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Gauging when to post social media content

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If you’ve already taken the plunge and set up a social media profile for your business and are posting updates regularly from your social media content calendar, you may have noticed that some posts get more traction than others.

You may have noticed that some of your posts get more traction than others. This could be due to the type of update you’re posting. Image posts get 39% more interaction than other types of posts. Or the length of the post may have a role, since shorter posts get 23% more traction than lengthier posts. Another reason why some posts get more engagement than others is because they’re posted at the right time – when your audience is most apt to see them.

Posting on social channels when your content is most likely to get the highest amount of interaction makes sense. But how do you know when that is?

Research has shown that Facebook engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, but the best way to actually know for sure is by looking at your audience data to gauge when to post your social media content. If you’re one of the 82% of SMBs using Facebook for Marketing, we’ll take you through how to use Facebook Insights to look at your data.

Facebook Insights
If you have a Facebook Page for your business, you have access to Facebook Insights, which you can reach from the top of your Facebook page here:

Using Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights provide you loads of information about Page Likes and your page’s audience, and gives you insight into when your audience is online.

The “Posts” section gives you data on how many of your fans are online on any given day of the week, as well as information about which hour of the day they are on Facebook. These are not the number of fans who have seen your content on Facebook, but rather any content on Facebook.

Still, this data can be used to work out when your posts will have the greater chance of reaching more people. If the data shows there are 10k fans online on Saturday, whereas only 8k on average on the other days of the week, then Saturday would be a good day to post on. Likewise, if the number of your fans on Facebook peaks at 5pm on Saturday, scheduling a Facebook update around that time is likely to mean a higher number of fans seeing it.

One thing you should bear in mind however, is that you are likely to face stronger News Feed competition (from your fans’ friends and other brands your fans are following) during the most popular days/hours of when your fans are online. This strong competition could have an effect on your posts overall reach. The best thing to do is test around the time when the majority of your fans are online and when the least posting overall is happening, so you can find your optimal posting time.

As well as viewing the data within Facebook Insights, you can also export post data into Excel and analyze it that way. One data point to look at is which historical posts within a given time frame had the most reach. Look to see if there are any trends around the day/time of posting for those that are top performing. From this, you can then make assumptions around when you should be updating your page.

Although the Facebook Insights give you data into your audience as well as an optimal time to post, the best way to know for sure is to test. Experiment by posting the same types of posts (links or images) over the week to see which day had the highest engagement rate or reach. Likewise, if you’re updating frequently, test morning posts versus afternoon and evening ones to see which perform better. Remember to keep other variables the same to make it a fairer test. For example, don’t test a photo in the morning against a link in the afternoon, as the type of post will be a major factor in the engagement of your posts and changing the post type will skew your results.

To summarize, Facebook Insight data will give you a good idea of when the best time and day is for you to post, but your own testing will help you to hone in on your optimal posting time and should be done to ensure your posts get the maximum reach they can.

We’d love to hear from those of you using Facebook Insights to decide what to post Facebook and when. Let us know by commenting below.

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