Is your social media marketing strategy up to scratch or are you finding it hard to compete?
We all know that social media is a great way to get your content out there, but with millions of posts being submitted everyday from pictures to articles and even videos, it can be difficult for your content to get the recognition it deserves.
Face it, social media competition is fierce and without a solid plan that is well researched and relevant to your brand and demographic, your marketing efforts are going to suffer.
Never fear however, as we have sourced some of the top research in the industry to bring you a list of the most optimal times to post on six of the top social media platforms.
By experimenting posting around these times, you can help your content to get more coverage, more likes and more clicks- and we all know how valuable this can be to your business.
Of course, there is no guarantee that posting at these times is going to send your content viral, however it may be worth testing to see when your audience is most active by using these optimal times as a guideline.
1. The Best Times to Post on Facebook
The optimal times to post on Facebook include:
- 3pm Wednesday (most optimal)
- 12pm-1pm Saturday and Sunday
- 1pm-4pm Thursday and Friday
Majority of people log in to Facebook using their mobile and desktop devices and a fair share access the platform from both the work place and at home. This may be important for your brand to keep in mind depending on your products and services.
Researchers and analysts also found that engagement rates were 18 percent higher on Thursdays and Fridays, whereas click through rates were highest between 1-4pm from Monday through to Friday.
It was also found that on Friday, Facebook users spike by 10 percent. This is most likely due to the fact that the end of the working week is approaching and people are interested in connecting on a more social level. Because of this, it is recommended to post your most light-hearted and ‘feel good’ weekend news towards the end of the week.
While it seems that there are quite a few golden windows for posting on Facebook, the worst times and days to post were found to be before 8am and after 8pm on weekends.
This is most likely due to the fact that most people are out and about at this time and are probably not too concerned with checking their news feed.
One study conducted by a health food blog found that their best engagement was between 5-8pm on weekdays. They believed that this was because their demographic was perhaps thinking about dinner and browsing for recipe or meal ideas.
Again, even though researchers have penned these times as being most active, it doesn’t mean that your demographic will fit the mould. Instead, use these numbers to experiment so your brand can determine the most optimal times for your demographic.
As a general rule of thumb, the posts that perform the best on Facebook include promotional content that links back to your website and blog and value added content that includes relevant information for your demographic.
As a guideline, you may want to consider posting around 30 percent promotional content and around 70 percent value added content during the most optimal time frames for the best results.
If you need help monitoring your Facebook statistics, the social media network provides their own analytical platform or you can also use an external program like Fanpage Karma.
2. The Best Times to Post on Twitter
The most optimal times to post on Twitter include-
- 12pm-3pm Monday through Friday
- 5pm Monday through Friday
Like Facebook, majority of Twitter users seem to access their feed from their mobile device and desktop computer. What sets Twitter apart from Facebook however, is that users often spend less time on their Twitter feeds and tend to interact with the platform in shorter bursts.
Researchers discovered that people were more likely to view their Twitter feed during short periods of downtime, on lunch time breaks and while commuting to and from work.
As a business, it may be worth taking this into consideration when posting on Twitter and the type of information and links that you may choose to share.
For example, if majority of your demographic is viewing your feed on their lunch breaks, short and to the point tweets may perform better than tweets that are highly detailed or have multiple links to click.
It may also be beneficial to consider sharing more value added content than promotional content in order to keep users engaged, as well as utilising trending or popular hashtags.
Researchers also found that the best days to post on Twitter were Monday through Friday, with the highest click-through rate being on Wednesdays.
For business to business (B2B) companies, Wednesday consistently seemed the best day to post whereas for business to consumer (B2C) companies, the weekends had the highest click through rates.
In terms of the type of content that was shared, researchers also found that B2B content performed 16 percent better when posted during business hours, Monday through Friday and B2C content performed 17 percent better when posted on Saturdays and Sundays.
This valuable data should provide your B2B or B2C business with a great starting point when it comes to posting on Twitter.
In another case study, it was also found that 2-3am, 6-7am and 9-10pm were successful times to post so perhaps experimenting with a few of these time periods may be beneficial.
If you need help monitoring your Twitter activity, use the social media platforms own analytical software or Followerwonk, which helps you to track your data.
Aim to share at least 3-5 tweets per day as this seems to be the best frequency rates for most businesses.
3. The Best Times to Post on LinkedIn
The most optimal times to post on LinkedIn include-
- 5-6pm Tuesday through to Thursday
- 10-11am Tuesday and Wednesdays
- 7.30am- 8.30am Thursdays
- 12pm Thursdays
- 5-6pm Thursdays
There are quite a few optimal times to post on LinkedIn but researchers and analysts consistently found that posting mid week yielded the best results, this is most likely due to the professional nature of the social network.
