Social media is a great tool for sharing messages with a large audience, quickly. The problem is; it can be difficult to tell when the majority of the audience is online. So how is it possible to tell when is the best time to post in order to reach the biggest audience?
As a recent graduate, my knowledge of social media as a business tool is limited. Landed with the task of finding the best time to post on Facebook; I have done lots of research and found that what research has been done seems to be a little inconclusive. There isn't a set time where everyone is online and it depends on the target audience of the company as to when they will be online. There do seem to be rough guidelines in the form of apps, chrome add-ons and info-graphics.
Dan Zarrella from Hubspot conducted a survey where he collected together more than 1.3 million posts published on the top 10,000 most liked Facebook pages and analysed them. His findings showed that weekends and evenings are the best times to post an update on Facebook, with Thursday being the worst day. Images receive the best response, getting the most likes and shares and the second most comments.
What do the team say?
Tash says: “I find that the best times to post on Facebook is generally around 1 pm or 5/5.30 pm GMT.
Try and gage what kind of audience you have. I find that most people check their Facebook profiles around lunchtime or after work but if you have mums, students or people from another country as the main demographic, they may check earlier or later. It's worth trying to think like your target audience and think about when they would most likely be online and try a few different times and see when works best for you
It’s also really important to think about what you are sharing. Is it visually engaging? With Facebook timeline the emphasis is much more on the visual. In a study of the top 10 brands on Facebook, users liked photos twice as often as text updates. So not only think about when to share but also what you are sharing.”
Jon says: “I would say first thing in the morning, about 8.30 works best for me but you've got to go on what works for your business. We always say plan, do, review and improve and don’t forget that whatever you share it’s the creative media (photo, video) that will engage people not just your status update.”
These findings can only ever be used as a guide. It is best for a company to experiment with sharing and posting at different times to see how the audience responds at various days and hours. These results can then be analysed to find an individual best time to share.