Best Time To Post On Social Media: Data-Driven Tips for Engagement
by gardenpatch Insights on Oct 23, 2023 2:05:46 PM
We all love the feeling we get when we scroll down our feed and find a post we enjoy. The instinctive double tap and the way we get excited when we share it with our friends.
The truth is making great content for social media is an art in itself, but if our audience doesn’t get to see it, does it even exist?
When establishing a strong relationship with your consumer, every interaction counts, and knowing the right time to reach out is just as important as the message itself.
So, if you are looking to boost your social media engagement, reach, and exposure, I’m sorry to say: there really is no right answer that fits all. So, you need to take data into consideration when making social media scheduling decisions.
But even if we can’t swear by an exact time you should be posting, we can help you figure out your own best time to post in the day.
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The best times for social media in 2023 to get the maximum views
With the different social media platforms constantly evolving and the updates of new algorithms, it can be easy for your posts to get lost in your overly bombarded viewer's timeline.
Connecting with your audience through social media is not a task to be taken lightly. According to one Sprout Social:
76% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor”.
Having said that, your best bet in reaching your audience is to be posting when they are online. This gives your carefully crafted content its best shot to actually perform for the intended audience.
How to find the best time to post on social media
If you already have published content on your social media platforms, this can give you valuable insights when discovering your personal peak times. Going over each of your social media channel statistics will lay out for you at which time and on what days you have engaged with your audience the most.
You can also find out in what time zone and regions your audience is located; and, most importantly, when your target audience is online. Knowing this will give you a starting point when intentionally testing out different times and days to post. This is a step I don’t recommend skipping.
You may be wondering why you should go through all of this. There are plenty of studies out there with statistics for the best times you can post. But, as Dr. Seuss said:
Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than You.
At the end of the day, your business and your target audience are unique. Your audience holds their own preferred social media channels and interaction habits. And they are located in specific regions with their respective time zones. Plus, you, as a business, have your own marketing goals you are aiming to fulfill with your social media strategy.
Remember, for all of this, timing is key. But if you are still needing a little bit more guidance, we have broken down for you two social media giants: Instagram and Facebook.
Below are statistics that reflect generalized ideal posting times and days. You will also find a guide to help you go through the insights of each social media analytics tool and how you can make the most of it.
How to beat the Instagram algorithm
These days, people seem to be always talking about Instagram's algorithm. And many find it to be kind of hard to understand. Basically, the algorithm is how Instagram decides which posts you see on your feed. If you don't know what it is, it can feel like your feed is just randomly filled up with content that isn't relevant to you, and that's completely not true!
Throughout the years, Instagram has made many updates and changes to ensure you see relevant content. For example, after a 2018 update, Instagram declared:
Based on your feedback, we’re also making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed. With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won’t miss the moments you care about.”
And in 2022, the ability to see your feed chronologically was reintroduced. So for Instagram, now more than ever, the timing of your posting is practically a game-changer. As Instagram prioritizes the newest content that is being posted, you want to be posting when your target audience is actively interacting inside the platform.
This social media platform is the fastest growing of its kind, with more than a billion users and with a notable focus on retail, it has become a place your brand probably wants to thrive in. With different features like stories and Instagram TV, there are several ways you can effectively establish a connection with your audience.
Tracking Data to understand when your brand should be posting on Instagram
Now, how can you tailor your Instagram experience more to your audience and brands? The best way to start is by taking a look at Instagram Insights. This is Instagram’s native analytics tool accessible for Business and Creators Profiles that provides you with graphics packed with data that you will want to take advantage of.
Here you will find where your followers are located when they’re most active on the app, and important data like their age and gender. This will give you a window into getting to know your audience better so you can adjust your strategy to meet their habits.
With this in mind, you can now start doing some research of your own. Use our guide to measure the best time for your brand to post. Here are some tips:
- Pick a different time per day for your post and track your results. For example, if you now know that your consumers are most active from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday, you can post at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m, and 6 p.m., respectively.
- Set up a spreadsheet and track how many likes, comments, and shares you have per day.
