Cheat sheet: Best times to post on social media

when to post on social mediaWe’ve talked plenty about just how great of a platform social media is for your marketing content. Reach a wider audience with low-cost distribution and the advantages are considerable. But what is the No. 1 trick for making your social media posts as effective as possible? The answer is timing.

The secret sauce to social media success is understanding when to post your content. This varies from platform to platform which is why we have created the ultimate social media timing cheat sheet. Nailing down posting times can be the difference between a reach of 10,000 and a reach of 500. Let’s take a closer look.

[icon name=”facebook-square” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]  Facebook
The king of kings when it comes to social media, Facebook is arguably the most important platform for small businesses. That is why it is so crucial to nail down effective posting times. Luckily, there have been a handful of studies conducted for this exact purpose. When it comes to deciding what day to post, your best bet is either Thursday or Friday. According to Forbes, activity and engagement are at a peak on these days – reaching the highest on Friday afternoons. In fact, brands report that Friday posts are responsible for 17 percent of total likes and 15 percent of all comments and shares.

While you can certainly gain some traction on weekdays, engagement rates have been proven to fall 3.5 percent below average Monday through Wednesday, according to Social Media Today.

If you have a post that you simply can’t wait to get out, aim to send it out between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Posts that fall outside of these hours are prone to particularly slow Facebook times.

[icon name=”instagram” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]  Instagram
Instagram is the ultimate platform for any business with visually appealing products. Restaurants, for example, can draw in customers with some high-quality pictures of their newest dishes. In a mobile world, this platform has considerable pull as it exists almost exclusively on smartphones and tablets.

When it comes to this photo-sharing app, posting times are a bit less difficult than Facebook. Social Media Today reported that engagement rates stay fairly consistent throughout the week. For a little extra boost, businesses should post their best pictures on Mondays – as this day has a slight spike in interactions. Sundays are a little bit slower than other weekdays but not enough to warrant a stall on posts.

As far as timing goes, throwing up some posts during non-work hours is the only real suggestion. According to the source, Fortune 500 companies saw a slight increase in interactions with Instagram content after 5 p.m. compared to posts within the 9-5 framework.

[icon name=”twitter” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]  Twitter
Twitter is a great tool for throwing out quick updates to your audience. A functional presence on this social media platform can promote more active engagement with customers and generally improve online presence.

The formula for Twitter posts varies a little depending upon the business. For example, B2B companies should send out their best material during the week – specifically Monday through Thursday. However, for B2C businesses, the weekend is your best bet. The logic behind this really lies in the audience. Businesses tend to interact with other businesses during the work week whereas people have more time to engage with brands of their choice on the weekends, explained Social Media Today.

The best times for posts are fairly similar. If it is retweets you’re looking for, avoid tweeting after 8 p.m., aim for after 3 p.m. and if possible push that tweet button at 5 p.m. on the dot, explained Forbes. Click-through rates hit their peak at both 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. – due to lunch breaks and commuting times.

Traveling triggers Twitter fingers, apparently. According to Social Media Today, users are 181 percent more likely to be on this social media site during a commute.

[icon name=”youtube-play” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]  YouTube
Videos make up some of the most powerful marketing content in the game. They are engaging, bite-sized and largely accessible. Not to mention the fact that they can be repurposed across platforms. As such, YouTube is a great tool for any SMB looking to quickly upload their content.

According to Forbes, the best time to release some new material is between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. – while the hours of 5 – 6 p.m. should be avoided when possible. In terms of what days of the week, the source reports that viewers tend to engage the most starting Thursday and ending on Sunday.

So, for businesses looking to get the most of their YouTube content, lunch hours toward the end of the week are the go-to times for posting.

[icon name=”linkedin-square” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]  LinkedIn
LinkedIn can be a great platform to market to fellow businesses or industry leaders. Even if you are not a B2B organization this kind of industry marketing can be a major asset. The business-centric nature of this platform makes posting a popular weekday event.
Engagement and activity levels are at their highest generally between the hours of 8 and 5 during the week, noted Forbes. However, the absolute best time for any post is Tuesday between 10 and 11 a.m., according to Social Media Today. If possible, avoid Mondays and Fridays as these days historically see the least amount of activity compared to other weekdays.

Final Words
Nailing the timing of any given social media post is the key to seeing optimal results. Business leaders should always keep peak hours for engagement in mind when crafting social media posts. Remember, there are tons of social media marketing posts going out every day, so every bit of competitive edge counts.

 

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