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The Best Times to Post on Social Media

Katie Powers

Sprout Social’s updated listings offer data on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

Sprout Social recently updated its listings of the best time to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, based on the activity of 25,000 Sprout users. The data is broken down by platform, overall engagement and industry.

In the report, Sprout Social acknowledges that successful marketing strategies on major platforms will look different across brands as they connect with their unique audiences.

“An e-commerce brand may see social engagement follow daily and seasonal patterns of shopping engagement, while a corporate thought leadership account may see plenty of clicks at the start of the workday when readers are looking for inspiration,” the report’s author writes. But the data provides marketers with an overview of engagement that might guide them as they develop and improve their strategies. The report also suggests that brands make use of ViralPost, a tool from Sprout Social designed to target optimal posting times.

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Here are Sprout Social’s recommendations for brand usage on each platform based on global engagement.

Facebook

With more than 2 billion active users, Facebook is the most populated social media platform. The report recommends that brands looking to connect to their audience on Facebook should focus on sharing content that drives genuine engagement, since the current algorithm emphasizes friends, family and meaningful connection.

  • The best times to post to Facebook are Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday is the best day to post on Facebook.
  • The safest times to post are weekdays from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Sunday has the least amount of engagement during the week.
  • Early mornings and evenings, before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m., have the least amount of engagement per day.
chart displaying best times to post to Facebook

Instagram

Instagram is on the rise, recently hitting 1 billion active users. The platform promotes a social experience, but has grown to include features that offer retailers opportunities to promote their goods, Sprout Social reports. With the addition of the Stories format and IG TV, the platform offers brands with opportunities to connect with consumers through video content.

  • The best times to post on Instagram are Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday from 10–11 a.m.
  • Wednesday is the overall best day to post to Instagram.
  • The safest times to post are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Sunday receives the least amount of engagement.
  • The least amount of engagement occurs during late night and early morning from 11 p.m.–3 a.m.
chart displaying best times to post to Instagram

Twitter

More than 500 million tweets are sent a day, and Twitter offers brands the opportunity to connect with their audience and provide customer service, says Sprout Social. They can also take advantage of Twitter listening to find out what topics are engaging users at a given time. The report suggests that posting outside of peak hours could pose a problem for brands, as Twitter prioritizes content based on user interest instead of chronological order.

  • The best times to post on Twitter are Wednesday at 9 a.m. and Friday at 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to post on Twitter.
  • The safest times to post are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Saturday gets the least engagement.
  • Lowest engagement times are daily, 10 p.m–4 a.m.
chart displaying best times to post to Twitter

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has seen a significant increase in engagement and offers opportunities for lead generation in B2B marketing, according to the report. Sprout Social did not break down the data procured by industry because it targets a more niche audience.

  • The best times to post to LinkedIn are Wednesday at 9–10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
  • The best day to post on LinkedIn is Wednesday.
  • The safest times to post are Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • The least engagement per day occurs on Sunday and the least popular times to post are daily from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
chart displaying best times to post on LinkedIn

Katie Powers is editorial content intern at the American Marketing Association.