Post O’clock: Best Times to Post on Social

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Managing your business’s social media accounts can be taxing at times, from perfecting post copy to getting the hashtags just right. But what experienced social media users know is that there’s a science to getting it right—if you follow certain guidelines, you’re already on the right track to getting the results you want. All it takes is some knowledge and pre-planning, and anyone can be on their way to posting engaging content that reaches your designated audience.

Your visitors and followers tend to use social media during specific hours. So, if you start sharing your content when your users are on these social sites, not only will you gain more shares, but you’ll also notice an increase in traffic, engagement and overall reach. The best time to post on social media depends on a variety of factors, including the area you’re targeting, the type of information you post, the platform, your target audience and how they interact with the platform.

Since the best time to post varies, different businesses may find different times of the day work best for them. Here are some general guidelines and recommendations for the best times to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Facebook

The best days to post on Facebook are Thursday and Friday with 86% of posts showing peak engagement. Engagement rates tend to fall 3.5% below average for posts published Monday through Wednesday. Most people need some serious motivation to get through that “2:30 feeling”, and for many of us that means checking Facebook. Specific industries vary slightly, but most action spikes towards the end of the week because, honestly, everyone is more interested in the weekend at that point. It’s no surprise that the “Happiness Index” on Facebook spikes 10% on Fridays.

“The less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook!”-Buddy Media

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In reality, the best time to post on Facebook is when your audience is online! You can view the best times and days to post on Facebook by accessing your page’s insights and seeing when your fans are online. You can see what day of the week and the time of the day that your specific fan base is engaging with Facebook and your content and leverage it for future scheduling. This data is constantly updated so it’s a good idea to regularly check these stats to help you reach your audience. Facebook also allows you to schedule posts from your Facebook page, which means you can set aside time to schedule your posts for the coming week.

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Twitter

Twitter users are more active on their way to work and are more likely to use Twitter during school or work hours. For maximum retweets, post at 5 p.m., 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. For a higher CTR, posting at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. will deliver optimal results.This could be due in fact to lunch breaks and people looking for something to occupy them on their commute home. For business-to-business organizations, the best days to tweet are Monday through Friday. For business-to-consumer it’s the weekends and Wednesdays.

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B2B: Monday through Friday

The assumption is that businesses work with other businesses during the weekdays, whereas consumers spend more time with brands on the weekend.

B2C: Wednesday through Sunday

Engagements and CTRs are highest on weekends and Wednesdays. According to Dan Zarella, Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends.

The shelf life of a tweet is very short and only lasts about eight hours so follow the best practices of posting listed above. You can also use tools like Followerwonk, Tweriod and SocialBro to find the optimal time to engage your audience.

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LinkedIn

According to LinkedIn, weekdays during regular business hours are the optimal time to post. The best days to post on LinkedIn are Tuesday through to Thursday during work hours.The best times to post during those days are between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., and then later on from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

AddThis, a media web-tracking technology company did a study on data from over 14 million people and found that you get the most clicks and shares on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. LinkedIn consists primarily of a B2B audience which would solidify why weekdays during business hours have the highest engagement.

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It’s a pretty good rule of thumb to avoid late evenings and weekends. If you want to reach the largest number of users with your content, it makes sense to publish when people are around. LinkedIn has found their busiest times to be morning and midday, Monday through Friday. Business hours, in general, have the largest maximum reach, so you don’t have to be too particular about specific times. Test what performs best for you.

Pinterest

For all of the night owls out there, the best times to pin are on Saturdays between 8 p.m.-11 p.m. and 2-4 a.m. However, if you’re mostly into using Pinterest for fashion/retail, the peak time to post on Pinterest is Friday at 3 p.m.

Aside from pinning at specific times, focus on truly understanding your audience. Determine when your followers might be on Pinterest and schedule your pins around that time.

  • What do they read, watch, attend and listen to?
  • What do they really like or find interesting?
  • What’s their age and gender?
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their lifestyle?
  • What are their interests?

Think of it this way, the best time to post on Pinterest is when your specific audience will see it. Here’s a tip: Create a calendar and mark down how many followers you received each day. Pick the same time every day. Track it for at least three months and you will definitely see which days are trending best for you.  Be mindful of the holiday season and long weekends for the most obvious reasons. Try this trick with types of posts as well to really figure out what your audience wants.

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Here’s the bottom line. While the above general rules of thumb and recommendations have great research behind them and provide a general guide to follow, the best time to post on ANY social channel is when you think your audience will see it. This is going to be unique to you and your business. No matter what you need to experiment, it is very important to A/B test times and audiences in order to determine the best post times for your business.

Hopefully you now have a better idea on how to determine your audience and how to best engage that audience through the day and time of the week. And if you need some help getting started, let the team at Customer Magnetism help you.

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Rachael Morrill

Social Media Manager at Customer Magnetism. