Social media marketing can be tricky at times. If you can even find the time throughout your busy day to post, you have to carefully consider a number of factors to get the most out of your social media posts. Posting too little or too much, or at the wrong time of day, can make the difference between successful posts and ones that goes unnoticed. Ideal posting schedules and frequencies vary from platform to platform and can change at any time. Without a little guidance, it can seem like a puzzle that you are forever trying to solve.
Activity and engagement on social media sites will peak at certain times throughout the day and week. These peak hours are when you want to be making your own posts to maximize the chance they are seen by your target audience. Posting during off-peak hours will likely result in your post being missed. By the time most of your audience is back on social media sites, the post will be buried in the never-ending wave of content from other businesses and users.
So when is the ideal time to post on social media sites? SproutSocial has analyzed the content engagement of over 20,000 companies to provide us with the times of day when clients are most active and engaging on popular social media sites. Based on their findings, these are our recommendations on when you should be posting to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
When to Post on Facebook
Facebook tends to have the most engagement throughout the middle of the week and falls off on the weekends. Wednesday has the most overall engagement and would be the best day to post if you were only able to make one per week. Tuesday through Thursday is a fairly forgiving safe zone with strong activity as well. Outside of these optimal periods, you should simply do your best to avoid early morning and late evening hours if possible. We recommend posting at least once every day so while engagement may be less than ideal on the weekends, posting on these off-peak days is still better than not posting.
Recommended Posting Times: Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. through 3 p.m.
Worst Posting Times: Evenings after 6 p.m., early mornings before 7 a.m. and weekends.
When to Post on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a unique social media network given its focus on a professional audience. Engagement on the platform is very high on the weekdays during typical work hours. Wednesday and Thursday are the two days with the most interaction while days at the beginning and end of the week show less engagement. Weekends tend to have limited interaction as users spend more time on the more personal social media sites. It is recommended to post once a day on the platform. Try to get weekend posts done but if you can’t, make sure you at least post once per day during the work week within normal work hours.
Recommended Posting Times: Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. through 2 p.m.
Worst Posting Times: Hours outside of the typical work week.
When to Post on Instagram
Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites and is only growing in popularity. The simplistic visual-based platform makes it easy for users to quickly view and interact with posts. This may be why Instagram is one of the few platforms with better than average weekend and evening interaction. Wednesday and Friday around 10 and 11 a.m. are the times with strongest engagement. As with most other social media sites, engagement still tends to be strongest mid-week while tapering off as the work week starts to come to an end.
Recommended Posting Times: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Worst Posting Times: Early mornings before 8 a.m., late evenings after 8 p.m. and Sunday.
Fine Tuning Your Posting Schedule
Even if you follow recommended posting schedules, you may find that engagement is low at peak times or that it spikes for you at times that may not be considered ideal. Your social media posting habits will constantly be changing based on your own discoveries. Do not feel forced into a specific schedule if it does not work for you. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing. Experiment within the recommended posting windows and find out exactly when your particular clients are most active. From there you can pinpoint exactly when to post to get the most interaction. These windows may constantly be evolving, and you must do the same. If you can do that, your social media marketing will be far more successful.