social media how toAre you wondering how often to post on your Facebook page?

Do you know whether Facebook post frequency or content has a bigger impact on engagement?

Here at Social Media Examiner, we did some testing, and dug into our Facebook metrics.

What we found are some very interesting things about Facebook reach, posting frequency and what matters most to get the engagement you want.

In this article I’ll share what we tested and how you can find your own data and determine what works best for your own audience.

What Should Your Facebook Post Frequency Be?

Facebook has changed the news feed algorithm, that’s for sure–everyone is talking about a decline in reach. Since fewer of your fans may be seeing your posts, what worked in the past may not work now.

what works for facebook posts

Find out what works for Facebook posts.

In the past people have advised posting between 2 and 5 times per day, but those studies are outdated. However, even more recently, Bufferapp suggested posting 2 times per day on Facebook, 7 days per week. But does any of that advice—old or new—work for everyone?

Instead of relying on other people’s data, do your own testing to determine what works for your audience. You may find some surprising results.

Find Your Baseline

The first thing you want to do is make sure you know what’s already working for you.

Start by going to Facebook Insights and selecting Reach. Change the date range to see how the reach of your posts has been doing over time. Make a note of any large changes in engagement. (You may see a gap in the Facebook data for April, as we did.)

changing the date in facebook insights

Take a look at your post reach and likes, comments and shares.

Use the data from your given timeframe to determine the average engagement for your page and use that as the baseline to compare with future data.

One thing that surprised us when we looked at Social Media Examiner’s Facebook reach was that it hadn’t declined as much as we had thought. Even with the new algorithm change, there wasn’t the huge dropoff others were reporting.

With your own baseline set, it’s helpful to know how other Facebook pages are doing so you can get an idea of how you compare. Facebook’s Pages to Watch feature makes that task easy. If you haven’t set it up, now’s a good time to do it.

The Pages to Watch area is in the Overview section of your Insights and is available if you have at least 100 people who like your page.

Of course, you’ll want to add your competitors’ pages, and since you can watch up to 100 pages, add pages outside of your niche as well to see what’s working for a broader audience. Keep an eye on how many times these pages post each week and what type of engagement they have.

pages to watch feature in facebook insights

Watch competitors’ pages and even pages unrelated to your niche to see what works across the board.

It’s easy to add and remove pages from your list. If you just need a quick snapshot of a page’s performance, you can add it and then remove it if you don’t want to keep monitoring it.

Do Your Own Testing

At the beginning of this article I explained the importance of determining what works for your audience instead of assuming general advice is a rule.

I’m going to share how we used our Facebook Insights to compare and measure posting frequency and engagement over time. You can use the same method to do testing on your own page.

We compared a week where we posted updates more frequently than usual with two weeks where we posted updates at a regular (lower) rate.

The week with frequent posts was July 12-17 (44 posts) and the weeks with fewer posts were July 5-12 and June 28-July 5 (28 and 29 posts respectively).

In Facebook Insights we set the date range (in this case July 12-17) and clicked the Benchmark option to see the average reach, likes, comments and shares compared to the previous period. Notice that our reach numbers didn’t change significantly despite the increase in posts from the previous week.

post reach in facebook insights

Go to Post Reach in Insights to compare stats.

Next we looked at the week before (July 5-12, when we posted less regularly). When we looked at the likes, comments and shares graph, we saw a decrease in those numbers during the week of fewer posts.

post reach stats in facebook insights

Experiment with posting frequency and compare stats.

But to dive just a bit deeper, we went back one more week (June 28-July 5, also with a less-frequent posting schedule) to see what type of interaction and reach we got that week (note also that it was a holiday week in the U.S.).

When we compared the week of June 28-July 5 (when we posted less frequently) with the week of July 12-17 (when we posted more frequently), we saw that the week with fewer posts had higher reach and more likes.

post reach stats in facebook insights

Compare your reach over several weeks to get an idea of what’s really working.

Obviously this is just a snapshot of our data over three weeks, and more testing and comparison are needed, but I think we can say that posting frequency isn’t necessarily the driving force behind engagement.

As you apply this testing method to your own page, I encourage you to compare several weeks of data to find trends for your own posting schedule and engagement.

Analyze the Data

To see a more accurate view of trends over time, look at a range of dates and compare reach with likes, comments and shares data. In the example below, we looked at the month of July.

