best time to post on facebook
best time to post on facebook

When is the Best Time to Post on Facebook?

I can’t begin to count the number of studies I’ve read that claim they know the best time to post on Facebook.

While most of these studies conflict with one another, they also consistently conflict with my own analysis. This may not be what you want to hear, but the best time to post depends on your business and your audience. With a little extra effort and a little creative thinking, you can determine the best time for you.

How can you determine the best time for your business?

Focus on understanding your audience

Research shows that a Facebook post receives half of its reach within 30 minutes. Consequently, you should try to determine when your fans are on Facebook and aim to schedule your posts around that time.

Step 1: Determine who your audience is

Look at your Facebook demographics. They may be different than you think. You can review the age range and gender break down by opening your Facebook Insights and visiting the “Likes” tab. If you have multiple locations or a large customer base, you will want to review the location of your audience as they may be spread across various time zones.

Step: 2: Think about what their day looks like

Now that you know the demographic of your audience, think about their day — is your typical fan a mom? A student? Likely to work at 9-5 job? All of these factors can help determine the best time to post on your page.

Step 3: Apply what you know

Use the information you now have about your audience to post effectively. These Facebook statistics might also help provide more insight about posting best practices.

Facebook statistics about usage

Today, more people access Facebook from a mobile device than a desktop — 751 million monthly active users to be exact. Smartphone owners even spend more time checking Facebook on their mobile device than they do using Google. (For those who are skeptical about their fans viewing their Facebook content via mobile, don’t worry. You can check it all out in Facebook Insights.)

Think about this…80 percent of 18-44 year olds check their smartphone as soon as they wake up. It’s likely that your fans are reaching for their phones and scanning their newsfeed as they start their day. This creates an optimal time to post. In the last month or so, I’ve tested posting between the hours of 6:30-8:30am on the Constant Contact Facebook Page and have seen great results.

Smartphone owners tend to reach for their phones around meal times and 86 percent of mobile internet users report using their device while watching TV. These individuals also spend almost double their time accessing social media via a mobile device on the weekends compared to weekdays. Don’t jump to any conclusions just yet though. Weekends and weekdays, between 5:00-8:00pm, aren’t necessarily the optimal time to post because of newsfeed competition. During these hours, you’re likely to compete with your fans’ hundreds of friends and the other brands they follow.

On the Constant Contact Facebook Page, I’ve noticed that our posts receive the most engagement during off-peak hours when less overall posting is going on. Try to find your engagement sweet spot by determining the intersection of time when the majority of your audience is on Facebook and the time when the least overall posting is occurring.

Studies have also shown that more than half of users only access Facebook when they’re not at work or school. Also, the hours that people are commuting to and from work shows mobile usage peaks. Although it’s not safe if they’re driving, many mobile social media users are checking their phones on the way to work, which creates a great time to post about your business.

Let’s review. When is a good time to post on Facebook?

Early morning

χ During work (9am – 5pm)

Between work and dinner

χ After dinner (TV time)

 Bedtime

χ Weekends

The bottom line?

The best time to post on Facebook is when your audience will see it. And this is going to be unique to you and your business.

Using Facebook Insights

If you want to analyze actual numbers to determine if past posting times (or if trying new posting times) are working effectively, simply follow these steps for using Facebook Insights.

1.  Export the “Post level data” from Facebook Insights for your preferred time period.

2.  Open the Post level data in Excel within the “Lifetime Post Stories by action” tab (the third tab) and delete all columns except D, H, I, J, and K. Don’t delete E if you’re interested in seeing what types of posts work well for your audience.

Note: This does not include clicks on links. It includes only “Likes,” comments, and shares. To review link clicks, simply review the same columns in the fourth tab in “Lifetime Post consumers by type.”

Don’t forget, timing isn’t everything! Determining the ultimate time to post on Facebook won’t increase your engagement if your content isn’t engaging.

Comments:

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  1. excellent job in understanding the power and usefulness of the Facebook “Insights”. Thank you Constant Contacts for doing an amazing coaching.

    Reply
  2. I just did a social media seminar for artists and small arts orgs in Seattle, and I said precisely the same thing. So encouraging to hear another expert say the same!

    Reply
  3. [...] Van Grove believes the hashtag symbol is Facebook’s “obvious hole.” Danielle Cormier suggests the best time for posting Facebook updates, and Jefferson Graham shares what’s new on Facebook for small [...]

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  4. Excellent analysis!

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  5. Master eMailSmith •

    Hi Danielle…

    Excellent analysis – and you’re right, there are different groups of people, with different demographics and customs… So not a one-size-fits-all type of answer here.

