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August 28, 2013
Are Your Customers Night Owls or Morning People? The Best Time to Post on Facebook
Studies have consistently shown that most Facebook posts are read within 30 minutes of posting. Despite the social media site’s attempt to keep highly commented posts at the top of users’ news feeds by changing posting order to “most relevant,” if your post hits while your intended audience is sleeping, working, or in school, you’re wasting your time.

As you begin the process of online reputation management to build your brand, you may wonder if there’s a certain time of day to post. Numerous experts have weighed in on the best time of day to post on Facebook. In 2012, Bit.ly posted the results of its study into social media usership. The best time to post was between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (Eastern time), with Wednesday at 3 p.m. being the best time overall. The study found that traffic slowed overnight, with posted links experiencing a decreased click-through rate between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Not Foolproof
While this survey was revealing, it might not be the case for every business that uses Facebook for marketing. A business that reaches out to middle and high school students, for instance, wouldn’t see the same success in the early afternoon hours, since students aren’t hanging out on Facebook out of boredom as the workforce seems to be.

Likewise, a business that reaches out to college students and 20-somethings might find that they appeal to night owls. Businesses that appeal to retirees may find early morning hours garner more views and clicks. Determining the best time for your social media posts means first taking a look at your own customer base.

Know Your Audience
If you have a business, chances are you’ve spent more than a fair amount of time studying your customers’ behaviors. You may even use analytics to determine behaviors on your website. Facebook Insights can help you learn more about the customer behavior on your Facebook Page, which will help you fine-tune your posting strategy.

But sometimes, even knowing your customers isn’t enough. If your target audience is most likely to be online at a time that is inconvenient for you, this won’t be a workable plan. Or perhaps part of your online reputation management plan is to post daily at the optimum time, but you simply can’t seem to stay on schedule.

Many businesses have found scheduling posts is a great way to beat the time crunch. For Page owners, Facebook now allows admins to schedule posts in advance. Posts can even be scheduled on a smartphone using the Facebook Pages Manager App. You can set up posts to deploy at the best time of day without disrupting your daily routine.

Whether your customers are night owls or early birds, you’ll have maximum impact if you post your Facebook updates at the time they’re most likely to be online. Continue to study customer behavior after you’ve made these adjustments to ensure you’ve chosen the best time to reach your customers.

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Blake Jonathan Boldt has contributed effective and educational content to a variety of businesses and organizations. He provides writing, editing, social media and content strategy services for both domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers, and digital media outlets.
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