An analysis of the latest data on social media usage from Sprout Social, Hootsuite and others
During the COVID-19 pandemic, social media grew in popularity as people looked for a way to connect with each other. The pandemic also affected the best times to post on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, as many of us stopped commuting and our schedules changed (and some even joined The Great Resignation).
This means it’s the perfect time to review the best times to post on social media. When audiences pivoted during the pandemic, brands had to as well. The time you post is a key factor in whether or not you have success with your social media marketing campaigns. In this article, we will review the latest data from platforms such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite that they have gathered on social media usage. We will also give you some tips for how to use your own data to find the right time to post for your specific brand. This can help you choose the best time to post on social media to garner the most engagement with your audience.
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What Are the Best Times to Post on Social Media?
It’s the million-dollar question: So, what is the best time to post on social media? There are so many different platforms on the internet that you can use for your business: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube and more. You will first need to choose the right social media platform or platforms to use to connect with your audience.
Overall, however, the best time to post on social media is early morning on a weekday. This way, when your audience wakes up in the a.m. and starts scrolling their favorite platform, your post will be one of the top pieces of content in their social media feed. (It’s still pretty much a universal rule that the worst day to post is on Saturdays.)
This information is the most helpful for brand new social media accounts that are working on building a following. Once you do have an audience, however, there are plenty of tools and services you can use to find out the best days and times to post for your own brand, which might be different.
If you are trying to increase engagement rates for your brand, you might want to consider social media advertising. Attend our upcoming virtual workshop to learn more about how to plan, build and launch successful social media advertising campaigns.
What Is the Best Time to Post on Facebook?
Facebook is a website that allows you to connect with and share updates with your friends, family members and colleagues.
The best times to post on Facebook are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Skip posting on Saturdays, as it is the day of the week with the lowest engagement, according to Sprout Social’s data.
Facebook remains undefeated as the top social media platform in the world, which means that you really can’t go wrong with when you post. Facebook enjoys 24/7 engagement. However, weekdays, evenings and early mornings show the most consistent engagement and opportunities for brands to get eyes on their content.
What Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?
Though Instagram started as a simple platform to post photos, it has grown into a full-fledged shopping app full of influencers selling products and services for brands.
The best time to post on Instagram is between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesday, and at 11 a.m. on Monday through Friday.
Many companies have pivoted to Instagram for business purposes. In the last few years, Instagram has updated with several new features, including Reels, Instagram Shopping, an algorithm-based feed, and other fun additions. Instagram is the perfect place for brands to post new content, whether it’s high-quality photos, a fun reel or even infographics. You might consider using professional social media content creation services to help you create Explore page-worthy content for your feed.
What Is the Best Time to Post on Twitter?
Twitter is a key platform for posting up-to-the-minute (or even second!) news updates in small bits of 280 characters or fewer.
The best time to post on Twitter is early in the morning on weekdays: ideally, 8 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, according to Hootsuite’s data. If you need to post on the weekend, still aim for the a.m., but perhaps a little later, when Twitter users are awake.
However, since tweets are so fleeting, don’t be afraid to schedule tweets (or type them up at the moment!) at all hours of the day. You can’t really over-post on Twitter, like you can on other platforms.
What Is the Best Time to Post on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional networking website.
The best time to post on LinkedIn is at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, according to Hootsuite’s data.
However, LinkedIn uses less recency in its algorithm and factors in more quality, relevance and trending content, so the time you post might not matter as much on LinkedIn as it does on other platforms.
Find Your Own Best Times to Post on Social Media
Though it is helpful to know the best times to post on social media generally, a lot of factors can affect the best time to post for your specific business. The best time to post on social media might vary depending on what industry you are in and your audience. You might have to do some data mining and analysis of your own to find out the best times to post on social media for you. Also, it is sometimes helpful to know the peak times to post, so that you can post at an off time and face less competition for engagement.
Here are some tips for determining the best time for you to post on social media:
Track Where Your Traffic Is Coming From
Are you actually getting traffic to your website from social media? You can’t know if you don’t set up website visitor tracking for your site, which is the first step.
Check When Your Audience Is Most Active Online
When is your ideal customer spending the most time online? Many social media algorithms are prioritizing recency and showing users the most recent posts first. The easiest way to get engagement is to post when your followers are actually online. So, look at your Facebook and Instagram analytics to find out when your followers are online and post then!
Find Your Top-Performing Posts From the Past
You already have some answers as to the best time to post online right in your own data. Go check out your last few top-performing posts. What times were they posted? This can give you an idea of the best time to post going forward. If you use a social media scheduling software such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social or Cloud Campaign, this data is probably already available for you and pretty easy to find.
Scope Out Your Competition’s Posts
It’s always a good idea to check out your direct competitors’ feeds and see what they are up to on social media. Just like you do with your own, check out when their top-performing posts were posted (or even complete a full competitive analysis). You might notice some patterns, or you can reverse-engineer their strategies.
Double-Check the Time Zone
This one sounds simple, but is oftentimes overlooked: Make sure you are posting in your audience’s time zone and not your own (if they differ). If the majority of your audience is American, you will do fine posting in the morning or early afternoon. But if your audience is in, say, the United Kingdom, you will want to post at the correct time in Central European Time. If you have a major segment of your audience in a different region, you might even consider creating a separate account or handle specifically for that audience. Or, if you have a global reach, you might want to consider posting around the clock.
Test and Optimize
Once you have done all your research, it’s time to test your data by either scheduling or publishing your posts and see if posting when you think will get you high engagement. You can also try some other ways to test content, like A/B testing, which is when you post the same content at different times to see which time gets the best engagement.
Best Times to Post on Social Media
Though we have certainly done our best to answer this question for you, unfortunately, there is no one universal optimal time to post on social media. But by using our guide and mining your own data, you can optimize your posting schedule, improve engagement, and hopefully increase your social marketing strategy ROI. It is also a good idea to keep in mind that social media trends and the best times to post are always changing.
Join AMA for More Social Media Tips
To learn more about the benefits of posting on social media for your business, consider becoming a member of the American Marketing Association, or AMA. Becoming an AMA member offers you several advantages, like training and certifications, chances to network, and many more. Join the American Marketing Association today!