Businesses know perfectly that being present on social media is a must. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn – these are only the biggest of many available networks. These are also the ones I am going to focus on in this article.
There’s a lot of talk about how to engage your audiences on social media, what sort of content to post or what kind of language to use. All these are absolutely crucial, but today, I am going to focus on a more elusive and non-obvious factor – finding the right posting times!
Some basic knowledge about posting times
Although every social media network has its own rules concerning the best posting times, there are some overall principles and guidelines that you need to know.
Find out, which time zone is your audience located in – If you are posting from the UK and your audience is based in USA and Chile, then you need to schedule your posts for the night of Central European Time. In this way, your American followers will be able to see your posts during their daytime. If you have a global audience, you need to schedule posts for day and night.
Use tools provided by social networks – Facebook Insights, Instagram Analytics and Optimal Scheduling by Buffer – familiarise yourself with these tools and use them to determine the perfect posting times for your social media channels.
Every social media network has its own principles when it comes to posting. I am now going to outline the results of various research pieces done for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The biggest social network of all is being used literally everywhere – at work, at home, during commutes, etc. People on average spend 50 minutes on Facebook daily.
Researchers found that 1 pm is the best time to post if you want shares. 3 pm was found to be the best for getting the most clicks. It is not surprising at all that people use social media at work. However, Facebook’s audience is huge and diverse enough that behaviors of each niche group should be treated separately. US Facebook users might have different habits than Indian ones, car enthusiast may expect something different from social media than foodies. You need to adjust to your audiences.Using analytic tools provided by Facebook in order to determine your own best posting time is the best option!
Similarly to Facebook, people use Twitter both at work and at home. However, its best posting time is between 12 pm and 3 pm (lunch breaks!) on working days and also on Wednesdays between 5 pm and 6 pm.
Twitter, in the same manner as Facebook, is used increasingly as the main source of news for many people. According to data collected by the Pew Institute, 52% of people claimed to use Twitter as a main source of news as of 2013 – in 2015 the figure was already 63%.
What is more, HubSpot found that there’s a connection between the character of your business and posting times. If you post more B2B content on your page, you should stick to the working days. However, for B2C content, weekends (but also the period between Wednesday and Friday) seem to work much better!
Finding perfect posting times for Twitter is especially crucial, because of the short-lived nature of tweets. You need to reach your followers at the right time – otherwise, they might miss your tweets in the sea of other posts.
Instagram is an exceptional social media network. As it is mainly a mobile app (for example, uploading photos can only be done by phone), most users browse it on their smartphones. That means the definition of the perfect posting time is a bit fluid. To be fair, you can post anytime and you can expect your content to be seen and engaged with.
There are however some guidelines as to when to post on Instagram. Generally, try to stick with off-work hours and avoid posting between 3 pm and 4 pm between Mondays and Thursdays.
According to a study done by Mavrck, when it comes to posting times during the day, there is a significantly smaller amount of posts uploaded between 6 am and 12 pm (2% of top posts compared to more than 6% of top posts in the afternoon hours). You can avoid these hours, but you can also use that to your advantage. Less top posts mean that there’s much less competition. People will still browse Instagram up until noon and they will stumble upon your post. However, the chance that they will enjoy it and leave a “heart” is much higher, since the density of high-quality posts is much lower.
LinkedIn is often referred to as the Facebook for professionals. And there’s a lot of truth to that – it is the best source of B2B leads for businesses.
It should not come as a surprise that the best posting times for LinkedIn are the working hours, especially the middle of the week – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with the best time being Wednesday, 9 am (according to TrackMaven).
When it comes to the best posting times, every social media channel has its own principles. You can use the guidelines I provided in this article as a starting point for improving your exposure. However, remember that sharing valuable and relevant content should always be a priority! Even if you crack the code and narrow down the posting times to the exact minute, you won’t get very far if you share clickbaits or boring content.
However, if you plan on increasing the visitor count of your fantastic blog, then mastering the posting times for your social media could really improve your readership!