Have you ever posted on social media and thought, “what a great post!”, only to be disappointed that it didn’t get the results you hoped for? It may have been that only a few people saw the post and, therefore, it didn’t generate the maximum potential shares and reach. Getting posts in front of the right audience is always tricky. So the aim of this blog is to help you maximise visibility of your post. For more information (free analysis tools, ideal image sizes, ideal length etc) see our Ultimate Social Media Posting Guide.
Although this blog is titled the “the best” times to post on social media, each business is different. However, this blog attempts to give you some guidelines and things to look for to identify your optimum time for your business. We’ll cover Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. These social media platforms are also covered in our Ultimate Social Media Posting Guide which goes into more depth.
Best time to post on Facebook
There are many guides to the best time to post on Facebook. However, the information can be confusing:
- QuickSprout says post on Thursdays and Fridays and engagement rates fall 3.5% below average for posts published Monday through Wednesday.
- QuickSprout also says post around 1 p.m. to gain the largest number of shares and at 3 p.m. for the most clicks.
- Mediabistro says “on weekdays in the late afternoons between 2-5pm”
- KissMetrics says the optimal time for maximum shares is “Saturdays and the best time of day is noon and the optimal number of posts are 1 post every 2 days.
- AddThis says it’s “Thursdays between 9am-12pm“
- FastCompany says between 1-4pm results in the highest click through and the best time is Wednesdays at 3pm
See what I mean…it can be confusing!
It’s also interesting to note, that the basis for many of the “best” times to post are when most people are online. However, being seen on Facebook or Twitter or any social media platform, for that matter, may not necessarily equate to when everyone is online due to the flood of information that is displayed. If your goal is engagement or click-throughs, you may be best aiming for low volume times.
So when is the best time to post for you? The right answer for you is, it depends…
It depends on your goals and who your target audience is. You can see the best time for you to post by reviewing your Facebook insights. For example, which metrics are most important to you? Is it reach, engagement or click through rate? Review the “when your fans are online” tab in Facebook insights then compare your best performing posts. Rignite has an excellent step-by-step process to analyse your best performing posts.
Also, Fanpage Karma can help you find the optimal time for your audience.
Best time to post on LinkedIn
According to eConsultancy, LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook. eConsultancy conducted two‐year research study involving 2 million monthly visits to 60 corporate websites. The specific numbers are:
- LinkedIn: 64% of social referrals to corporate homepage
- Facebook: 17%
- Twitter: 14%
Therefore, if your business is B2B and click-throughs are your goal, LinkedIn is probably your social media platform of choice. Let’s try to make sure your effort is maximised.
Since business professionals use LinkedIn, the best time to post is when they are at work, The best times to post are when LinkedIn is most busy. (source: Buffer)
LinkedIn has found their busiest times to be morning and midday, Monday through Friday. Business hours, in general, have the largest maximum reach, so you don’t have to be too particular about specific times. Avoid evenings, late afternoons, and weekends.
As with the other social media platforms, please keep in mind the visibility issue, which also may apply. It’s best to check your LinkedIn Analysis to see the historical success of your posts to your target audience, a feature that is accessible by administrators.
Best time to post on Twitter
Again, there is no specific time for everyone, it depends on your audience and what you are trying to achieve. However, there are numerous opinions.
SocialTimes says Business to business (B2B) marketers can expect a 14% uplift on engagement on weekdays, whereas business to consumer (B2C) brands see a 17% increase in engagement on weekends. To maximise retweets, post at 5pm. 12pm and 6pm typically delivers the highest click-through rates.
Last month, Buffer conducted a survey with 4.8 million tweets to garner optimal posting information. After altering the data to compensate for large accounts that sent tweets at strange hours of the morning, the Australian finding was:
- Best Time to Tweet for Clicks, Sydney 1:00 p.m.
Based on all of the tweet data we have collected, the early morning hours appear to be the time in which tweets receive the most clicks, on average (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2013)
Evenings and late at night are the times when your tweets receive the most favourites and retweets, on average (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2013)
Twitter says users are 119% more likely to use the network during work or school hours and 181 percent more likely to log on during their commutes
Kissmetrics goes on to say that 1-4 tweets and hour is optimal and best times are noon and 6pm.
Dan Zarrella found from his analysis of hundreds of thousands of tweets that CTRs were highest on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. He also found that tweets posted at 2:00 P.M. have the highest CTR.
Tools like Followerwonk can find the right time for you and your target audience.
Best time to post on Google+
According to Social Media Week, the best time to post on Google+ are Wednesdays at 9am.
QuickSprout says the best times to post on Google+ are:
- best days to post are during the week Monday through to Friday
- the best time of the day to post on Google+ is Wednesday 9am-11am
- Weekdays during the late morning work best for sharing
- engagement peaks at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays
According to Buffer, late mornings during weekdays are the best times to share.
Optimum time to post on Instagram
One thing to keep in mind when posting on Instagram is that is it is primarily accessed via mobile and as such, users can scan it frequently and from anywhere.
The main thing to keep in mind is your audience and their mobile interaction times.
According to WebTrends, out of all days of the week, Thursdays tend to see the highest number of posts made by users. There’s no clear reason why, although the fact that the weekend is just around the corner along with the popular hashtag game #ThrowbackThursday might have something to do with it
WebTrends, also says, if there’s any day of the week you should plan to make an Instagram post, it should be Sunday. Sundays see a much higher level of interaction compared to all other days of the week, so you can expect to garner a lot more likes and comments on your posts during this day of the week
Latergramme, a service that lets users manage and schedule Instagram posts, ran an analysis of over 61,000 posts to determine the best time for photos to garner the most “likes” and comments. They believe that the best time is 5 p.m.