Social media marketing is a must for all modern age businesses, marketers, entrepreneurs and personal brands.
So it’s no wonder that we’re all trying to optimise our posts, increase our reach, grow our following and boost our engagement rates.
A simple Google search will tell you that there are about 500 Billion ways to achieve this. Whilst I can’t vouch for them all, there is one that everyone marketing on social should be priming themselves for: the best social media posting times.
Purely by posting when your audience are most likely to be online, you increase your chances of engaging your followers, reaching more of them and growing your following.
Before I analyse the best times to post on all of the biggest social networks for marketing, it’s important that you understand which networks you should be targeting and you know as much about your target audience as possible.
If you’re unsure about which network to target or you’re blindly hitting all of them in search of engagement, it’s time you changed your strategy. Go over to our Ultimate Guide to Social Networks for Businesses and find the most suitable social media site for your business…
…when you’re armed with the right information, only go after the networks that are most applicable to you. This will save you time, allow you to optimise and ultimately, improve your social media marketing performance.
And, if you really want to succeed at social media marketing, you need to make sure you post at least once every day (or at least every weekday). That means using the optimum times in this article consistently.
OK, it’s time to get into the best social media posting times. The information in this guide has been formulated from our own experience (and testing) and research from some of the world’s top social media experts.
Let’s do this.
The Best Times to Post on LinkedIn
LinkedIn began life as a resume and job posting board, but has now grown into a social network designed for the business community.
Given that their users are largely professionals, what do you think the most useful times to post are? While the business community are at work or when they’re home?
Yeah, you guessed it, we’re all a bunch of slackers…
…the best time to post is weekdays between 8am and 6pm, but wait…
…we can narrow those numbers further.
LinkedIn sees most use during the middle of the week, Tuesday-Thursday, probably because workers have loads to think about on a Monday and are already planning their weekends, (on other networks) on a Friday.
But we don’t spend all day staring at our LinkedIn profiles. In fact, we are most engaged on this platform at three different points of the day:
- 7.30-9.30am (Start of work)
- 12-2pm (Lunchtime)
- 5-6pm (End of working day)
So, those are the best times, but when’s the worst?
LinkedIn users don’t tend to use the site at night. So, steer clear of any late posts. In fact, don’t even bother between 10pm and 6am. Weekends are also a definite no-no. Stick to the weekday posts and aim to post at the times listed above, (or just before).
The Best Times to Post on Twitter
The optimum times to post on Twitter are largely dependent on your target audience, but…
…that doesn’t mean that I can’t give you some solid guidelines to work from.
Let’s start with a fact…
…timing is everything on Twitter.
Their newsfeed uses a completely different algorithm to that of Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin, making the importance of posting at the right time absolutely crucial to your success.
The Twitter newsfeed depends heavily on the recency of tweets. Of course, all networks show more new posts than old ones, but Twitter’s algorithm leans a lot more heavily upon it.
This means you can tweet the most amazing valuable content, but nobody will see it if it isn’t published at the right time.
We also know that tweeters use the service as an RSS feed of reading content during their breaks or down time. For that reason, (and because of their core user demographic) Twitter’s best posting times are quite similar to LinkedIn.
BTW: The results won’t be the same for all networks, LinkedIn and Twitter are just very similar!
People use mobile to check their profiles while commuting, taking breaks at work and towards the end of their working day (when their attention is wondering).
We’ve also found that Twitter’s usage spikes during midweek. The best times to post on Twitter are Tuesday-Thursday, between the hours of 12pm-2pm and 5pm-6pm. And the worst times to post are overnight, 10pm-6am.
That being said, if you really want to get the most out of Twitter, you need to post a lot (3-7 times per day) every day (or every weekday at least).
The Best Time to Post on Instagram
Instagram is the fastest growing social network (at the moment) and is becoming increasingly important to businesses in a wide range of industries.
When it comes to the best time to post on Instagram (and the worst time to post on Instagram), there are a few different factors to take into account:
- Instagram was created for mobile and is very rarely used on desktop. So, when are your target audience most likely to be on their mobile phones?
- The Instagram algorithm ranks posts by user behaviour and relationship (with the post publisher), interests, timeliness and engagement. So, what type of content is most likely to appeal to these factors (and therefore rank higher on the newsfeed for longer)?
- Instagram is particularly popular with 18-35 year olds (and is fast becoming their favoured social network). Which end of the scale are your target audience and when are they most likely to be online?
Timeliness is a ranking factor for Instagram, but it isn’t as important as engagement or user relationship and interests. This means that even if you post at the perfect time, your Insta followers still may not see your post at the top of their feed.
The quality of your content is more important now than ever before. You must make sure that your posting strategy is up to scratch, before worrying about the best times to publish posts.
However, I’m not going to leave without giving you some handy Insta posting advice:
Insta sees an increase in users during weekday lunch hours (11.30-1.30pm) and in the evening (6-10pm). Saturday’s also see an increase in user numbers, particularly in the late afternoon and evening. Sunday is the worst time to post on Instagram, so if you’re looking for a day to take a break from publishing posts, Sunday should be the one.
The Best Times to Post on Facebook
Last but not least, we’ve got the giant of all social networks, Facebook.
Similarly to Twitter, the success of your Facebook posts is very much audience dependent. The network has so many users, in so many different countries, almost anytime is a good time to receive engagement, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good time to engage your target audience.
At the time of writing, Facebook reported that they have 2.3 billion monthly active users. Because of their enormous number of users and the huge variety in their user demographic, it’s almost impossible for me to tell you the best time to post on this network. It is completely audience dependent.
However, there are a few facts that should guide your posting strategy.
For starters, Facebook is increasingly being visited by mobile users, but one of their most popular times is at the start of the working day, these visits are predominantly from desktop users.
It’s thought that the days with the highest Facebook engagement, run between Thursday-Sunday. In fact, Facebook activity increases during the weekends. That being said, don’t rush off and publish all your content during weekend evenings (after 8pm).
I’d recommend posting early(ish), 10am-12am on a Saturday, and throughout the rest of the week (especially the end of the week, Thursday and Friday), during working hours.
If you’d like to learn more about your audiences’ activity, Facebook analytics should hold the answers. You can also use this information to discover the worst times to post on your Facebook business page.
The Best Times to Post on Social Media
It’s all well and good knowing the most popular usage times on the world’s biggest social networks…
…but it means nothing if you don’t understand your audience.
If you really want to optimise your social reach, create a customer avatar, put yourself in your target markets shoes and correlate the results with the information in this post.
And most importantly, post quality content.
Nurturing a qualified and engaged audience is impossible if you’re pushing out rushed content. Spend time thinking about your audience’s needs before yours.