What’s The Best Time To Post On Social?

There are many fine points to consider when you’re developing your social strategy: what do you hope to achieve? Who are you targeting? How do you tailor content to a specific platform? The list goes on, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself when is the best time for you to post on social?

You might think the obvious answer is “when my followers are online!” While that’s true to a point, there’s a bit more to the equation. Let’s take a look at some data about when social posts perform the best, and when they don’t.

Busy Monday? You’re not the only one

Most of us have a lot on our plate at the start of a new work week, and this shows in social media habits. Overall engagement is roughly 3.5% lower Monday through Wednesday, compared to the rest of the week on both Facebook and Twitter..

However, this doesn’t mean the work week is no good for social media. Afternoons during the week are the best times to post on social, outside of weekends, with the highest click-through rates on Twitter happening around lunchtime and the peak for Facebook coming at 3PM.

 

Friday, I’m in love

As you may have intuited by now, Thursday and Friday are the best days of the week to post on social. On Facebook engagement rates are 18% higher during peak times (1PM to 4PM) on the last two days of the work week than at any other time.

If you’re sharing video, Friday is a great day. Almost 25% of all branded video plays on Facebook happen on Friday. Friday also has the greatest engagement, with 16% of likes and shares as well as 17% of comments on branded videos happening on Fridays.

 

You’re going out Saturday night, so your video should stay in

Weekends are generally a great time to post on social. Peaking around 1PM on Saturday and Sunday, weekend posts average 32% more engagement over workweek posts on Facebook and Twitter.

However, it’s probably no surprise that morning and nighttime weekend posts do the absolute worst of any, all week long. Specifically, posting before 8AM or after 8PM is bad news on any network.

 

Every network is a little different

While mid-day over the weekend is the strongest across the board, each social network has its own exceptions to the rule.

Instagram, for example, sees a spike in use on Mondays, and generally has stronger engagement in off-work hours than other networks. You’ll get the most retweets if you’re posting at noon during the week.

Some research suggests that a Facebook post does best if it is dropped at 3PM on a Wednesday. You’ll notice that doesn’t lineup with the broad trends above that point to Thursday & Friday as the best weekdays to post. The science of when to post on social isn’t an exact one, because shifting habits and changes to platforms make for a constant level of uncertainty.

Check your metrics

The data that no general research can provide, though, is when your followers are online and engaging with content. Be sure to follow the metrics provided to you by Facebook and Twitter, and keep an eye on when your posts do well on Instagram (or other networks that don’t provide summarized analytics).

The data summarized above points to trends, not rules. You’ll be smart to keep them in mind when developing a posting schedule and social strategy, but your own internal numbers are the most important data points you have. You want to post on social when your audience is online and likeliest to engage, even if their habits buck the trends.

After all, if your audience isn’t online to engage with your post, no one outside that pool is going to see it either.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of timing, understanding that when you post on social affects how successful your content will be, here are 5 more quick tips to increase social engagement.

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