What's the best time to post on Facebook in 2020?
Wondering when the best time to post on Facebook to guarantee maximum engagement is?
Of course you are.
We all want to rise above the noise and get our content read. That’s how we build relationships with our customers.
Unfortunately, since Facebook changed its algorithm last year it’s even more difficult for companies to get their content seen.
The platform’s focus on ‘meaningful interactions’ has meant that family and friends are more likely to appear in a Facebook feed than a new company video.
To be honest, in many ways that’s a good thing. There’s less corporate nonsense on your feed. However, even for brands doing social well are going to have their reach downsized massively. So what can you do to optimize your reach and engagement?
Research by Hootsuite has shown that Facebook’s new algorithm - together with the platform’s continued growth no doubt - has reduced the likelihood of a company’s post reaching a follower’s newsfeed by 2.2%.
This has come into effect since January 2019 and means a company can now expect to hit just 5.5% of its page followers with a post.
This year, Facebook says it is focusing on transparency for users: and now your followers can even ask Facebook why a particular post has appeared in their feed.
You could see the impact of the algorithm change in two ways. It’s either seen as a challenge to push you to produce better content that people will engage with, or it’s an obstacle.
Both are fine! If you know you can create better content, go for it. Brilliant content will get seen more than bland content. However, if you’re fully stretched, it might be a better idea to create a Facebook Group, which typically gets more engagement.
However, as much as we try, none of us can come up with groundbreaking content every time. And that means it’s more important than ever to work out the best time to post on Facebook for your business.
‘Recency’ is a big ranking factor for Facebook. In other words, if you’re online and post at the same time your page followers are on, then there is more chance of your post getting seen.
There are already a number of studies identifying the best time to post on Facebook depending on where your audience is based and what their lifestyle is.
This is great to know. The only trouble is, they don’t all agree on what is the best time to post on Facebook – although there is definitely some reassuring overlap.
A study by Buffer found:
- Their top posts were on weekdays from 1pm to 3pm
- Saturday is a good day to post
- Thursdays are Fridays are best for engagement, with engagement rates 18% higher than usual
However, CoSchedule, Falcon.io, and Hubspot all recommend posting between 1pm and 4pm.
Newer research conducted during the coronavirus lockdown has revealed how being forced to stay indoors and work from home has altered our social media viewing habits. How we used to view our favorite platforms is no longer relevant during coronavirus.
And research carried out by Sprout Socialduring the heart of lockdown in Mid-April 2020, proves it.
Pre-Coronavirus, the social media management company identified Wednesday as the best time to post on Facebook. From 11 am and from 1 pm to 2 pm was a great time to post.
Best day to post: Wednesday Best time to post before coronavirus: 11 am, 1 pm to 2 pm. Worst day to post before coronavirus: Sunday
Best days to post on Facebook after coronavirus: Monday, Wednesday, Friday Best time to post on Facebook after coronavirus: 10 am to 11 am (but especially 11am) Worst days to post after coronavirus: Saturday and Sunday
But with more of us working from home than ever before, our screen time has gone through the roof, and we’re all checking our social media a lot more.
So we guess that you could say right now that just about every day is the best day to post on Facebook - but especially Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Peak time is 11am, but anytime from 10am until then also works well too.
And the worst time to post on Facebook? That would be after 5 pm every night, as well as at the weekend.
With more people working from home, people are becoming more disciplined about when they do and don’t spend time online. After 5pm it’s time to put the laptop away and relax.
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The best time to post on Facebook can be defined further by whether you happen to be a business that sells direct to consumers (B2C) or a business that sells direct to other businesses (B2B).
Sprout Social’s data found that for B2C brands the best time to post something on the platform was Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at noon, around the time when everyone is taking their lunch break.
For B2B businesses looking for engagement, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 2pm was best.
CoSchedule data is a little more generous with their time slot for B2C companies. Any time between 9am to 10am, noon to 1pm, and 4pm to 5pm are the key times.
The best time for B2B companies, they noted, was 9am then from 3pm to 4pm.
Analysis by CoSchedule shows that there is a difference between sectors, but not that much difference – unless you’re in the media industry.
For software companies, the best time to post on Facebook was 9am and from 3pm to 5pm. For healthcare it was 6am to 7am (when people are just waking up), and then from noon to 1pm.
For Higher Education, the best time to post on Facebook was 8am, noon and 3pm (all times when school is ‘out’).
However, media companies stood out, because they found that although 7am and 11am were fairly typical times to get good engagement on Facebook, 6pm definitely wasn’t.
Meanwhile, CoSchedule’s analysis also found that the best time for the charity sector to post to their followers was from 8am to 9am on a Wednesday.
Having said that, they did pretty well from 8am to 5pm during the week, although posts at night and the weekend did poorly.
Sprout Social’s research found that the best days for B2B to post on Facebook were more or less the same every day, but especially Wednesday. Weekends were pretty much a ‘no-no’ if you're looking for high levels of engagement though.
Even though there’s less competition with other brands, there will be lots of non-business related posts that people will be more interested in.
Best times to post: Tuesday to Thursday, 8am –3pm Worst times to post: Daily before 7am or after 5pm
The report goes on to analyze individual industries for the best days and times to post.
Best times to post: Wednesday at 1pm and Friday at 11am Best days to post: Wednesday and Friday Worst times to post: Daily before 8am and after 5pm Worst day to post: Sunday
Higher engagement rates were found with posts that were inspiring, encouraged online conversations, or showcased particular products, especially new lines.
