We may think we know when the best time to post on Facebook is. But have you actually checked it out? The data doesn’t lie! Here’s how to tell when’s the best time to post on Facebook.
Open up the admin of the Facebook page you want to check out. Then click on the Insights tab. Then click on Posts. There’s a report called “When Your Fans Are Online” that visually shows an average of how many people are on your page and when. Using the days of the week numbers at the top, you can also see how these numbers vary on specific days of the week. In our case, Thursday showed the highest numbers. Tuesday showed the lowest numbers. Tuesday was a 230-person difference from the highest.
Here’s the data for how many people are on the page at 6am, Pacific time. More than 91,000. That’s 9am Eastern time. I always take into account that Facebook visitors are not all in the same time zone as I am.
Compare that to the data for how many people are on the page at 9am (noon Eastern time). There’s almost an 18,000-person difference!
When you open Facebook, it’s algorithm springs into action. It scans and collects everything posted by each of your friends, and activities in your groups. It remembers all of the things you’ve liked. No one outside of Facebook knows the actual formula for what it displays to its users. It takes some combination of what it believes to be the order of importance you’ll prefer based on your past actions. Out of what could potentially be thousands of posts, the average user may only see the top hundred or so.
If Facebook shows something and it doesn’t get reactions, it’s not likely to show it again. That’s why the more likes or comments a post has, the more likely it is for others to see that particular post. To maximize your exposure, post at the optimum time for your group of fans.
We checked out the Insights for the pages we manage and they all followed this general shape of the curve shown in these screenshots. They also showed a bump in views at the 6pm hour.
If you post earlier in the day and get a lot of activity on your 9am post, it’s more likely that the 6pm crowd will see that post. If you use another social media platform like Instagram or Twitter, try to get some data on those platforms and coordinate, so each of your posts is getting the max exposure.
As more and more of our clients are discovering the power of boosting posts on Facebook, the team here is interacting with Facebook’s advertising more and more. We’re learning in detail how it works and what works best. And we’ve figured out that many people are not using the boosting tool to its highest potential.
Turns out, most marketers who are using Facebook paid posts are only showing paid posts to Facebook’s Saved Audiences. They are already there, they are just a button away and are the easiest to create. These audiences are based on what people have told Facebook they are interested in, where they are, and their demographics such as their age. However, these marketers are missing out.
Facebook’s Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences give you even more power. Let’s look at the various Facebook audiences you can target. Even more importantly though, is WHY and HOW you target these people, because the reason that they are segmented is because they are DIFFERENT! They don’t all want, or need, the same message to move them along the Customer Awareness Spectrum.
1. All your past website visitors
This group is composed of people who have previously visited your website. These people are therefore already familiar with your company and were at least interested enough originally to check you out the first time. If you choose this audience, give them a message that reminds them of what you’re all about. Perhaps what has changed, so they are more interested in coming back to interact with your brand again.
To create this audience: Choose the Custom Audience option in the Audience Manager. Then select Website Traffic. You can choose a time frame in which to show the ad to people who have previously visited your site.
In order to do this, you should go ahead and install the Facebook Pixel for your site. That’s like a cookie that allows Facebook to track all of your visitors.
2. People who visited your Pricing page
Here’s a rare one that most people don’t think about. If you have a Pricing page on your website, and someone visits it, then that means they are interested enough to consider whether your price makes sense for them. These are the people who are ripe for a coupon, discount, time sensitive offer, or some other special bonus. There are so many ways that this website tracking can result in fruitful advertising. Whenever a product is back in stock or has been updated or improved, whenever there is a new color available, or whenever there is only a limited number remaining are just some examples of how this targeted advertising works. These people are already familiar with your brand and have already demonstrated an interest in your products.
To create this audience: Choose the Custom Audience option in the Audience Manager. Then select Website Traffic. Select to target “People who visit specific web pages” and type in your Pricing page’s link. You can also include your website’s past visitors in this audience by clicking the box next to that option.
You can use this method to target people who have visited any page on your website, such as your blog, your services page, or any particular product page or landing page on your site. To do this, go to the Audiences tab in your Ad Manager. Click on the blue “Create Audience” button. Then click on “Website Traffic” and follow the instructions to set it up with the specific URL you want to track.