Posts sent out on Tuesdays seemed to return the most clicks and shares, especially between 10-11am so it may be worth experimenting with this time frame to see if it helps to boost your engagement levels.
Mondays and Fridays had considerably lower engagement rates on LinkedIn and this is most likely due to the fact that majority of people using the platform are business professionals and are probably catching up with work on Mondays and winding down on Friday.
Just like Facebook, it may be worth posting more light-hearted and weekend friendly content on Fridays in order to increase engagement levels and go with the tone of the day.
Consistently over the study, researchers also found that the worst times to post on LinkedIn included 10pm to 6am. Again this is most likely due to the fact that the main demographic using the platform are business professionals who work from 9-5.
Blogs, ebooks, e-courses and infographics tend to perform the best on LinkedIn as well as posts that are cross promoted on platforms like Facebook.
Consider experimenting with posting these content types during the optimal time frame windows as well as cross promoting on Facebook to see if it yields better results.
4. The Best Times to Post on Pinterest
The most optimal times to post on Pinterest include-
- After 6pm Monday through Friday
- Saturdays 8-11pm
The main demographic using Pinterest are females and it seems that the site gets the most activity during the evening hours.
In fact, researchers found that pretty much every evening of the week yielded positive results on the platform, however on Saturday it seemed that later in the evening performed better than earlier in the evening.
Other positive times on Pinterest included 2-4am, 2-4pm and Fridays at 3pm. The early morning activity between 2-4am seem surprising however, you may be able to use this to your advantage depending on your products or services.
For example, those accessing the platform between 2-4 in the morning are either new parents, insomniacs or very early risers. By capitalising on these demographics you can help to deliver more tailored content that is relevant and specific.
Other days that perform really well on Pinterest are the days leading up to significant holidays like Australia Day or Valentines Day. This is due to the fact that the most commonly engaged posts on Pinterest are crafts, foods and recipes.
If your company is thinking of running a promotion on either of these days, advertising a week or two before on Pinterest may help to boost results and engagement rates.
Even though majority of Pinterest is photo based, infographics also do well on the platform especially when they are cross promoted on other social media networks like Facebook or even LinkedIn.
Another thing to keep in mind when posting on Pinterest is including a call to action in order to help boost your engagement levels. In fact, brands that added call to actions to their Pinterest posts experienced click through rates of up to 80 percent.
5. The Best Times to Post on Instagram
The most optimal times to post on Instagram include-
- 1am- 2pm Monday through to Thursday
- 5pm-12pm Monday through to Thursday
Instagram users most commonly access the platform from their mobile or tablet devices. It was also found by researchers that Instagram users tend to access the platform more often than both Twitter and Facebook however, engagement rates during the day were relatively low.
The best engagement rates on Instagram were seen before and after the regular 9-5 working hours and videos performed the best between 9pm and 8am across the week.
If your brand is running a video campaign, definitely consider editing down a version for Instagram and posting during this time to see if it can help boost awareness and engagement rates.
Researchers also found that the worst time for posting on Instagram was between 3-4pm Monday through Sunday however, they were not able to make a solid conclusion as to why this was the case.
In a separate case study, it was also found that optimal times to post included 2am – 5pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. It may be worth experimenting with these times to see if they can help boost your engagement rates with your audience.
Hashtags also help to boost the engagement rates of Instagram posts as does tagging a location or other users, so aim to utilise these features for maximum benefits.
6. The Best Times to Post on Google+
The most optimal times to post on Google Plus include-
- 9am Wednesday
- 9-11am Monday through Friday
Google+ is most commonly accessed from desktop computers and mobile devices. Because it is more of a professional tool than Facebook, engagement was consistently higher from Monday through to Friday as compared to Saturday and Sunday.
The one negative that was found by researchers when it comes to Google plus however, was that engagement rates were considerably lower when compared to other social media platforms.
They discovered that 90 percent of the people using the platform were simply browsing and were not likely to click on content or engage with it.
Keeping this in mind, it may be worth considering what type of content you choose to post on Google plus and if it will really serve any benefits.
For example, if you know that users are not likely to engage it may be better to post images, infographics and promotional content rather than lengthy blog posts, e-courses or competitions that require users to respond.
The worst time to post on Google+ included early mornings and early evenings, again this was believed to be due to the fact that the platform is more professional than it is social.
If you are interested in measuring your engagement on Google +, Google analytics offers a fairly comprehensive insight into how your demographic are responding.
