Wondering what’s the best time to post on social media?
Admittedly, not knowing when to post can sabotage your social media marketing plan.
After all, you may have audience-resonating content ready or an important update to share. But you hold back on hitting publish because you’re unsure when’s the best time to share it.
Unfortunately, you can’t wing this – even if you’d like to. The reason? If you aren’t going to post at a time when most of your audience sees your content, your post or update will fall flat. It’d get poor traction and very few people from among your audience may see it.
Most of all, if you continue publishing on social media without taking your posting time into account, your audience won’t see your activity. The result? You won’t be able to get their attention, which is a leading goal for brands on social media (getting into and staying on their target buyer’s radar).
So, in this post, let’s talk about the best time to post on social media. You’ll learn the following:
We’ve also got platform-specific engagement tips for you and a bonus tip to help you grow your social media accounts.
Most social media algorithms are based on some version of the following logic: the more initial engagement your post/tweet gets, the more engagement it’ll drive past its publishing time.
Here’s how: you post on social and the active folks engage with it immediately. This initial round of engagement signals the algorithm that your content is valuable which is why it gained engagement. So the algorithm pushes your post further to your audience, which grows engagement further.
So now that you know what goes behind the scenes, let’s start figuring out when your audience tends to be active on various social channels. To this end, look at your analytics.
Some basics to keep in mind:
- Think of it in terms of your audience’s location/time zone:
If you’re in a different time zone, think of when your audience in the other time zone will be active to post before you choose a posting time.
- Understand who is your target audience:
For example, if you’re a breakfast corner, you’ll want to post in the morning as compared to a fancy bar that people visit at night and, therefore, will like to see updates from during the evening and weekends.
Wait, did you only start using social media for your brand and don’t have any analytics data to determine the best posting time on social media? Don’t worry.
Let’s get on with it.
A Research-backed study by ContentStudio on best times to post on social media
The answer to the best time to post on social media is when your target audience is active. It ensures your post gets the most attention as most people see it.
This means if your audience tends to pick up their phone and check their Instagram first thing in the morning, you’ll want to post on Instagram then. Similarly, if they’re checking Facebook during their lunch hour, you’ll want to post on Facebook then. In other words, avoid posting right in the middle of your audience’s busy schedules.
Posting on social media when your audience is active ensures your content gets more engagement too.
We’ve got your back as we share the best time to post on all four major social channels based on our internal research.
That said, keep in mind, your posting time alone doesn’t drive engagement – how engaging your content is, is also an essential factor in getting more traction for your brand. So here’s your playbook for planning engaging social media content.
On to the meaty part next.
Best time to post on Facebook
As of July 2021, Facebook’s most active users are male users between the age bracket of 18 and 24 years according to Statista. Active female users also tend to be within this age range, constituting the biggest demographic group on the channel.
If your target audience is on Facebook, the best days to reach out to them are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Of these, you can drive the most engagement on Friday.
Although lots of people post on Facebook on Tuesdays, their posts don’t seem to drive the best engagement as you can see in the graph below.
This makes sense, particularly, if you serve a business audience as people tend to get into their workflow on Tuesdays.
Take home message: Ideally, 3-4 posts a week on Facebook are enough to keep in touch with your audience. Post on Fridays for driving the most engagement. Other than that, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are good posting days as well.
Tips to drive more engagement on Facebook:
- Create quality content that gets more engagement on FB.
- Pair it with a picture if you find it can supplement your message or add to it – don’t add an image just for the sake of it.
- Best to keep your posts short, starting with a unique joke.
- What’s more, engage with your audience by asking them questions.
- Facebook Live is also pretty popular. So if you’ve got an audience with an appetite for video content (better you ask them), consider going live on the platform.
Heads-up: Irrespective of the days you post, look at your calendar. If it’s a public holiday, you’ll want to rethink whether you should post depending on how active your target audience is on social on that particular day.
