An effective content distribution strategy depends primarily on a marketer’s data-backed understanding of the best times to reach target audiences across each digital channel. The optimal times vary by industry, audience, and channel, but we’ve done some macro-marketing analysis and found a few overarching trends to help your content cut through the noise.
For our Marketing Maven’s Guide to Facebook, for example, we analyzed the Facebook content from 1.5 million Facebook brand Pages. Here are some insights into how to maximize interactions for your Facebook content with some simple scheduling tips.
Exploiting Facebook After Hours
Let’s start by looking at the volume of brand-generated Facebook posts during a few different time periods in the day. In our analysis, the majority of brand-generated Facebook posts (62.7%) are posted within the 8AM-5PM EST workday, while 28.5% are posted during after-work hours (5PM-1AM EST).
While more brand-generated content is published on Facebook during the workday, the rate of engagement is higher after hours (2.49 versus 2.24 average interactions per post). This chart tells us that while most brand posts during the East Coast work day, interactions seem to be concentrated when everyone has gone home for the night.
The following graph reveals the trends in interactions and posting frequency on Facebook over time:
Peak posting hours for the sample of 6,000 brands we studied were centered between 9AM to 5PM EST, with a spike between noon and 1PM EST. The line indicating average interactions per post, however, indicates a different trend in the way audiences interact with branded Facebook content.
As offices close, the Facebook posting frequency for brands decreases, yet the average interactions per post trends upwards. We found that Facebook interactions actually peak between 5PM to 1AM at an average of 2.49 per post. In fact, the average number of interactions per Facebook post is highest between midnight and 1 AM EST.
If you’d like to be a part of the daily rush, lunchtime is when your competitors are likely publishing content on Facebook. But don’t ignore the evening, when your followers are most likely to engage with the content in their News Feeds.
Social Media Marketing Shouldn’t Stop On The Weekends
When establishing Facebook posting strategies, many brands overlook the importance of selecting the right day of the week to push out content. Our research shows that marketers are most comfortable updating their Facebook pages during the workweek; roughly 16% of all brand Facebook posts are published daily from Monday through Friday, while roughly 9% of posts are published on Saturdays and Sundays.
Despite the sharp drop-off in post frequency on weekends, Facebook content published on Saturdays and Sundays actually sees significantly higher engagement. This is especially true for Sunday, when brand see an average of 2.72 interactions per post. That dwarfs the average number of interactions per post during the work week (2.27 average interactions per post on Mondays). By our measurements, posting on a Sunday is 25% more effective than posting on a Wednesday, when your audience is presumably more busy.
So what have we learned? When determining the best times to post on Facebook, the benefits to moving outside of the 9-5, Monday-Friday workweek are significant. Odds are, your audience is always on social media — even at night and on the weekends. Posting after work hours and on the weekends is a good strategy to test to see if you reap the interactions your brand is after.