Timing is critical on social media. Get it right, and you tremendously increase your chances of high engagement rates. Get it wrong, and you risk nobody seeing your carefully crafted post. But when is the best time to post on social media?
Getting to grips with the most effective time to post is all about knowing your audience. Put yourself in their shoes.
When are they most likely to be scrolling on their Facebook newsfeed? At what time of day do they tend to check Instagram? When are they at their busiest? And when are they most likely to be free? Is there a time difference you need to be wary of? Is your account B2C or B2B?
All of this information can be extremely valuable, but hard to come across. This is when you need to start delving into analytics, as well as be aware of general behaviour trends on social networks.
Best time to post on Facebook
Thanks to smartphones, most people now spend their whole day logged into Facebook, and there is a constant temptation for a quick check of the newsfeed.
On average, clickthrough rates tend to be at their highest between 1-4pm on weekdays, while engagement generally drops off at weekends. If you do need to post on Saturday or Sunday, try publishing at the peak Facebook weekend times – between 12 and 1pm.
The times to avoid, unless your previous posts or knowledge of your audience says otherwise, are before 8am or after 8pm on a weekend.
Tips to find the best Facebook post times
In order to discover the specific times that are most fruitful for your Facebook page, you will need to check Insights, the social network’s analytics tool.
Facebook Insights allow you look into the effectiveness of each individual post. Try experimenting with various post times using the above guidelines and then access Insights to compare how each one performs.
To explore your posts’ Insights, access your Business Manager (via business.facebook.com), select Insights, followed by ‘Posts’ on the left-hand column. This will then provide a list of your posts alongside their timings, reach and engagement figures.
Analyse the data at hand and use it to discover what content your audience tends to engage with, as well as what times your audience is most active on Facebook.
Remember, you can schedule Facebook posts using Business Manager to avoid having to be active at what you find are the best times to post.
Best time to post on Twitter
Many people use Twitter as a news source these days, and morning tweets are seeing an increasing amount of engagement.
The mornings are when clickthrough rates are at their highest, yet retweets and favourites are more likely to happen in the evenings – when people are traditionally just finishing work.
Twitter is most popularised with tweets between 11am and 1pm. According to Buffer’s study of 4.8million tweets, this is also a great time to post in terms of engagement as it’s when the most people are on Twitter.
Tips to find the best tweet times
There are various tools you can use to discover the best time to tweet. Twitter’s own analytics system can tell you the performance of each individual post, similar to Facebook Insights.
You can use this to experiment with different timings and compare the individual tweets’ performances to determine the best time.
External reporting software such as Followerwonk and Sendible can tell you the exact best time to tweet using all of your account’s previous posts on Twitter. This can be very useful but it’s important not to take this data as fact and to continue experimenting with timings as your audience grows.
Best time to post on Instagram
Instagram is a social network that is largely used on mobile devices. In 2016, its developers abandoned the original chronological timeline in place of an algorithm-based newsfeed.
The update meant that posts with high engagement rates were prioritised at the top, as opposed to the most recent content, meaning timing no longer played as crucial a role.
When you post is still important in relation to reach, but as long as you get the engagement, your content will not get lost as a direct result of its timing.
While most users access Instagram daily, they are a lot more likely to actually engage with posts outside of work hours. This, of course, correlates with the fear of being caught on your phone at work.
Posting during early evenings, between 6pm and 10pm, is likely to result in more engagement.
Tips to find the best Instagram post times
The most reliable way to figure out the best time to post on Instagram is to experiment. The site requires a constant, steady flow of images, giving you plenty of opportunities to try various times.
Post at a different time each day of the week, analyse each post’s likes and comments, and you’ll know when your audience is most likely to engage in no time at all.
Earlier this year, Instagram announced its compatibility with scheduling sites, although it’s important to be mindful that this only works for single-image posts at the moment.
Best time to post on LinkedIn
As LinkedIn is mainly a B2B environment, the most popular times tend to be a bit different to the more social platforms. A study from HubSpot discovered that early mornings, lunchtimes and early evenings tend to be the most popular.
Just joined LinkedIn? Try posting between 10-11am as this is a known sweetspot.
Tips to find the best LinkedIn post times
LinkedIn Analytics, which can be accessed via your company’s page, allow you to access the number of impressions, clicks, video views, social actions and follows acquired from each of your posts.
Try posting at various times of the day, during different days of the week, and use the array of data LinkedIn provides for each post to figure out your optimum time.
Need further help with your social media marketing?
Content Marketing Executive
Knapton Wright Ltd.