What's the best time to post on Facebook?

I received an email recently from a client who asked me this question.  She runs a Small Business and doesn’t have time to do anything online. I understand. You would have to live in the Cayman Islands to understand this problem.  (Who wants to be stuck in front of a computer screen when you can be on beautiful Seven Mile beach?)  What about a Mobile phone, you may ask.  When you are older and you have to squint to check your messages, you will also understand this problem.  Older business owners do not want to squint (especially when the sun is so bright!)
Screen grab of Facebook Insights
Table 1: Screen grab of Facebook Insights, “When your fans are online”
Ok, on Facebook’s Easy Websites Cayman Islands, according to our Insights, the “best time”to post is at 8.30am, which positions our FB posts to catch our 9am peak traffic. Question: Are peak times the “best time”to post on Facebook?  I’m not totally convinced for a few reasons…

  • 9am is mostly when people get to work and are “surfing”their emails and Facebook (possibly from their mobile phones as a lot of companies banned the social networking site)
  • At 9am everyone has everything in their mind, from things to do, scheduled meetings and requirements to complete for work
  • They may be “looking”but because this is Facebook, they are definitely not  “buying”yet and are probably on Facebook to check out their family and friends first.

Please note that I do not have a background on psychology nor have I done any extensive studies. This is based solely on my experience with our Facebook Page. We get the most likes on our Facebook page at night (presumably when all the kids have gone to bed and Mom or Dad have a little time to catch up on the days events).  When we post anything on our page, it mostly gets “buried”in all the Facebook posts and if it doesn’t get 1 like within the first hour of posting, forget about it.
So in my opinion the question to ask is NOT what is the best time to post on Facebook but this instead:

“What can I post on Facebook that people will like and want to share?

or

“What can I post on Facebook that not a lot of people know about and is interesting as well as relevant to my audience?

If you post a topic / link / photo on Facebook that is “teaching”something new or sharing knowledge —folks tend to like it.  Quality of your posts is the key. Do not post just to post. I hope this answers your question.  Personally, it doesn’t matter what time of day you post as long as you post something that is teaching something interesting; sharing information that is new and relevant; and perhaps sharing a funny, relevant, personal experience.
“It’s clear that people are going to download media files, and they’re going to talk to each other, and they ‘re going to exchange information and knowledge and so forth. So this system logic is basically what you bounce off of.”  —Michael Nesmith