Social media marketing is about taking small steps towards a big goal. Here, both strategy and tactics are crucial. Creating good posts is not enough if your target audience can’t see and read them at the right time. Moreover, you need to consider the geographical location and characteristics of the target audience that is already subscribed to your pages. Relying on data and facts in social media marketing makes it much easier to achieve success.
The best times to post on social media vary depending on the chosen platform. This article is a guide that covers different channels and helps establish consistency in your SMM strategy.
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Why timing is important on social media
For marketing endeavors to really hit the mark, your brand posts need to reach a wide audience. Yet, achieving this is a challenge when users are offline. Alongside visibility, picking the right posting time can also help you:
- Increase engagement. Social media are built on interactions; the more likes, comments, and shares your page receives through content, the better its performance. Nevertheless, maximizing reach on your social media account requires proper posting time
- Adapt to algorithms. When you share content at the right time, it grabs the attention of a wide audience, signaling to social media algorithms that your posts are relevant and interesting to users. As a result, this increases the chances of your content appearing in user feeds
- Create a habit of consuming your content. If you consistently post at the same time, it creates a routine for your followers. This way, you can motivate them to anticipate your posts. Of course, this method only works if you share engaging and valuable content. That’s why one of the most important social media engagement tips is to focus on delivering high-quality narratives using the storytelling technique.
Best times to post on different social media
There are plenty of guides and studies on the best times to post content on social media. Nonetheless, the first thing to keep in mind is that what works well for one may not work as effectively for another. While using publicly available statistics can help you make predictions, a lot depends on your geographical location, target audience characteristics, and type of shared posts.
For example, people seem to engage more positively with posts featuring a negative context in the morning, while boosted publications get a better response in the afternoon. Harvard Business Review concluded this after analyzing 5706 Facebook posts. The explanation lies in the nuances of how human memory works.
Let’s take a closer look at what statistics say about the optimal social media times for posting. Below, you’ll also find out where to find information tailored to the unique audience of your profile.
Plenty of users utilize Facebook to read the news, so the prime time for action on this social media platform is in the morning and around lunch, when people take a break from their work.
The social media management platform Buffer conducted a study using 4.8 million posts from its users. They found the following:
- Thursday and Friday are the best days to post on Facebook, with 18% higher engagement post rates.
- 1 PM and 3 PM are the best posting times on Facebook because they allow you to get more shares and clicks.
Another insightful study by SocialPilot, based on the analysis of 7 million posts, concluded that:
- The best times to post on Facebook are from 7 AM to 9 AM, as well as from 1 PM to 3 PM and 7 PM to 9 PM.
- The best days for posting are Wednesday and Thursday, the middle of the working week.
Thus, you should schedule your posts on Facebook when people take breaks from work. However, marketing always relies on data. For more accurate predictions, you can use this social media analytics feature for your page:
- Log in to Meta Business Suite linked to your account.
- Go to the Planner tab.
- Explore the posting time suggestions.
Also, keep in mind that Facebook caters to both B2B and B2C target audiences, which can influence the choice of the best posting time.
Instagram stands out for its entertaining nature, putting a strong emphasis on visual content compared to platforms like Facebook. As a result, Instagram algorithms favor user-generated lifestyle content over business-centric material. To get more followers on Instagram, companies need to carefully select publication formats and consider optimal posting times.
After analyzing 9 million diverse Instagram posts, Later reached the following conclusions:
- The best posting time on Instagram is at 4 AM. “Early posts” performed better due to lower feed competition at that time.
- The prime day for Instagram posting is Thursday. It’s recommended to choose a specific day of the week and stick to that schedule consistently.
Many other studies also indicate that Instagram content tends to perform best in the first half of the day.
LinkedIn is focused on business interactions and personal branding. Here, peak activity is in the early- to mid-workday, when company employees check their direct messages. During posting, also familiarize yourself with the unique algorithms of this platform. Unlike other social media, LinkedIn ranks posts based on relevance. This implies that content may appear in your followers’ feeds after a week or even a month after sharing.
According to Hootsuite’s findings, the best times to post on LinkedIn are:
- 9 AM—when users are starting their workday and checking their professional messages.
- Tuesday and Wednesday are considered the best weekdays for publishing posts on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn also provides tools for corporate pages with a detailed breakdown of audience by region. You can find this information in the Analytics tab. This allows you to discover the optimal posting time for your specific case. Also, your LinkedIn posting strategy should include at least two posts per week to increase page reach.
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TikTok is mostly a fun place for users, known for its personalized content based on what you’ve watched before. Moreover, its algorithms show videos that are no older than a couple of days. The platform suggests sharing content 1 to 4 times a day for the best results.
When it comes to posting times, Hootsuite analyzed 30,000 posts and came to the following conclusions:
- 7 PM is the optimal social media time for publication.
- Thursday is the peak day.
For more precise predictions and TikTok engagement times, you can utilize native analytics from the platform. Here’s how:
- Create a business account on TikTok.
- Navigate to Creators Tools.
- Find the Analytics tab.
- Review your follower activity and identify peak hours.
