Social media is one of the most revolutionary inventions of the 21st century. For better or worse, it affects our relationships with each other, our relationships with businesses and brands, and even how governments operate.
Naturally, researchers have studied social media and its impact over the years. But perhaps, none more so than marketing and public relations specialists, who use social media to boost visibility and sales for their clients.
Along the way, one of the biggest secrets social media gurus have tried to unravel is the absolute best time to post on social media for maximum reach and engagement. Here are some of the findings “social media scientists” have made so far.
Remember that your audience, location, and business type will affect whether or not these hold true for your brand. Make the necessary adjustments with those differences in mind.
There is conflicting information about the best time to post on Facebook. But let’s look at some of the advice data analytics have provided us with, and see where they overlap.
According to Hubspot, an inbound marketing company, the weekend has the highest level of engagement, with both days enjoying a 32% higher rate of engagement than any other day. Thursdays and Fridays also enjoy 18% higher level of engagements than the remaining days of the week.
Hubspot estimates that Facebook users are happiest on Fridays and will be most responsive to humor at this time. The company also advises that posting at 1PM will attract the most shares, while posting at 3PM will attract the most likes.
On the other hand, social media management company Sprout Social, found that the weekend showed lower levels of engagement. They do, however, agree that Thursdays and Fridays are the best time for posting; with 1PM and 3PM showing the highest levels of engagement.
Based on all the information above, Friday at 1 – 3PM appears to be the best day and time for publishing content, especially humor and upbeat posts.
When it comes to Twitter, how often you post and engage with others is far more important than when you post. However, if you don’t have the time (or will!) to spend all day tweeting, then here are the best times to maximise the impact of your tweets.
According to Hubspot, save your tweets for the weekdays, especially between 12 and 3PM, with a peak point at 5PM. Hubspot also advises, “If your goal is to maximize retweets and clickthroughs, aim for noon, 3PM, or 5 – 6PM.”
Sprout Social made a similar finding, but once again specified Thursday as the best day for posting, with midday being the best time of the day. Sprout Social also found high levels of engagement from 5PM to 7PM during the week.
Thus, the absolute best time to post on Twitter is Thursday at midday.
Instagram is a common favorite when it comes to social media, but it can also be impersonal. Your following will mostly be made up of people you don’t know, and communications are mostly pictures and emoticons; not the kind of conversations that tend to be generated on LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Facebook.
Thus, for Instagram, maximizing a post’s potential is extremely important. Hubspot calculates the best time for Instagram photos on Mondays and Thursdays before 3PM and after 4PM. Videos have the greatest success between 9 PM and 8 AM, any day of the week.
Sprout Social had similar findings, but found that Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were all great days for posting. They identified the best times for posting at 2AM, 8AM, and 5PM.
Even better than these predictions, Instagram provides an “insights” feature within the app that lets you know the average level of engagement throughout the day, for each day of the week. For example, on our company Instagram account, our best days for engagement are Monday and Friday between 12 and 4 PM.
Personal insights aside, however, experts agree that Monday is the best day for posting, at 2AM, 8AM or 5PM.
LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform that’s specifically for business and business people. Because of this, many entrepreneurs have been able to turn their LinkedIn connections into leads and sales.
To make this possible, Hubspot recommends the best days to post as Tuesdays to Thursdays, with lunchtime being an obvious first choice. Hubspot also suggests, posting between 7:30 – 8:30 AM and 5 – 6 PM.
Sprout Social calculates Tuesday and Thursday as the best days, and lunchtime on these days have the highest traffic volume. Like Hubspot, they also identified high traffic from Tuesday to Thursday, lasting from 5 – 6 PM.
So what’s the best time to post on LinkedIn? Based on all the information we’ve seen, shoot for Tuesday and Thursday at 5 – 6 PM.
Most people know WordPress as a platform used to create websites and blogs. But WordPress bloggers also know of the platform’s built in community. You can read, like, and comment on posts on a timeline, just like Twitter. The only difference is we have way more than just 140-characters.
So when do you publish your WordPress blog post to maximize reach? Well, as the proud owners of 4 websites, and admins to several others, we can tell you it really depends on the website and the audience you’ve managed to find. For example, this website receives most of its traffic on Mondays at 11AM, but black CATastrophy receives most of its traffic on Thursdays at 5AM.
How do you find this information on a WordPress website? Easy — go to Dashboard > Stats > Insights > Most Popular Day & Hour. Once you have the information, schedule your blog posts at the times with the heavier traffic.
In all honesty, social media gurus often don’t often pay attention to the exact days and times when they post. And public relations firms, like ourselves, usually purchase software that does most of these hard calculations and postings for us.
If you think all these stats and days and hours are waaaay too much for you to keep track of on social media, then we’d be happy to help. Email us for a quote, or check out our more extensive social media packages.
About the Author
Alexis Chateau is the Founder and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.