1. The best time to post isn’t when you think it is
When you post on Facebook, your posts are shown to some users who have already “liked” or “followed” your page.
The exact number (or percentage) will depend on your organic reach.
Your organic reach is determined by a bunch of different factors. The most important ones are the amount of engagement you get on your posts and the amount of competition your posts have.
Competition is a crucial factor. If there are many other posts created by friends and by other pages a user has liked that are published around the same time as your post is, Facebook can show only so many of them. The more competition, the less likely your content will be shown.
Intuitively, it makes sense to post when the most users are online, which is during the day. That way, a greater percentage of your followers could potentially be exposed to your posts.
But the BuzzSumo analysis actually found the complete opposite.
The red line in the following graph represents your competition—the number of other posts published around the same time.
The blue line shows the engagement that posts receive at different times of the day. Engagement includes commenting, sharing, and liking posts.
Posts get the most engagement when the total number of posts is at its lowest.
Conversely, there’s too much competition during peak times (during the day), which leads to low engagement.
The conclusion from this data is to post between 9 PM and 11 PM in the time zone that most of your followers live in.
BuzzSumo mainly looked at US pages, but you can apply the findings to any time zone.
Why? Because they also tested it for another country: France.
They found that posts published between 11 PM and midnight had the highest average engagement (240.06 shares). Likewise, posts published from 10 AM until noon performed the worst.
Almost identical trends.
2. Certain types of posts perform over 5 times better than others
There are 6 main types of posts you can create on your business page:
- Image posts
As part of the analysis, BuzzSumo looked at the performance of each type. Note that interactions mean the same thing as engagement (total number of likes, shares, and comments).
There’s one type of content that isn’t on the graph that actually performs better than all of them.
No, I didn’t lie to you before; there are only 6 main types. But there are a few different subtypes of each of the types.
Most importantly, the BuzzSumo team dug into different types of question posts and found something huge.
Question posts combined with images resulted in an average of 616.70 interactions. However, questions posts that were text only received 144.45 interactions (terrible).
Finally, the analysis didn’t just look at the total number of all types of engagement. It also included the breakdown by each type (comments, likes, and shares).
There are a few interesting points to note on that graph:
- videos get the highest number of average shares (83.87)
- giveaways get the highest number of average comments (33.91)
While the high number of comments is interesting, keep in mind that comments are usually required to enter giveaways and are almost always low quality.
A more practical analysis would involve looking at the average length of comments for each post type (maybe an idea for a future research project for BuzzSumo).
Overall, we can draw the conclusion that images and videos perform best when it comes to overall interaction while videos are best if you’re looking for shares in particular.
Additionally, combining questions with images (or videos) will yield the best results; do so whenever possible.
3. Sunday is a special day, especially for businesses on Facebook
Not all your posts will be equally important.
You’ll want to make sure that important posts (like links to your website or product announcements) are as optimized as possible so that as many people as possible see them.
We’ve already determined a time interval that’s best for posting, but we haven’t looked at the best day.
The analysis revealed that posts on weekdays all receive nearly the same number of interactions (on average).
However, posts on weekends receive a significantly higher number:
Sunday is the best day to post, with an average of 401.75 interactions, followed by Saturday at 365.30 interactions.
The research didn’t reveal the reasons why this happens, but you can take your own guess. Perhaps people use Facebook more on weekends, or maybe businesses don’t post as often (less competition).
Regardless, you now know that posts on Saturday and Sunday will get more engagement than on the weekdays. Save your important posts for the weekend.