Timing is Everything - When is the Best Time to Post on Social Media?

best times to post on social media

In this noisy world we are constantly struggling to amplify our message. We tweak keywords, puzzle over algorithms and pay for a boost, but sometimes we overlook one of the simplest ways to be seen. No matter what the channel is, the time of day and the day of the week that a post is made will have huge impact on its visibility.

Today we understand the nuances of timing social media posts in ways we couldn’t even imagine ten years ago. Social metrics tools like HubNami give us detailed insight across platforms for an accurate view of what works and what doesn’t. In short, it’s easier than ever to think strategically and fight the urge to post whenever it feels convenient.

So…when exactly is the best time to post to social media?

Ok, now you’re going to groan loudly because, of course, the answer is “It depends.” But wait! It isn’t difficult to wade through the “it depends” part. A bunch of industry leaders have done most of our homework for us. We can actually apply a few simple principles to that great new research and come up with a strategy that works easily for our posting needs.

 

First, ask yourself these 4 questions -

1.     What platform am I using? – For example, Twitter users are generally most active at very different times than Linkedin users, so setting different times for different platforms is essential.

2.     How does my target audience interact with this platform and my content? – Is it work related and likely to be seen during the workday? Is it something they will do from home? Are they on their mobile device or at a desk?

3.     Where is my target audience located? – Taking time zones into account sounds like a no-brainer, but if you have a global audience then you might require a more complex timing strategy.

4.     What are my goals? – Do I want views, clicks, shares? Interaction and comments?

 

With those questions in mind, take a look at this quick reference guide that captures the essential 2016 research on the best times to post on social media;

 

Best Times to Post on Facebook

Facebook gets used on both mobile devices and desktop computers, at work and at home, so how it's used depends heavily on the target audience.

Best Time

Wednesday at 3 pm

Also Good

Saturday & Sunday at 12 – 1 pm

Thursday & Friday at 1 – 4 pm (engagement rates are 18% higher weekdays between 1 - 4 pm and FB use spikes 10% on Fridays in general)

Worst Time

Weekends before 8 am and after 8 pm

 

Best Times to Post on Twitter

Twitter also gets used on mobile devices and desktops, at work and at home and is highly dependent on audience. It gets used most often on breaks, commutes, down time in a similar way to an RSS feed.

Best Time

Weekdays at 12 – 3 pm and 5 pm

Wednesday is best for B2B clickthrough

Wednesday and weekends are best for B2C clickthrough

Also Good

Some businesses have seen good results with unusual post times like;

 2 – 3 am, 6 – 7 am & 9 – 10 pm

Again, know your target audience and do some expermentation…

 

Best Times to Post on Linkedin

Linkedin is generally used by people during the workday, just before it starts and just after it ends.

Best Time

Tuesday to Thursday at 5 – 6 pm

Also Good

Tuesday at 10 – 11 (this slot clocks the best clicks and shares)

Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 – 8 am, 12 pm & 5-6 pm

Worst Time

Any night at 10 pm – 6 am

Monday – likely because people are catching up from the weekend

Friday – likely because people are wrapping up for the weekend

 

Best Times to Post on Instagram

Instagram is used mostly on mobile devices, giving it a broad time range. However, the highest engagement happens during non-work hours. 

Best Time

Monday & Thursday anytime except 3 – 4 pm

Also Good

Any night at 9 pm – 8 am (for videos)

Any night at 2 am or 5 am

Wednesdays at 7 pm

 

Worst Time

Monday & Thursday – 3 – 4 pm

 

Best Times to Post on Pinterest

Pinterest has a female demographic who are most active in the evenings.

Best Time

Saturday at 8 to 11 pm

Also Good

Any evening after 5 pm

Any day at 2 – 4 pm

Friday 3 pm

Worst Time

Monday to Friday at 8 am – 2 pm

 

For deeper reading on the whys and whens of timing a social media post, check out these excellent articles in Fast Company and Huffington Post. But remember, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. By paying attention to our four questions and applying some of the platform specific guidelines above, you should be well on your way to an updated answer for the perennial question, “When should I post?”