Understanding the Best Time to Post on Facebook
Timing is everything, and that applies to your Facebook marketing strategy as well. The idea is to publish your posts while your followers are the most active, so you have a better chance of engaging them and driving up your organic reach. In other words, knowing the best time to post on Facebook will help you get the most out of your social media marketing efforts.
With a total of 2.74 billion monthly active users on the platform, it goes without saying that not all of those users will be online at the same time. But people in the same region or with similar lifestyles will likely share similar behavioral patterns. This means they’re probably active on social media around the same time.
This is why it’s crucial to understand the best time to post on Facebook so you know when to schedule your posts and reach your followers when they’re most likely to engage. In this post, you’ll get a detailed guide on the best time to post on Facebook based on sector and industry.
You’ll also discover how to get engagement data for your business in particular, so you can get even more specific with your posting schedule. Let’s dive in.
Studies on the best time to post on Facebook
Multiple studies have tried to narrow down on the best time to post on Facebook for driving engagement. But the results vary from study to study, which makes it all the more confusing. Let’s take a look at what the top studies reveal about optimal post timings on Facebook:
- Buffer – Buffer’s study found that 1 pm – 3 pm on the weekdays and Saturday are the best times to post on Facebook. The team also discovered that Thursdays and Fridays see an 18% higher engagement compared to other days of the week.
- HubSpot – On the other hand, HubSpot’s study considers 9 am to be the best time to post on Facebook across all industries because that’s when people begin working and going online for the day. There’s also an increase in click-through rate between 11 am and 12 pm because that’s when people take their lunch break. As for the best days to post, Thursdays to Sundays win the race in the HubSpot study.
- Sprout Social – While the Buffer and HubSpot studies share common ground between Thursday and Saturday, the Sprout Social study reveals something different. Their analysis found that Wednesday is the best day to post on Facebook overall, with the best times being 11 am and 1 pm – 2 pm on the same day.
The study also found that you get the most consistent engagement between Tuesday and Thursday. But you should avoid scheduling your post before 7 am or after 5 pm because that’s when people are less active.
Considering these top studies, the periods between 11 am and 3 pm from Wednesday to Saturday are generally the safest times to post on Facebook. But the optimal post timing may also vary by geographic location and industry, so you should take that into consideration as well.
Best time to post on Facebook by industry
As mentioned above, the best time to post on Facebook varies by industry. Different industries each have a unique type of audience that uses the platform in different ways. Some industries may have audiences that typically use Facebook at work, while others may have audiences that normally access the platform from their homes.
Similarly, your audience will have certain expectations about when they should receive your updates based on the kind of information you’re providing. For example, news and media companies should prepare to give their followers the latest news early in the morning and in the evening.
As such, audience behavior and engagement time will vary from industry to industry. CoSchedule collated data from 25 studies to assess the best times to post on Facebook for different industries. Although Thursdays to Sundays are the best days across industries, the best hours are slightly different for each industry.
- For B2C businesses – The best hours for B2C businesses are 9 am – 10 am, 12 pm – 1 pm, and 4 pm – 5 pm. These are the hours when people are starting to go online for the day, going on their lunch breaks, and finishing up at work.
- For B2B businesses – The best hours for B2B businesses are 9 am when people have just logged on and are getting ready for the day, and 3 pm – 4 pm when work starts to slow down.
- For software businesses – Like B2B businesses, software companies will get the best results by posting at 9 am when people are just starting to go online for the day. Evenings are also a good time to post, with 3 pm and 5 pm delivering impressive results. According to the Sprout Social study cited earlier, Wednesday between 9 am and 12 pm is the optimal time to post for software and tech companies.
- For healthcare businesses – Although we previously mentioned that posting before 7 am isn’t a good idea, the rule doesn’t apply to healthcare businesses. Many of these businesses have to remain open at all hours of the day to cater to the healthcare needs of the public. So the best times to post on Facebook for them are between 6 am and 7 am, 9 am, and between 11 am and 12 pm.
- For media companies – For media companies, the key to success is providing the audience with the freshest updates at the earliest possible. The goal is to establish themselves as the top resource for the latest news. So the best time to post on Facebook is in the morning around 7 am and then at 11 am. In the evening around 6 pm, they should also provide their audience with new developments that occurred during the day.
- For higher education – In the case of higher education establishments, the best times to post on Facebook will be 8 am when classes start for the day and 12pm when students are on their lunch break. 3 pm is also a good time to post since students have finished their classes for the day.
- For finance – Although CoSchedule didn’t specify the best time to post on Facebook for finance industries, the Sprout Social Study found that they get the most engagement on Wednesday at 12 pm. 9 am – 10 am on weekdays are also generally safe times to post.
So what’s the best time to post?
What’s clear from the varying findings from these studies is that there’s no universal “best time to post” on Facebook for every business. Even if you follow the industry-specific findings, you might still have some trouble getting the kind of engagement you expect because every business is different. So does that mean you should throw these studies out the window? Not necessarily.
If you were to find the best time to post for your business in particular, you’ll have to schedule your posts for every hour of the day throughout the week. And then there’s the whole process of analyzing the results to see which days and hours see the best results.
This can be time-consuming and expensive. But these studies give you a general idea of what post timings you should test first based on what works for other businesses in your industry. They help you narrow down on which hours and days might give you the best results so you know which timings you should prioritize in your experiments.
Additionally, the Facebook Page Insights will help you find out when your fans are online. This gives you an idea of the best times to post on Facebook so you can develop an experimental posting schedule.
Then look at the performance of the posts you’ve published and see which timings tend to drive the most engagement. This will help you come up with a more solid posting schedule to get consistent engagements for your future posts. If the data from Facebook Insights is a bit limited, you can also use third-party social media monitoring tools to get time-related engagement data.
But don’t just stop at engagements either. See which post timings drive the most action in the form of clicks. This is crucial because someone liking your post doesn’t necessarily translate into action or page visits. Sometimes, the user might only have time to quickly browse through their feed and engage with posts.
If they’re on a short break at work or if they’re in transit to and from work, they might not have enough time to click on your link and visit your website. This makes it vital to understand when people are most likely to click on the links you share to Facebook, so you can adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
Use the Rebrandly link analytics to see on which days and hours you get the most clicks from Facebook. And then use this data to come up with a Facebook posting schedule that’s bound to get you optimal engagement and clicks. You can even use this report to track the performance of your branded links on other platforms.
Knowing the best time to post on Facebook is a necessary step if you want more organic visibility and engagement on the platform. Although it won’t be wise to rely on these studies alone, use them as a basis to run your initial test. The goal is to see what works for you specifically and then develop an effective posting schedule based on these results.
What’s the best time to post on Facebook for your business? Let us know in the comments.
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