Imagine if everyone who read (and wrote) those “Best Times to Post on Social Media” blogs actually followed those rules? It would kind of be like everyone trying to get on the train at the same time and you can be certain, not everyone is going to make it to the newsfeed.

“When is the best time for me to post?” is still one of the most common questions I get. And so it makes sense that all those “Best time to post” articles get passed around like pigs in a blanket at a party every time they come up.

Think about it. Should a church, an auto repair shop, a cross-fit gym, a museum, a law firm, a movie theatre and a music venue, all post on Facebook between 2pm and 4pm? The single mom could be getting up at the same time the bar owner is just about to get some sleep. Without studying your own audience’s engagement behaviors, you could be sorely missing out on engagement.

Each social media tool has its own set of analytics you should be using. Use a spreadsheet to track the time of day you post, and then add the engagement figures behind it to create a baseline. That initially tedious tracking will pay off when you finally realize what time all your guests are actually showing up to the party.

Facebook Post Insights

Facebook Post Insights

Facebook will even tell you the exact number of users online by day and time to help guide you in your Post Insights tool. When you hover on each day, you’ll see where your timeline is within or outside of the boundaries of the typical Facebook “whale”. This is by no means a firm rule for posting, but will give you some insight into your following’s daily habits.

I had a client once who held firmly to a “Best Times” rule, and this made sense at the time, because her page was new, and she didn’t have enough intel yet to formulate her own best practice. But as soon as she accidentally scheduled a post for 11pm instead of her token 1pm, things became very clear. Her late night post had engagement and shares like never before. And it wasn’t just a magic content unicorn. She started to consistently post after 9pm at night, and her community came out of the woodwork!

It is a hard enough game to get your content seen in a newsfeed these days. Why bury yourself in following the rule of the masses? Clearly, it  can be to your benefit to show up late to the party!

Do the work to understand the behavior of your unique audience so that you can meet them where they are at. Or have someone assist you on this analysis. If your active network is at your party at 9pm, why share enlightening insights with them at 3pm just because some “expert” told you to? Don’t let them miss out on your valuable guidance!

Wondering how to use the free social media analytics available to you to identify your best posting schedule? Let’s talk!