If you’re creating a social media strategy that you hope will increase awareness of your blog or business, and increase sales or traffic, you’re going to want to pay attention to the times at which you’re pushing your content out into the world.
There’s very little point in sharing something that no one will see, right?
You’re going to see a lot of information and advice online if you go searching for the “best times” to post on social media, a lot of which won’t actually be applicable to you.
Those suggested times and dates are great places to start, but the fact of the matter is this: only YOU can really establish the best times and dates for you.
Thankfully, it’s a lot easier to work out than you’d think — and I’ve got some tricks to share with you that’ll make the process a lot easier.
When is the best time to post on Facebook?
According to the social media scheduling tool Buffer, the best time to post on Facebook is just after lunchtime on every day except for Sunday — between 1pm and 3pm.
According to Hootsuite, however, the best time to post on Facebook is at lunchtime – 12pm – on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. That’s only for business-to-customer accounts, though; if you’re in the business-to-business market, the best time to post on Facebook is reported to be from 9am to 2pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Sprout Social says that the worst performing day on Facebook is Sunday.
Still according to Sprout Social, the best day for performance is Wednesday, and the best time(s) between 11am and 1pm.
It doesn’t matter where you look, the information for the best times to post on Facebook and other social platforms will be different.
Buffer’s studies, for example, didn’t say whether or not their best times to post were for B2B or B2C, but Hootsuite’s study did. Some of the studies didn’t give a timezone for the best times, and we can’t forget that social media is global.
You have the potential to reach people all across the world, at all times of the day. Plus, 12pm on Wednesday lunchtime for you could be 8pm on Wednesday evening for some of your readers.
Helpful advice: Visualise your audience. (Literally.)
What or who is your target audience?
You’ll need to work that out. Why? Because you need to understand and visualise your target audience in order to give them what they want or need at the right times.
What is your audience going to be doing throughout the day?
Let’s pretend for a moment that you’re a parenting blogger. You want to target other parents — people with children. Posting on Facebook at 8 o’clock in the morning might not be a great idea as that’s when most people are getting their kids ready for school.
A better time to share something for them to read would be slightly later on, after the school run, when busy parents have had time to drive home, put some laundry on, and then sit down for a moment with a nice cup of tea. How about 10:30am? Or 11am?
Now let’s imagine you’re a blogger aiming to help those with 9-5 jobs quit and start the creative life they’d always dreamed of. What’s your target audience going to be doing at 10:30 or 11am? They’re probably going to be stuck in the middle of a busy day at their 9-5 job job.
Instead, a lunchtime post might be a good idea. Your audience can take a peek on their lunch break as they peruse through Facebook and chomp their way through a meal-deal sandwich.
You could also consider commuter/morning rush hour times, when people are miserably sat on the tube and trawling social media, praying to win the lottery; and also in the evenings, after dinner, when those busy workers are comfortably slumped on a cosy couch at the end of a long day.
When is the best time to post on Instagram?
Have you heard of Later? It’s a social media scheduling tool that recently studied users, content, and engagement to work out the best time(s) to post on Instagram. After scrutinising more than 12 million different posts in various time zones, the tool came up with a time that yielded best results: between 9am and 11am Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Let’s move along to another website: Expert Voice says that Wednesday is the best day for posting on Instagram, with the best times being 5am, 11am, and 3pm.
Once again this proves that different studies will often come up with completely different results for the best times to post on social media — which doesn’t help you all that much. These studies also don’t tell you WHY those are considered to be the best times.
Is 11am on a Wednesday the best day to post on Instagram for engagement (likes/comments), or is that the time you’ll gain the most followers when you post?
The results aren’t clear. When they aren’t clear, they’re not helpful for you.
Helpful advice: Post new content regularly. (Like, every day.)
Why? Because according to a Cast from Clay study, 18% of all US adults aged 18 and over are jumping onto Instagram to browse new content or upload their own several times every day.
According to Kids Count Data Center, 18+ adults make up 78% of the US population — 253,768,092 adults in 2018, to be exact.
18% of 253,768,092 = 45,678,256 people using Instagram multiple times per day, just in the US alone … forty-five and a half million people is a lot of people.
