Social Media Today had a great article responding to one of social marketings most burning questions:
The answer? There is no one “best time” that works for everyone. Even if there was it wouldn’t last because having everybody crowd Facebook to post at the same time would make getting your post noticed very competitive. Various businesses have different targets and an effective posting schedule for any business is one that identifies the sweet spot for their particular audience. The article made an interesting point that the sweet spot to engagements and impressions is the “intersection of time when the majority of your audience is on Facebook and the time when the least overall posting is occurring.” Off-peak time posts often receive the most engagement because they’re avoiding the competition of crowded news feed mentioned before.
All hope is not lost! It is possible to find your key posting times, however you have to put some work into it. I know I know, with all the glitz and glamor of being an internet marketer we shouldn’t have to do more work than quick Google image search for an infographic with the best times already on it. The good news is the article outlined some really great steps to finding your sweet spot. 😉
1. Determine who your audience is. So, to state the obvious, if you’re going to be marketing anything you need to find your demographic and then target them. The better you understand who you are trying to reach and who your reaching the better you can understand when to reach them. Facebook Insights provides useful demographics like locations, ages, gender that will help you hone in on your demographic.
2. Think about what their day looks like. Once you know who they are think about what they’re doing. Are they a student, mom, working 9-5? All of these schedules affect when the best time to post for different groups is.
3. Apply what you know. Use what you find to do what you do.
Do not underestimate the power of Facebook Insights. When I was developing a posting schedule for my club’s Facebook I did some research about the typical peak social times for college students but what really helped was simply posting at different times during the day for a couple weeks. This allowed me to enough data to see when my peak engagement/impression times were for my audience. After identifying that I was able to narrow down to two posting times a day and increase my overall engagement. My impressions went up on average 30% weekly after I consistently started using the posting schedule I derived from Facebook insights.
This article was a little dated so I’d like to further emphasize the importance of great content when social marketing. Facebook keeps posts with higher engagement at the top of the news feed. You need to focus on creating content your users want to engage with to make sure you continue to reach your audience. You can also use Facebook Insights to identify which kinds of posts gets the highest engagement and tailor your content to that. The perfect time won’t matter if you don’t have the perfect content to match.