To achieve broader reach on this social platform, you also need to pay attention to the length of videos; shorter content tends to attract more attention.
YouTube is a social platform that, unlike TikTok, places a special emphasis on longer videos. This is necessary to fully explore a topic. This way, viewers need more time to explore your content.
On YouTube, it’s better to avoid posting when your subscribers are at work or hanging out with friends. Also, uploading videos to this social platform on weekdays can be a bad practice.
Demandsage came to the following conclusions:
- The best time to publish on YouTube is between 2 PM and 4 PM.
- The best day of the week for video posting is Sunday.
It’s also necessary to align your social media posting schedule with audience preferences. For example, if you’re sharing educational videos, there’s a high chance they’ll be watched even during working hours.
For more personalized statistics, leverage this social media analytics feature:
- Find the YouTube Creator Studio.
- Go to the Analytics tab.
- Click on the Overview button.
- Locate the Audience section to find a heat map showing the most active hours for your specific target audience.
If you still have a relatively small subscriber base, it might take some time for the platform to gather sufficient data.
X is unique with its real-time nature. Users utilize it primarily to catch up on the latest news, read opinions from thought leaders, and express their views on current events. Consequently, timing is crucial on this social platform; your tweet could become outdated if not posted promptly.
Predicting the best time to post on Twitter is challenging because no one knows when a hot situation might arise. However, for general publications, you can refer to SproutSocial statistics, which suggest:
- 9 AM to noon is the best time for publishing.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are peak days.
According to this research, avoiding posting content on Sundays is advisable.
Twitter has also introduced an analytics tool called “Time is Everything.” It displays the hours when users on this social network are most active. To check these stats, follow these steps:
- Go to Twitter Media Studio.
- Click on the Analytics → Insights dropdown menu.
- Review the graphs.
To find success on Twitter, remember to stay tuned to the latest global news, retweet interesting content, and share your thoughts in the comments. After all, this social media is all about opinions.
Does your time zone and business industry influence the appropriate posting time?
If you’re focusing on a local audience, relying on your account’s stats can be a good idea. Nonetheless, plenty of companies target international markers where it’s important to understand timing nuances; while it might be the start of the workday in one country, it could very well be the dead of night in another. Before planning anything in marketing, you should develop buyer personas, including their regions. Based on this data, your SMM managers can create social media time zone strategies.
When it comes to certain industries, timing is especially crucial. One good example is the restaurant business. Typically, people get hungry in the second part of the day and are looking for places to have lunch. Posting mouth-watering creatives right around lunchtime can attract more people.
Industry-specific social media posting tips
E-commerce and retail
If you’re running online or brick-and-mortar stores, Wednesdays and Fridays are the sweet spots for posting on social media. People tend to window-shop during the week and make such purchases towards the end of the workweek. So, plan your posts during lunchtime or in the late evening for the best impact.
Health and wellness
Typically, people engage in fitness early in the morning and late in the evening. This is the best time for posting in the health and wellness industry. You can include motivational topics in your content plan and publish them throughout the week. Sunday is an opportunity for new plans, making it a good day to promote your services.
If you are promoting tech solutions, it’s important to understand that this is a complex product. Therefore, the best time for posting is Thursday—when consumers can relax in anticipation of the end of the week, but at the same time, they are focused on work. The best posting time is at the end of the workday.
Food and beverage
Most people pay special attention to the ritual of cooking, especially in the evening. They also often plan their menus a week ahead. Thus, the best time for posting in this industry is late evening on weekends.
Travel and hospitality
For many, the morning is the best time for motivation. During this period, you can post various travel ideas and engaging options for accommodation. For promotional posts, it’s better to choose evening time, as consumers may be looking for suitable tour offers. Typically, in this industry, the peak day is Sunday when there is time to plan vacations.
Researching suitable real estate usually occurs during lunch breaks. At the same time, if a potential client wants to view your property, they will contact you in the evening. You can make posts on any day of the week.
In general, people try to solve their financial planning questions and create budgets on Friday evenings. This can be a good opportunity to promote your services.
Fashion and beauty
The ideal time for posting on social media in this industry is Friday evening. This is the period when people can relax, search for interesting ideas, and dedicate time to self-care.
Education and online courses
People often engage in educational content and view online courses during their productivity peak—around 12 PM. It’s better to make such posts throughout the workweek, when the mind is primarily focused on work.
The social media landscape in 2024—key changes and trends
Social media platforms are always in competition, but only their users can decide on their popularity. According to a HubSpot study, Facebook has emerged as the most demanded choice. In 3Q of 2023, it gained an active user base of over 3 million people. YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are among other popular platforms.
The appeal of Facebook can be easily explained; unlike some other social media, it offers a broad spectrum of features. Users can exchange messages and consume diverse content types (images, videos, and text). What’s more, this social platform is accessible to people from 156 countries.
If you’re in the social media marketing game, every little thing matters. Of course, communication, awesome content, and eye-catching creatives are crucial, but picking the right time to post can make a big difference. Experiment with a few options, run some tests, and find the option that works best for your account. Remember that social media scheduling should be adapted following your internal insights, industry, user preferences, and region.
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