A person spends about 2.5 hours using social media. This statistic and the image below are a clear indicator of how people are obsessed with social media. And businesses are leveraging this obsession and reaching out to their customers through different social platforms.But, if your target customers spend a significant portion of the day scrolling through social media, does that mean you have an engagement and conversion opportunity throughout the day? Unfortunately, no.
As the saying goes, there’s a suitable time for everything, there is an optimal time for your business to post on social media.
What is the optimal time? And how can you find it? We will answer all these questions in a bit. But first, let’s see if you should care about it.
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Does The Time at Which You Post on Social Media Really Matter?
Yes. Timings matter and there are many reasons why *.
For one, there is a specific time when your target audience is using social media. For example, your target customers are night owls. Then, you might want to develop a posting schedule to engage your users at a time when they are most active on social media – at night.
You see, social media algorithms are designed to enhance users’ experiences. Therefore, when your post first goes out live, it reaches a small fraction of your target audience. If it receives good engagement from these people, the algorithms kick in and take your post to a wider audience. As the engagement continues to increase, the reach continues to grow.It is important to get engagement when the post is young. Otherwise, it will die down without fulfilling much of its purpose. Therefore, referring to the example above, you can’t post whenever convenient for you and expect your audience to get to it when they are active.
Now, how do you know when your audience is the most active?
How You Can Find Your Optimal Social Time
There is no one-size-fits-all “right” time for posting on social media. What might be right for one brand might not be right for another.
Here’s how you can find your brand’s optimal social time:
Finding the Best Time to Post on Social Media – What Does the Data Say?
Numerous studies have been conducted stating the best times for posting on each of the six major social media platforms. Let’s see what the most recent one says.
- Best time to post on Facebook
Facebook is massive. With a net worth of around $86 billion, it stands as the most used social platform.According to Facebook’s demographic data, the age group of 18-29 forms the platform’s most extensive user base. If your target audience belongs to this age group, you should be on Facebook.
But at what time?
According to research, the best time to post on this social platform is cited to be from morning to late afternoon during weekdays.
Research also hints at Sunday being the worst day to expect the audience to engage with your Facebook posts.
- Best Time to Post on Instagram
People ranging from 18 years of age to 29 years form the most significant user base on Instagram.
If you’d have to make a guess, you’d think since most of these people are young and young people tend to be night owls, so the best time to post would be at night.
However, research contradicts this thought.
According to studies, Instagram has a reasonably wide time window (which narrows down when you go deeper into your audience analytics, more on that later.) Late mornings and afternoons on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday appear to form the optimal time for posting on Instagram.
- Best Time to Post on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has over 700 million users and is the most promising platform when it comes to social media lead generation. 93% B2B marketers claim LinkedIn to be the best social media lead generation source.
The largest age group you can find on LinkedIn ranges from 25 to 34 years of age. And most, if not all, of these people are business professionals using LinkedIn for career-related purposes.
According to our trusty research, the best time to post on LinkedIn would be during work hours on weekdays.
- Best time to Post on Twitter
Twitter, the micro-blogging site, is used by more than 300 million people, mainly as a quick source of authentic information.
Like all other platforms, Twitter’s algorithm also parses the tweets based on time and relevance, and the user can select what fits best.Regardless of what the users’ settings are, time still matters. And the most recent studies indicate that Wednesdays and Fridays as being the best time to post tweets. Neil Patel, however, suggests that weekdays are suitable for B2B businesses and weekends are good for B2C.
- Best Time to Post on Pinterest
Pinterest has 478 million users, and most of them are women. The largest age group on Pinterest is from 25 to 34.
People mostly use it to find creative inspiration. Therefore, the best time to be active on Pinterest to garner engagement is during the evenings on weekdays and weekends.
TikTok is the new kid on the block. And if you ignore it, it will kick your business to the knees until you are forced to acknowledge its importance.
With over 800 million users, TikTok is coming neck-to-neck with social media giants like Instagram.
As per data, 25% of Tiktok’s users are between ages 10 and 19, and 22.4% are between 20 and 29. This means the biggest age group on TikTok is from 10-29.Since the platform is growing fast, therefore, the trends are changing quickly.
But the most recent studies suggest 6 am to 10 am and 7 pm to 11 pm to be the best times to post on TikTok throughout the week.
