Social media is a great way to communicate with your customers and can help to build your brand awareness. However, we’ve all experienced those occasions where you spend a lot of time planning and writing your content for it to fall flat on its face and gain zero engagement. Whilst this can be demotivating and make us think ‘why am I doing this?’, it’s important to persevere and learn when the best times to post on social media are for your business. After all, a well-timed post can lead to more likes, comments, shares and click-throughs.
In this guide, we’ll look at when the best times to post on social media are based on channel and sector as well as how to schedule these posts.
Part 1: Best Time to Post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube
Facebook is superior in the social media world with more than 1.4 billion daily active users globally making it a top choice for advertising with 93% of marketers using this channel regularly.
Despite this, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to reach your audience. Recent updates to its algorithm mean users see posts from friends and family rather than business pages. Businesses are still seeing engagement organically, but it can be a guessing game.
When should I post on Facebook to get the most likes?
Plenty of studies have attempted to discover the best time to post on Facebook to get the most likes. According to Buffer, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1pm-3pm on weekdays and Saturdays with engagement 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays.
However, other studies have found more specifically Thursdays and Fridays from 1pm-3pm are the best times to post (Hubspot). Whereas, TrackMaven suggest Thursday at 8pm for the best engagement. All of these studies are helpful to point marketers in the right direction, but in reality the ‘best time to post’ depends on a number of factors that are specific to each business. We’ll look at this in the second part of our post.
How to find the best time to post on Facebook based on your business
Facebook insights is a powerful tool for tracking user interaction, helping you to better understand your page performance. By using Facebook insights you’ll be able to determine your best time to post and what type of content is the most popular. This tool is constantly updated to reflect your page’s development, so you’ll need to keep checking to stay in the loop.
To find out when your audience is online, from the insights dashboard (you’ll see this on the top bar next to notifications), select ‘Posts’ in the left-hand column. This will provide an overview of the days and time your audience is most active on Facebook.
From this, we can see that this audience level is pretty much stable throughout the day, with it gradually growing towards the end of the day. There are also a couple of peaks at 9am and 3pm. In this case, we would recommend posting at 9am, 3pm and also in the early evenings.
Below the ‘When your fans are online’ stats, you will see a table that shows all your published posts. Here, you can see the date and time when each post was published on your Facebook page.
What you’re looking for is to determine if there are any trends regarding the day of the week and time of day. For example, do posts around a specific time receive more engagement than others?
When you’ve identified your best times to post, it’s worth testing this in reality and remember to keep checking your Facebook insights data to see if these optimum times change in the future.
Instagram is another social media giant that has taken the world by storm since its release in 2010. However, there’s a lot more to just getting the perfect insta for your grid.
Since Instagram switched to an algorithm based feed in 2016, there’s been a lot of speculation as to whether the time you post on Instagram actually makes a difference. Of course, the answer is yes…to an extent.
As the Instagram algorithm prefers recent posts when determining what posts to show you, it’s important to make your posts ‘recent’ when your followers are likely to be online. By doing so will mean they’ll be more likely to engage with your posts.
When are the best times to post on Instagram?
A study by Sprout Social found that the peak times to post on Instagram are 12pm to 1pm during the week to hit the lunchtime scrollers. Instagram posts published straight after working hours were found to get more engagement as well.
As with Facebook, the best way to see when your followers are online is to have a look at your Instagram Analytics or Insights. The more data you can collect around what your followers find interesting and then they’re using the platform, the better chance you’ll have for growing your audience and engagement.
How to find the best time to post on Instagram based on your business
Like Facebook, Instagram also provides a lot of useful information about your audience including what time and day of the week they are most active on the network.
To find your Instagram insights, tap the burger menu on your profile and hit ‘Insights’. You’ll then be given the option to select specific posts, stories or paid advertisements. The data will be presented in a series of graphs depending on what you would like to analyse.
In this case, we want to look at specific data about our followers, so we need to navigate to the Followers tab and look at the following graphs: ‘find out when your followers are online each day’ and ‘discover which days your followers are most likely to be online’.
As you can see, Instagram presents its data well, showing the busiest times with darker colours and the quietest times in lighter colours. Here, we can see that 3pm and 9pm on Monday, Tuesday and at weekends are when our followers are likely to be online.
A lot of people are using Twitter as an online newspaper as an easy way to keep up to date with current affairs. Yet, for marketers it can be like finding a needle in a haystack with over 350,000 tweets posted every minute. This means we have to be smarter about how we are reaching our audience.
When is the best time to post on Twitter?
Several studies have shown that mid-noon hours are when Twitter users actively engage with content the most. More specifically, Hootsuite found that the best time to post on Twitter is at 3pm Monday to Friday. Whereas, Sprout Social suggest to tweet on Fridays from 9am to 10am for the greatest number of CTRs and re-tweets. After all, if your tweet receives more retweets, comments or favourites, then your post will appear on more timelines and be seen by more people.
