Is There a Common Time to Post on Social Media Platforms?
Social media marketing is a boon for businesses, in that it can lead to improved search engine rankings, brand awareness, higher conversion rates and more. And it’s no wonder. Theoretically, social media has 2.3 billion users. Given the huge opportunity to interact with consumers, 91% of retail brands use two or three different social networks.
But these users are spread across vast time zones and thus log into their social networks at varying times. Given the inherent real-time nature of social media and that half of the users are suffering from fear of missing out (FOMO), your business updates need to find a regular place in the user feeds.
Savvy social media marketing pros know that the optimal time to post is the key to maximizing engagement with their target audience. Indeed, 71% of consumers who receive a quick response from a brand on a social network are likely to recommend that brand to others. I’ve found that my social media traffic increases, by up to 39%, when I use best time practices.
Since understanding the best time to post is an important component of social media marketing, many studies have been conducted on the subject. The conclusions of such studies vary widely. One might suggest that weekends are an optimal to post, while another might have found that the weekends are low on engagement.
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In this article, I’ll start with a few “best time to post on social media” studies. Then, we’ll try to break down the various factors that are important for determining the optimal time to post for your brand. Ready to make the most of this media marketing strategy? Then let’s begin.
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Whether you’re a social media marketing strategist or brand new to Instagram, you know that each social network has a different appeal, varied user personas and varied ways in which people use them. In this section, let’s explore the results of studies and look at the characteristics of the users browsing the different social networks.
LinkedIn is a professional network for business professionals and it has close to 350 million members. Research says that 50% of users access it through their mobile phones. Here are the demographics of its users.
Sprout Social’s updated listings offer data on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn
Sprout Social recently updated its listings of the best time to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, based on the activity of 25,000 Sprout users. The data is broken down by platform, overall engagement and industry and is similar to research in the AMA’s own Journal of Marketing.
In the report, Sprout Social acknowledges that successful marketing strategies on major platforms will look different across brands as they connect with their unique audiences.
“An e-commerce brand may see social engagement follow daily and seasonal patterns of shopping engagement, while a corporate thought leadership account may see plenty of clicks at the start of the workday when readers are looking for inspiration,” the report’s author writes. But the data provides marketers with an overview of engagement that might guide them as they develop and improve their strategies. The report also suggests that brands make use of ViralPost, a tool from Sprout Social designed to target optimal posting times.
Here are Sprout Social’s recommendations for brand usage on each platform based on global engagement.
With more than 2 billion active users, Facebook is the most populated social media platform. The report recommends that brands looking to connect to their audience on Facebook should focus on sharing content that drives genuine engagement, since the current algorithm emphasizes friends, family and meaningful connection.
- Best times to post to Facebook: Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Best day: Wednesday is the best day to post on Facebook.
- Most consistent engagement: Weekdays from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
- Worst day: Sunday has the least amount of engagement for Facebook during the week.
- Lowest engagement: Early mornings and evenings, before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m. have the least amount of engagement per day.
Instagram is on the rise, recently hitting 1 billion active users. The platform promotes a social experience, but has grown to include features that offer retailers opportunities to promote their goods, Sprout Social reports. With the addition of the Stories format and IG TV, the platform offers brands with opportunities to connect with consumers through video content.
- Best times to post on Instagram: Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday at 10–11 a.m.
- Best day: Wednesday is the overall best day to post to Instagram
- Most consistent engagement: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m–3 p.m.
- Worst day: Sunday receives the least amount of engagement on Instagram
- Lowest engagement: Occurs during late night and early morning from 11 p.m.–3 a.m.
More than 500 million tweets are sent a day, and Twitter offers brands the opportunity to connect with their audience and provide customer service, says Sprout Social. They can also take advantage of Twitter listening to find out what topics are engaging users at a given time. The report suggests that posting outside of peak hours could pose a problem for brands, as Twitter prioritizes content based on user interest instead of chronological order.
- Best times to post on Twitter: Wednesday at 9 a.m. and Friday at 9 a.m.
- Best days: Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to post on Twitter.
- Most consistent engagement: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
- Worst day: Saturday gets the least engagement.
- Lowest engagement: Occurs every day from 10 p.m–4 a.m.
LinkedIn has seen a significant increase in engagement and offers opportunities for lead generation in B2B marketing, according to the report. Sprout Social did not break down the data procured by industry because it targets a more niche audience.
- The best times to post to LinkedIn: Wednesday at 9–10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
- Best day: Wednesday.
- Most consistent engagement: Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
- Lowest engagement: Occurs on Sunday and the least popular times to post are every day from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.