate on business hours. It could be 3 in the morning and someone somewhere will always be interacting with your brand. So with all this constant activity, when is the best time to make a post to ensure the highest level of engagement? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t simple. But new research reports released this month do give us some clues.

Starting at the beginning, how long is the life of a Facebook post? According to a new report from Wisemetrics, it’s only two hours. Within the first two hours of making a post 75% of your audience will likely have seen your message. From then on it’s buried deep into their timelines and can take another 9 hours for the remaining 25% to see it – if they do at all.

Don’t waste your time 

The reality is that the perfect time to make a post is when YOUR fan base is most active. This will change from brand to brand and page to page. Have a look at your insights page to determine what time of day your posts get the most activity. It might be mid-morning; it might be midnight. It all comes down to your particular fan base.

However if you haven’t been testing different post times, or you are setting up for the first time, there has been plenty of research into the best times to post on different platforms. However when it comes to Facebook, the general consensus is:

When to post:

  • Early in the morning – 80% of Smartphone owners check their phone as soon as they wake up.
  • Between work and dinner – This is capturing both the people who can’t Facebook at work, and those who have long commutes on public transport.
  • Bedtime – More people now access Facebook from their mobile than the web.

When not to post:

  • After dinner – This is when Facebook gets most active, which means you now have to fight for attention between user posts.
  • During work – Studies have also shown that more than half of users only access Facebook when they’re not at work or school.
  • Weekends – In general, try to avoid weekend posts. However there are some brands for which weekend posts work well (see below).

The key is to remember the two-hour window. In order to optimise your post’s chance of engagement, you need to ensure that you are not only posting in the keys times, but also allowing enough of a buffer for a significant amount of your fan base to see it.

Seize the day

Just like the time you post, the day you post can be equally if not more important. Again, it all comes down to when YOUR fan base is the most active. Although there is research is on hand to give you further guidance. A report from LinchPinSEO shows that different brands will find better success on different days. In short:

  • Automotive: Saturdays and Sundays
  • Clothing and Fashion: Thursdays, Saturdays and Wednesdays
  • Consumer Packaged Goods: Sundays, Saturdays and Wednesdays
  • General Retail: Mondays, Fridays and Tuesdays
  • Health and Beauty: Mondays, Sundays and Saturdays
  • Technology: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Entertainment: Sundays and Mondays
  • Finance: Mondays, Fridays and Sundays nights
  • Food and Beverage: Saturdays and Sundays
  • Not for profits: Thursday nights, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • News and Publishing: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and late Sunday
  • Telcos: Fridays, Sundays and Mondays
  • Travel: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and peaking on Sundays.

That same report also found that brands and companies that posted more than 7 times per week saw a 25% drop in engagement levels.

Plan ahead

The chances are the best times fall outside your 9 to 5 workday. Luckily Facebook is on hand to let you plan ahead. They now have a built-in scheduler to help you plan your posts down to the minute in a of set-and-forget sort of way.

To utilise Facebook’s scheduler, simply make your post as normal – but rather then pressing post, click the little clock icon at the bottom left of the box instead. You then simply pick the time, day, month and even year you want you post to appear. And there you have it. You can go home rest assured that your night owl fans will be fully engaged at 3am.

When it comes to Facebook there isn’t one single time of day that works for all brands. The key really is to do a bit of trail and error to see when your fan base is most engaged.

Wisemetrics‘s report indicates 75% of users see a post in 2 hours or less.