The Best Time to Run Ads on Facebook
Like most online offerings, Facebook Ads comes with default settings. Often those default settings aren’t necessarily the best fit for your business, but more a generic setting that produces the most advertising revenue for the platform.
A setting that all marketers should be acquainted with is deep in the ‘Budget and Schedule’ section of your Ad Set. When you chose Ad Scheduling > Run ads on a schedule, you will see a grid where you can select any hour, for any day of the week. You can choose as many or as few as you like.
Your business is unique, and so are your customers. You might know a lot about your customers, but do you know when they use Facebook? More importantly you need to know when they are most likely to notice your ad on Facebook. When they are rapidly scrolling through updates from friends while waiting on a barista at 8:45am, they might not notice your ad. On a Sunday morning, lazing in bed with their iPad, they might.
THERE IS NO SET RULE
A 2013 study by LinchPinSEO (see: http://linchpinseo.com/infographic-facebook-best-days-to-post-segmented-by-industry) showed a big difference in “best times” according to industry. The study looked at posts, but the results are just as meaningful for ads.
Advertising companies rarely post on the weekend, but when they do they have a 69% higher rate of interaction. Finance and car companies also avoid the weekends, even though they receive a better response at that time. Technology companies do best on Mondays, and consumer packaged goods do substantially better on Wednesday than Thursday. As you can see, results vary, and many big industries are advertising when they think is best, rather than testing to find out.
TAKE CLUES FROM YOUR POSTS
It makes sense that the times when people best interact with your posts – and you should be writing posts regularly – are the times when your ads would also get the best response. Facebook has data on this for you.
Go to your Company Page and choose the “Insights” tab along the top navigation (between Notifications and Publishing Tools). Next, click the “Posts” tab and you will see the days and times that your posts have received the most engagement.
CREATE AN AD SCHEDULE
A good starting point is creating one ad set for weekends and another for weekdays. After running ads for a week or two, take a look at which campaign best achieved the results you are after. If the most conversions happen in the weekend, but increased competition means the conversions cost twice as much, you will have a decision to make: do you want more numbers or less costs?
Whichever days perform best, the next step is to create new ad sets for different parts of the day. Weekdays, for example, could be split into 7-9am, 9am-5pm, 5-8pm, and night. You could even try adding 12-2pm to cover those who use Facebook on their lunch breaks.
If Tuesday lunchtimes perform the best, see if you can use all of your budget in just that time period. If there are funds left over, you can either expand the demographic targeting for that timeframe or run next best timeframes as well
If your ads are running when they are mostly likely to attract clicks, Facebook will recognise how relevant your ads are, and reward you with more clicks for your dollar. So not only will you get the most clicks, they can sometimes be your cheapest clicks.
Once you have found out when your ads perform best, consider changing your ad content to acknowledge the time of the day or week. After midnight, you can ask Trouble Sleeping? On the weekend, you can suggest people Sit Back and Relax. And during work hours you can appeal to their dreams and desires. Put yourself in your target markets mindset for that particular time, and use that to inform your ad copy.
FACTORS TO KEEP IN MIND
If your campaign is nationwide and your nation has multiple time zones (like Australia, Canada and the USA), then you might wish to add some hours to the schedule to cover all regions. Evenings on the other coast might start at 4 pm your time.
When choosing only a few hours on certain days, select Lifetime Budget (rather than Daily Budget) to make sure your ads show as often as possible.
Don’t ignore commuting times – while people shouldn’t be accessing Facebook while they drive, many people use public transport and have a lot of time for social media.