How To Decide On A Facebook Dayparting Schedule

When I search Google for “Facebook Dayparting,” the top result leads to the following headline. Notice the date:

That’s right — marketers have been waiting for a Facebook #dayparting solution for a long time!

Luckily, around 8 months ago I was invited to beta test Facebook’s dayparting solution which behaves exactly like the current version does. I had been clamoring for it during a pow-wow at our office where we hosted 10 Facebook engineers, designers and product managers in November 2013. Shortly after that, they delivered it to me.

By the way, if you are looking for a guide on how to use this new feature, check out Jon Loomer’s post, Facebook Ad Dayparting: Schedule Specific Times and Days to Run (via @jonloomer).

So, my question to you is how do you know what schedule to use? How do decide what hours of the day, or days of the week, are optimal for your ads? This requires data — of course! But the problem is, Facebook doesn’t provide hourly data.

For my audience of moms, for example, I want to know if weekends are better than weekdays? Are mornings better than afternoons? How about evenings? Sundays?

Where would I get the data to inform my schedule? Would I get it from Google Analytics? While it is true GA provides hourly reports, it’s a last-click platform — I really want post-click hourly data that tracks conversions back to the time of click.

Luckily,  for a  time I had access to Nanigans and was able to gather hourly post-click data to support an ad schedule. But for most of us who don’t have access to Nanigans, we will need to use Google Analytics even if it’s not a perfect solution.

The image below shows how to set up your GA data in Excel: visits and ecommerce conversion rate by hour. This happens to be hourly data, but you can easily run a daily report of visits and ecommerce conversion rate by day of week.

google-analytics-dayparting-hourly-data

I can see right away that visits are highest in the afternoon when ecommerce conversion rates are rather low. Are all those afternoon clicks wasted? What would I gain by not serving ads in the afternoon and instead focusing more budget during peak conversion hours such as 6 – 9 am?

As it turns out, my client was happy with our dayparting results, and I still use the feature today. When combined with forthcoming native hourly reporting, dayparting should be a slam-dunk feature for all marketers. But until then, you might experience frustration on the planning side and also on the execution side as you switch to lifetime budgets–a nasty little prerequisite covered in Jon’s post.

Happy ad scheduling!

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