All this information is only one part of your optimal social timing strategy.
Let’s see what’s next.
Finding the Best Time to Post on Social Media – Where is the Audience?
Researching your audience’s location is critical to the success of your social media campaign, primarily if you deal with an international audience.
Say, you have found from research that 9 am is the best time to post on Facebook. However, 9 am in one country might be 3 pm in another, which may not be an optimal time for that country’s audience.
Additionally, posting time-appropriate posts, like good morning or good night posts, or those referring to dinner, lunch, or rush hours, might be met at odd times across the world.
For example, you have a Chinese restaurant based in the US with branches in Canada and Australia. And you post a “What’s for Lunch?” post at 1 pm EST in the US. It would reach the Australian audience at 3 am, which would not exactly be their lunchtime, would it?
Therefore, you must find out which geographical location your audience belongs to and then schedule your post to reach them at an opportune and appropriate time.
Tools like Google Analytics and Post Planner can, respectively, help you discover the audience location and schedule your social posts.
Finding the Best Time to Post on Social Media – What Industry Do You Serve?
The best time to post on social media varies significantly across industries. And understandably so. A restaurant industry social media user might not be active simultaneously as a music industry user.
TrackMavern, a software company, researched the best time to post across 75 different industries. They have compiled their finding in a case study which states that the best time to post on Facebook in:
The sports industry is on Sunday at 10 am.The retail industry is Friday at 11 am.
The Fashion and Apparel industry is on Tuesday around noon.Do you notice the variation in times across industries? This is where non-industry-specific research takes the back seat.
Remember how studies suggest Sunday is the worst day to post on Facebook? Well, if you were in the sports industry and relied solely on that research, you might have failed to engage your audience when they are most active.
You combine what the research says with your audience’s time zone and sprinkle it with a bit of knowledge of industry-specific social times, and there you have it, an educated guess about the optimal social timing for your brand.
But how do you know if this guesswork is yielding the most optimal time? The answer lies in the next step.
Finding the Best Time to Post on Social Media – Experiment, Analysis, and Optimization
The only way you can find the most opportune time, unique to your business, to post on social media is by creating a social campaign and experimenting with it.
You can create a social media posting schedule based on the initial framework you have created from research. Then you can create social posts and publish them at different times throughout the time window you have discovered from research.
Once your posts are live, you can track their metrics to see which post garners the highest engagement, drives the most traffic, and generates the most remarkable leads.
For example, you belong to the Fashion and Apparel industry in the US, and you choose to post on Instagram. You have identified your opportune time window from 11 am to 1 pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.
You schedule your posts to go live at 11 am on Monday, 12:30 pm on Tuesday, and noon on Friday. Once your posts are live, you track their analytics and see that the post that went live on Tuesday at 12:30 pm had the best metrics. In this way, you have realized that Tuesday at 12:30 pm is your optimal social time. And you can optimize your content schedule based on these findings.
Top Social Media Analytics Tools
Since we are talking about social media analytics, let’s briefly mention the most popular social media analytics tools you can use to optimize your content schedule.
1- Google Analytics
Though initially created for analyzing website metrics, Google Analytics can be set up to analyze a social media campaign.
It can yield essential metrics such as the source of traffic, ROI of the social campaign, demographics of the traffic, and help identify the best content types for each platform.
2- Co Schedule
CoSchedule gives complete information about how your post is performing on social media. It tells you about the best time to post on social media for your brand, builds excellent reports, and suggests improvements to your content strategy to enhance performance results.
3- Sprout Social
Sprout Social is popular among social marketer’s circle. Its trademark ViralPost technology helps you optimize your social timing, so your post goes live when it is expected to generate good engagement. Additionally, it tracks your social media performance and other vital metrics like reach and engagement to help you optimize your strategy.
Numerous studies point at various times and days and cite them as the best time to post on so and so platforms. While these studies can offer massive help in determining your best social time, you cannot follow them blindly without the data from your own campaign.
So, it is best to use the research as a starting point in creating your own content schedule and then experimenting with it.
Analyze the results of your experimental posts and optimize your social campaign based on this analysis. Doing this, you will be well on your way to social media prosperity, given that you are following the other steps of social media success. *