And, for the record, a whopping FIFTY PERCENT of US adults use Facebook several times per day. That’s 126,884,046 people!
What do those numbers mean for you?
More and more people are using social media on a multiple-times-per-day basis, so uploading daily is a good way to keep your content fresh and relevant and your followers engaged and interested.
If your average follower logs on daily, they’ll likely forget you exist if you’re only posting content a couple of times per month. They won’t forget the other bloggers, businesses and influencers, though … the ones that ARE posting daily or regular content.
For Instagram (as an example), content can come in the form of in-feed photos and videos, Instagram Stories, and Instagram TV. You don’t need to use every feature that the social platform offers you, every day — or even at all. But posting content regularly and using all of the features available is a surefire way of kicking your strategy into touch and boosting your follower numbers and engagement rate.
Maybe share in-feed photos one day and an Instagram story the next? Mix and match things up, not just to keep your followers interested, but also to make your life a bit easier. If you can’t manage an IGTV video or Story, which can take a lot longer to put together or edit, share an image or in-feed video with the world instead.
Followers can’t engage with content that isn’t there which is why investing in an Instagram scheduling app is a good idea.
More helpful advice: 21 Instagram Stats And Facts To Grow Your Online Presence
When is the best time to post on Twitter?
A Hootsuite study looked into the best times to post on Twitter from two different perspectives: business-to-consumer, and business-to-business.
The latter, business-to-business, had the best results from tweets posted on Monday or Thursday, between 11am to 1pm, though a generalised 9am-4pm timeframe was recommended.
For business-to-consumer accounts, tweets were more successful when they were shared on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, at between 12pm-1pm.
Twitter is the most fast-paced of the social networks, which means that you’ll need to post more frequently in order to yield results than you would on other social platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.
The average lifespan of a tweet is only about 18 minutes, though that can be lengthened with comments, replies to comments, and tweet threads. In comparison, Facebook posts have a lifespan of around 6 hours, Instagram posts have a lifespan of around 48 hours, and Pinterest Pins have a lifespan of about 4 months.
Helpful advice: Get chatty.
Twitter tends to be more of a conversational social platform than the rest. One tweet can easily gain traction over the course of the day, with more and more people commenting/retweeting/liking it.
I’ve personally had great success with tweets shared first thing in the morning, around 8am-9am (GMT, but it doesn’t matter in this case).
Tweets get an initial burst of interest from people on their way to work, and then my replies to comments ‘re-awaken’ the thread around lunchtime, and then there can be a flurry of activity that evening and even right into the next day or two.
Each little ‘burst’ of interaction gives the conversation a chance to be seen by more people; people that wouldn’t have otherwise seen it.
Spreading your replies out over the course of the day can help to relight a conversation and increase visibility of your tweet.
As a final and slightly random note, I’ve personally had *amazing* success with “New Blog Post” tweets that go out at 9pm-midnight on Fridays, with ongoing interactions continuing right through into Saturday and Sunday.
I highly recommend you experiment with posting times. My Friday night tweet experiment happened completely by accident as I scheduled a new blog post for the wrong time (pm instead of am), but I’ve since adopted a Friday night posting schedule for that blog that hasn’t let me down yet!
More helpful advice: 21 Twitter Statistics & Facts To Level Up Your Social Media Strategy
When is the best time to post on Pinterest?
According to Oberlo, the best days to post on Pinterest are Saturday and Sunday. During the working week, traffic and Pin activity seems to drop, though it does pick up again in the evenings: between 8pm and 11pm.
The social platform with the longest lifespan is Pinterest. Although there are plenty of places that will tell you that timing is important across ALL social platforms, I personally feel it is less important with Pinterest. In fact, it might just be the easiest platform to get started with, and then grow with.
You might as well make the most of that four-month lifespan!
Helpful advice: Learn about social media scheduling.
With Pinterest, it doesn’t really matter when you post new content. I’ve posted at 7am and had great success, and I’ve posted at 7am and had ZERO success. I’ve also had Pins that’ve had absolutely NO interest for the first few months only to become more popular much later down the line and then picking up speed much faster than any other Pin I’ve shared.
Rather than paying attention to timing on Pinterest, pay close attention to the quality and type of content that you’re posting — and make sure, just as with Instagram, that you’re posting regularly.