What we found was that our page reach corresponds to likes, comments and shares. That’s not surprising, but it supports our previous results and suggests that finding the best content for your audience is more important than worrying about Facebook reach and changing algorithms.

page reach in facebook insights

Your page reach is closely related to likes, comments and shares.

To figure out what kind of content you should be looking for and sharing, dig into Insights and find your most viral content from the last six months. It’s a good bet that type of viral content will work for you now as well.

The easiest way to find your viral content is to use the Export feature and select Post Level Data. You can only download 500 posts at a time, so if you post a lot, you may have to export a series of files.

post level export from facebook insights

Export Post Level Data to see what’s popular with your fans.

Open your exported Excel file and look at the Lifetime Talking About This Tab. Create a new column in that tab (shown in the image below as Engagement) that calculates the sum of the three columns labeled comment, like and share.

facebook insights data in spreadsheet

Add together the comment, like and share columns.

Do a custom sort in Excel by the Engagement column that you just created.

facebook insights data sorted in spreadsheet

Find your post with the most comments, likes and shares over a long period.

Now you can easily see which posts are getting the most engagement over a period of time.

facebook insights top post data sorted in spreadsheet

Sort your top posts to find any topic trends.

From here you can do other experiments. For example, find and post a different angle on popular topics. Or try reposting the most popular updates to see if you get a similar response. It doesn’t hurt to repurpose content because not everyone in your audience would have seen it the first time.

Over to You

You can find a lot of advice out there telling you when you should post on Facebook to get the most visibility and engagement. Instead of taking it at face value and applying it to your page across the board, do some testing to find out if the advice works for your audience.

We’ve shared one way we experimented and compared data using Facebook Insights—we hope it gives you a place to start and an idea of what to look for and measure. It’s important to do your own testing to find out what works for you.

You can see from our data that there’s no magic number of posts per day to get more engagement—in fact, content may play a larger role than post frequency. However, I recommend posting at least once a day so you don’t lose momentum.

What do you think? Are your Facebook posts performing well? How often do you post on your page? Have you found the topics and times that work best for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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  • Wow this is a great post! This is one of those topics that the so-called ‘experts’ love to write about, but you took the idea of telling people when to post and taught people how to determine when to post on their own. Awesome!! How does that saying go….give a man a fish….

  • Tania Mings

    Great article! Problem I am having is that I still have a very small audience which I am trying to grow. I have been boosting posts just to get them seen. Is this advisable in the beginning so that I can at least have *some* of my audience see the posts?

  • Katka

    Thanks for this! Our rep at Facebook ads had advised us to post 3 times a day, down from 20 times. He guaranteed us that our traffic would boom as a result. Boy, was he wrong! We went from a reach of over 25k, down to a reach of 2,000. Worst advice EVER! We said “screw it, we’re doing what works for US!” and gave Facebook a stern talking to for their poor advice. Now we’re back in action and growing even more, even though we post WELL above the normal advised rate!

  • Katka

    It depends on what you want to get out of your posts. For us, it’s about driving traffic back to our site. Facebook post boosts are sort of okay for that, but you end up paying for people who just “look” at the post, and don’t even interact with it (if you CPM, not pay per click). We’ve found the best use of our money comes when a post is already organically successful, and the additional ad money helps boost that success. Very rarely have we seen success in getting low-reach posts in front of more eyes. It’s a difference of $.10 vs. $.44 usually.

  • Tania Mings

    Thanks Katka! It sure is a challenge figuring out how to best market. I know that our ultimate goal is to have them sign up on our mailing list. Just so much harder to do that than have someone “like” your FB page. Will keep at it 🙂

  • Thanks so much – I’m a big believer in there not being one “perfect” answer – it’s what’s right for you!

  • Great advice Katka – yes, I think boosting the post is a little better to go just to your own audience (via a Promoted Post instead) because you could pay for a “non-Fan” to Like your post and they will never see you again. I think the money is better spent on getting Likes early on and getting people on your e-mail list @taniamings:disqus.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience – yes, Facebook doesn’t always know best 🙂

  • One technique that works is to post the same article several times per day only using a different perspective – and headline – each time you post it. For instance, when we have a new blog post, we put it on Facebook with a straight “here’s our latest blog post” approach and then later we reposted again only this time we mention the importance of what the post is about to our FB fans and then finally (usually overnight) we rebrand It to talk about a specific aspect of the post and mention in passing that it’s from our latest blog post.