Now, time to discuss the best time and days to post on Instagram.
Best time to post on Instagram
In contrast with Facebook, our data shows posts on Instagram get a lot of engagement. Essentially, its biggest user demographic comprises people within the 25-34 age bracket. Female users from this age group constitute 15.7% of the users and similarly, 16.4% of the user base is males in the 25-34 age bracket.
Another close demographic using Instagram are people aged between 18-24. So a good chunk of Instagrammers are millennials, aged between 18-34 (combining these two age brackets), and they tend to be very active on the visual-first platform.
Now when should you post: our research shows the most updates are made from Tuesday through Friday with a reduced number of posts over the weekend.
This makes sense as several people take a break from professional business accounts.
Also, if you’re staying on top of your target audience’s mind over the week, there’s no point doing the same over the weekend unless you’ve a weekend flash sale or you’re a restaurant or Direct-to-Consumer(DTC) brand that sees lots of weekend sales/visits.
This goes back to the point of knowing your audience – the more you know who you’re serving and when they’re active on social, the better you can determine the best time to post on social media.
Note that Instagram posts see the most engagement on Saturdays. So it really helps to understand if your audience is active on IG on Saturdays so you can post.
Take home message: The best days to post on Instagram and to get more engagement are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
Tips to increase engagement on Instagram:
- An engaging caption – possible a descriptive one – and a high-quality visual go a long way in driving engagement on Instagram. After all, it’s a visual-first platform.
- Use hashtags in your IG content too as they help your target audience find you.
- Prefer a hashtag-free caption? Add hashtags to your first comment – even schedule them with ContentStudio. As you schedule your IG post in ContentStudio, you’ll see the option to add a scheduled first comment in the composer. Click to add your hashtags – based on your knowledge of the trending hashtags and the hashtags that the composer suggests.
The best part? You can save the hashtags with the Saved Hashtags feature. This way, you can select from batches of saved hashtags – saving time and extra effort while ensuring your post gets the best reach.
Here’s more on using hashtags on social media.
- You can also drive more engagement by launching a user-generated content campaign where users share posts featuring your product, then you share those posts. A custom hashtag helps with this. For example, the #WhereITrello hashtag that Trello users use to share their Trello boards.
- Lastly, get more engagement by encouraging people to comment on your post. For instance, ask them to tag a friend as Starbucks does in this post.
Learn all about Instagram Algorithm in 2022
Best time to post on Twitter
As of February 2021, 42% of Twitter users are aged between 18 and 29 whereas 27% lie in the 30-49 age range.
They tweet over the weekdays mainly. This may possibly be so because mostly B2B brands and small business owners use the micro-blogging platform. In fact, 67 percent of all B2B businesses are using Twitter as a digital marketing tool.
These businesses get the most engagement on Thursdays according to our data. So if you were to pick one day to post it’d be Thursday – though I’d suggest against tweeting only once a week; consistent, regular updates are best for building and growing your brand.
Take home message: Tweet throughout the week. However, data says you’ll get the most engagement on Thursday.
Tips to drive more engagement on Twitter:
- Posting engagement-driving tweets. These are tweets that ask people for their thoughts or encourage interaction using polls.
- You can also jump on trends that are relevant to your brand and audience as Grammarly does here:
When they misspell your name even though it’s right there in your email signature. 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
— Grammarly (@Grammarly) October 12, 2021
- Finally, focus on social selling by taking a relationship-building approach. Join relevant Twitter chats, for instance. That’ll help you drive more brand awareness as well as provide a ground to regularly engage with your target buyers, which helps build relationships.
Next up: when should you post on LinkedIn?
Best time to post on LinkedIn
Like Twitter, LinkedIn is also primarily used in the B2B circle. It’s also fairly popular among college students and millennials with millennials making up 60% of LinkedIn’s user base. 11 million of these 87 million millennials using LinkedIn are in a decision-making position.
