Social Media Marketing: When IS The Best Time To Post?
Has your business ever created a piece of social media content that was so perfect you thought about framing it in your office? Okay maybe not frame it, but you catch the drift. Then, to your surprise, it doesn’t perform as well as you’d hoped, and you’re stuck wondering why. Even if your content is shared with the right people on the right platform, it can still fall flat if it’s not posted at the right time. To optimize your content, you want to make sure you’re posting at the right time, to the right audience, on the right platform, every time! So—when should you post?
Timing Is Everything—Especially on Social Media
First, take a look at the channels your business uses. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Google+, you need to take advantage of the key days and times users operate on these channels.
However, none of this really matters if you don’t know who you’re targeting with your content. By creating buyer personas, you’ll be able to determine which platforms will work best for your audience, and what time to post on these platforms. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on data (and some educated guesses). If your business doesn’t have dedicated buyer personas, check out this article by HubSpot to learn how to make them!
Channel by Channel: Here’s When To Post On Social Media For Best Results
If Facebook is one of your main platforms, consider sharing content on the weekends between noon and 3 PM to get the most engagement. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday have higher levels of engagement than Monday and Tuesday, so take that into consideration when scheduling posts throughout the work week. Research also indicates that people are happier on Fridays (go figure!), so think about posting funny pictures or videos they will want to interact with. Try something like this—who doesn’t love The Office, right?
According to research conducted by Hootsuite, most Facebook users are between the ages of 25 and 34. 74% of U.S. women report they use Facebook as opposed to 62% of men. So, if your ideal customer is a female between the ages of 25 and 34, you’re using the right platform! Just make sure you’re posting at the right time to reach your target audience. To better understand the best way to make an impact on Facebook, check out our blog.
Best day(s): Saturday & Sunday
Best time(s): 9 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM
Worst time(s): Weekends before 8 AM, or after 8 PM
Demographic: Females between the age of 25 and 34
Who would’ve thought the best days for Instagram would be Mondays and Thursdays? Research shows that late night posts around 2 AM, early morning posts around 8 or 9 AM and evening posts around 5 PM have the best engagement, especially on Mondays and Thursdays. If your content involves video, consider sharing it around 9 PM for the best interactions. Most Instagram users seem to be most active before and after the work day, so try timing your content to maximize engagement.
Sundays have very low engagement, and posts between 3-4 PM have been known to perform poorly, so try to avoid these (unless it works for your audience!).
Instagram has a bit of a younger demographic, reporting that most users are between the ages 18 to 24. Of these users, a whopping 80% check their feed daily, and 55% check multiple times a day! Like Facebook, Instagram users are mostly women. If Instagram is working for your business, see how these demographics fit into your buyer personas!
If your target audience is more B2B than B2C, you may have to shift your marketing strategy around. See what we’re talking about.
Best day(s): Monday & Thursday
Best time(s): 2AM, 8-9 AM and 5 PM
Worst time(s): 3-4 PM
Demographic: Females between the ages of 18 & 24
Twitter can be a tricky one, depending on your audience. Surprisingly enough, Wednesdays facilitate the highest engagement on Twitter, especially around noon or 5 PM. We don’t think it’s any coincidence that Twitter users are most active on their breaks, so take advantage of that! You’re also 181% more likely to catch Twitter users during their daily commute, so create and time content they’ll want to read on the go!
Similar to Instagram, Twitter pulls more of a younger crowd, with most of their users between the ages of 18 and 24. However, the second largest group of users are ages 25 to 29, so Twitter isn’t strictly for youngsters! Twitter users are almost evenly men and women, with women reporting slightly more use of the platform than men.
Best day(s): Wednesday
Best time(s): 12PM & 5-6PM
Worst time(s): Fridays after 3 PM & weekends after 8 PM
Demographic: Men & women between the ages of 18 & 29
Just because LinkedIn users are business people, doesn’t mean they use it during business hours. During the week, Monday and Friday have the lowest engagement, with highest engagement on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. To optimize content, try posting on these days between 5 and 6 PM. It’s important to note that many LinkedIn users like to read posts in the morning before work, too—just not before 6 AM. Posting too early or too late could result in low interactions for your content, so time it wisely!
Since LinkedIn users are primarily business associates searching for professional networking opportunities, it’s no surprise that the demographic here is a little different than the other social media platforms. Most LinkedIn users are between the ages 25 to 29, with the 30 to 49-year-old age group following closely behind. LinkedIn is also equally used by men and women, a refreshing difference from the previous platforms. If you know your buyer persona is someone between the ages of 25 and 49 interested in professional networking, you should strongly consider sharing content on LinkedIn. Just remember to share it when they want to see it!
Best day(s): Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
Best time(s): 5-6PM
Worst time(s): 10PM-6AM
Demographic: Men & women between the ages of 25 & 49
Pinterest isn’t a platform for every business, and that’s okay! If your company does use Pinterest, we recommend pinning some late-night posts on the weekends. Posts between 8 and 11 PM on Saturdays receive the most interactions, while posts during the work week don’t perform as well.
It may not come as a shock that most Pinterest users are female, even though more male users are beginning to join the platform. It’s also important to note that one out of every two millennials use Pinterest! Pinterest users want to be inspired, so direct your educational content towards younger female users (on Saturdays after 8 PM!).
Best day(s): Saturday
Best time(s): 8-11PM
Worst time(s): During work hours
Demographic: Female millennials (between the ages of 23 & 38)
Like Twitter, Wednesday is the best day to post on Google+. Try scheduling posts around 9 to 11 AM for maximum interaction. While some debate if Google+ is a form of social media or not, it’s important to understand and utilize the optimal posting times to best promote your business.
Google+ is the first platform on this list to not be primarily used by women! Since 74% of Google+ users are men, make sure your marketing strategy and content reflect your audience and your buyer persona. The age range here is mainly 25 to 34-year-olds, but 35 to 44-year-olds are not far behind.
Best day(s): Wednesday
Best time(s): 9-11 AM
Worst time(s): 10 PM-6 AM
Demographic: Men between the ages of 25 & 44
How To Use This Information To Better Your Social Media Strategy
If your business uses all of these platforms, try to strategize your posts to maximize engagement throughout the week. On Sunday and Friday, share your content on Facebook. On Monday and Thursday, choose Instagram! Wednesdays, post on Twitter or Google+. Lastly, stay active on Saturday with some late-night Pins! Knowing what platform your audience uses and what times they are most active will make a huge difference in engagement.
It’s also important to note that the days and times you market on these platforms isn’t strictly limited to that timeline. Find what works best for your business, and stick with it! Run some A/B tests to see what your audience prefers. If it fits in with the above research, great! But if your audience prefers something else, that’s great too!
Ultimately, the best way to determine what time you should post is by diving deep into your analytics. See what content is resonating most with your customers, and what times drive the most engagement. If you stay aware of what your consumers like, on the platform they like, at the time they prefer, you are guaranteed to hit a home-run with your social media marketing every. Single. Time.
If you haven’t already, download our Social Media Handbook for more social media best practices, tips, and tricks.