The Best Time to Post on Facebook for Small Business

social-media

Social media can feel like such a crazy world – every day there’s a new platform popping up (I’m currently having fun on Periscope! Find me @bizbake). It feels like we have to constantly be learning new things and more importantly that we have to be ON all those platforms at once.The good news is, you don’t need to be on all of them. That being said, whatever platforms you’re on, I think you should endeavour to make the most out of them. By far my best way to get the most out of Facebook in particular is to post at a certain time – the time when most of my followers are online and browsing. These days getting anyone to notice you on FB is a major challenge, so I recommend that (if nothing else!) you are posting a minimum of once a day at the right time.

 

Here’s how to find the best time to post on Facebook.

 

STEP ONE: On your business page, click on word ‘Insights’ button at the top of the page. There is a TON of useful info on there but right now let’s concentrate on finding the best time to post.

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STEP TWO: Click on the word POSTS and you’ll see a graph like this come up:

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This graph shows me when the most amount of people are seeing my posts.  You’re looking for places where there are peaks in the graph, because that’s when you’ve got the most viewers. As the blog is global, the graph doesn’t vary that much – but you can see there is a peak at about 7am and at midnight. Knowing this, I pretty much always post at around 6am and 11pm or a bit before. I do it a little bit earlier because I want to post at a time when the peak is going to start going up. If I time it for the peak exactly, I’ll miss people who were looking in the lead up to the post time.  A post stays in a feed for only a short time (I recently read that posts stay in feeds for about 90 minutes) so to capture that I aim for no more than 90 minutes BEFORE the peak. No point in being 90 minutes after it!

Most of you would have local businesses, and your graph looks like this:

3This graph has one clear peak at about 9pm but it’s obvious that there is a huge dip between about midnight and 6am, which is when most people are asleep and not looking at your page. So if you’re posting that cake you finished at 1am and wondering why nobody has seen it, that’s why! If this were my business, I’d aim for my posts to be NO EARLIER than 5pm, with my “best” posting time somewhere around 7:30-8pm.

STEP THREE: Automate your posts to be published at that time.

You may not always be online or have something to say at exactly the right time for your posts, so to deal with that I suggest you use the FB ‘schedule post’ option.  The best way to maintain your social media presence is to sit down once a week, create one post a day and PRE-SET it to post at the optimum time every day. If you’re doing this once a week it’s going to take up an hour of your time (or less), it ensures that you’re consistently posting, and it is one less thing you need to devote time to daily.

Here’s how to schedule posts:

4Just click on the blue arrow after you’ve written your post. You’ll see a drop down menu, select ‘Schedule.’

A calendar will pop up:

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Pick the time you want that post to go live and BOOM, you’re done! You can set posts to go about a year into the future, but let’s be real here – a week or two is enough to get started. This feature is also super useful if you’re going to be away for a while (apparently small business owners do sometimes go on holiday.)

If you want to see what’s waiting in line to go live, you can see that from the front of your page where it says “X# of scheduled posts. Next one is due to publish at xx:yy. See posts” or you can go to ‘Publishing Tools’ which is right next to ‘Insights’ at the top of your page.

Social media can be hugely overwhelming and frankly it becomes a total time suck. By working out the best time to post and then pre-setting your posts, at the bare minimum you know you’re still getting some marketing out there! I’ve had several mentoring clients now try this method – where the only thing they changed was how often they posted (daily as opposed to a few random times a week) and ALL of them have reported a much higher level of engagement and a much higher reach. If you’re not convinced – conduct an experiment. Write down your stats (hint: those are also in Insights), try posting once a day for 30 days as outlined above, then re-visit the stats 30 days later. I’m pretty sure you’ll like what you see!

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My online class, Build Your Profitable Cake Business, is opening again this September. You should GET ON THE WAITING LIST.

 

3 comments on “The Best Time to Post on Facebook for Small Business

  1. Thanks, that was very helpful. I had no idea you could schedule your posts on FB. So many details and adjustments you can make there, but I never find them on my own.

    Thanks Michelle!

  2. Great post and thanks for the insight around optimal posting times. The only thing I would suggest for businesses is to also encourage some level of experimentation in timing. While it’s a great strategy to try to time your posts to peak audience times, you should also think about a small percentage of variety in your timing. This can help reach a segment of your audience who may tend to use Facebook at certain times that may not align with your peak periods.

    1. Absolutely Anne – I mix this up a bit too, just to see what happens. The way FB changes things (as often as we change piping bags (ha)) it’s always worth trying out things differently. And on a personal note, I had a minor (MAJOR) fan girl moment seeing your name commenting here. 🙂 OMG! – Michelle

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