For many, social media is a platform to post whatever is on your mind freely. But, if you’re a business looking to find success online, you will have to take a more strategic approach.
With over 4.48 billion users worldwide, social media provides an excellent opportunity to engage with your target audience across different networks. But, because these users are spread across different time zones and log into their profiles at varying times, your business will have to find a regular place in their feeds.
To maximize engagement with your target audience, you’ll have to determine the optimal time and day to post. These days, knowing what to post no longer cuts it—you also have to publish at the right time to maximize the odds of you catching your audience’s attention.
Is There the Best Time to Post on Social Media?
There probably isn’t a single best time to post online.
Several studies have uncovered the best time to post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among other social media marketing channels. However, the conclusions of these studies vary. For example, while one may suggest that weekends are the best time to post, others suggest that these days are low on engagement.
It goes to show that there’s no silver bullet for determining the best time to post on social media. It can significantly vary based on the kind of business you have and who your target audience is. Does that mean that these studies aren’t useful at all? Not entirely.
These studies may not give you an exact time that’s perfect for your target audience, but they could serve as a great starting point. From there, you can test to figure out the peak engagement time for your audience.
The Best Times to Post on Social Media by Platform
Overall, the best time to post on social media is 10:00 am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. However, each network also has its specific peak time when social media posts get more engagement.
For example, because LinkedIn is a site for job-searching and learning about a business, peak times will most likely be during business hours. However, with more social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, activities are peak several times a day: before work, lunchtime, and after working hours.
With Facebook, you may find the highest activity early in the morning when users are preparing for work and later at night when they are done for the day. In a study conducted by Sprout Social, the best times to post on Facebook are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 9 am and 1 pm, when engagement rates are high.
Instagram offers a platform to strengthen your brand identity through high-quality visuals. But, other than that, it also has features—like Instagram Live—that allow you to connect with your audience in an immediate and less curated way. Like Facebook, the best time to publish on Instagram is every Tuesday from 11 am to 2 pm. Monday through Friday works just as well at 11 am.
Over the years, Twitter has become our first source of information on developing stories. This is particularly true at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and during the US Presidential Elections. Twitter peak times for engagement are high all weekdays, particularly on Wednesdays, 9am-3pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9-11 am.
Considering how LinkedIn has become a professional-focused social platform, it makes sense that you get maximum engagement during working days, particularly on Tuesdays through Thursdays, 9am-12pm. In addition, you can use it to publish content that will build your reputation as an industry leader. Think of industry news and research, company updates, and other topics that will help increase your reach and boost engagement.
Over the past five years, TikTok has exploded in popularity and these days, it’s where your target audience is most likely scrolling. But, reaching a wider audience on this network takes more than knowing when to post, but how often you post as well. TikTok recommends posting 1-4 times a day. From there, determine your posting frequency according to what works for the algorithm and your fans.
These insights are a good starting point if you’re starting fresh on social media and don’t have much past data to work with. But, remember, these are precisely just that—a starting point. As you build your following and expand your reach, you’ll want to adjust your posting schedule to better match your target audience’s behavior.
The key is to learn more about your brand’s unique audience, particularly their social media usage patterns. You can try posting at random times or analyzing what your competitors are up to so you can better plan your posting schedule.
Let’s go through some factors that determine the best posting times for your specific audience along with some tips on how to maximize your reach online.
4 Key Factors When Determining the Best Times to Post on Social Media
Your social media branding and marketing efforts should be mainly based on your audience. For example, if you’re a B2B business catering primarily to other businesses, it would be best to post during traditional work hours when employees are logged into their business accounts. But, if it’s the end-users you are targeting, you’re better off scheduling your posts towards weekends or during breaks or off-work hours.
With your target audience, it’s also helpful to research specific details about them. These include their social media usage patterns which would help you better understand when they’re most active online, which platform they’re on, and how much time they spend. Knowing their time zones is just as important, mainly when your audience includes users outside your time boundaries. In these cases, your posting schedule should align with their time and social media usage.
Frequency of Posting
In general, social media marketing agencies recommend posting once a day and no more than 2x a day. The key here is to post regularly, so your feed looks updated, but not too much that algorithms detect you as a spammer. However, keep in mind that algorithms can significantly vary from one platform to another. Therefore, thriving on each requires you to adapt and follow their specific rules for ranking posts.
Besides peak activity hours, you should also note the times when your competitors are mostly not publishing posts. So you should grab this opportune time to publish updates and get your audience’s undivided attention.
How to Find the Best Posting Time For Your Audience
Who knew that something as simple as posting at the wrong time could be the reason why you’re getting less engagement, little traffic, and fewer conversions?
Suppose the above information isn’t any indication. In that case, finding the best time to post on social media largely depends on the platform you use, your target audience, and the time zone most of your customers are in. We suggest that you start with these general posting time recommendations and work your way from there.
- Get to know your audience. Identify where and when they are online.
- Schedule your posts and stick with it. The time can be loosely based on the suggested best times to post. Give it a few weeks to analyze when your posts receive the most engagement.
- Track your progress and adjust where necessary. At least 3-4 weeks of publishing posts should give you enough data to work with. Therefore, you have to monitor and collect data to find your best times and ultimately rework your efforts to get the best results.
The reality is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to creating your social media schedule. Just because your competitor is getting maximum engagement on weekends, it doesn’t necessarily apply to your business. In other words, what works for others may not work for you, so the key is to keep experimenting to determine your best time to post on social media.