- The following week alternate the time, so if last week you posted at 1 p.m. on Monday, this week you will post at 2 p.m., if last week you posted at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, this week you will post at 3 p.m. and so on.
- Do this until you have covered all the times per weekday.
- When you finish tracking, determine the average engagement per post to have a number to compare with.
Now you will be able to really personalize and establish the best post times that work best with your followers. Getting you well on the way to increasing your exposure, reach, and engagement.
Sound complicated? Don’t worry; on your right, you can download an Instagram and Facebook Posting Worksheet for free.
Not only will you be able to put in all the data as mentioned, but as you do, it automatically makes graphics so you can easily see the total of comments, likes, and shares per day for each week. It also calculates for you the total average per month so you can have an accurate overview and easily see what times work best for you.
Understanding the Facebook Algorithm
Facebook is the OG of social networks and can boast of having nearly three billion active users and of being the most popular social media platform. So, if your consumers are already there, it is pertinent for your brand to take a deep dive into this platform.
Unlike Instagram, Facebook is a social platform that users access both through computers and mobiles alike, either from work or at home. According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of US adults are users of this social network and around three-quarters of this sample use it daily. This is why your best times heavily depend on the characteristics of your audience.
Another important point to take into consideration is Facebook's Algorithm, as it controls the order in which you see the posts in your feed. It is tailored for you to see what Facebook infers matters to you most, prioritizing posts by friends, family, and meaningful connections.
For the 2022 new Facebook Algorithm, the social media platform aimed for users to be able to personalize their feeds even further by giving users options to train the algorithm to recognize what they like. For example, you can now customize favorites and in-feed options. This effort targets the decrease of spammy content and makes the user feel that all the content they are seeing is relevant to them. And Facebook wants there to be a connection between the user and their feed.
So the amount of engagement your post holds, either from reactions, comments, or shares, are valuable elements if you want your followers to see this content as relevant.
The best time to be posting on Facebook
Sprout Social's data, pulled from a 2022 study, reports that the best time to post on Facebook is Monday to Friday at 3 a.m. as well as Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and at noon. The best days are Tuesdays through Fridays.
The worst day to post on this social media network can be found on the weekend. Sunday is the weekday that tracked the least overall engagement in a day for Facebook.
And the worst timings you could be picking, regardless of the day of the week, is before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m. These hold the least amount of engagement in this social media channel.
As we can see, these findings don’t really differ that much from the ones we saw on Instagram. Wednesday remains the peak period, and engagement is consistent from morning to mid-afternoon on weekdays.
This tells us that even if people check Facebook several times throughout the day, the time when they engage the most is during lunch break hours. This makes sense since it is when they have a considerable block of time that allows them to go through the posts that hold their interest, and engagement follows suit.
At the same time, we can see that weekends are not the best days to get the engagement, exposure, and reach you should be looking for. So your marketing and campaign efforts for your target audience are better left to be focused on weekdays around business hours.
Tracking Data to understand when your brand should be posting on Facebook
Of course, different markets and target audiences make it important for you to tailor your best times to fit your followers and your goals needs. The first place you will need to explore this in your account is your Facebook Page Insights. Here you will find the analytics regarding your audience demographics along with data illustrating how your posts are performing. Use this information to better position your brand in future when you schedule social media posts.
You can find this by clicking on the tab Insights, which is located at the top of your screen. Inside it, you can see different sections like Overview, Followers, Likes, Reach, Page Views, Posts, etc. Take your time to explore each one and take notes of your findings.
The really cool part is that this analytics tool lets you pinpoint when your followers have been seeing your page and how they got there. Also, you can see when your audience is online (this is located in the Post section), what time zones they are located in, and what cities or countries they live in (this is located in the Page View section).
One of the sections of your account where you want to spend a significant amount of time is the Post section. Here Facebook lets you track the engagement of your posts, this data will give you a leg up next time you are scheduling your content.