    Personally, I tend to look at the times when people are most active in the FB groups I’m joining.
    Chances are, people with the same interests as myself (basically my ideal audience) will be there too.
    When I notice a peak in activity, then THAT is a good time to post something engaging myself.

    What do you think of my method?

    Steve ✉ Master eMailSmith ✉ Lorenzo # Chief Editor #
    eMail Tips Daily Newsletter ✉ http://eMailTipsDaily.com

    Reply
    • Hi Steve, If you feel like the people in the Facebook groups are similar to your audience then that would definitely be a good time to test. However, if the group members have the group notifications turned on, they might be going directly to the group and not their news feed. It’s worth a test though!

      Reply
  6. I manage two pages with entirely different audiences. One page has a consistent social profile throughout the day (although I’m seeing a a male/female difference during certain hours, and other business pages are more active during the day) but on the other page, I have an older more conservative audience during the day, and a younger edgier audience at night. Knowing when to post is important, but also knowing what type of posts fare best during different day parts is valuable as well.

    Reply
    • You should test posting the same post targeted at females and then at males during the times you’re seeing the most engagement from each sex.

      Thanks for sharing your observations, they definitely reiterate that there is no universal best time to post on Facebook!

      Reply
  7. [...] Grove believes the hashtag symbol is Facebook’s “obvious hole.” Danielle Cormier suggests the best time for posting Facebook updates, and Jefferson Graham shares what’s new on Facebook for small [...]

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  8. loved this post, super-helpful and well written.

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  9. semfuze •

    I’ve actually found that sharing content on social media during “After dinner (TV time)”, when targeting the 16-25 age group, to be pretty successful.

    Reply
  10. Saturday in the mornings tend to work best for me :)
    It definitely varies a lot by industry and demographics

    Reply
    • Danielle Cormier •

      Absolutely. Sunday nights are great for the Constant Contact page but the rest of the weekend typically has a lower engagement rate.

      Reply
  11. Can anyone share with me how to change the time facebook has set up in my fanpage? I mean, when I downloaded the insights into excel, I got a time for each post. How do I know what time is that? For instance, 9:10 AM. Is that GMT – 4, GMT, GMT +1?? And then, how can I set the time to match the time of my audience? Thanks for the comments in advance.

    Reply
    • Danielle Cormier •

      Hi Fabio, when you export your Facebook Insights the time zone is PDT (because this is where Facebook’s headquaters is). Which would be GMT -8..

      Reply
  12. dfieldmba •

    Great article, Danielle. Very insightful! Is there any way I can email you screen shots of my company’s Insights pages and you can help me decipher this information?

    Reply
  13. Facebook now shows you the times that your audience is most engaged, check it out on your insight page. I was surprised, I thought it would be slower when people were at work but it is not. Clearly everyone is on Facebook at work!!

    Reply
  14. Among all of the blog posts about SMM with Facebook, this is so far the best for me. It’s a must to try your suggestions. These make sense to me! Thank you

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  15. Very direct and I enjoyed the article and will be testing my business audience soon. Thank you

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  16. Thank you! I really enjoy this article. I have taken a number of thinks into consideration after reading and realize that I need to take a different approach on Facebook.

    Thanks again, all the best!

    Reply
  17. Very informative post! It would be hard to set up a test to obtain conclusive results though, unless I made the same post to the same page every hour of the day, which would pi** off the audience. I can try to vary up my posting times to get a feeling of when the optimal times are, but if a post doesn’t get a lot of likes etc. it may not be because of the posting time, but because the content just isn’t interesting (as you’ve pointed out at the end of your article). Still, your post has inspired me to start testing. Thanks so much for sharing your insight!

    Reply
    • Danielle Cormier •

      The formula for success for Facebook begins with showing your fans that you genuinely care about them. Focus on creating quality content by starting a conversation and creating a meaningful community of folks that share a common interest (your business). I wrote a bit more about this in another post: http://blogs.constantcontact.com/product-blogs/social-media-marketing/socially-shareable-content/

      You’re right, an absolute conclusive result may not be feasible but by testing you can come closer to the perfect time period to post content. Good luck with your testing, let us know how it works out!

      Reply
  18. Such a well written and informative piece. Also, the perfect length for my fast brain:-)
    Well done!

    Reply
  19. This is an excellent post and I value all the information. I will try it tomorrow. Thank you!

    Reply
  20. Excellent post Danielle Cormier. Well written & to the point. I specially go with point 2 & about taking a look at Facebook analytic. In my opinion I feel, time between 12 -1;30 noon is & evening time 5-5:30 is the best time to share your post & content on facebook with your friends. That’s the time when majority of people are online & your post,image etc let it be anything get the maximum hits & exposure.

