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Best Time to Post Blogs Are Bullcrap

I have to confess, blogs and infographics that state the best times to post on specific social networks drive me bananas. Typically, these articles collect information based on data from multiple industries, local businesses, national corporations, and different regions, pool it all together and present it as a matter of fact.

So when is the best time to post? When your fans are active on any given social platform. And, as no two Facebook Pages or Twitter Profiles have the same set of fans or followers, the best times for every business are going to be different.

The truth is, a lot of businesses initially set up a Facebook Page with no concept of how to use Facebook Insights, or a Twitter account with no idea there are tools such as Followerwonk to help them answer these questions. “Best time to post” articles are a response to this lack of understanding, and, to give the authors the benefit of the doubt, they are trying to give these businesses a place to start.

Now it’s time to determine what works best for YOU.

As mentioned above, the best times to post are when your fans are active on Facebook.

Facebook’s Insights show you which days of the week and times of day your fans are online. This information is found by clicking “Posts” and then “When Your Fans Are Online.”

 When Your Fans Are Online

Under the “Days” section you can see the average number of fans who saw any post – not just yours – on Facebook.

For example, I can see below that if I don’t want to post every day, Saturday and Sunday are the best days to skip. As my fans’ habits change and my fan base grows, these “best days” will also shift. Don’t set and forget!

To drive the point home, I know this particular page is frequented by moms. Now that school is back in, I expect their Facebook usage will shift dramatically and I will need to check my Facebook Insights again.

 Facebook Insights - The average number of your fans who saw any posts on Facebook by day of the week.

A further breakdown is seen in the “Times” section. This area shows the average number of fans who saw any post – again, not just yours—on Facebook in an hour.

On average, the fans of this page are most active around 6pm.

 Facebook Insights - The average number of your fans who saw any posts on Facebook in an hour.

I stress average above, because as you can see, if I hover over a day in the “Days” section (see below), a line graph appears showing me that on Wednesdays my fans are actually most active around 11am.

Facebook Insights - The average number of your fans who saw any posts on Facebook in an hour on Wednesday.

Visiting this section of Facebook Insights every day to see when you should post on any given day will go a long way to extending your reach. These are the times when your post is most likely going to appear in their News Feed.

As for Twitter, there are a few tools that analyze when the people who follow you are active on Twitter. Followerwonk offers this information for free and is dead simple to use. It even goes deeper by showing you when your followers are more likely to retweet, share posts, or “chit chat.”

So, please beware “best times to post” articles. They serve as a broad brushstroke. Today, tools available that highlights what will work for you specifically are so easily accessible that relying on anything else is no better than guessing.