[tweetmeme]One of the questions I get asked most from my clients with regards to Facebook, is “When and how often should I post?” If you’re using Facebook for business, the answer to this question is: “Post when your target audience is on Facebook.”
Now, don’t excited. I’m not being flip when I say that. It really does depend on your customer or prospect. If you’re marketing products to teachers, for example, it doesn’t make sense to post during the school day. They’re not going to be on Facebook then. But after 6 pm… well, that’s another story.
Experiment & Use Facebook Insights to Determine Posting Times
So how do you figure out when your audience is on Facebook? You can certainly experiment by posting at different times of the day, and on different days of the week to see when you get the most “likes” and “comments.” Facebook Insights provides data that you can export to an Excel spreadsheet to review. Here’s a sample of what the data looks like before you export it:
I recently reviewed the last four months of data from my business page and found that my most popular days for comments and likes were Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I typically got the most comments in the early afternoon and evening.
Midweek is a Good Time for Facebook Engagement
If you’re just getting started with a Facebook page, you’ll have to experiment, but there have been several studies on the best time to post that you can use as a guide. Vitrue analyzed Facebook post data from August 10, 2007 to October 10, 2010 from more than 1,500 brand streams — more than 1.64 million posts and 7.56 million comments in all (not including shares and “likes”). They found:
* The three biggest usage spikes tend to occur on weekdays at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET.
* The biggest spike occurs at 3:00 p.m. ET on weekdays.
* Weekday usage is pretty steady, however Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET is consistently the busiest period.
* Fans are less active on Sunday compared to all other days of the week.
KissMetrics used data supplied by Dan Zarella and found that Saturday at noon is the absolute best time to post on Facebook. However, I don’t think this applies in the summer! 🙂
Post Outside Business Hours for Best Results
Then there’s a report that BuddyMedia put together called “Strategies for Effective Facebook Wall Posts: A Statistical Review.” BuddyMedia found that brands that posted outside of business hours (early morning, at the end of the workd day, and late at night) had engagement rates 20% higher than average. The report also found that the days for highest engagement were Thursday and Friday.
However, BuddyMedia found that this activity varied by industry. For instance, it found that the businesses in the entertainment industry should post on the weekend, while fashion, healthcare and beauty companies should post on Thursday for best engagement.
What’s your experience been like with Facebook? I’d love to know which days or times work best for you.