We work with a lot of Facebook Pages and we study even more of them. It’s amazing what sort of patterns become clear when you study tens of thousands of posts from hundreds of Pages. One pattern that has struck me is the “East Coast Mindset” displayed by so many major Facebook Pages.
Nowadays, most people are pretty clear that using third-party software to schedule your Facebook posts is a terrible idea (though that may be changing). But that leaves many companies with the problem that their social media manager only works so many hours per day. These hours are almost always reflected in the post times of that Page, and very often bear no regard for the makeup and location of that Fan base.
We’ve studied a number of Pages lately and more interesting than the times when most people do post is the one time when almost no one does: 10PM Eastern.
This is one of the most underutilized time slots on Facebook right now, especially for pages with a global audience. Let’s look at a few reasons why this time-slot is so great:
- The US East Coast audience is comfortably home and settling down for the night. They are likely to be checking Facebook on their phones and computers as they watch some TV, get the kids to bed, etc.
- The US West Coast audience is just getting home, tossing their crap onto the floor and decompressing.
- It’s mid-morning in Asia, and those that can, are sneaking a look a their social sites as a little break before lunch.
- It early to really-early morning in the Middle East and Europe, meaning you can catch people as they are getting ready for work, or slide into the algorithm at 4am local when there is less competition in the European market, thus having a better chance of still being prominent when those folks get up to go work.
Now, I’m not saying 10PM Eastern Time is the best possible time to post. First off, there is no universal best time. Secondly, we don’t have all the data back yet. However, one thing I can say is that 10PM Eastern may be the biggest missed opportunity to post a Facebook message. It has so much potential and has driven such amazing engagement for us, yet so few companies do it.
Brands and organizations need to realize that social media is global and works on a 24-hour clock. Just because your social media manager goes home at 6 doesn’t mean your day’s last post can always be 5:37pm EST.