    Keep posting such interesting post.

    Reply
    • Danielle Cormier •

      Thank you, Arjunsinh!

      The only problem with those times is the heavy newsfeed competition! More of your fans may be online but your content could get lost in the noise. Another reason quality/engaging content is critical!

      Reply
  21. This was exactly what I needed! Thx!

    Reply
  22. Just what I was looking for. Will try it 2morrow! :)

    Reply
  23. Maxine •

    I somehow stumbled upon constant contact today, 2:45 am EST, and it has blown my mind! I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot!..lol I’ve finally found answers to almost all of the questions I’ve had about using social media to grow my business and just growing it in general, as well as the things to be careful of and or avoid! This particular article was interesting though because I’ve noticed the various amt of responses to posts on my personal FB page and have thought everything that was discussed in the article…lol Glad to see I was right! ;-) Thank you so very much for this site and it’s content! I am sooooo very glad that I stayed up late and was doing research instead of this order I need to finish…lol The research I started off doing tonight led me to so many valuable resources, including your site, that I know are all truly a blessing! I’ve already had the feeling that things with my business are about to change for the better and I realize that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing tonight! Looking forward to reading all of the other posts I’ve bookmarked and interacting/networking with everyone and asking a ton of questions!..lol Thank you again!!

    Reply
  24. […] to Constant Contact, the best times to post […]

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  25. I think this is a great point. I also work with an international audience. I find recycling posts helps a lot. And by this I mean sharing the same link multiple times throughout the day and even sharing posts again months later. I just make sure to diversify the timing in order to reach my entire audience. Then it’s a matter of figuring out what times and posts received the most clicks overall and what works best for you.

    Reply
  26. Hello Danielle,
    This is probably the most accurate article that I have read regarding the optimal times to engage with your audience on Social Networks. I have been guilty of trying to find “when-to” statistics and like yourself have come into a plethora of varying opinions. The truth is that I really wanted some solid statistics so that I wouldn’t have to do the research myself, which is not the right way of doing things, but it was an attempt to take a shorter route. You’re absolutely right, you have to get to know your unique and specific audience and tailor your strategy to them. Well written and thought out. Thank you.
    http://www.appsgeneral.com
    http://freshlocalmarketing.com

    Reply
    • Danielle Cormier •

      Thank you Carlton! That’s exactly the point I was trying to convey. :)

      Reply
  27. […] You can then take what you’ve learned from these insights and what you know about your audience’s demographics and habits to determine the best time to post on Facebook. […]

    Reply
  28. You’re absolutely right. Its easy to follow data for the right times to post, but each to their own. Everyone’s social activity can differ

    Reply
  29. You’re the first person I’ve heard suggest early morning posts and it makes so much sense! I plan on testing that our with our followers. Quick question: Do you find that early morning engagement is limited to likes and shares? Do people take the time to follow a link or post a comment? They may not have time to engage if they’re getting ready for work. I’m asking because I want to post a survey which would require about 3-5 minutes from the user.

    Reply
  30. On Facebook mobile now, on the arrow next to a post. It shows I do not want too see this post and unfollow. It makes it too easy to not see people’s posts. I assume this happened to me. Nobody sees my posts for some reason. Not everyone can put you on receive notifications. They need to change this

    Reply
  31. […] far as when to post – some experts say mid-afternoon, and only on weekdays; others say weekends and early mornings are great, and that there is no one good time. Some say no more than once a day, others encourage more frequent posting. Experiment and see what […]

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  32. Very helpful!! Thank you for this :)

    Reply
  33. This is great info! I manage a law firm page and my problem is when I go to the Posts tab within Insights I get this message: “Data for When Your Fans Are Online is not available.” Any insight, Danielle?

    Reply
  34. Thank you! I really enjoy this article.

    Reply
  35. […] social media community manager at Constant Contact, Danielle Cormier, said in a recent article, “Research shows that a Facebook post receives half of its reach within 30 minutes. […]

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  36. Thanks for advices! Really Facebook posts work in very short time-frame, so it should be measured very careful. You can’t just go and spam your subscribers, friends and communities with posts every 5 minutes.

    Reply
  37. Some great pointers on when to post on Facebook Danielle. Like everything else in life, timing is everything in terms of Facebook post reach and engagement.

    We also test and use Facebook insights to adjust. We have had some success with limited use of #hashtags (usually no more than one and at most two per post).

    .30 CPF is compelling indeed :)

    Reply

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