Written by Elise Dopson

December 8, 2020

Facebook,along with Instagram and Twitter, is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. 

But whilst there’s a good chance that your audience is online at any given time of day, on each social media platform there are some days and times where posts get better engagement than others. 

Publishing your social media content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, at this specific time could help boost engagement, improve your organic reach, and get more ROI from your Facebook content… and stop your other content from going to waste.

So, what are the best times to post on Facebook? 

In this ultimate guide, we’ll share:

  • The best day to post on Facebook
  • The best time to post on Facebook
  • How to find your own optimal posting times

Why does it matter what time I post on Facebook?

Before we dive in, let’s be clear on why finding your optimal time frames is key to posting on Facebook.

If you’re finding that your Facebook posts have lower engagement rates and poor organic, your timing could be the reason. Posting at your optimal times improves organ reach because if you’re posting at off-peak times when your target audience isn’t active, your content could be going to waste. 

Let’s say that your optimal posting time is 3pm on a Friday. Posting at 9am that morning means your social media posts will appear in their News Feed when they’re not online. Then, by the time 3pm rolls around, other brands have posted their content—and Facebook’s algorithm pushes yours to the bottom of the queue.

Similarly, if you’re posting content during the workweek (but most of your social media users sign into Facebook on the weekend), there’s a complete mismatch in schedules. 

The bottom line: figuring out the best and worst days to post on Facebook means you could get more organic reach. Considering the average Facebook post reaches just 5.2% of a brand’s audience, it’s smart to take all the help you can get.

What’s the best day of the week to post on Facebook?

You have a social media schedule that tells you to post specific content on each day. But which days do people tend to use Facebook? And when is your best chance to reach people with your social media posts?

Research has shown that these are the best days to post on Facebook:

  • Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (Hootsuite)
  • Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (HubSpot)
  • Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (CoSchedule)

Days in the middle of the week are obviously the best days to post on Facebook. 

That might be because early in the week, people are concentrating on their work. When the midweek slump hits (or they have spare time at the weekend), they’ll hop onto Facebook and see your content.

As for the worst days, Sprout Social found that Sunday comes top of the list.

What’s the best time to post on Facebook? 

We know that days in the middle or end of the week is the optimal day to post. But what time are your audience using Facebook on those days?

According to HubSpot, peak posting time on Facebook is 9am. 

The worst time is after 4pm, with most Facebook posts getting the least amount of clicks before 8am and after 8pm.

But that changes slightly depending on what type of person you’re targeting.

B2C brands

The target audience for business-to-consumer (B2C) brands is different than most. That’s because their audience aren’t always professional workers; they might be using social media during the day whilst other people are at work.

That’s likely why research shows the peak times for B2C businesses to post on Facebook is: 

B2B brands

On the other hand, B2B businesses target people working professional jobs. That’s why their optimal posting times differ than B2C brands:

It looks like professional workers use Facebook during commute times and their lunch breaks. Early mornings and mid-afternoon are the peak times. So, it makes sense to update your Facebook posting schedule based on that. 

How often should I post on Facebook?

Now we know the ideal days and times to post on Facebook, start to think about how often you should post. 

Research shows that top brands average one post per day. Not only that, but pages with less than 10,000 fans see a 50% drop in engagement per post if they posted more than once per day.

Why? A huge reason is that pushing too much content could mean you frustrate your audience (and in the worst case scenario, cause them to unfollow your business’ Page.) You want your content to make an impact. 

Wait. Those ideal times are different? 

Have you noticed that the “best” times to post on Facebook differ depending on which study you’re looking at?

Truth is: there is no universal “best” time or day to post on Facebook. It totally depends on who your audience are, and when they use Facebook. It’s why B2B brands have different peak times from B2C brands. 

If you’re targeting people with professional jobs, your followers might be offline during the work day and most active during commuting hours. If you’re targeting stay-at-home moms, they may be more active during the day when their kids nap. 

But similarly, your industry can play a huge role. Healthcare brands might find that their optimal posting day is Monday morning when their audience are catching up on news. Entertainment brands might find weekends are best, since that’s when their audience have free time to look for things to watch.

Different social media users use Facebook at specific times. That’s why a blanket “best time” might not be the best one for your business’ Facebook marketing strategy. 

How to find your optimal time to post on Facebook 

Are you ready to find the best time and days for your business to post on Facebook? 

Here are five ways to find the optimal posting time for your audience and industry. Whatever you find should form the foundation of your new social media marketing strategy.