3. People who abandoned their shopping carts
Isn’t this one of the most frustrating parts of being in ecommerce? You led people to your site, to a particular product, they picked it out, made it to the checkout page, and then didn’t buy. Something kept them from completing the purchase and you don’t necessarily know why. Often it is price related. Or a high cost of shipping. You can create a custom audience based on people who decided not to buy and entice them back with a two-for-one offer, free shipping, or some other deal.
To create this audience: Choose the Custom Audience option in the Audience Manager. Then select Website Traffic. Select to target “People who visit specific web pages but not others” and type in your checkout page link. Exclude people who visit the “thank you” (order completed) page. This means they made it to the cart but did not complete the order.
Facebook allows you to choose the time period for targeting. And again, there is a box to check to include your past website traffic.
4. Previous customers
Using a similar targeting method, you can entice repeat customers by targeting people who actually DID make it to the order completion page. This means they already know about your brand and liked it enough to make a purchase. You can target these people with cross-over products that you think they will like based on their previous purchases.
To create this audience: Choose the Custom Audience option in the Audience Manager. Then select Website Traffic. Select to target “People who visit specific web pages” and type in your “thank you” page’s link.
Facebook allows you to choose the time period for targeting. And again, there is a box to check to include your past website traffic.
5. Lookalike audiences
Many times, I want to target not the people who already like a page I’m working with, but the people who “look like” the people who already like a page I’m working with. This means the people you’re targeting will be of similar age and with similar interests to people who already DO like your page, but these new people that will be targeted DON’t like your page. Unless you are specifically trying to reach people who already like and engage with your page, this audience makes the most sense for people who are trying to reach new audiences. Because they are targeting people who are similar to people who have already found you.
To create this audience: Go to the Audiences tab in your Ad Manager. Choose the Create Audience option in the Audience Manager. If you’re making a Lookalike Audience from a Custom Audience, you must be the creator of that Custom Audience. Choose Lookalike Audience. Choose your source, which can be a previously created custom audience, your pixel data, or people who like your Page. You can target by location and how many people who want to reach. When the data looks good to you, click Create Audience.
Facebook reminds users of their Advertising Center that it can take some time for changes like this to appear in your account. This is not an option that you should do as a last minute when you want to get an ad out right that minute. It can also be confusing to use Facebook’s ad platform, and they frequently change how it’s laid out and where information is, so don’t be discouraged!
I hope these Facebook advertising tips were helpful for you. Let us know if you tried creating any of these custom audiences and noticed an improved ROI. We always welcome hearing how our suggestions work for people who try them. We know they work for us, so we hope they work for you too.
Our blog post last week looked at social media research from 2016 showing the most popular social networks around the world. Not surprisingly, Facebook was number 1. Now that we got our question answered about WHAT social media people are using, we started to think about HOW people are using it so we would know when is the best time to post on social media.
You hear advice all the time about how important it is to post. If you have created a Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram or Twitter account, use it. It doesn’t do you any good to have an account that is dead when people go to look at it.
The flipside of that is that you don’t want to be posting when no one is looking. It is important to post, yes, and if you’re already doing all you can and you’re posting at midnight on a Saturday, pat yourself on the back and let it go. When you’re ready to take the next step, you’ll want to try and optimize when the most people will see your post.
We went to an authority on social media, the posting scheduling and management platform Hootsuite, who compiled the results of a bunch of studies talking about exactly when is the best time to post on social media. Here’s what we found out.
Timing is everything.
Think about your target audience. If your demographic is working professionals, think about the fact that they are at meetings and at their desk during typical office hours. Yes, they scroll through Facebook during their lunch breaks, but a good time to reach them is in the evenings, when they’re home sitting on the couch. That’s true for a lot of the working professions. We are at our desks pretty typically Monday through Friday, but that’s not when a lot of people are on social media. If they’re just logging on at 8pm, they’re less likely to see the post you made at 8am. And if it’s for a free smoothie if they bring a friend by your juice cart, it won’t matter to them. Post that free smoothie deal in the evening, AND in the morning the next day.
You have 5 hours minutes for your Facebook post to take effect.