Interestingly, our data shows LinkedIn gets the least engagement as compared with other social networks. Possible reason? LinkedIn users are in the B2B field and tend to be busy.
That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to drive engagement. In fact, if your audience is on LinkedIn, you can drive a lot of benefit from it.
Posting story-led content and focusing on relationship building are two effective tactics to see incredible results in terms of engagement and conversions.
Email marketer and content strategist, Liz Willits, for example is a LinkedIn power user who has used the platform to grow her service-based business significantly. Her approach? Educational and relatable content that reads like it’s written by a human.
For a deep insight read: The 2022 LinkedIn Algorithm Explained: How To Beat It?
Now, back to our data, the best day to post on LinkedIn is Thursday as posts get the most engagement. It seems both Twitter and LinkedIn — platforms mainly used in B2B circles — get the most engagement on the same day, Thursday.
With LinkedIn though, you don’t have to be posting daily. 3-4 times a week is enough. And, you can easily take a LinkedIn break on Saturday since posts get the least engagement on that day anyway.
Take home message: Post 3-4 times a week on LinkedIn. You’ll see the most engagement on Thursday with the least engagement on Saturday.
Tips to drive more engagement on LinkedIn:
- Take the time to create LinkedIn-specific content, particularly, visuals such as LinkedIn carousels. The reason? These can help you stand out in the sea of text-based posts.
- Make sure you balance business updates with behind-the-scenes content that shows your business’s human side. This way, both your brand personality and professionalism will help you leave a memorable impression on your audience. Here’s more on creating a successful LinkedIn content strategy.
How to optimize your Social Media posting schedule?
These posting times that we’ve shared here today are to help you get started with social and/or refine your social media strategy.
As you post over a defined time though, keep an eye on which posts get the most traction to understand what it is – the time and content – that attracts audience interaction.
For this, you’ll need to look at your Analytics. As an example, let’s look at Instagram analytics for business profiles.
In your analytics, simply go to the Audience section and you can see the days and times your audience is most active on the platform.
Want a better solution than individually visiting in-built analytics platforms that may or may not give you an answer to the best time to post on social media? Use ContentStudio’s Multi-Channel Social Analysis feature.
In your dashboard, head over to ‘View Analytics’ to see an overview of social media engagements.
From here, you can easily not just the best time to post, but also identify your top-performing posts, determine audience growth, measure reach, and much more.
Wrapping up: Bonus tip for growing engagement on all social channels
With this, you now have the intel on when to post on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We’ve also shared platform-specific engagement tips to help you grow your brand on social media.
Now for a mega, often overlooked tip: don’t post the same content on each channel. Each platform’s audience has different expectations from you so meet those expectations.
Each social network also has a different captioning or post writing style. For example, LinkedIn’s audience prefers story-led content. On the other hand, Twitter users love humor, brevity, and the occasional clever remark.
This means you can’t copy and paste content. Instead, take the time to repurpose content so it’s tailored to each platform’s audience. For example, when posting a Tweet on LinkedIn, don’t simply copy-paste it, change its opening lines and expand on the point too.
Similarly, better than sharing a tweet in your caption, consider creating a tweet-based visual to share on Instagram.
This way, by repurposing content, you won’t need to create new content for each channel. Instead, you can tailor it to meet the platform users’ expectations.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that if the same people follow you on different platforms, posting carbon copy content is going to turn them off – possibly reducing your engagement. So this is another reason you should by tweaking content before posting it on different social channels.
And that’s all folks. Here’s hoping our research gives you a good starting point to the best time to post on social media. (You can also learn about best time to post on YouTube) From here, keep track of your analytics to find out when your audience is the most active.
Use ContentStudio’s Best Time to Post feature now!
Masooma Memon is a pizza-loving freelance writer by day and a novel nerd by night. She crafts research-backed blog posts and articles for small businesses and app companies who aim to employ quality content to educate and engage with their audience.