Best Times to Post to Social Media
One of the top questions about social I hear from local business owners is, “when is the best time to post on social media?”
My honest opinion is that it doesn’t matter. But I think that is simplifying it too much. Here are a few reasons I say this:
1. If you are posting at the “best” time, and so is everyone else… then what? How will you get found?
2. “When” your audience is online may vary from one social account to another
3. Your current posting schedule might be skewing the data
4. And then there is the mysterious algorithm
“When to Post” was a valid question and tactic before the algorithms got so deeply involved and in the days when our news feed was chronological.
There are times when more people are online and most engaged, but the answer varies, and what content is seen is mainly about the algorithm. The priority for the algorithm is posting consistent, quality and engaging content. Remember, the algorithm determines who and when your post is served.
We can focus on many things that are all tactical, and “what time to post” is one thing that I find has less value than the rest. Post times haven’t been a significant factor in engagement or reach on my own accounts or on my client accounts. We see better reach and engagement when consistently posting engaging, inspiring, entertaining topics of value.
That is why I say your focus is best directed to coming up with great captions, quality content and engaging in discussions online.
However, let’s take a look at when our audience is online, so you can see what your accounts look like. I’ll walk you through how to find it for your pages and accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Find When Your Fans are Most Active
Go to manage your Facebook page, and you’ll see an “Insights” button on the left menu of your Facebook page.
Under Page Insights, scroll to the “Posts” option.
That will take you here: check out the “When Your Fans Are Online.”
This chart is specific to your page. This tells you when your audience is online by day and time. As you can see, my audience is active almost every day of the week and are most active between 6am and 8pm.
Given that information, I’ve decided to post in the mornings, so my content has the entire day to get some play. That is about deep as I get on this metric.
Try posting at off-peak times to see if you can get some possible hidden.
Learn from Your Previous Successful Posts
The Posts section of Facebook Insights has another cool feature just below the “When Your Fans Are Online” graph.
The “All Posts Published” section has a wealth of information that includes:
- Time and date of the post published
- Type of post published
- Organic and paid reach
Go to Insights → Total followers and scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you’ll see “Most Active Times.” You can Toggle Hours and Days.
Take a peek at your information and see what you think. Maybe you decide to change up your posting times to give it a test.
What Social Scheduling and Expert Platforms Say
We checked in with Hubspot, Sprout Social and Co-schedule, TrackMaven, Search Engine Journal, MarketingProfs, and more to see their recommendations.
We wanted to tap into a large data set, which they have, and share that with you in this article too.
We’ll Start with Facebook Best Times To Post
- Hubspot analyzed that 9 am is a good time when people leave for their offices. 1 pm-3 pm from Thursday to Sunday is the next peak time.
- TrackMaven suggests 8 pm EST on Thursday is the best.
- Falcon.io has put its bet on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday between noon to 4 pm.
- Hootsuite suggests posting between noon to 3 pm on weekdays.
- Unmetric favors the time between 9 am to 2 pm on Thursdays.
- Elle & Co. suggests 1 pm-3 pm is an accurate time to post on Facebook.
- 3 pm on Wednesday is recommended as an ideal time to post on Facebook by Fast Company.
- Huffington Post recommends posting on Thursdays and Fridays, as these weekdays have more traffic from readers. They further added that the usage of Facebook spikes by 10% on Fridays.
An in-house study done by CoSchedule paints a picture of the impact of business types on engagement.
Now Instagram Best Times To Post
- TrackMaven recommends 9 pm-8 am as the ideal times for posting pictures and videos. Actually, during these times, and specifically on Thursdays and Mondays, there are more chances to get a great response to your posts.
- Hubspot favors the time between 2 pm and 3 pm (CDT), and Thursday is the best day to post.
- Search engine Journal favors Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 11 am and Tuesday at 2 pm.
- On the other side, MarketingProfs says 1 pm-2 pm is the best time to post on Instagram.
As you can see, there are many different answers, and it does have a lot to do with the fact that different audiences engage at varying times. The algorithm affects engagement and delivery.
LinkedIn Best Times To Post
Unlike Instagram and Facebook, LinkedIn is less specific about their data in your analytics. This is a good graph from Sprout Social on LinkedIn engagement times and days.
Not surprising the week and late morning to mid afternoon have highest engagement, right?
Want to test it out?
Use the tools we mentioned above – especially your post insights on Facebook.
Use a spreadsheet to track your posting schedule and include the post type, day, time and number of engagements.
Track it for a few weeks – even better one month, to see if you notice any improvement in your post engagement at different times/days.
Remember, Every business is Different- Test out your own Data!
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