Best Times to Post on Social Media Platforms

by
September 13, 2018

 

You’ve spent time (and likely money) on your social media posts, only to see that they are receiving little engagement. Perhaps your Facebook posts are performing well, while others are getting no love on Instagram. Though frustrating, there may be a simple solution. You may be posting at the wrong time. 

Though it’s convenient to post everything on each platform all at once, in the long run it’s a disservice to your company. Each platform has an ideal posting time to deliver the highest engagement and attention from your target audience. 

Read on to learn more about the best times to post for each platform and to figure out what is best for your company. Keep in mind that the ideal time to post on a certain platforms may not align with your work hours. If this is the case, you can invest in a social media scheduler such as HootSuite. When you upload your post, you can schedule out your content, hours, days or even months in advance. 

FACEBOOK

According to Sprout Social, the best time to post for consumer goods brands are Thursdays at 2 p.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m. Facebook’s Happiness Index, which measures people’s mood based on keywords in their status update, unsurprisingly increases by 10% on Fridays. For this reason, Fridays are a great day to post fun, feel-good content. In general, Wednesdays and Thursdays between noon and 2:00 p.m. are popular times to post because many people are logging onto Facebook while on their lunch break. The Facebook post above from Genius Pack was posted on a Thursday during the lunch break window. The highest average click-through rate (CTR), which is the number of clicks on links within your Facebook post, is between 1 p.m. to 4 pm. CTR peaks on Wednesdays. Weekends tend to receive low engagement, especially for consumer goods.  

If you are posting a Facebook Live video, you should consider when your audience would have the time to watch and engage with it. People may have time to read through posts throughout their work day or lunch break, but they are less likely to watch an hour-long live video during work. If most of your target demographic isn’t working a typical 9 to 5 office job, then this may not be relevant.

Facebook Insights can also help you figure out when to post by showing when your followers liked your content and where they are located.

INSTAGRAM

Most Instagram users log in via mobile, so they tend to browse less during work hours. As a result, the best time to post on Instagram is during lunch break (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and after work hours (7 p.m. – 9 p.m.). Multiple studies have stated that Wednesday receives the highest and most consistent level of engagement throughout the week. Sundays have been referred to as the worst time to post on Instagram, but if you are going to post on Sunday, 5 p.m. would be the ideal time

Specifically for consumers goods, Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. are prime posting times. The example above shows an Instagram post from Carnivore Club that was posted on a Saturday. Monday is the least engaged time for consumer goods companies because people tend to be catching up on work and spending less time online shopping.

When figuring out which times to post you need to also consider the type of content you’re posting. Videos receive higher engagement on Instagram between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m

To find out when your followers are online most and what time zones they are from, you can use analytic tools such as Instagram Insights.  

TWITTER

 

Twitter use and engagement is the highest on Wednesday and Thursdays around noon when people are on their lunch break, and between 5- 6 p.m. when clocking out of work. However, for consumer goods and B2C businesses in general, the weekends actually receive the highest engagement. According to Sprout Social, Saturday at 1 p.m. is the best time for consumer goods to post. You can use Twitter Analytics to figure out the location of your audience that way you know the optimal time zones to use when posting. Twitter Analytics also provides additional information about your followers such as their interests and consumer behavior.

A lot of people turn to Twitter to reach companies for customer service questions or complaints. If your business receives a complaint, it’s important to address it as soon as possible since customers are expecting a quick response. Similarly, responding to customer appreciation shows that you value their business. For guidance on how to respond to customer social media posts, read Best Practices for Responding to Social Media Comments.

Twitter is often an immediate source for breaking news and events. If there is major news about your company or industry as a whole, it is best to respond and post about it while the topic is trending. Sundays tend to rank the lowest on Twitter in terms of engagement, but if there is major news, then Twitter will likely be the first social media platform that people turn to.

PINTEREST

Unlike other platforms, the weekend is the best time to post on Pinterest, more specifically on Saturdays. Pinterst is dedicated to discovering inspiration and exploring new ideas, and Pinners tend to have more time to daydream about their perfect board on the weekends. The ideal time to post on Pinterest is between 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. This makes sense since moms make up a large portion of Pinterest’s daily active users, they likely have more free time on their hands in the evening. 

