A a well-timed Facebook post can get you a ton of eyeballs and do wonders for your marketing…   But if you get your timing wrong it’s like having a billboard in the desert. You need to post when people are using the platform!

Food For Thought

80% of smartphone users between the ages of 18-44 check their mobile devices as soon as they wake up in the morning.

Did you know that Facebook’s engagement rates on Thursday are 18% higher than the other week days!

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Recent research by Buddy Media suggests that rather than the weekend period, which many assume to be the busiest time for social networking, in fact Thursday and Friday are by far and away the busiest days on Facebook. 

In fact 86% of all posts are entered during the standard working week, peaking as folks get excited about the nearing weekend. However, what really matters is what these users are doing. Are they just idly chatting to pass the working hours, or are these people actively engaging and sharing posts and links with their peers?

Saturday may have the lowest overall usage, but paradoxically it has the highest proportion of shares of any day of the week. 

By no means should this automatically be taken to read that Saturday is necessarily the best day to post content… It really boils down to what product we are marketing and to whom.

While say Starbucks and Red Bull post mainly during the week when their followers may be needing a caffeine/energy hit to get through the day, Avon post theirs pretty much balanced over all seven days. There must be a reason for this, so lets ask a few questions:

Who’s the target audience?Facebook Target Audience

People live and work on different schedules, and check their Facebook accordingly. If you’re trying to attract young adults, it’s best to catch them on their ‘down time’ at weekends, but working professionals aren’t going to take much notice during 9-5, Monday – Friday. 

It is crucially important to consider when people will engage on Facebook, and also when they may have spare time on their hands to relate to the message being put to them and hopefully share it with their friends.

When are they active on Facebook?

This may need a little investigation but it’s well worth the effort, especially considering that within thirty minutes a branded post will be available to around half of the target audience. 

Lets try and learn a lesson from the big operators – and it doesn’t get any bigger than Coca-Cola with a massive 76 million followers. It’s a huge corporate responsibility to keep these followers on message, and to do so Coke make sure that they post overwhelmingly in the mornings and evenings as they are trying to cater for a worldwide following.

But having carried out their research they also know the core habits of the key demographic that they are trying to target. They know that between the ages of 18-44, people are using their smart phones – and invariably Facebook – pretty much as soon as they get out of bed and that this is the optimum time for them to post.

Really it all comes down to…

Your product and a little trial and error can go a long way in determining if the targeted audience tend to be comprised of early risers, daytime social networkers or Facebooking night owls.

And what content should we show our audience?

Excited as we may be to post an action packed, highly produced movie at 7.30am as our audience rise from their slumber and get ready for their day – are they going to really make time in their routine to watch it? Most likely not, however what may well engage them and get them chatting about the product over the course of their day is something smart, snappy, savvy and at this time of day – a short post!

A perfect example…

Would once again be Coke – smartly on message by posting an inspirational quote by the recently deceased Nelson Mandela.

Quick to-the-point, easily-consumed and memorable is always the best route to take when looking to grab an audience’s attention with a morning post.

The same rules can be applied just as well to other times of day

For an example let’s return to the high quality movie that we want people to watch but would rather they kept their attention as they did so. Much of this kind of content is published to Facebook when people are hitting their commute – and naturally also their smart phones. It can reap massive rewards in following these simple rules and taking the time to target followers depending on their routine, habits and likelihood to participate with the content being posted.