Wondering what the best times to post on social media are? You’re not alone. Numerous studies have been done, but because each brand that tracks their optimum posting time caters to a different audience, no results are applicable to every business.
You’re probably already using a scheduling program’s optimized posting time suggestions, or assumptions like “We should always post at lunchtime,” to schedule your posts–but maybe that’s just not getting you the results you’re looking for.
While your specific audience may be online at peak times throughout the day, people tend to use social media in pretty predictable patterns.
A lot of research has gone into finding the best times to post on social media, and while the findings may be general, they’re a great place to start testing and optimizing your content scheduling.
Without spending a dime on expensive research or trial and error, you can start scheduling your posts at the times you’ll see below to get more out of your social media presence and connect with your audience when they’re most likely to be online and active.
The best times to post on social media
Post on social media at these times to have the best success with engaging your audience on social media networks. Remember: You don’t need to be active on every popular network to be successful at social media marketing.
Go where your audience is already hanging out – if you haven’t had good results with a network in the past, try posting at the times listed below to see if you can rustle up some engagement. If optimizing your posting time doesn’t get any results, it may be time to concentrate your efforts on other networks where you’re seeing some action.
|Social Network||Best Time|
When your posts are scheduled at the times listed in this table, you ensure that a majority of people are online to see your content and engage with your brand.
The infomercial effect
Sometimes, posting times that seem obvious at first turn out to be a bad idea.
For example, you’ll notice that the morning hours of 9am-11am are only recommended as a posting time for Google+ and none of the other networks. But if you check out Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram during those hours, there are tons of posts going up! Wouldn’t that be one of the best times to post on social media?
No. Sometimes it’s wiser to learn from the infomercial effect – if your content is part of a much smaller group of just-posted content, it has a better chance of being seen by your audience.
Additionally, during the morning hours, people are busy and working (or at least, they’re supposed to be). Showing your best content during prime time doesn’t work if it’s getting choked out by other, bigger things.
This is a lot like the late night infomercials that somehow pull us in.
It’s because they’re the only thing on TV at the moment, and they tend to capture our attention. That benefit can work for you if you make sure to post in “low traffic” posting zones.
Exceptions to the rule
If you’re an international brand, the posting times recommended above may not work for you. Posting in the middle of the night will reach your overseas audiences and pick up additional impressions and engagement while you sleep.
Depending on the type of content you post, posting later than the listed times may be beneficial. Brands like Huffington Post and Buffer say they get the most retweets and shares from the hours of 8pm-12am.
Researchers aren’t sure if that’s due to international engagement or people’s higher likelihood of hitting share or retweet passively instead of actively reading or replying to content when it’s getting late. Either way, understanding your target audience and running content posting experiments will increase your engagement in no time.