How to Use This Data to Help Boost Engagement on Social Media
Even though researchers have spent a lot of time collecting the data above, it is important to remember that the most optimal time for posting on social media will be dependent on your brand and your demographic.
As seen with some of the social media platforms as well, your effectiveness when it comes to posting may also be dependent on whether you are running a B2B or a B2C business and what your ultimate end goals are.
To really determine what the best times for your brand may be, it is important to test out a wide variety of times and content types to see what is the most effective.
The research above is not totally wasted however, as it can provide you a really solid framework and starting point for your social media marketing.
Some things that you may want to think about when it comes to choosing the best time to post on social media include-
- Your target audience/ demographic
- Your ultimate end goal or call to action
- The type of content you are sharing ie. video, photo, blog, infographic
- The type of platform you are sharing the content on ie. Facebook vs. Twitter
- When your demographic might find the information the most helpful – eg. a blog post with fun weekend ideas may perform the best on a Thursday or Friday as compared to Monday
- The region you are targeting – is your audience international or local?
- The time zone you are posting in- 80% of social media users are from the EST or CT time zones
- How your audience reacts with the particular platform
- Whether you are looking for clicks, shares or follows
Once you have been able to analyse all of this for your brand, here is how to get started with putting a plan into action…
Step 1: Pick One and Stick to It
Consistency always yields results, especially when you are trying to determine which time frames are best for your content.
Consider sticking to one particular time frame and one particular content type to begin with to see how effectively it is performing. From there, you can then branch out into other content types and other times but in the beginning, it is worth staying consistent.
For example, a blog targeted at Entrepreneurs wanted to build up their Instagram following. They decided to post an inspirational quote between 7-9am in the morning as they believed their audience would be most engaged at this time.
They continued this strategy for 4 weeks before they decided to switch the time to between 3-5pm in the afternoon. They continued this strategy for another 3 weeks but quickly found that the morning time slot performed much better than the afternoon time slot.
Even though this approach may seem tedious, the company was easily able to determine the difference between posting in the morning vs. the afternoon and were able to keep track of the results in a methodical and simple way.
Step 2: Schedule your Social Media Posts
Chances are your brand uses more than one social media platform, so it may help to use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite.
This not only allows you to have control over when your content is shared but it also makes sharing easier and less time consuming in the long run. It also allows you to keep track of all of your social accounts and is helpful for determining when your demographic is most active.
Step 3: Experiment and Test
As we have already mentioned it is imperative that you test out and experiment with your social media content types, times and platforms in order to yield the most effective results for your brand.
Even though it is important to stay consistent, experimenting every so often can help you to get a better understanding of your demographic and how they interact with your content.
Your Quick Guide and Summary to Optimal Times
- 12-1pm Saturdays and Sundays
- 3-4pm on Wednesday
- 1-4pm Thursdays and Fridays
- People use Facebook in the workplace and at home
- People use Facebook on both their desktop and mobile devices
- Avoid before 8am and after 8pm on Saturday and Sunday
- 12-3pm Monday through to Friday
- 5-6pm on Wednesday
- People use Twitter in the workplace and at home
- People use Twitter during down time, breaks and commutes
- Optimal tweeting frequency is between 3-5 per day
- 7.30am-8.30am Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
- 12pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
- 5-6pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
- 10-11am on Tuesdays
- People use LinkedIn during working hours and mostly at the workplace
- People use LinkedIn mostly on desktops
- Avoid posting out of standard 9-5 pm business hours or on Mondays and Fridays
- 2-4am Monday through to Sunday
- 5pm on Friday
- 8-11pm Saturdays
- Engagement rates high most evenings of the week
- The main demographic using Pinterest are female
- Images with call to actions yield high engagement rates
- Avoid posting between 3-4pm
- 1am- 2pm Monday through Thursday
- 6pm-12pm Monday through Thursday
- People access Instagram mainly from mobile devices
- People check Instagram frequently but engagement rates are higher in the early morning and late evening
- Videos perform best after 9pm
- Avoid posting between 3-4pm
- 9am on Wednesdays
- 9-11am Monday through Friday
- 80 percent of people using Google+ are just browsing and are not likely to engage
- Google+ attracts more of a professional crowd than a social crowd
- Avoid posting on weekends and early mornings and early evenings
When you learn how to tailor your social media marketing to suit your brand and demographic it can help your business to not only increase sales and profits but it can also help to increase the awareness surrounding your brand.
A strong social media presence also helps build trust in the eyes of the consumer and helps your brand to stand out from the crowd as a credible and popular business.
Will you consider using these time frames to help boost your social media marketing strategies?