Super savvy social media managers don’t just share engaging content. They share it at optimal times.
The truth is:
Your fans and followers prefer using social media sites during specific hours of the day. So if you share your content when users are on these social sites, your content will not just get more eyeballs, but also get more shares and traffic.
As a result, it’s important that you master the art of sharing content on social media at optimal times.
So when is the best time to post on social media? A million-dollar question!
Sadly, there is no easy answer to this question. You need to factor in different time zones, the nature and size of your business, and of course, keep in mind that each social network is different.
But luckily, several experts have attempted to decipher the science behind the best times to post on social media, offering key takeaways and findings that can help us schedule social messages at times that get the most traffic and engagement.
So, for this article, I’ve analyzed and referenced several research studies on the topic, including research conducted by:
How to Factor in Different Time Zones While Posting on Social Media?
As mentioned earlier, posting on social media becomes even more complicated when you factor in different time zones of your audience.
It’s important to understand where your audience is in order to target their time zones accordingly. Luckily, you can get sufficient data on this through Google Analytics.
Sources featured in this article have mainly considered Eastern Time (ET) or Central Time (CT) zones to research and compile their reports, since 80% of the population in the US is in the ET or CT zones.
Image Credit: CoSchedule
For the sake of simplicity, the time zones featured in this article are in ET. But if you’re targeting people outside the US, I’d urge you to spend some time analyzing your website traffic data on Google Analytics and figure out which time zones majority of your audience falls under.
And finally, figure out the time zones of your followers on different social channels using their built-in analytics tools. Ex: Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc.
Best Times to Post on Social Media [Infographic]
This infographic highlights the best times to post content on each social network. I’ve taken six of the most popular social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ for consideration.
There is more in-depth analysis and expert opinions below the infographic.
Now let’s take a closer look at each of the social networks and see what experts have to say about the best time to post on social media.
1. Best Times to Post on Instagram
Instagram is mainly accessed from mobile devices. As such, Instagram engagement remains consistent throughout the week, with slight spikes on Monday and a slight dip on Saturdays. So, feel free to post content on Instagram any day of the week.
The best time to post on Instagram is 8-9 AM any day of the week. Avoid posting between 3-4PM.
What the Experts Say About the Best Times to Post on Instagram?
- A TrackMaven study indicates that Fortune 500 brands witness higher engagement for their Instagram posts between 10PM and 3AM ET.
- According to Quick Sprout, most Instagram users engage with Instagram content more during off-work hours than during the workday.
- According to a poll by Later, an Instagram scheduling app, over 50% of social media managers said that evenings from 7-9PM was the best time to post on Instagram.
- CoSchedule recommends posting content on Tuesdays at 2PM on Instagram for higher engagement.
2. Best Times to Post on Facebook
Users access Facebook on both mobile devices and desktop computers, both at work and at home.
The best time to post on Facebook is 1-4PM on Thursday and Friday. Other optimal times include 12–1PM on weekends.
What the Experts Say About the Best Times to Post on Facebook?
- According to Neil Patel, early afternoon is the best time to post on Facebook. 1PM will get you the most shares, while 3PM will get you the most clicks.
- FastCompany believes that the best times to share on Facebook are 1–4PM, and the peak time is Wednesdays at 3PM. Overall, Fast Company says that the worst time to post is after 8PM on weekends.
- According to Buffer, engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays.
3. Best Times to Post on Twitter
People use Twitter more like an RSS feed. It’s something they tune into during down times like commutes, breaks, and so on. Like Facebook, users access Twitter both on desktop and mobile devices, both at work and at home.
The best time to tweet is during weekdays from 12–3PM. The peak best time of day to tweet is 5PM. Avoid tweeting between 8PM and 9AM.
What the Experts Say About the Best Times to Post on Twitter?
- According to CoSchedule, B2B content performs 16% better during business hours, whereas B2C content performs 17% better on weekends.
- According to Neil Patel, tweets around 5PM get more retweets, while 12 and 6PM. tweets get more clickthroughs.
- Based on all of the tweet data collected by Buffer, the early morning hours appear to be the time in which tweets receive the most clicks, on average.
- Kissmetrics recommends tweeting at 5PM midweek and during the weekends.
4. Best Times to Post on Pinterest
More users engage with brands and retailers on Pinterest than on Facebook.
Pinterest users are most active in the evening. As such, the best times to post pins on Pinterest are between 8-11PM. Pins posted on Saturday tend to get more engagement than any other day.
Avoid posting on Pinterest during work hours.
What the Experts Say About the Best Times to Post on Pinterest?
- According to CoSchedule, pins posted at 12PM, 2AM, and 1–3PM get the most traffic.
- HubSpot encourages pinning from any day from 2–4AM and 2–4PM.
- According to Post Planner, the best times to post on Pinterest are 2PM, 9PM, and 2AM.
5. Best Times to Post on LinkedIn
As LinkedIn is a professional network, the best days to post are during the workweek, preferably Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
The best time to post on LinkedIn is between 5–6PM. Tuesday posts get higher engagement than any other day.
Avoid posting between 10PM-6AM.
What the Experts Say About the Best Times to Post on LinkedIn?
- According to FastCompany, the best days to post on LinkedIn are Tuesday through Thursday with the optimal time to post being noon and 5–6PM. The worst time is after 8 PM.
- CoSchedule recommends posting to LinkedIn at 8–9AM, 4PM, and 6PM to get more traffic and engagement.
6. Best Times to Post on Google+
Before you argue that posting content on Google+ is useless, I recommend you check out this post. Believe it or not, it’s still possible to leverage Google+ to drive consistent amount of traffic back to your site as long as you’re willing to put some effort.
Workday morning is the best time to post to Google+, preferably between 9-11AM. Avoid posting content during weekends.
What the Experts Say About the Best Times to Post on Google+?
- According to QuickSprout, the workweek is the best time to post to Google+. Weekends should be avoided.
- FastCompany also recommends posting on Google+ during the workday since it’s a professional social media tool.
Now that you have a fair idea about the best times to post on social media, it’s time to put this data into action. I highly recommend you try social media scheduling apps such as Buffer and Hootsuite to post content on social media. Both these tools offer powerful analytics data which can further help you optimize your engagement.
Schedule content during the aforementioned optimal times and see if you notice an increase in social engagement and traffic.
What is the best time to post social media, according to you? Have you seen higher engagement for your posts on social media at a certain time? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness, based on new research and findings into the topic.
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