A Facebook post achieves 75 percent of its reach within five hours of being posted.
You have 3 hours for your tweet to have the same effect.
This research shows that a tweet achieves 75 percent of its reach in less than three hours. According to Hootsuite’s own data, the best time to post on Twitter is at 3pm Monday through Friday. This is when the highest amount of clicks and retweets occur on Twitter.
The best time, says Hootsuite, to post on Facebook is between noon and 3pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On the weekends, the best time is Saturday and Sunday between noon and 1pm. This is a natural downtime when a lot of people are taking breaks and eating lunch, so that makes sense.
It may take a little bit of trial and error to figure out what your audience’s best time to be on social media is, but really put some thought into your target demographic and how they spend their day. This means you should have a really clear idea of what, and who, your target demographic is. (Hmmm…this sounds like a good idea for a future blog post!)
For instance, if you’re targeting stay-at-home moms, your best time is probably 11am to 1pm, during prime baby and toddler nap time. If you’re targeting hungry people searching for dinner deals, perhaps you want to post between 5 and 7pm.
Test some different posting schedules and see if you get a higher level of response. It also doesn’t hurt to ask your customers what the best time is to reach them. In general, Hootsuite says they see lower engagement on the weekends. But even then, noon and 1pm seems to be a magic time for spikes in clicks.
What about Instagram?
Instagram no longer posts pictures in chronological order. The posts with the most likes and comments will always appear higher up in a user’s feed. To optimize your use of Instagram, again, really get to know your target demographic and how they spend their day. Many people scroll through their feeds during their lunch hour. But, if you want to get the most likes before your lunch hour crew starts scrolling, you might want to post earlier in the morning.
Are you trying to reach an audience that spans several time zones?
Or a global audience? Rethink your strategy. There’s a huge difference between posting at 11am to reach someone on the East Coast when you’re in the Pacific time zone. At 11am in Oregon, it’s already 2pm in New York, and you’ve missed a good window for your morning and lunch audience. Hootsuite suggests creating a Twitter handle for each region you’re trying to reach. You can set the time zone for each region and still manage them all from the same platform. If you’re trying to announce a flash sale, and you want people to search on your site during their lunch break, timing it for their time zones is crucial.
It’s the beginning of the year and we started to wonder about what the social media research in 2016 turned up. We know that Facebook is still king of the heap. Social media hasn’t changed THAT much, unlike the year between 2009 and 2010 when we watched in real time how MySpace crumpled as Facebook took over.
We wanted to know if any social media research in 2016 showed us significant changes in user demographics. Here’s what we found.
The top 5 social networks haven’t changed.
Unsurprisingly, Facebook rules the roost. The leading social media outlets worldwide as of April 2016 with their number of users (in millions) are:
Looking at this image shows other social media applications that I didn’t consider in this top 5 list, because, like Facebook’s closest competitor, WhatsApp, they’re not really “networks.” WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and is a messenging service.
All the way down there at 200 million users is Pinterest. This is the right place for a lot of businesses to be so don’t be discouraged just because it seems like there are a lot of networks in front of it. Read on and you’ll see why most of these aren’t really “networks.”
Tubmlr recently began allowing ads on its blogs. It’s as of now an untapped resource for advertising, but users can opt out of the ads. And in an environment like this where users have for years not had ads, the sudden onslaught of monetization could be a turn off.
1.6 billion active users on Facebook. It’s a mind-boggling number. If you can figure out the strategy to reach a lot of people on Facebook, you’ll be doing pretty good. That’s a secret we all want to know.
QQ is a messenging service used in China. Q Zone is also Chinese and is like Facebook in that it lets people share photos, write diaries, watch videos and listen to music.
WeChat is a free messenging and calling service. Baidu Tieba is also Chinese, kind of like the Chinese Google, and Viber is an instant messenging and VoIP service.
Sina Weibo is a microblogging platform that is like the Chinese Twitter. LINE is a calls and messenging service, and yy is a Chinese video network, like YouTube. BBM and Telegram are both messenger services.
So, if your target market is China, you have a lot more opportunities. So far, it looks like United States users are going to be sticking with Facebook for a while.