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Audience behavior on Facebook can be unpredictable. You can’t control whether or not your audience engages with your posts. All you can do is control the content you publish and when. In this post, we look at the “general” best times to post on Facebook for better engagement, along with some tips on how to boost overall Facebook engagement.
What the Data Shows
Looking to post at optimal times? Well, you’re not alone in your search for the best time to post on Facebook. Many studies have tried and tried again narrowing it down to one magic time slot. The problem? They all got different answers.
According to Hubspot, the best time to post across all industries is around 9 am when most people are starting their workday. Then there is CoSchedule which has a lengthy list of the best posting times for different industries; with the morning being one of the more popular times across their entire list.
While the times identified by each company aren’t really that far off from each other, the discrepancies point to there being no magic time to post on Facebook.
Why There’s Not a Single Best Time to Post on Facebook
Since every Facebook audience is different, their online behaviors are different. To reach as many of your audience as possible, think about the behaviors you use for targeting your Facebook ads and content. If you’re targeting students, the best times to post on Facebook will likely be late afternoon. If your audience is mainly working professionals, in the morning.
And then there’s the issue of competition. If everyone posts on Thursday at 2 pm, there’s a chance your content will get lost in the shuffle, never to be seen or engaged with by your target audience, even though that was the “best” time to post.
How to Find the Best Time to Post on Facebook for YOUR Audience
With this knowledge in mind, how can you find the best time to post on Facebook for your audience? The answer is simple. By studying their behavior, of course!
Start by checking your Facebook analytics to see when your audience is online and try posting at these times. Facebook gives you all that data for a reason! When it comes to digital marketing, it’s often best to rely on your own data over big studies, as your analytics are the most relevant to your audience.
Here’s how to find your page’s best posting time:
Go to your Facebook page, tap ‘Insights’, then tap ‘Posts’ on the menu on the left. Tap the tab at the top that says ‘When your fans are online.’ This tab will show you how much of your audience is online on a given day and time. And that’s when you want to post!
Timing is not always everything. Let's not forget about relevancy. Most posts perform best when they are relevant to the audience. For example, if you’re posting about an event that’s going on, it’s best not to wait till that event is over to post simply because you are waiting for the “best” time to post. Even if it contradicts your “best time,” post when the content is most relevant, and timely, and keep track of your analytics to gauge how this strategy performs in the long run.
If your account isn’t big enough for Facebook to provide audience insights, think about what your audience does on a daily basis and test times when they catch a break. This method will mainly be trial and error, but the more engagement you get, the more insights Facebook will provide!
Related: Best Times to Post on Instagram
How to Increase Engagement on Facebook
Posting at the optimal time is the first step to increasing Facebook engagement. Beyond this, it all comes down to your content. Create quality content catered to the interests of your target audience. Your content isn’t really about you or your business-- it’s about what your audience wants to see.
And don’t just guess what they want. Figure out what content performs best by analyzing your most popular posts. Dissect the posts to understand why they did so well, then apply these elements to your future content. This might take a bit of trial and error.
Prioritize video and always include a photo in your posts. Every audience is different, but video is typically the best performing post type on Facebook for everyone. And skip the video link sharing; make sure you’re posting your videos straight to Facebook’s native platform, as these perform better than links. After all, Facebook wants to keep people on their platform, not direct them to another place.
One is not enough! Try posting more videos, short or long, and create a schedule for going live. Facebook Live videos get an average of 101,362 engagements. While it might take you a while to reach that number, going live is one of the best ways to boost your engagement and grow your audience over time.
Finally, if you want your audience to engage with you, you have to engage with them, too. It’s called “social” media for a reason. Include conversation-starting calls to action (CTAs) in your captions. The best way to do this is by asking questions. When you get comments and replies, keep the conversation going! Stay online and reply to commenters. This will show them you care about what they have to say.
Now that you know when and what to post, it’s time to get scheduling. Head to PLANOLY to schedule and auto-post your content!