A Guided Tour of Facebook Insights: The Best Time to Post on Facebook

Written by Laura Roeder

On October 28, 2015

What if you decided that this was the year you stopped making guesses about what works for Facebook marketing?

Today you’re going to figure out the best times to post on Facebook to maximize the reach and engagement of your posts, as well as clicks through to your site.

The best news? Everything you find today will be totally unique to your specific Facebook fans – no averages, no guesses.

Start by heading over to the Insights section of your Facebook page.

Facebook Insights

Ah, Facebook Insights – you click and are transported to a digital Wonderland of numbers and charts and colors and. . . ack! You can get very lost very quickly with just one step down the rabbit hole.

Already feeling as confused as Alice did? Not to worry – I’m going to guide you to the exact spot you need to find out when the best time to post for your business is.

Inside Insights, click on the tab that says “Posts.”

Facebook Insights Posts Tab

You Won’t Believe What a Few Averages Can Do For You

The first thing you’ll see is what days of the week your Facebook fans are even online. This little infographic tells you approximately how many of your fans are on Facebook each day of the week. You can use that information to start pinpointing which days are your best chance to get more engagement on your posts.

Facebook Insights When Your Fans Are Online

Then take a look at the breakdown of what time of day they’re online. Even if you look no further than this graph to determine what time to post, you’ve already got a gold mine of data.

Pro tip: hover your mouse over one of the bar graphs of the days of the week, and you’ll see the time-of-day graph change.

Let’s draw some conclusions from my data about when I should be posting:

The days when more of my fans are spending time on Facebook are Sunday (27.7K), Wednesday (26.6K) and Saturday (27.5K).

When Facebook fans are online

The peak online time for my fans is 5pm EST  on average. However, it changes to about 9pm EST on Sundays, so I need to keep that in mind for my social media strategy.

Thanks to these two sets of data, you can start to plan out the best times to post on Facebook for your business. For example, I need to go into my Buffer account (the tool I use for my social media automation) and make some adjustments. I should be posting from 10:30am to about 11pm Monday through Friday, with the most important posts going out at around 5pm. On the weekends, however, my most important posts should go out Sundays around 9pm.

Digging Deeper

But what if you want to figure out the best time to post your latest blog post? Or a link to your sales offer? For those kinds of posts, you aren’t just after likes or shares or more visibility in people’s News Feed. Yes, those things are great, but your real goal is to drive traffic to your website.

Here’s the simple way to find out when are people are more primed to click:

Scroll down a little to where you see All Posts Published. It’ll automatically show you the last 90 days of your Facebook page posts. Click on the column header “Engagement” and select “Post Clicks.” The column will sort your posts from the last 3 months to show the ones that got the most clicks at the top. (Remember, clicks doesn’t necessarily mean clicks to your website. As you can see, the post that got the most clicks in October was a photo, which didn’t have a link attached to it anywhere.)

Engagement on Facebook insights

Here you can see that I got the most clicks on my posts around 5pm or later in the evening. Initially I was surprised by that since I always thought the most engagement happened on Facebook around lunchtime. But I can assume this has to do with the fact that I have a lot of fans who are located on the West Coast. Even though the East Coasters have probably left the computer for a while, people are still working and checking out Facebook on the West Coast.

Note: the engagement that you see  in the above screen shot can’t be credited 100% to the time of day I post my updates. Images tend to get more engagement for most Facebook pages, as do fun links like the Gizoogle one I posted on 11/13/2013. If you post cute cat images and links to BuzzFeed articles about Jennifer Lawrence every day at 4:45pm, your Insights are going to show 4:45pm as the best time for clicks on your page. In order to get an accurate picture of the best time to post on Facebook, you need to both vary the types of posts as well as the times you post them.

What about you and your data digging practices?

How often do you go into Facebook Insights to take a look at what’s working? And when you do look at that data, what kind of action do you take based on it? Do you ever tweak your posting times? Let me know in the comments, and let’s see who has a great system already put in place you can learn from (ahem, steal). 🙂

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