Best Times to Post to Facebook

Clients ask me all the time “what are the best times to post on Facebook?” Here is the magical answer, “I haven’t got a clue.” Why don’t I have a clue you ask? Because I don’t know your audience and that fact is the most important one when deciding when to post.

So, how do you get to know your audience? First, look at the data you already have. If you have had a Facebook page with over 30 fans you’re collecting data on each fan and that data shows up in your Page Insights. Insights have been greatly improved and the format changed recently so go here  and get a copy of Facebook’s guide to understanding them (just under the graphic, on the right). You may also want to download the other guides available at that link and bone up on your Facebook marketing all ‘round.

If you are new to Facebook and don’t yet have an audience you will have to take a slightly different approach – Decide who you want your audience to be and set about attracting them. Use at least 3 characteristics to describe them – age, location, earnings, career, kids, lifestyle, etc. and based on that, make an educated guess when you think they will be on Facebook – yes, I said guess. Then test those times for engagement.

For instance, if your product/service appeals to women between 25 and 35 there is a good chance they have small children – marketing to them before 9pm might be a waste of time, because they are likely preparing meals, guiding through homework, organizing for the next school day and maybe even packing lunches – that woman checks Facebook from her laptop, when the kiddies are tucked in, while she watches her favorite show – after 9pm.

Smart business users of Facebook watch carefully to determine the times their audience is engaging with their content – over time their audience tells them exactly when to post.  And for those of you who think you have it down, there is one caveat, Facebook changes like a winter day in Newfoundland so make sure you check your data occasionally to determine if your audience may have shifted, especially if you see a drop in engagement.

Now it’s your turn – How did you decide when to post, or are you still working on it? Have some tips to share? I’d love your feedback – Thanks!

10 Things You Should Do When Using Facebook for Business

1. Claim your username – If you haven’t already, go here and claim the name that best fits your page. This makes it much easier for people to find you and for you to pass on your Facebook contact info. For instance, “Find me at http://facebook.com/AlisonStoodleyEnterprises”  is a lot easier to pass around than “Find me at http://facebook.com/Alison-Stoodley-Enterprises-5867746382450084673932”.

2. Stop focusing on numbers – It is better to have 25 engaged customers who actually buy what you are selling than 500 who only signed up for the giveaway and not only don’t engage with your content, but don’t want your product/service.  An organically grown, targeted, engaged audience is one of your most valuable business assets – focus on creating that, instead of boosting numbers.

3. Create a custom landing page for new arrivals. Using one of the many 3rd party applications available, (some great ones here) create a page with a call-to-action to ‘like’ your page. You can also create a fan gate that rewards your likers with exclusive discounts or information that makes them feel valued. These apps can be used to create a mini web page within your Facebook page so go ahead and get creative!

4. Keep in mind that competition for eye-space is fierce on Facebook and staying in your prospects Newsfeed means earning that space with engaging content. Create a posting schedule, test the best times for engagement with your fans and then stick to it. Lack of consistency is one of the main reasons that pages disappear from Newsfeeds – sending out fabulous content doesn’t matter if no one sees it.

5. Create a ‘Sign Up for my Newsletter’ tab on your page. Companies like Constant Contact make this incredibly easy to do. If you don’t have an account with them try it hereherehere for free. Email is still very important in the marketing mix and a permission based list of clients is an incredibly valuable business asset. Remember the difference in cost of acquiring a new customer and in getting a repeat sale? Email marketing is a proven way to keep your customers engaged with your brand, so take advantage of your Facebook page to beef up your email list.

6. Post your Facebook page link at every point of contact. If no one knows you have a page they will be much less likely to find you right? Get your link out there – on your sign on the door, your newspaper ad, your business card, your directory listing, your industry association listing, your letterhead, your invoices, your email signature, your car bumper, your desk, your counter, your cash register, your brochure….get the picture?

7. Make sure you’re receiving email notifications of page activity so that you can respond to comments and posts in a timely manner. Nothing says “we care” quite like an immediate response, just like the opposite is true when someone has to wait hours or even days, for a response.

8. Don’t lock your page down. Building customer relationships is a communication based activity. If prospective clients and customers can’t communicate with you on Facebook you have completely missed the point of “social” media.

9. Don’t shy away from negative comments. Just as you would do everything in your power to make it right if someone complained about your product or service in real life, Facebook should be no different, except that you get to solve the problem while your potential customers watch. Everyone understands that occasionally things go wrong so being up front and open about how you handle customer complaints is a wonderful way to gain customer loyalty. Having said that there is an exception to this rule – if you are slammed without just cause or spammed, simply delete the post without comment. If someone inquires about the deleted post, assure them that your page is reserved for constructive comments and the deleted post did not fit that criteria.

10. Don’t give up. If at first the throngs of new customers don’t come out of the woodwork and surround you with fists full of cash, don’t despair. A Facebook marketing campaign is not a quick fix. It takes time to develop a relationship with your audience and testing what works, is part of that process. You should be looking for results by the end of your first year of actively building a Facebook presence. Results that include increased engagement, increased positive sentiment about your brand and increased sales.

Now it’s your turn. Share your Facebook for Business tips in the comments below, we would love to hear what makes Facebook work for you!

%d bloggers like this: