In a hurry? Here are the key findings from our study:
- Online Facebook users in South Africa grow in number from around 3 a.m. peaking at 8 a.m.
- A sharp dip occurs after 8 a.m. then from 9 a.m. online users grow steadily to peak again at 8 p.m.
- From 8 p.m. Facebook users drop, hitting a lowest point of online users around 2a.m.
It’s a question people have been asking since the dawn of social media: when is the best time to post? Some digital marketers say that this depends entirely on your specific social media following, as different people use social media at different times and in different ways. However, we have research to the contrary. In fact, we’ll go as far as to say that South Africans all use social media in similar fashions, and at sort of the same times. Here’s why we did this study, who we used as case studies, and what we found:
Why We Did This Study
We’re a digital marketing company, so we’re always looking at ways to improve our service offering for our clients. We ran tests across a few of our client social media platforms (focusing on Facebook primarily) to see when their followers were best primed to engage with the content we were posting. We couldn’t understand why our Facebook posts were getting low impressions (between 100 and 200 per post) when our Facebook following was sitting at over 2000 people. We found that it was all in the timing – you can’t have EVERY follower see EVERY post you put up, because they use Facebook at different times. So, to get the best exposure, it makes sense to post when MOST of your followers are online, right?
How We Carried It Out
The preliminary stages of this study involved establishing posting schedules with varied times. We posted first thing in the morning, just before lunch, just after lunch, in the late afternoon, and even in the evenings. We do this for all of our social media management clients in their first month of service, so as to establish an effective post schedule for their specific brand and social media following. Once we started noticing an engagement trend, we turned to Facebook in search of corroborative data. What we found surprised us so much that we decided a blog article was necessary to share our findings.
Who We Looked At
To get a complete picture of when South Africans are on Facebook, we looked at clients from multiple industries with followers from all over South Africa. These are the clients we chose for this study, with their industries and Facebook following at the time of the study:
- WSI Durban (digital marketing, 2019 followers)
- Need-A-Tool (construction hire, 3256 followers)
- Sky Safaris (helicopter hire, 4483 followers)
- Beds 2 Go (furniture store, 3888 followers)
- Dash Cars (used car sales, 377 followers)
What We Found
We found, across all client data sets, that the times when most Facebook users are online are at 8 a.m. and then again at 8 p.m. Here’s what the data looks like from Facebook Insights:
Beds 2 Go
How To Perform This Test Yourself
Want to see when most of YOUR Facebook followers are online? Here’s how:
Log into your Facebook account and navigate to your business page:
Click on the INSIGHTS tab just above your cover image:
Once the insights page loads, find POSTS in the left-hand menu and click on it:
Here you’ll find the above timeline graph for your Facebook business page, as well as data on which days your followers are most active. As you can see, the best days to post to WSI Durban is on a Monday and a Friday:
NB: Keep in mind that Facebook shows this data in the Pacific time zone, which is 9 hours behind South African time. Therefore, 11 a.m. Pacific time is actually 8 p.m. South African time.
Social Media Management with In-Depth Analytics
Looking for a digital marketing agency to run your business social media? Choose a company that puts in the time and dives deep into the data, ensuring that your social media efforts are as effective as possible – removing guess work from the social media marketing equation. Contact us today and find out more about our social media management solutions for Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook marketing!