1. Dive into Facebook Insights

A great starting point is to look at what’s currently working on your Facebook Business Page

To do this, go to Facebook Page Insights and hit “Posts” in the left-hand menu. You’ll see the days and times you get the most engagement on your existing content, and when your fans are online:

Facebook engagement

As you scroll through this data, take special notice of a handful of key metrics:

  • Reach: What days did your content reach the most people?
  • Engagement rates: Look at content posted on the days which have the highest (and lowest) engagement rates. Can you spot any trends or patterns? 
  • Click-through rates: If you’ve posted Facebook posts containing links, make a note of the days and times your content with the highest click-through rates were posted. 

The good thing about this data is that it’s unique to your Facebook users. You can use what’s already working to tweak your strategy going forwards—and find the optimal posting times that your competitors might not have yet realized.  

2. Use a social media analytics tool

Facebook Page Insights are a great way to find information about your followers. But, they don’t give access to all the data you might need for your social media strategy.

Social media analytics tools like Buffer, Sprout Social, and Skyword (formerly TrackMaven) can analyze your existing data and find the best time for you to post on Facebook. 

They’ll look into when you have the most active users, and what your demographics look like:

best time to post

Let’s say that your main demographic is stay-at-home moms. It might be worth testing whether midday, when their kids are sleeping, is a successful time for you to post on Facebook. It’s an insight that you might not have otherwise realized.

Once you’ve found your optimal times to appeal to your Facebook audience, you can even configure their scheduling tools. These will create a queue of content and automatically post at your Page’s peak times.

best times

3. Run A/B tests

By this point, you might have a handful of days and times that indicate a good posting time. But if there’s no clear winner, that doesn’t mean you have to continue with poor engagement rates until a winner becomes more obvious.

Speed up that time, and find your best timings, by running your own tests. A/B testing works by publishing similar content at different times, and judging which performs best in terms of:

  • Organic reach 
  • Engagement rates
  • Click-through rates

Marketers also have access to tools like Hootsuite to manage their social media A/B tests. That way, you don’t have to fry your brain by looking at rows and rows of data. It’ll interpret your tests for you and highlight a clear winner (alongside days and times with the lowest engagement).

4. Consider different time zones

Have you got a shortlist of optimal posting times to run with on your Facebook Page?

Before you start scheduling content at those times, it’s crucial to consider time zones—especially if you have a global following. For example: their optimal time of 9am might actually be early morning in your time zone. You could miss their peak time whilst you’re sleeping.

Similarly, if you’re targeting people having a lunch break in Central time zones, but your target audience is based in the UK, you could be posting at a time slot where they’re winding down for the day and turning off their phones.

Use Facebook Page Insights to find what locations your followers live in under the “People” tab. Make sure your optimal times are converted to their time zone:

Facebook page insights

5. Look at competitor’s posting times

Don’t have the budget for an expensive social media tool to help with the social platform, nor a backlog of content to dive into and find the best time slots that have worked for you in the past?

Don’t panic.

Small business owners can get a headstart on their optimal posting times by looking at their competitors without running A/B tests every day.

Granted, you can’t get in-depth data about your competitor’s content for your social media strategy, because it’s private and hidden behind their own Page Insights. But you can scroll through their Facebook Page and look at what dates/times your competitors are posting—and how engagement compares day-by-day.

Let’s put that into practice involving different times using content published to one of my Facebook Pages. 

This image was posted at 4pm on a Monday:

Sprocker Lovers

…whereas this one was posted at 8am on a Saturday morning:

Sprocker Lover Example

The second image had almost double the number of engagements. So, it’s pretty safe to say that Saturday morning could be an optimal posting time for my Page.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t a foolproof strategy; content can perform better or worse for reasons outside the date and time it was posted on the social platform (like the actual messaging of the post itself and its format.)

But it’s a good, easy way to get some basic understanding of the best posting times for other brands in your industry. You can base your own posting schedule for each Facebook post off that and tweak as you go.

Use your optimal posting times for your Facebook strategy

Whether you’re a small business or huge B2B brand, figuring out the best times and days to post on Facebook can help you conquer the ever-declining organic reach with the social media platform. 

You’ll stop content from going to waste—and be around for people to see your content when they’re using the platform.  

Use the tips above to help find yours. Then, run a handful of A/B tests to see whether the optimal time really does get the most engagement. It’s the best way to publish content to Facebook that actually has an impact.

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.