When is the best time to post on social media? Every social media manager wants an answer to this question! Posting times can influence who sees your post and the engagement rate on your social posts, so getting this right plays a part in the success of any social media strategy.
So, what is the right publishing time to ensure maximum visibility and impact on your followers?
The answer isn't as simple as 6:00 p.m. on Sunday (despite what people may think!). The best times to share content on social channels will depend on when your followers are online and when they use specific social channels. That might not be the answer you were looking for, but there are ways to figure out when your audience is online and engaging with your content. We'll explore how to figure what those times and days might be — plus share a few of the posting times that studies suggest as optimal times to post.
This infographic has some quick tips that can help you begin thinking about how to arrange your content calendar.
While the time varies across the different social media platforms, the afternoon appears to be a popular time. Content shared on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays also appears to outperform content shared on other days of the week.
Facebook: Wednesday from 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.-2 p.m.
Instagram: Wednesday & Thursday from 5 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Twitter: Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.
Linkedin: Tuesday & Wednesday from 7 a.m.–8 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
YouTube: Thursday & Friday from 12 p.m.-3 p.m.
TikTok: Tuesday & Thursday from 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
*These times will vary based on your specific audience.
The best time(s) to post on Facebook: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.-2 p.m.
The best day(s) to post on Facebook: Wednesday
If you want to find out when you should be scheduling your content, Facebook now provides easy-to-use analytics tools. These tools allow you to track the behavior of our page’s visitors to determine the best time to publish content on Facebook based on your specific audience.
When scheduling your content, you'll want to test out different times. These times could vary based on who you are trying to reach. Your Facebook marketing strategy may need to go through a few rounds of trial and error before you feel like you’re synching up with your audience and optimizing your posts. Here are some things to try:
Test #1: For one week, share Facebook content only on your top two or three most visited days. Then compare the engagement rates with your historical records. Does it help to share content only on these high-audience days? If not, try again.
As a follow-up, you could then experiment by posting the day before one of these peak days, as Facebook posts tend to generate engagement anywhere between a few hours to a day later. Again, compare results and make adjustments.
The next step is to test out the best times of the day for posting.
Test #2: Test publishing your content during peak times. Then, test publishing a few hours before the peak. Compare results.
Remember that these times are unique to your specific fan base and will probably fluctuate. They may even change from month to month — so check back often, test, and keep optimizing.
Within Facebook, below “When Your Fans Are Online,” under the heading “All Posts Published,” you’ll find posts from the past three months listed in chronological order. You can click on the inverted arrow to the very right above the chart to view these by various metrics.
Being able to answer these questions will help you maximize your Facebook presence and deliver content that your audience wants to see. Coupled with what you've discovered about Facebook's best posting times, you can now ensure that you're giving your audience what they want when they want it.
The best time(s) to post on Instagram: 5 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
The best day(s) to post on Instagram: Wednesday & Thursday
As one of the platforms that has more than 1 billion users, Instagram is similar to Facebook when it comes to the peak publishing times on the social network. Active Instagram followers tend to check in on platforms in the morning during the week, while midday provides the perfect moment to check in again during lunch hour. By the late afternoon, when energy levels are low, Instagram can provide a great break before followers call it a day.
While the times and days suggested above only provide a starting pointing for small businesses new to social networks, establishing a social media marketing strategy will be crucial to targeting your followers with the content that they want to see.
The time you choose to publish on Instagram matters, but so does the algorithm which will affect what your followers will see on their feeds. Because Instagram's algorithm will evaluate your content's engagement levels to determine whether or not it should be shown to your followers, you'll need to make sure the content you are posting is like-worthy. Instagram's algorithm prioritizes content from accounts you've previously engaged with, so even if you are posting new content all of the time, your followers may not see any of it, if they haven't engaged with you previously.
The best time(s) to post on Twitter: 9 a.m.
The best day(s) to post on Twitter: Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.
If you're looking to engage and connect with your audience directly, Twitter will be your social network of choice. But you'll want to ensure that you're publishing posts at the right time to maximize engagement and get your follower's attention. As one of the few platforms that still show content to users in chronological order, timeliness is critical on Twitter if you don't want your content to get lost in the noise.
Publishing at peak times on Twitter increases the chances of your followers seeing your post as well as other people in your target audience, even if they don't follow you. You'll achieve this additional reach if people retweet, comment or like your post because then that post will be shown to their followers.