Inside Post, go to All Post Published to figure out when your followers are more likely to engage with your brand. Here you will find the statistics from all the posts in your account. You can see the post, the day and time you published it, and the number of comments, reactions, and shares you got for every single one.
For a more in-depth analysis, dig into your Audience Insights, which relays added information about the followers you have and people that are using Facebook in general. We recommend that you select the option of people connected to your page to learn more about your followers.
Click into the locations tab inside Audience Insights to have more in-depth knowledge of the demographics of your audience. You will not only map out where they live and what time zone they are in but also what language they speak, what sort of education they hold, their job titles, relationship status, etc.
Cross-referencing all of this information will help you develop a schedule for posting on social media. Download for free our Time Tracking Analysis spreadsheet so you can get a handle on your engagement. Measure the number of likes and comments your posts have per day and hour and follow the same method we described earlier for figuring out your best time to post on Facebook.
Things to take notes of
Now that you know the basics of figuring out the best days for you to post on social media is time for you to get to work. But don’t forget to keep the following in mind:
- Use the analytics tools that the social media platforms you use have to offer. This will be the pool of knowledge you need to fine-tune your social strategy.
- Remember that the amount of engagement and clickthrough rates your brand gets by posting on social media not only depends on your personalized crafted schedule. After all, content is king and you need to be generating posts tailored made for your audience to connect with. But having the ideal times at the palm of your hands will definitely help you increase your reach, exposure, and engagement.
- Pay close attention to your demographics. This will allow you to have a better understanding of the habits your followers have and generate insights regarding when they are most likely to be online.
- Keep in mind the time zones your followers are on. Even if your business is based on the West Coast, if most of your consumers are on the East Coast, then you need to have an EST time zone in mind.
- Post your most relevant content during the weekday. Fine-tune the hours that best work for your brand but take advantage of the days when your followers are more inclined to engage.
- Be on the lookout for social media updates, especially regarding new algorithms. Having an understanding of how social media platforms are currently functioning is vital in developing an effective social media strategy.
gardenpatch loves to work with partners in finding the best social media strategy for your brand. We would love to hear from you regarding the challenges you face when crafting the schedules for your social media strategy.
Schedule a free consultation with one of gardenpatch’s Growth Advisors, and let’s talk about how to up your social media marketing game.
leveraging existing research while digging into the analytics provided by social media channels might just do the trick. Furthermore, in part one, you were able to go through current and relevant data regarding two social media giants: Facebook and Instagram.
Always bear in mind that you need to research and experiment to understand the habits of your current audience. Your brand is unique, and, therefore, so is your audience. So you should ensure that you understand your target audience well enough to know what makes them tick.
So you want to figure out the perfect time to post the ideal type of content that will get them to engage. The most practical way to do it is by diving into the insights of social media platforms.
When doing this, some of the things you should keep in mind are:
- your audience preferred social media channels
- their interaction habits
- where they are located and their respective time zones
Plus, you don’t want to forget your marketing goals. After all, each social media channel should serve a specific role for your brand.
So let’s get to it and continue the journey of discovering the best times to post on social media.
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The purpose of Twitter is to connect people with similar interests so that they can share their knowledge and experiences. The more people who use Twitter, the more likely it will be that you'll find someone who is interested in what you have to say. With tweets having a limit of 280 characters, it makes it natural for communication to be exchanged at a fast pace.
This social media platform has a chronological timeline, and it’s widely known for being used to obtain news about what’s happening right at that moment. It is the best platform to showcase your brand's point of view and use your brand voice since it’s ideal for having a two-sided conversation with your audience.
In Twitter’s chronological timeline, you get to see what people are tweeting as well as the tweets they are commenting on. This allows for easy favoriting or retweeting. The more engagement a tweet has, the more exposure it will get.
If you’re doubting whether your brand should be on Twitter, check out these statistics regarding the social network. I have summed it up for you in the following:
- Generally, Twitter users have a higher income
- Nearly 50% of people in the United States say they use Twitter
- 54% of Twitter's audience is ready to buy new products
- 26% of people spend more time looking at ads on Twitter than on other social media platforms
Best time to post on Twitter
Due to its chronological feed, the time when you post is critical to ensuring that your followers actually see your tweet. Twitter does highlight some posts according to your interests. However, if your tweet is not posted in rush hour, then it’s likely to end up at the bottom of your audience's timeline.
