Brands are less likely to post on Facebook on the weekend, and that seems like it might be a good decision, according to new study from Socialbakers, which is based on an analysis of almost 2.9 million Facebook posts from 23,000 brand pages over a 2-month period. The researchers looked at the percentage of posts that were created on each day of the week, then looked at each day’s “engagement rate potential.”
Here’s how the researchers determined engagement rate potential (contrary to some press reports, the figures do not reflect actual engagement rates):
Socialbakers first looked at the 4,000 most engaging posts from the analyzed sample. Then, to calculate Monday’s engagement rate potential, for example, they calculated the number of those top posts that were created on a Monday and then divided that number by the total number of posts published on Mondays. They repeated that calculation for each day of the week, and then made the resulting percentages relative to each other. (In so doing, they controlled for the variances in number of posts created on each day of the week.)
Monday emerges as the best performer, with its relative percentage at 7.1%. What that means, then, is that posts created on Monday were 7.1% more likely to rank among the top posts than the average post created on any single day. (Alternatively: the share of posts created on Mondays making it into the top posts by engagement rate was 7.1% higher than the overall share.) By contrast, Saturday (-12.1%) and Sunday (-5.3%) were the worst performers.
So are users less engaged on the weekend? Or is it that brands are not only posting less on the weekends, but are also updating less engaging content?
While it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from the data, the study provides an interesting glimpse into potential opportunities. It also raises other questions, too: Are brands not exploiting opportunities on the weekend, or are they right to be focusing more on posting during the week? In an earlier study that looked at Twitter, Socialbakers found that Saturdays had the highest relative engagement rate (engagement rate relative to entire sample of tweets). Last year, research from Buddy Media indicated that brands’ tweets enjoyed higher engagement rates on the weekend.
It’s worth noting that the researchers do offer the requisite disclaimers: results likely differ by industry, market, nature of product or service, audience demographics, and season of the year. (The same caution needs to be applied to questions of email timing.)