When is the best time to post on Social Media?
We often get asked “when is the best time to post on Social Media?” and as much as we would like to provide a definitive answer, the truth is – there isn’t one. For social media management, many factors influence the best time to post, such as what audience you are trying to target and what platform you are using. However, although there may not be one solution and one perfect time, there are many studies that have shown key times that have proven to be effective, which is what we will discuss in this article.
The best time to post on social media will in part depend on the social media channel you are using.
Back in 2019, Facebook changed its algorithm slightly meaning that people’s news feeds would prioritise “meaningful interactions” from friends and family over posts from brands. Since then it has been significantly harder for brands to get their content seen without boosting the post.
People use Facebook on mobile, desktop and tablet for work and at home. Many people look at the platform before they start work (9am) and then again on their lunch break (11-1)
From a recent study by Sprout Social, the best times to post on Facebook are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday between the hours of 9am and 1pm. The worst time to post is Saturdays. Whilst these times are deemed the best, Facebook is the world’s biggest social media platform, so there are still high levels of engagement around the clock.
As this social media channel is predominately used for professional networking, the highest engagement is unsurprisingly during the working week, during work hours.
Unlike some other channels, the timing on Linkedin is not as important as the quality. Whilst some channels focus on new content, you will often see content that is weeks old on LinkedIn. Your main focus on Linkedin should not be the time you post but ensuring that the content you are publishing has the ability to start a conversation. Doing this will increase engagement and ensure your post is seen for longer.
If you do want to know the best times to try posting, Hootsuite states 7.45am, 10.45am, 12.45pm and 5.45pm are all good times to try. If you are B2B try posting on Wednesdays or Tuesdays as these have been shown to be the best performing days of the week.
Whilst linked in is predominately great for B2B companies this does not mean that B2C companies shouldn’t consider using this platform too. LinkedIn is still a great way to get your company and culture out there and also can promote networking and leverage the platform for recruitment purposes.
Unlike Linkedin, Twitter is all about sharing the most up-to-date information and as a result, the average tweet has a lifespan of only 18 minutes. This makes it extremely challenging for brands to get maximum engagement on this platform.
Like Facebook, people turn to Twitter on their commute to and from work and on their lunch breaks or coffee breaks, so try and aim for these times for maximum exposure. Aim for 8-9am, 12-1pm, 3pm and 5-6pm to start with.
According to a Hootsuite study, the best days for B2B brands to tweet are Monday and Thursdays with Monday and Wednesday being the best for B2C brands.
The sprout social data shows that Wednesday from 9am-3pm is the best performing day with the worst day being Saturday. Twitter is more likely to be volatile when it comes to specific timings though as it is a platform built to show the latest news. Therefore, if there is a big event taking place, chances are engagement will be high regardless of the time.
Instagram is mainly viewed on people’s phones and is used before the working day, during breaks and after work in the evenings as well, potentially making it tough to know when to post.
Whilst the algorithm for Instagram notoriously changes regularly, we know that the platform likes to prioritise new content that they believe the user will interact with. Therefore, you need to have a thorough understanding of who you want to target and when you think they will be on the platform.
Start by posting when people are more likely to be on a break or lunch. Also, try posting some earlier in the morning (6am onwards) as people tend to go straight on their phone when they wake up.
From data gathered by CoSchedule, the best time for B2B brands to post is 12-1pm, 5-6pm and 8-9pm. Whilst B2B brands should post at 8am, 1pm and 9pm. The Sprout Social study revealed the worst day for Instagram engagement to be Sunday.
Aside from the channel you are posting to, there are some other considerations
- Time Zones– If you are targeting people internationally be conscious of the local time
- Your target Audience– the deeper the understanding of your demographic, the better
- Consistent posting– Whilst the time you post is indeed important (theres no point posting something at 1 oclock in the morning when you know your target market is likely to be asleep) however it is not the only key factor. Consistency is key and has been mentioned by many social media channels to be an important factor to maximise exposure and improve engagement. This is why all businesses should have a social media schedule in place to help organise this and ensure you are posting on a regular basi rather than sporadically.
- Whether you are B2B or B2C– this is a major criteria that will impact the time you schedule your posts. For B2B it makes sense to focus on business hours during the working week whilst B2C can have a bit more flexibility
As the article shows, there is no one “best time to post on Social Media”. There are in fact several times that you should aim for and see how they work for you. You must remember though that there is no “one size fits all”, as the varying studies prove. You can of course start by using some of the timeframes above to help you get started however the best thing to do is experiment. Try different times and make note of which ones work for you. Of course, don’t measure this simply on engagement. If you experience lower engagement on one post this could be down to the type of content itself and not the time it was posted. Keep switching up the content and timings until you are happy you have found times that work best for you and your business.
Impact of the Pandemic
Engagement trends across all channels change regularly, and this is even more apparent since the start of the pandemic. People’s use of social media increased and the usage patterns changed as more people were using social media throughout the day rather than at certain times in order to stay in touch with friends and family, stay up to date with the pandemic and also to help relieve the boredom of lockdown.
The main takeaway is don’t focus too much on the time, there is no set best time to post on social media. Use the times above as a starting point as following the data and the trends from specific studies is a great starting place. However, ensure you mix it up, try different times and different types of content until you can formulate your own ideal posting times specific to your business and what works for you. Also try using a social scheduler such as Hubspot, Hootsuite or Later. These platforms not only help you schedule your posts, they will often offer ideal send time suggestions which are a great way to help you test different timings.
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