Whether you’re posting in real time or scheduling your content in advance, social media marketing requires you to have good timing. Simply put, you need to post when your followers are actually going to see it if you want to get maximum engagement.
And that begs the question—when exactly are your social media followers most active and most engaged?
That depends a bit on your audience and your industry, but also on the social platform you’re using. Social platforms have their own unique audience behaviors, and the best time to post on Facebook is not necessarily the best time to post on Twitter.
Scheduling Your Social Media
The following pointers are all somewhat general, then, but definitely worth noting if you’re looking to lend your social media posts maximum impact:
Facebook: According to statistics, the best times to post on Facebook are Thursday and Friday, between 9 in the morning and 7 in the evening, with the early afternoon window (1-3) being optimal.
Pinterest: Unique among social networks, Pinterest has its own trending topic for each day of the week; Monday, for instance, is fitness-focused, Tuesday technology, and so on. The best time to post, then, is on whatever day best fits your content and your niche. Fitness trainers, make sure you’re pinning on Monday!
Twitter: There is some debate about when the best time is for tweeting, and really there is no bad time, except during the wee hours of the morning when no one is awake. Experiment with weekdays versus weekend posts to see which get more traction with your followers.
Instagram: Don’t ask us why, but many reports reveal Monday and Wednesday to be the ideal days for Instagram.
LinkedIn: For LinkedIn, aim for the middle of the week—Tuesday through Thursday—during normal business hours (9-5 or so).
Now, the caveat to all of this is that regular content updates are essential for branding consistency and user engagement—so while optimizing your timing is important, so is posting content throughout the week. Make note of these peak hours, and make sure you put some good stuff online then, but don’t let that be an excuse to post infrequently! Be judicious in your posts, but also generous.
These recommendations are based on averages cross all users on each platform. But averages are NOT good predictors of what is best for individual people or organizations. You owe it to yourself to analyze when YOUR audience is online and time your posts to match their behavior.
For example, if your audience is moms on Facebook, it is probably more effective to reach them when they are not taking care of their kids (think AFTER the kids go to bed).