There is no shortage of people telling you about the best time(s) to post on Facebook. However, these “best times to post” articles, written by “certified Facebook experts,” are all based on broad averages and studies. They are guesses at best, and do not reflect the reality of your supporters’ Facebook habits:
The truth is that the real answer of when to post has been available to you the entire time—through your Facebook Page.
Facebook itself will tell you when your supporters are on the site. And who would post based on a general average when you could have the cold, hard facts about your own supporters? The problem is that so few Page managers know that this data is given to them or where to find it. Instead, they trust the averages and the self-proclaimed experts, not knowing that a better solution is right in front of them.
This ends today. This post will show you where to find this data through your Facebook Page and how to use it.
Where to Find the Data
To find out when your supporters are on Facebook, login and navigate to your nonprofit’s Page.
At the top of your Page, you’ll find the Insights tab. Click on it:
From here, you will click on Posts from the left-hand menu. This will open up the graph that we want to look at:
This graph is a seven-day look at when your Page fans will most likely be on Facebook (it learns from their past behavior). This graph is pretty accurate because:
- People typically login to Facebook at the same times every day, i.e. during their lunch break or after work.
- Facebook has a ton of past behavioral data to pull from. The larger the sample size, the higher the accuracy.
How to Read the Data
Just above the graph, you’ll find a series of bars—one for each day of the week. This tells you, on average, how many of your Page fans log in to Facebook each day. In this example, Saturday wins by just a hair. If you have an important post or campaign coming up, this can help you to decide which day(s) is/are the best to make the announcement.
The graph then shows you, on average, what hour(s) your Page fans are on Facebook for the week as a whole. Hovering over a day bar just above will display the particular times for that day. In this example, if you hover over the Friday bar, you can see a unique spike at 7am:
This would be one of the best times to post on Friday each week. We can also see that 1pm, 3pm and 6pm are also uniquely good times to post on Friday on Facebook.
We can do the same for each day. Here’s Thursday; on Thursdays in particular, we should post at 8am, 9am and 5pm:
This can be a bit tedious at first, but once you have the hang of it, and a sense of when your Page fans are on Facebook each day, it will pay huge dividends over trusting the general averages that you can find on Google.
An Automated Option
There is an option, through ActionSprout, to automate this process. If you share any post from the ActionSprout app, we will show you the next best time to post on Facebook based on your Page graph:
You also have the option to browse these times for the coming week. Simply click on the Optimal posting times link right below the default next best time:
This allows you some flexibility but makes sure that you’re always posting at optimal times.
You have some options for choosing how to take advantage of this powerful data based on your preferences. What’s important is that you use your own personalized data instead of generic averages to guide your decisions on Facebook.
Want to learn even more about the data tucked away inside your Page’s Insights tab? Here are the top three metrics to know about. Spoiler: you already know the first one!