How to find the best time to tweet for your business
Twitter Analytics is a great way to observe how your Twitter content is performing and resonating with your audience, so you can build a more active following.
To view your previous Tweet activity, go to the Tweets tab at the top of the page. This section of Twitter Analytics provides an overview of your historic tweets and their performance. There is also the option to view your ‘Top Tweets’ which will help you to learn when your best performing tweets were posted. You can look back over the past week, 28 days or selected time frame of your choice.
Unfortunately, Twitter Analytics doesn’t provide detailed enough data to show the exact time the tweet was posted, but it does show the day which is a good starting point.
We can see our tweet on Saturday, April 20th received the highest level of organic impressions over a 28 day period.
Now you know a little more about what your top tweets are, it is also a good idea to get to know your audience a little better.
You’ll find audience data within the ‘Audiences’ tab at the top of the page. Here, you’ll see graphs showing your follower demographics, including interests, gender and region. As you can see below, our Twitter followers’ top interest is dogs and are mostly male, so we may want to consider posting more photos of dogs on our page…
By having a look at this data, can help you to decide what type of content is likely to receive the most engagement.
Although LinkedIn is not as dominant as the social media giants – Facebook or Instagram, the business network is becoming increasingly popular in the B2B world. As of 2018, it had over 500 million active users. Just like any other social media channel, attracting an engaged audience on LinkedIn requires you to create compelling content and if you don’t post your content at the right time, most of your followers are never going to see it.
When is the best time to post on LinkedIn?
According to Sprout Social, engagement peaks on LinkedIn on Wednesdays with Tuesday and Thursday also having high levels of engagement. More specifically, it was found that more clicks and shares happen on a Wednesday between 11am and 12pm and the peak time of usage is 7am – 8am, 12pm and 5pm – 6pm. Which is no surprise as busy professionals tend to reserve their social media time for lunch breaks and commutes to and from work.
On the other hand, Fridays to Mondays were found to be the worst times to post with engagement being the lowest.
Therefore, to get your LinkedIn content seen, read and shared, post around lunchtime of just before 5pm to catch the commuters on their way home from work.
How to find the best time to post on LinkedIn for your business
Despite these findings, it is worth auditing your LinkedIn content to determine if there are any differences to when your business receives the most engagement. To do this, go to the ‘Analytics’ tab at the top of the page and select ‘Visitors’.
Here, you can see an overview of visits to your profile on mobile and desktop devices by day.
For a more detailed look at engagement metrics, have a look at the statistics for specific posts by selecting ‘Show Stats’ under each post. From this, you’ll soon gather enough data to help you find out when your best time to post on LinkedIn actually is.
Creating high quality video content is a difficult task in itself, but to get people to actually watch the content can be even harder. However, it doesn’t have to be this hard.
Every minute on YouTube, over 300 hours of content is uploaded by different content creators. All these creators are competing for a share of YouTube’s 5 billion daily video views. With so much competition, how do you make your videos stand out?
When is the best time to post on YouTube?
To make your videos stand out and maximise your audience, it is best to look at it like primetime television where viewing figures tend to peak during weekday evenings. This means if you post a YouTube video at 2-4pm on a weekday, it allows enough time for the video to be indexed and to notify your subscribers. On weekends though, it’s a little different and i’s a case of “the early bird catches the worm” with a post time of between 9-11am being optimal for engagement (Frederator). The reason for posting earlier in the day is because just like Google indexes web content, YouTube does the same for videos, so they show up in search results.
However, knowing the best time to post on YouTube by itself isn’t enough for your video to go viral. There are a number of other factors to consider such as providing good titles, thumbnails, proper tagging and a well optimised transcript.
According to Buffer, approximately 20% of viewers will stop watching your video after the first 10 seconds, so it is important to create a great intro to keep your views hooked from the start. Take a look at our YouTube Guide series to find out more about how to optimise your YouTube videos.
How to find the best time to post on YouTube for your business
If you have a YouTube channel, you’ll be able to easily find out more about how your audience is engaging with your video content by navigating to your channel Analytics from the Creator Studio.
Once in, you’ll be provided with a wealth of data in a dashboard where you can find out more about the number of views, average watch time, the type of device used and audience demographics.
Start by looking at the number of views your videos have received and work back from there. Can you see any patterns in particular days or times receiving a higher number of views than other videos? After you have established this, have a look at your ‘Interaction Reports’ to see if these days/times match when you gain more subscribers likes and comments.
Part 2: Industry Specific Research into The Best Time to Post on Social Media
Now we’ve found that the best time to post on social media varies from network to network and that each industry has its own set of audiences, it’s time to find out when the best times to post on social media are based on your industry.
A study by Sprout Social surveyed over 25,000 of its customers to analyse when they were most and least engaged with social media content across a variety of the major social media networks broken down by industry.
Below, we have provided a quick summary of their findings.
