The internet is filled with articles about the best times to post on social media whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You’ll find a lot of articles online that claim to have the answers. So is there really an ideal time slot in which to post? The real answer is: it depends.

Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all answer as to when you should be posting on Facebook doesn’t exist. Sure, there are time ranges that are clearly better than others. For example, posting in the middle of a random Monday during work hours isn’t your best bet. However, claiming “noon on Wednesday” as the best time to post is too much of a generalization and doesn’t take into account a multitude of important factors to consider such as the industry you are in, how loyal and engaged your customer base is, and the type of post you deploy (organic posts to the news feed, or facebook ads).

There are several strategies you can utilize to obtain insights about peak timing for engagement and traffic levels for YOUR business on each of the social media platforms. By analyzing past data and knowing your social media audience, you can make deductions about the best time to post to gain maximum engagement. With a little extra effort and creative thinking, you can determine the best time for your business by understanding your audience.

How the Facebook Algorithm Affects Engagement

In early 2018, Facebook adjusted its algorithm so that users would see more content that they were actually interested in, and simultaneously reduced the clutter of unrelated content. The reason behind the change was to keep users on the platform longer by serving them up content Facebook thinks they’d enjoy the most, based on the posts they typically engaged with

This change ultimately affected Facebook Pages in a pretty severe way. In their attempts to bridge the gap between user-intent and effective content, Facebook began to prioritize content from facebook users’ friends and family rather than content from brands. In the immediate weeks that followed the algorithm update, many pages saw a sharp decline in organic reach and engagement.

Consequently, it’s paramount to strategize the timing of your posts on Facebook in order to maximize your potential reach.

So When is the Best Time to Post on Facebook?

Luckily, Constant Contact has a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you navigate Facebook Analytics to determine the best time for your business to post on Facebook:

Step 1: Determine who your audience is

Look at your Facebook demographics within your Facebook Insights.

Your Facebook audience may be different than you think. You can review the age range and gender breakdown by opening your Facebook Insights and visiting the “People” tab.

If you have multiple locations or a large customer base, you will want to review the location of your audience as they may be spread across various time zones. This will, of course, affect how you think about what time is best to post to your Facebook Page.

Step: 2: Think about what their day looks like

Now that you know the demographics of your audience, think about their day — is your typical fan a stay-at-home mom? A college student? Likely to work a 9-to-5 job? All of these factors can help you determine the best time to post on your page.

You can also look at the “Posts” tab to see when most of your audience is active and online.

Step 3: Apply what you know

Use the information you now have about your audience to draft a posting plan. The hard part is finding the sweet spot between posting when your audience is online and when other businesses are posting less frequently, getting your content seen by potential customers or donors without the competition of others.

You can see if you’re on the right track by experimenting with different times and then checking to see how much engagement each post received. You can also see if there are any trends regarding past posting hours and the extent to which users engage at any given time. This breakdown can be found in the “Posts” tab:

Step 4: Share content that’s in the moment

Sometimes the most important thing you can do to reach your audience is to share extremely timely and relevant content. For example, you can give your fans a look behind-the-scenes of your business by sharing photos of your staff preparing to open your store in the morning.

Better yet, take a short 5-minute Facebook Live video and interview your staff about why they love working for your business. Live videos perform especially well because Facebook prioritizes this timely content in the newsfeed.

Tip: Brand new to Facebook Live? Here are 10 Lessons We Learned During Our First Facebook Live.

The bottom line?

No matter when you post on Facebook, the truth is that an algorithm controls when your content gets seen. That doesn’t mean Facebook isn’t a worthwhile tool for your business, but you should look for ways to connect with your fans on other social media platforms, as well as through your email list.

Email marketing allows you to reach your audience directly, in a place they visit every day: their inbox.

Start encouraging your Facebook fans to join your mailing list by sharing your latest email newsletter, along with a signup link. You can also use Facebook and Instagram to build brand awareness – and your business – with social marketing.

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