Tailwind is a great, approved scheduling tool to help cope with that side of things, and Pinterest even has a free, built-in scheduling feature for business accounts now, offering up to 30 scheduled posts at a time.
Batch-create your content and then spread it out with the help of scheduling features and tools (available for both Wordpress and most social networking platforms), and you’ll have regular content published at regular times with minimal stress and effort.
When is the best time to post on YouTube?
According to How Sociable, the best time to post on YouTube is actually slightly earlier than when the bulk of initial traffic is meant to hit. Videos tend to get the most hits between 7pm and 10pm on weekday evenings, but that means you should upload the video a couple of hours earlier to give YouTube a chance to properly index it: between 2pm and 4pm. (These times are EST/CST.)
Weekends are slightly different; the study showed that videos were popular from lunchtime onwards, so posting between 9am and 11am will give the video enough time to be indexed for the lunchtime/evening “rush”.
Just to throw a little more information your way, Boost Apps showed levels of engagement on videos was higher on Friday and Saturday, and also on Wednesday, with the best time to post being 5pm.
And if that wasn’t enough, I also looked at an Oberlo study on the best times to post on social media and results showed that 12pm to 4pm video uploads were optimal for best results, with Thursday and Friday being the two best days during the week.
Here we have another classic example of different studies = different results — and we can’t forget that most of the larger studies are based on US audiences. If you’re a UK blogger or business, or based elsewhere in the world, some of the data might not accurately reflect your audience.
Helpful advice: Create an upload schedule with batch-creation of content.
By creating an upload schedule, you’re offering consistent, regular content to your audience.
This is a trick I’ve seen used by many beauty influencers and makeup artists on YouTube, who often have weekly or monthly life update blogs, or weekly get-ready-with-me videos, released at set times — 6pm on Friday, for example. Fans will sit down and get ready to watch those videos in the same way that they would sit down and get ready to watch the soaps on TV in the evening … but only when those videos keep to the schedule.
Keeping to your schedule will be easier when you batch-create content — creating multiple pieces of content at once and then scheduling them to go live one at a time.
If you spent one weekend creating four videos, you would have one video per week for the next four weeks. If you then have the time to create extra content, you could release extra videos as “bonus” content, or increase the number of videos in your schedule, or simply add more scheduled one-per-week videos.
Consistency is key with any social media strategy. People LOVE consistency.
Finding the best time to post on social media (for your audience)
Okay, so, we’ve shared all the research you need on the best times to post on social media.
Now, there’s a problem with this research:
It isn’t based on your audience. Sure, it makes a good starting point but what you really need is data on your own social media audience.
So, how do you find the best time to post on social media exactly?
You’re going to need a social media analytics tool that can show you the best day & time to publish.
We use Agorapulse for this. Whilst being one of the best social media analytics tools out there, it also includes scheduling, a social inbox, and more. And they have a free plan.
Here’s what the chart looks like:
By looking at this, we can see that we get the most engagement on Sunday afternoon at 3pm and there are a few other parts of the week that get more engagement than others. This data is for Twitter specifically, but you can get the exact same data for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Twitter had it right when they said this on their business blog:
There is no universal “right amount” of content to publish. There’s no magic publishing cadence for achieving content marketing success.
There’s no right or wrong time, or type, or style of content. What works for someone else might not work in the same way for you — and that’s definitely the case when you’re moving across different countries, different niches, and also different expectations.
Rather than spending your time looking at the times, dates, styles, and types of content that best work for other people, it’s wise to spend the time to get to know your audience a little better.
- Who are they?
- What are they looking for?
- What times are they most online?
- What content do they react more positively to, and at what times?
When you know who they are, what they want, and when they want it, you can give it to them.
For the most part, the individual analytics offered by the various social platforms will give you a better idea of YOUR exact audience. Instagram offers Insights that break things down by times/days online, location, age, and a whole bunch of other specifics. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social platforms offer their own versions too.
By looking at these, and by experimenting around with your social strategy, you can formulate best times to post on social media that actually work for you.
Recommended Reading: When Is The Best Time To Publish A Blog Post? (The Controversial Truth).
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