Finding the right time to post on social media can massively help your business stand out and reach a more relevant audience. But, knowing the best time to post can be a challenge.
In this guide, we’ll share exactly how you can find the best time to post content on your social media channels for maximum reach, exposure, and engagement.
There isn’t a single best time to post on Facebook. Plenty of studies tried to uncover that, and each study found a wide range of results. For example, the best times to post on Facebook:
All of these studies are point marketers in the right direction. However in reality, the best time to post depends on a number of factors that are specific to every business:
• What’s your industry?
• In what location is your audience based?
• When are they online?
• Are you sponsoring posts?
Therefore, when it comes to posting on Facebook, there are two approaches you can use:
• Post when your Facebook Insights tells you
•Post when it’s relevant
The main advantage of digital marketing is having relevant data available for your brand at all times.
To see your Page Insights, click Insights at the top of your Page:
From the Insights dashboard, select Posts in the left-hand column menu. This will take you to a detailed breakdown of the days and the time your fans are most active on Facebook:
This chart shows the average times across the week. You can hover over each individual day to see an overlay of how that day looks like vs the averages. Here’s an example of how Thursday’s tend to look:
To find out which type of content is most popular on your page, go to Posts and select Post Types. For the example page, the best results are from video posts:
To see the best content in your industry or among your competition, choose Top Posts from Pages You Watch and add up to five pages you want to track:
For example, if you’re a small beauty brand, you’ll want to follow established beauty and skin-care brands to use their best posts as a benchmark.
To find posting times for the most successful Facebook posts, you should go to your Page Insights and click Posts. You’ll see the date and time each post was published to your Facebook Page. With this data, you’re looking for any trends regarding the times – for example, do posts published around a specific time tend to receive more engagement.
Note: If your posts are Sponsored or Boosted, this could skew your data as these posts are likely to gain significantly more reach than organic posts, regardless of the time they’re published. Also, if you’re sponsoring or boosting all of your posts with different budgets, that could have an impact on your reach and engagement. Therefore, try to compare posts that have similar budgets.
If you want to succeed on Facebook, your content is just as important as the timing.
Use videos – A study by Socialbakers discovered that video posts on Facebook have an organic reach of 8.71% compared to the 5.77% for photo posts. Additionally, data from Digiday found some brands see 85% of their video views on Facebook happen without any sound, meaning that you need to post highly engaging videos that don’t necessarily rely on audio. Don’t forget your captions as the text could keep users engaged without needing sound.
Know what worked in the past – Don’t make things complicated by posting random content to Facebook. Track your total reach, likes, comments and shares with Facebook Insights and see what content works the best.
Keep posts short and sweet – Facebook allows you to write a novel for a post, but do your followers really want to read that? The network is not a place where users spend a lot of time on each post, which means that quick engagements usually works best. If you have a lot to say, instead of posts, use Facebook notes, blog post links, or Canvas ads.
On January 31, Facebook announced relevant changes in their News Feed algorithm, stating that they will incorporate new signals to better identify and rank authentic content, as well as the new way to predict and rank in real-time, when posts might be more relevant to you. For example, if a person’s soccer team just won the game, Facebook will show posts about the game higher up in the News Feed because people are talking about it more broadly on Facebook. Therefore, it’s important to track these changes because it can help you tailor your strategy the best way possible.
When it comes to posting on Instagram, the same applies as on Facebook – different studies showed the best times to post on this channel.
Post more during off-work hours instead of during the day. According to Later, the best times to post on Instagram are early in the morning (7 a.m. to 8 a.m.), lunch time (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and evenings (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Avoid posting in the morning or during the day, because it’s the time when most people are busy at work.
Weekends can be hit-or-miss – B2C companies will likely see better results if they post on weekends, but the same cannot apply for B2B companies.
Avoid 3 p.m, but don’t be afraid to experiment – weekdays between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. typically drives the lowest engagement. Hence, some social media managers reported that this is the best time to post, as they get the most engagement then.
Despite the general rules above, different audiences will be active at different times, which is why is important to find your individual best time to post on Instagram.
To see your Page Insights, you would have to change your Instagram account to business account. Go to your profile, then Settings and in the Account Settings find Switch to Business Profile.
When you set this up, go to the Insights dashboard on the top of your profile and click the Insights icon.
Instagram Insights will give you everything you need to know about your followers, such as where are they located, their gender and age, and when they are most active on Instagram.
You can also view your followers’ locations by country or city. This can give you a better sense of which time zones you should be posting in to reach the majority of your followers.
Insights makes it easy for you to find the best time to post on Instagram because it shows you the most popular days and times when your followers are using Instagram:
Using this data, you can calculate the best times and dates to post on Instagram, based on your followers’ activity.
There are a few general rules you should follow when it comes to creating content for Instagram:
Color themes and schemes work – Brands that kill it on Instagram typically have a consistent color scheme when you view their profile. Great brands will make all their images and videos seem like they meld together seamlessly by using specific themes and colors.
Use hashtags and emojis – Seven out of ten hashtags on the network are branded and more than half of text contains emojis. This means branding yourself is essential to awareness, loyalty and reach.
It’s not all about your product – You don’t want to get overly promotional with your product, but instead focus on engagement. Try the popular 80/20 rule which states 80% of the content should be educational and engaging, while 20% is promotional.
Twitter is one of the fastest ways companies communicate with customers via social media. If you want to reach more people on Twitter, you should follow a Burrito Principle, an idea put forward by Darian Rodriguez Heyman. This principle is very simple – reach people on social media during their spare time – let’s say, when they’re eating a burrito. To implement this principle effectively, you’ll have to know how your audience is spending their time. For example, you will not use the same principle for students and for employees. If you want to reach employed people, you can use this model:
• 8.30 a.m. – when they’re on their way to work
• 12.30 p.m. – when they’re on their phones during the lunch time
• 5.30 p.m. – on the bus ride home
• 10 p.m. – after the kids go to sleep
Follow all your industry leaders – Doing so helps you get your brand name out there and increases the chance of engagement with those leaders in your industry when you post.
Be ready to engage – According to Sprout Social Q3 2016 Index, 57% of users don’t like when brands get too promotional on Twitter. You should be ready to engage with users in order to build better relationships and increase trust in your brand.
When it comes to the best time to post on social media, there’s no set-in-stone hour to reach the biggest audience or to get more engagement. This depends on the industry you’re in, your target audience, their habits and your competition. The best time is individual for each brand, so use the data that are just a few clicks away to create a strategy that fits your brand’s needs the best.