I am so guilty of it. Most of us are. We find ourselves saying something like “the best time to post on Facebook is…” Truth is, there is no best time. It is a crapshoot at best no matter when you post. 

I wish I had a nickel for every time a well-known resource has revealed the “best time” to post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and almost every other social media marketing channel. Each study seems to find a wide range of results.

Take this sampling of when the best time to post on Facebook is.

  • Thursdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. [Hubspot]
  • Thursday at 8 p.m.  [TrackMaven]
  • 1–4 p.m. late into the week and on weekends [CoSchedule]
  • Early afternoon during the week and Saturdays [Buffer]
  • Off-peak times are best [Buzzsum0]

Don’t get me wrong. All of these results are based on sound logic and inarguable metrics. But if you look closely what you’ll uncover is that there is no perfect time, just better times than others. It truly depends on what business you are posting for.

What is your industry? What is your product? What location is your primary audience based? When do they hang out online? Are you boosting your post or sponsoring your post?

The question should not be when the best time to post but rather when is the best time for your brand to post.

Why There Is No Best Time

It is all about the algorithm….and content. And right now there is more content shared to Facebook than any one person can consume.

On their Business blog, Facebook’s VP of Advertising Technology, Brian Boland explains:

On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.

As a result, competition in News Feed — the place on Facebook where people view content from their family and friends, as well as businesses — is increasing, and it’s becoming harder for any story to gain exposure in News Feed.

In essence, every time you post to Facebook you are competing with up to 1,500 other posts. All of us vying for coveted spot in the News Feed. Timing is but one of the factors that determines which content appears. With this in mind, it’s also possible that the best time to post could also be the worst time. If XYZ blog says Monday at 7:30am EST is the best time to post then every brand is going to try and push content at 7:30am EST. That means that fewer of these posts will actually be seen because the volume of actual posts has increased exponentially. It becomes about competition at 7:30am EST.

So, when should you post to Facebook?

If there’s no “best time” to post, how do you decide when to share your content to Facebook?

To answer this question there are probably two methods:

  1. When your data tells you
  2. When it’s relevant

1. When your data tells you

When it comes to social media marketing, the best data is always your own. Facebook has a ton of data available for all page owners and admins under ‘Insights’. Learn how to read your metrics, how to understand your target audience, and what language your audience speaks.

2. When it’s relevant

There is no science behind this. In general, content will work best in-the-moment or at a time when it’s most relevant. For instance, if your store is having a special sale, posting will work best after you have made the announcement. Sports teams tend to post when a great play is made or when the score changes. At that point the announcement becomes most relevant.

What do you think? Do you think there’s a best time to post to Facebook? How do you decide when to publish your posts? Let me know in the comments, I’m excited to join the conversation.