According to Sprout Social, a social media management platform, the best time to post on Twitter is Mondays to Wednesdays and Fridays, and Saturdays at 9 AM.
The 2022 report also showed that the most consistent engagement could be found from Monday through Friday in the window of 9 AM to around 2 PM. The lowest engagement can be found every day between 10 PM and 5 AM
Hubspot, an Inbound Marketing Software and our partner, stated that the best windows to post are from 12 PM to 9 PM
Since Twitter can be used either on computers or mobile devices, we can gather that people make a habit of checking Twitter during their downtime. Probably scrolling through it during their commutes.
Due to its real-time nature, users tend to get their updates and news from this platform - and, if you're like me, some particularly-humored memes.
Similar to the rest of the social networks, the weekdays hold the largest engagement. But on Twitter, if you need to post on the weekends, per Sprout Social data, you should be doing it around 9 AM on either day. Even if it's not the ultimate peak time, another valuable time slot you should keep in mind are during lunch hours.
Tracking data to understand when your brand should be tweeting
Now that you know the basics, we can move forward in tailoring the best time for your brand to be posting. For this, you will be exploring Twitter's Analytics. In this tool, you will be able to go over the stats regarding your tweet's history.
You can see everything from your past tweets' engagement activity to your followers' demographics. All the valuable information you will want to take advantage of when getting to know your audience's habits.
In the Tweet section, you will see all the important metrics of all of your tweets. That depicts how many users have seen the tweet, engagement rates, follows, etc. Additionally, you will also see the times and dates when they were posted.
By tracking this, you get access to the times when your tweets have performed best, in addition to the type of content your audience likes engaging with. This gives you the ability to increase your social media engagement. The cool part is that in the graphics, you can see how the tweets compare to each other in a specific period.
As a social media marketer, to get more insights on your followers, go into the Audience tab. Here you will get a breakdown of your follower's gender, interest, what they do for a living, their level of education, etc. You can cross-reference if your actual followers match up with your target audience and adjust your content strategy according to your goals.
Also, another key piece of information you want to know when it comes time to schedule social media posts is where your audience is located. Are you catering to their time zone? Are you talking to local followers or harvesting a global community?
With this valuable information in your pocket, it's time for a little experiment, Dr. Frankenstein.
You can now start doing some research of your own. Use this tip from Later, a social media scheduling platform (I've tweaked it a little bit), to measure the best time for your brand to post on Twitter.
- Pick 3 different times per day for your tweets and track your results. Base this decision on your Twitter analytics. You could post all seven days or just stick to weekdays.
- Pick 3-time slots, as per Hootsuite's suggestion, one in the morning, one in the midday, and one in the evenings.
- Set up a spreadsheet and track how much engagement and interactions divided by impressions you had per tweet and per day.
- Shift the hours slightly per week; if you tweeted the first week at 8 AM, post the next week at 7 AM.
- Do this for about a month.
- When you finish tracking, determine the average engagement per post to have a number to compare with.
If you think doing this sounds time-consuming, don’t fret. We have developed for you a free Twitter and LinkedIn Time Tracking Sheet. You will be able to easily do what was just mentioned and automatically see graphics to better identify the total of comments, likes, and retweets per month. This will give you an overview to figure out the times that work best for you.
Even though this may require some effort, you will get a clear picture of how your content is performing, how to optimize it, and the best times and days you should be tweeting it.
With this social network, you are entering into more of a niche territory. LinkedIn may not hold a large number of users as Facebook does but claims its value on being the largest professional network.
This social media platform has a total of 303 million monthly active users. When exploring statistics regarding LinkedIn demographics, you learn that:
- Millennials make up roughly 60% of LinkedIn users.
- 63 million LinkedIn users hold decision-making positions
- 190 million employed people in the US are LinkedIn users.