Fortunately, pins aren’t at risk of being lost and forgotten about like posts on other social media platforms. Pins can be pinned onto multiple boards and you may receive a surge of repins months or even years later. Timing and planning are still important though, especially if your pins are seasonal. Post the products you want to promote for holidays eight weeks in advance since pinners like to plan ahead. Putting together holiday-themed boards, such as the example above from Maggie Louise Confections, is a great start.

YOUTUBE

Most viewers watch YouTube videos during the weekend, so posting on Saturday or Sunday between 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. is optimal. Thursday and Friday between noon and 4 p.m. is the best time to post on weekdays. During the week, most people watch YouTube videos during the evening, so posting between noon and 4 p.m. gives enough time for your video to be indexed to show up on viewers’ search results or suggestion lists.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Though research shares these ideal times to post, this doesn’t mean it’s what will work best for your company. These times are based on averages and generalizations and may not apply for your niche audience. This also doesn’t mean that you should only post on the days mentioned. For really important posts, try to share at the most optimal time to guarantee the highest views and engagement. However, if you have the time and resources, it is best to post several times a week. Here are some additional factors to consider when figuring out your posting schedule.

TARGET AUDIENCE

Consider who your target audience is to figure out when the best times to post are. If most of your customers are stay-at-home moms then work hours aren’t relevant to when they go on social media. Similarly, if your customers are full-time students, you should base it on when they are out of school.

You must also consider the location and time-zone of your audience. Is your target demographic primarily the East or West coast? Most U.S. companies base their posting schedule on Eastern Standard Time due to the higher population density on the East Coast. Do you sell to multiple countries all over the world? Sometimes companies decide it’s in their best interest to make multiple social media accounts for different regions, especially if the regions speak different languages. Another option is to figure out what posting times overlap best for the different time zones your consumers live in.

PURPOSE

The purpose of your post is another factor to keep in mind. If your company broadcasts Facebook Live videos on Wednesday, then you will want to send out reminder posts both on Tuesday and right before your live stream on Wednesday. Whether or not Tuesday is a popular day to post on Facebook isn’t relevant in this case.

Some content requires you to be timely and to post something immediately. This is especially true when managing a crisis, responding to negative feedback, or addressing a tragedy, but it is also relevant for good news. Whether it is reposting praise from a fan or positive publicity, you would want to post it on your social media accounts in a timely manner. The example above shows how The Bearded Bastard shared a positive Facebook review a couple hours after it was posted.

HASHTAGS

Even if posts tend to receive little engagement if they are posted on a certain day of the week, that doesn’t mean you should avoid posting on those days at all. To have an engaged following and strong social media presence you need to post frequently. You can attract higher engagement by using fun and relevant weekly hashtags, such as #MondayMotivation like Sock Club does. This is a clever way to post content that isn’t just about your products. Your content should be a healthy mix of product posts, brand image, and content that is fun, relevant, and meaningful to your target audience.

Some of the hashtags may tie in really well with your company’s purpose. For instance, if you sell health and/or fitness related products then #WellnessWednesdays or #WorkoutWednesday would be a great hashtag to post health and wellness or workout advice on social media. Other hashtags like #TipTuesday are easy to apply to any industry.

You don’t need to pick a hashtag for everyday of the week, but picking at least one or two can make a big difference.

ANALYTICS

As previously mentioned, there are various analytic tools for each social media platform that you can use to analyze the performance of your posts and learn how to best reach your followers.

You can also run your own tests to figure out when most of your followers are online. Try posting similar content at different times and days of the week and then compare which posts received the most engagement. If you want to specifically measure the impact your social media posts has on sales, post different promotion codes on different social media accounts at different times and track which code was used the most.

Another way you can figure out what times are best to post is by looking at when your competitors are posting and comparing the level of engagement they receive compared to your posts. If their posts seem to be more successful than yours, consider posting when they do.

NEXT STEPS

We hope this helped you consider how to be more strategic when sharing on social media. Remember, even if you are posting the same content on different social media platforms, it shouldn’t necessarily be shared all at the same time. Use this post as a helpful reminder of optimal posting times, but remember to always consider the demographics of your customers first.

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