You'll also boost your audience reach if you include hashtags in your post, but be sure to include no more than two hashtags
Staying on top of your conversations on Twitter is much easier when you have a social listening tool to engage your followers authentically.
The best time(s) to post on LinkedIn: 7 a.m. –8 a.m., 12 p.m. then 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
The best day(s) to post on LinkedIn: Tuesday & Wednesday
This platform works a little differently than the rest, mainly because of the niche audience that it attracts. For the most part, LinkedIn has a fan base of professionals seeking networking opportunities within their own industry and gain guidance on career growth. Therefore, based on several studies, users tend to be on the platform the most during working hours.
The good news for social media managers is that posting times matter considerably less on LinkedIn. The LinkedIn algorithm emphasizes content that drives engagement, which is why it's not uncommon to see a post from several weeks ago at the top of your news feed. However, that does put a little more pressure on the content marketers reading this to create more high-quality content that attracts a B2B audience.
For B2B companies, LinkedIn presents itself as an ideal channel if you are looking to attract leads through organic posts. Using B2B marketing on LinkedIn means thinking outside of the box and tailor your content to center around thought leadership pieces.
The best time(s) to post on YouTube: 12 p.m.-3 p.m.
The best day(s) to post on YouTube: Thursday & Friday
Given YouTube's reach and the heightened demand for video content, YouTube should be a part of any marketing strategy.
When you post on this platform, the time you post isn't as important as the discoverability of the content. Unless you have a number of subscribers to your branded channel, users of the platform are unlikely to know when you've uploaded new content. So, make sure your viewers "smash the subscribe button below" when they watch your content.
Publishing videos on YouTube works best towards the weekend as subscribers become more likely to watch with Thursdays and Fridays being the best times to publish. This allows subscribers to view your videos throughout the weekend.
Now while publishing your video on a certain day will impact views, having your ads shown on certain days will also impact when subscribers see your ads.
The best time(s) to post on YouTube: 9 a.m. - 12 a.m.
The best day(s) to post on YouTube: Thursday & Friday
As the new social media channel on the block, TikTok now has over 700 million active users and is growing among Generation Z. The platform is known for setting trends and social media challenges.
One thing to remember about TikTok is that it is a channel where one size may not fit all. The creators and influencers you find on TikTok are different, and their audiences have different locations and demographics that play into when is the right time to post. However, TikTok does provide analytics to help you find out when your followers are most active on the platform. Make sure that you have a Pro Account to access TikTok's analytics and find the insights into when your audience is active and most engaged.
What does your audience's typical day look like? Whether they are working or in school will impact when they look at their social media profiles. For example, if your target audience works regular 9-5 jobs, they'll be looking at social media sites during their lunch breaks, while commuting, and over the weekend. Whereas, if your audience is university students, chances are they will be checking social media at different times and days of the week. Defining your buyer's personas is the first step toward optimizing your posting times.
Looking at what times and days you are currently getting the most engagement on social media is an easy way to figure out the best time and day to post.
For Twitter, go into ‘Twitter Analytics’ and sort by ‘Top Tweets.' Here, you can then look at your top tweets and analyze which time and day you see the most engagement.
For Facebook, go into ‘Insights’, to look at which days of the week you get the most reach and likes.
On Instagram, if you have a business profile, you can look at Instagram’s analytics feature. In the screenshot below, you can see which weekdays have received the most interactions & highest reach.
One way to choose the best posting times on social media is with Meltwater’s social engagement tool, Engage. ViralPost is a feature within Meltwater Engage that looks at your most active & influential users on social media channels, and when they are engaging the most. It then recommends the best hours to upload your content based on this.
Over time you can experiment by posting at different times to see how much engagement your post gets. Remember the engagement of each social media post will also depend on the content itself. So ensure that you test each hour and day more than once.
If your followers are spread across several time zones, it can be difficult to figure out the one perfect time to publish your new tweet. But, as we've discussed, there isn't just one perfect time to post and the ideal time varies based on your audience.
Instead of looking for one specific time to post, you may want to consider posting at times when your followers across different time zones may both be active. Or, you may want to publish twice a day — once in the morning and again in the late afternoon — to reach your audiences who do span different time zones.
Now you know when the best posting time on social media is or how to find out! If you want to learn more about the simple tweaks you can make to optimize your social media strategy, contact the Meltwater Team today for a free demo.