With this, it's easy to understand why LinkedIn is considered the best B2B marketing channel. According to Hubspot, LinkedIn performs 227% more effective for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter.
Since people join this platform with a career-oriented focus, there is less content generated. People skip posting personal stuff and gravitate toward content that can improve their professional lives
The best time to be posting on LinkedIn
As people use LinkedIn for professional purposes, it makes sense that its highest engagement in this social channel is recorded during weekdays. That's an important point to consider when making social media scheduling decisions for this platform.
In the 2019 study mentioned before, Sprout Social recorded that the best day to post on Linkedin is Mondays to Thursdays. And the peak times occur on Tuesdays between 10 AM and 12 PM.
Tuesdays to Thursdays from 8 AM to 4 PM we can find the best consistent engagement inside this online network. The lowest engagement day is Sunday.
Based on your specific audience, it may be smarter to build your schedule and focus your marketing efforts around weekdays and during work hours. It seems like people tend to check social media updates during the beginning of their daily routine and their lunch break. Along with weekends, Monday takes a back seat as the majority of people take a better chuck of this day to get organized for the week.
Tracking Data to understand when your brand should be posting on LinkedIn
If you’ve come this far, you know how it goes. It’s time to dive into your LinkedIn Page Analytics. You have to be a page admin to be able to access them. Similar to the other social platforms we’ve talked about, you can find out the reach of your updates, the demographics of your followers, and the visitors of your page.
Go to the Updates section to see all that you have posted. You will be able to track from each one: date, audience (segmented or not), if it was sponsored, the number of impressions it had (people that saw it), click-through rates (when your logo, company name, or content was clicked), the interactions it had, followers acquired, and its engagement.
To get a better handle on your audience, go into the Follower tab. Here you get the breakdown of how many followers you have and their demographics. It is pretty unique in the sense that it breaks them into categories: Seniority, Industry, Company Size, Function, and Employee vs. Non-Employee (people that work for your company vs. people that don’t).
Using this information will help you when experimenting with your sharing schedule. To personalize it even further, carry on an experiment similar to the one we talked about earlier.
- Pick a different time per day for your post and track your results. For example, if you now know that your consumers are most active from 8 AM to 12 PM from Monday to Friday, you can post at 8 AM, 9 AM, 10 AM, 11 AM, and 12 PM, respectively.
- Set up a spreadsheet and track how much engagement (interactions divided by impressions) you had per day.
- The following week alternate the time, so if last week you posted at 8 AM on Monday, this week you will post at 9 AM if last week you posted at 9 AM on Tuesday, this week you will post at 10 AM, and so on.
- Do this until you have covered all the times per weekday.
- When you finish tracking, determine the average engagement per post to have a number to compare it with.
After doing this and sharing your results, your team will have a head start in developing a rock-solid social media strategy. On the right, you can download a Time Tracking Analysis spreadsheet so you can measure your brand engagement. Keep tabs on the number of reactions, comments, and shares your posts get per day and hour. And you can follow the same method we described earlier for figuring out your best time to post on LinkedIn.
Things to take notes of
Now you can feel confident in tackling your social media strategy and their respective schedules.
But don’t forget to keep the following in mind:
- Analytics tools give you an edge in keeping up to date with how your content is performing and the type of followers you are attracting. The best part of it: it’s free. So you really can make the most of it.
- Get to know the people that are following you. Are you attracting your target audience? Should you be adjusting your content to do so? Are you catering correctly to their time zones?
- Every social platform is different. What scores on Instagram may not be appreciated on LinkedIn.
- When creating a content strategy for each platform, remember its nature. Twitter has a word-of-mouth quality, while LinkedIn shines in B2B marketing.
- Keep learning. The world of social media is constantly changing. New trends and updates can pop up at any minute. Position yourself, so they work to your advantage.
If you have any challenges that have not been addressed in our post, be sure to reach out. Schedule a free consultation with one of our growth advisors at gardenpatch. Let’s talk about how to up your social media marketing game.