Timing Facebook: How to Maximize Reach
Reaching your followers on Facebook has never been more difficult. The content explosion, paired with changes to Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm have made successful organic reach a difficult task, and social media marketers have been scrambling to keep up. A quick Google search will show you that the internet is bursting at the seams with advice on how to maximize your organic reach.
Some blogs promise the world if you just follow their posting schedule; the more reputable ones know that they’re offering suggestions based on their best guesses – but none know your business like you do. So always take their advice for what it is – blind shots in the dark aimed at the most general audience possible.
What Others are Saying
Let’s take a look at a few of the more reputable social media experts out there, and see just what they recommend – maybe it’s perfect for you or maybe not, but either way they’re worth looking at.
- Hootsuite: A leader in the social media world, Hootsuite recommends posting Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday between 12-3pm and Saturday and Sunday between 12-1pm. I guess Hootsuite hates Tuesdays – both overall its pretty good advice.
- Hubspot: Hubspot keeps it a little simpler, suggesting to focus on Wednesday through Sunday between 12-3pm.
- Kissmetrics: Popular marketing blog Kissmetrics distills things down even more – suggesting the number one time to post to Facebook is Saturday at noon. Great advice, but what do we do the rest of the week?
- CoSchedule: Probably the number one name in social media scheduling (just see the name!), CoSchedule sticks to the received wisdom by suggesting posting on Thursdays-Sundays between 1-4pm.
All four experts pretty much recommend the same thing: post late in the weekend in the early afternoon. There’s certainly some serious wisdom here as these guys have look at countless Facebook posts and scoured the data – but take it with a grain of salt.
If every social media marketer followed this advice, we’d all be posting at exactly the same time – limited our reach with unnecessary competition. There are plenty of other times that users are active on social media – first thing in the morning, at lunch time, and right before bed. But if you only listened to the experts, those times would be ignored for the more popular early afternoon time slot.
You Do You
So, what’s the best time to post to Facebook? It’s the time that works for you and your brand. For some that means first thing in the morning, for others that is late at night – but find what works for you and stick to it. All the generic advice in the world can’t compare to what you can learn from a quick look at your Facebook analytics. Fortunately, Facebook provides some powerful data through the Insights program.
Consider these two methods to establish your own ‘best time to post’ guidelines:
- What Worked in the Past – Facebook analytics will show you detailed information on your past posts. Digging through this data can help you to see what has worked in the past and what hasn’t – including post times. Find your most popular posts and see if there is a timing trend that you can capitalize on.
- Audience Insights – Facebook provides a chart showing when your fans are online – this is a powerful tool for scheduling your posts for maximum reach. Looking at this data, you can see if your target audience is matching up with what the experts predict. For one social media account I manage, the peak times are noon and between 7-9pm. For another it’s 10am and 5pm. It varies by audience so find out the habits of your audience and match your schedule to theirs.
Social Media Growth
Growing your business through social media can be a fun and reward experience – if the daily grind doesn’t get to you. Breaking through Facebook’s algorithms and finding your audience preferences becomes a game of cat-and-mouse – requiring extensive testing, trial and error, and a bit of blind luck. If you’re up for the challenge, great! If not, consider hiring a social media marketing firm that has already put in the leg work to understand the inner working of everyone’s favorite social media channels.
Fusion Group USA can help to shape your social media presence in a way that maximizes your reach, expands your following, and ultimately grows your business. You can read more about our social media management here, or contact us today to set up a no-strings-attached consultation.