Facebook: how frequently should I post?

Big or small, most businesses have a Facebook page.

Research from MYOB found that businesses active in social media are more likely to increase revenue. In addition, research by the IAB Social Media Council in the UK found that consumers are more likely to recommend brands they’ve seen on social media. Clearly, it’s an important part of any marketing mix.

But the conundrum for business owners is: how often do I post?

It’s a question I get asked a-plenty.

Post infrequently and risk missing out on valuable exposure? Or post incessantly and risk irritating customers? How much is too much?

Frequent posting is okay – as long as the content is varied

We’ve all blocked a brand that irritates us up to our eyebrows with too many posts. Most often, it’s not that the posts are too frequent – they’re too similar.

The aforementioned IAB Social Media Council survey also found that repeat exposure on Facebook actually increased brand engagement, so feel free to post a lot. Do not post the same content over and over. Keep your post content varied and engaging. It’s wise to slowly increase your frequency to test out the reaction. Wind it back if your responses are dropping.

Don’t post more than once a day

The average lifespan of a Facebook post is three hours. Yep, in three short hours your Facebook post will be toast. That is NOT a reason to post every three hours to stay at the top of news feeds!

Facebook officially recommends posting once per day. They’d know.

Also, research by Track Social found that when brands publish two Facebook posts per day, likes per post drop by 43 per cent. Ye-owch. KissMetrics found that one post every two days generates the most posts on Facebook.

Don’t worry about frequency, worry about timing

KissMetrics estimates that there are about 30 billion posts on Facebook each month from 500 million active users. But when are they using?

Catch your users when they’re on Facebook. Typically, that’s first thing in the morning (6-8am) lunchtime (around 1pm), and evenings (8-11pm). If your customers are in business, avoid mid-morning and mid-afternoon when they’re working. If your customers are busy mums, avoid the school pickup hours. BuddyMedia found that brands posting outside business hours had 20 per cent better engagement on Facebook. KissMetrics found that most Facebook shares occur on Saturdays and generally the busiest times of day are noon and 7pm.

But the only way to find out what works for you is to trial it on your page.

A final note: Keep your posts short

BuddyMedia found that posts with 80 characters or less generated 66 per cent more engagement.

And if you want to generate discussion and comment, ask your fan a question. BuddyMedia found that posts with questions generated double the number of comments.

Key tips

  1. Post on Facebook every second day – and build up gradually to this level
  2. Post varied content
  3. Post when traffic peaks (early morning, lunchtime, evenings, Saturdays)
  4. Trial what works for you
  5. Ask questions to generate discussions
  • I wonder if it also depends on the type of business and what you’re posting? We also know that images attract a lot more attention and likes. I suspect businesses that provide posts which are more image based could probably get away with doing 2-3 a day, or more, unlike just text based posts.

  • As with any social… content is key. Your social content, or “post”, has to be valued by your audience, it has to be relevant to your audience – and they will respond accordingly (with likes, shares comments etc). No one can commit to the “general” time that your audience we will be on Facebook – as your audience (and their FB behaviour) is different/unique. There are tools that provide all this information to you… that you can use to MONITOR your success in social. But this is perhaps the most important part of social activities… monitoring. Monitoring the type of post, the time of post, the audience’s reaction to the post, the virality of the post, will often tell you – what works and what doesn’t.

  • Brilliant article – thanks for clarifying the Facebook conundrum – to remain interesting is the biggest challenge and using your own images is best. We have all seen too many images borrowed and reused on different posts. Only using subject matter relevant to your business doesn’t necessarily work either – it makes us yawn ‘oh not again!’. Try something interesting and totally irrelevant to your business and just put your tag on it. Does anyone feel ‘trending’ subjects are effective?