    Does that make sense?

  • I manage several pages. The pages that have over 2,000 followers always receive more exposure per post than little pages. Facebook monthly Ads even as small as $75 have helped all my pages grow and get seen more. The biggest thing I’ve noticed the past few months is activity on 90% of my pages is way up on the weekends.

  • Excellent post Andrea. I appreciate the transparency and level of details. We try to post at least once a day, more if we have quality content that justifies it.

    We find that reach is more sensitive to how well the post resonates with our audience than frequency or even time of day.

    The key we find is consistency, both for current and prospective audience. Well-placed, relevant hashtags can have a positive impact on discovery, therefore reach.

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  • Yes I do recommend reposting articles. I generally don’t do the same article 3 times that day on Facebook (definitely on Twitter) but if it’s working for you then that’s great!

  • Having an advertising budget is almost a must these days on Facebook. Great to hear how much activity you are getting on the weekends! I think a lot of people overlook posting then!

  • Thanks for sharing what’s been working for you. Posting consistently is definitely a must.

  • I do to. It’s a missed opportunity. I think for mainstream people who don’t live on social media like we do, the weekend is a time to check in and share what they are up to. Great time for us to engage. 🙂

  • Great post. I have no idea about analyzing the data in facebook, but you clarified my doughts about it. The screen shots are even more useful to understand it better.

  • Danielle K. Lambert

    Um. This is the coolest idea, even for someone who hates Excel. You just got me to use it! Definitely passing this idea onto my clients.

  • Joe Gotkin

    Love the article, it’s nice to see some explicit data analysis. This past week our company was running very similar tests on post frequency effectiveness between industry types and ad spend. I recommend doing the same, because there are a lot of variances in the results; some that defy common expectations.

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  • Thank you for a very interesting article @andreavahl:disqus! There are so many companies and agencies that are telling how many times you should be posting and even at what specific times, but I’m very sceptical about each of them. As you said, companies should do their own testing and figure out what works best specifically for them.

    In terms of finding the most optimal frequency of posts, I would also have a look at the negative feedback the page receives (“Hide, Report as Spam, and Unlikes” under “Reach” on the Insights). Find an average negative feedback for a previous period and see how it changes if you double, triple or even quadruple the number of posts – if you’re posting high quality content, you shouldn’t see much of a difference. If it leads to a lot of negative feedback though, you might need to improve the quality of your posts or cut down on their number.

    Also, the number of Likes/Shares/Comments might not reveal the entire picture of engagement. I think looking at the ‘Lifetime Post Consumers’ or ‘Lifetime Post Consumptions’ in the exported insights data can be more effective, as it includes the number of clicks on links and photos, which is ‘invisible’ but valuable engagement nonetheless.

  • Bolu Olawumi

    Thank you Andrea. This is insight filled. I had known what works but with your write up, I even got more useful data than I even thought I could access after exporting from the Insights tab. Well done

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  • WhaleRiot

    Thanks so much for this article. Really helpful and love that you walked through the stats with how to. Super valuable. 🙂

  • Justin

    I don’t necessarily agree with the lumping of likes comments and shares into a group called “engagement.” Personally I value shares over comments over likes.

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  • Waye’s Home Accessory

    yes that is a good idea to post 2 times a day! i post on my page about that many times a day. i try to schedule a post for every 30 minutes to an hour. i dont want my fans/potential customers to forget about me. my goal is to be on their minds whenever they think of buying a product similar to what i am selling. this has worked for me so far. the more i post the more people i reach according to the facebook insights. sometimes i pay for post though. but that can get very expensive if the conversion rate isnt good.

  • MaxDoyleAu

    I absolutely agree that the optimal posting rate is unique to every Facebook page. Additionally, there are other factors to be taken into account such as what time of day and day of the week to post to get the best engagement.

    I would also like to make the comment that SME is a content producer, with an audience that is hungry for content, however other businesses and brands are not necessarily naturally content producers and consequently an increase in post frequency can quickly have negative impacts on engagement. Hence, a social media manager should always consider the type of community they are managing.