I don’t know about you, but doing sales or advertising never excited me. Some people are great at it. Alas, I am not. However, by running my own business, if I want to be successful, I have market myself.
It feels like business and brand marketing has gotten so much more complicated lately: there’s SEO, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus… it just doesn’t end. If you’re anything like me, a person that doesn’t specialize in marketing, it all feels like a big, confusing maze. For example, one question I’ve been asking for a long time: when is the best time for me to post on Facebook so that I can reach the biggest chunk of my audience? Luckily, Facebook recently updated their analytics to give us some insight into that, and I’d like to show you how you can find this information.
Much like anything else, you have to know your customers, and their Facebook habits, in order to get their eye-balls. Moms of small kids will check-in Facebook at different times of day than High School seniors. This is why, to know your audience, you have to use your own data.
Follow along with the steps outlined below and you should have some good data in about 2 minutes.
Before we get started, here’s what you need:
- access to your business Facebook page. If you don’t have a business page, and instead are using a personal page for your posts, I’m sorry to say, Facebook just doesn’t provide any analytical data for you at this time.
- at least a couple of dozen followers to your page.
Ready? Here we go!
1. Open you Facebook business page. A preview of your Facebook insights should appear toward the top of the page. Click on the ‘See All’ link in the upper right corner of that box.
2. In the upper left navigation click on “Posts”.
3. You will see a secondary navigation menu appear. Click on “When Your Fans Are Online”.
4. You will now see two graphs:
The top illustrates the distribution of your fans and seeing posts, during the course of a week. It’s important to know that this is when your fans are browsing around Facebook, in general, not just when they visit your page. For me, you can see that Mondays and Wednesdays have the highest numbers. So I’m more likely to want to post on a Monday or Wednesday and stay away from Saturday posts.
The bottom graph illustrates the Facebook post views over a 24 hour period. There’s a sharp decline after 9pm, and it stays pretty low until 8am the next day… on average. From looking at this graph, it appears that the most Facebook post reads happen between 2pm-3pm, and while it dips a bit at 3, it stays pretty steady until 9pm. From this, I would want to schedule my posts just a little shy of 2pm.
But it doesn’t end there!!!
5. Click on any of the day bar graph boxes. Observe the blue line drawn over the average hourly graph. This shows you, what the hourly visit rate was for that Tuesday. If I continue hovering over all the remaining days of the week, I can identify the day and hour that most of my fans were online and reading posts.
That’s it! It’s really that simple. This is how you can decide when to publish your important Facebook posts.
A few notes:
- This data is only available for the previous 7 days. The past week might not be a good example of an average week for you. To know what happens over a longer period time, you’ll want to record and re-examine this data weekly.
- As your fan base increases, or your target customer demographic changes, re-evaluate your results. You have to stay current!
- If you want to know, historically, what YOUR most successful posts have been, you can also take advantage of the “Export Data” functionality.
So there you have it. I hope this provides you some Facebook insights.
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I am a lifestyle photographer based out of the California Bay Area. My favorite part of photography is capturing the little moments in time and telling a story. I love preserving hugs and the laughter from a joke. Working as a photographer has allowed me to express both my creativity, as well as my nerdy nature, working to understand how a business becomes successful. You can win me over with a good slice of Tiramisu, a casual get-together amongst friends, or an invitation to fly at an indoor wind-tunnel.