Best times to post: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 5pm, Friday from 8am to 9am Best day to post: Wednesday Worst times to post: Daily before 5am and after 6pm Worst day to post: Sunday
Followers of media are online pretty much daily during the week with a clear drop off at weekends.
Best times to post: Wednesday at 9am and Saturday at 5pm Best day to post: Wednesday Worst day to post: Sunday
The education sector is one of the few industries that shows similar engagement at the weekend to the morning and at night during the week.
Best times to post: Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 9am Best day to post: Wednesday Worst day to post: Saturday and Sunday Worst times to post: Daily before 6am and after 7pm
The charity sector shows similar engagement to other pages, however, there tends to be less engagement on Monday and Tuesday.
Best time to post: Wednesday from 9am to noon Best day to post: Wednesday Worst day to post: Sunday Worst times to post: Daily from 6pm
Engagement on Facebook for the tech industry is especially strong between 10am and 1pm.
Best time to post: Wednesday from 10am to noon Best day to post: Wednesday Worst days to post: Saturday and Sunday Worst times to post: Daily before 6am and after 7pm
The maximum engagement window falls in line with general best-practice times to post (between 9am and 3pm), then starts to drop off after that.
Best time to post: Wednesday at noon Best day to post: Wednesday Worst days to post: Saturday and Sunday Worst times to post: Daily after 6pm
Like the health sector, finance keeps in line with working hours - however, mornings tend to be better than afternoons if you really want to get results.
Best times to post: Tuesday at 2pm, Wednesday at 1pm and Friday at 11am Best day to post: Wednesday Worst day to post: Sunday Worst times to post: Daily before 5am and after 5pm
Recreation has a wider range of engagement opportunities than other sectors but, again, posting at lunch is key.
The best time to post on Facebook is between 1pm and 3pm on weekdays.
The worst time to post on Facebook is between 8am and 8pm on a weekend.
In general, noon and a couple of hours afterward every day except Sunday is the best time to post on the platform, according to Buffer.
HubSpot narrows down its prediction to just Thursday and Friday at the same time.
How to use ContentCal to find the best time to post on Facebook:
- Head into your ContentCal Calendar, and select the ‘Analytics’ tab in on the top menu
To see your best times to publish across all channels, select ‘All’ at the top left.
Choose Facebook from the options to focus on that channel. Then pick the time period you’d like to select for the data to be relevant.
- You'll then need to scroll down to the ‘Best time to post graph’ to see when you should be posting on each of your channels.
What makes your company different on Facebook is your audience. It may be similar to that of other companies but, essentially, it’s unique to you, and that’s why Facebook’s Insight tool is a great companion for helping you understand the best time to post.
Not only will it help you work out who your audience is and where they live, but it will also help you work out the types of content they like to see. Most importantly for the purposes of posting, it’s going to tell you when they are online most often.
To use Facebook’s Insights Tool, go to ‘Insights’, click on ‘Posts’, and check out the left-hand column menu:
This chart shows the average times across the week, but hovering over the day can give you further, more detailed insights.
Knowing when your audience is most active tells you when to post:
You can also find the times of your most popular posts by clicking Posts then ‘All Posts Published’.
This data can help you identify whether there are any trends around posting times.
You want to get your posts seen, so it makes sense to post as often as you can, right?
Wrong. It can be easy to go overboard and start to post lower quality content to keep up with your posting schedule. That’s when you get unfollowed.
So, how often should you be posting to ensure you’re giving your followers just the right amount of information?
Well, that depends on whether or not you are a global business, and which time zones you operate in.
If you’ve got customers around the world, you’ll want to post at the times when they’re most likely to engage. And that’s a whole new study in itself.
A study by Social Bakers over a three months period found that most global brands posted on Facebook once a day.
The social media company reckoned that posting once a week was a sure-fire way of losing an audience. But at the same time, more than once a day would alienate them.
As a general rule, Social Bakers found that you’d lose touch with your audience if you posted on Facebook once per week, while posting more than twice per day was considered to be annoying.
Buffer suggests brands should post on Facebook between five to 10 times a week.
However, having analysed at least 14 studies on the subject, Co-Schedule concluded that it’s best to post on Facebook once per day from 1pm to 4pm.
DowSocial commented that they put up at least two Facebook posts a day in a bid to increase reach.
Meanwhile, Neil Patel suggests that the frequency of posting should be based on how big your audience is. The bigger audience, the more you can afford to post.
For instance, if a company has less than 10,000 followers then one post a day is best. That’s because if you post twice, your content is competing with itself.
Regardless of how many times you decide to post, when you post is most important.
But that doesn’t just mean posting during optimal times based on your sector, you also need to be consistent with when you post, and trying to post around the same time each day, as followers will begin to anticipate and look out for your post if they’re online at a certain time.
There’s no reason not to be consistent with your Facebook posts because there are so many great social media management tools around.
And, of course, Facebook itself allows you to schedule content. However, if you’re looking at using the same content for other platforms too though, investing in scheduling tools are a no-brainer.
There are several different types of engagement you can expect on a Facebook post. Likes, views, comments and shares all count as an engagement on the platform.
Engagements are a strong signal to Facebook of how individuals react to a company’s posts and how invested they are in that brand’s content.
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There are three different types of engagement you can expect from followers on your Facebook page:
- Passive Engagement is when someone clicks on the post to read it, views a video, or clicks on an image you’ve posted.
- Active Engagement involves commenting on your post or sharing it on their feed so more people see it.
- Total Engagement is calculated as a combination of passive and active engagement.
Want to learn more about post engagement? Read our guide to engagement rates.
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