Social media plays a key part in the digital marketing strategy for the B2C market and can even help to drive footfall to stores. We look at each channel separately, so you can find when to schedule your social media posts for each platform.
Facebook is an ideal social media platform to showcase your product inventory and encourage customers to your website. Your audience is most active at these times:
- Wednesday at 1pm
- Friday at 11am
- Thursday at 5pm
Instagram has snowballed in the last few years and has earned its place as being a top network for shopping. Cut through the competitors by posting at these times:
- Wednesday at 3pm
- Monday to Friday from 11am to 5pm
- Saturday at 10am
Most retail companies use Twitter for customer care and a way to easily communicate with their customers. Therefore it is crucial to understand the peak times to provide customers with a quick response to their query. These times are considered to be:
- Sunday at 11am
- Saturday at 3pm
- Wednesday at 1pm
Audiences are frequently expecting a presence on social media for healthcare practices – after all, it is a good place to provide information for staff and patients alike. Again, take a look below to find out when you should be posting on social media if you’re in the healthcare industry.
Facebook is a good place to provide details of your practice and essential information for current and potential patients. The best times to post to these audiences are as follows:
- Wednesday from 9am to 10am
- Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm
Instagram isn’t really a social media platform of choice for many healthcare practices, however high levels of engagement were found on this network, so it’s well worth considering using this platform if you’re not already. Here’s the peak engagement times to set you on your way:
- Tuesday at 8am
- Tuesday from 7am to 4pm
As with the B2C industry, Twitter provides an ideal base for customer care and conversation with many users asking health related questions on the platform. Be aware of these best times to post on Twitter for healthcare practices:
- Wednesday from 9am to 11am
- Monday at 2pm
- Friday at 8am
Social media is a great place for students and parents to get information about their school or university. Compared to other industries, engagement generally is at its highest during mornings as well as some peaks during the weekends.
Facebook offers a basis for parents and students to keep up to date with the latest going ons at their school or university. The best times to post on Facebook for educational institutes were found to be:
- Wednesday at 9am
- 9am to 12pm Monday to Friday
- Saturday at 5pm
Instagram provides a great opportunity for students to share their experiences and for the school/university to build their identity and highlight campus life.
Engagement follows a similar pattern to Facebook, with the best time to post being:
- Friday from 10am to 12pm
- Wednesday at 11am
- Saturday from 6pm to 8pm
As well as having a main channel for a school or university, many institutes are using Twitter to create different accounts for sports teams and after school clubs. As with other social media networks for education, peak times are slightly different from the ‘norm’. So, it may be worth adjusting your scheduling to take into consideration the following times and days:
- Saturday at 5pm
- Wednesday 8am to 12pm
- Friday at 9am to 12pm
Social media provides a great basis to highlight a nonprofit’s mission statement, spark discussions on particular topics and post upcoming events. Learn more about when the best times to post on social media for non profit organisations are below.
Facebook is a great social platform for non-profit organisations especially for sharing events and for starting discussions. The best time to schedule these posts on Facebook are:
- Wednesday from 8am to 9am
- Thursday at 10am
- Friday from 8am to 10am
Instagram is a good social media network for complementing your efforts made on other platforms. If you’ve posted an event on Facebook, why not create posts on Instagram to draw further people to this? That being said, bare in mind these peak times to boost your engagement:
- Wednesday at 2pm
- Monday from 2pm to 3pm
- Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm
Non-profits have a good opportunity to build their community via Twitter by starting conversations with their audiences. Here are the best times to start your conversations:
- Wednesday at 7am
- Every day from 8am to 3pm
Part 3: Scheduling Social Media Posts
If you’re thinking, how am I going to make sure I’m at my screen to post my content at the correct time? Don’t worry, there are a variety of social media management tools available to help you schedule your content well in advance, so you don’t have to leave it to the last minute.
Some of which, we’ll explore below.
1.Buffer is a well established social media management tool that has a variety of features such as publishing with queues, analytics to track performance and team features. Buffer supports a variety of networks, so you can add your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest feeds and get scheduling those posts!
2.Hootsuite is probably the oldest social media management tool, having been around since the early days of 2008. It boasts a variety of applications and features including content curation, organisation and scheduling. Again, Hootsuite supports most of the major social media networks as well as YouTube and WordPress.
3. eclincher is a comprehensive social media management platform. It has all the necessary functions a social media management tool should have as well as some unique ones such as auto posting, smart queues and social inboxes. It also has a Canva integration, free image library and influencer search. eclincher supports a wide range of social media channels as well as Google My Business and Google Analytics.
Most of these social media management tools are available with free trials, so you can test which ones work well for you.
So there you have it, an in depth look at when the best times to post on social media are. Overall, it is clear from the research above that Wednesdays are a popular day for all industries to post on social media. Try testing posting on Wednesday as well as some of the other key times and see if it makes a difference to your social media engagement.
If you need help with you social media marketing, get in touch with us today.
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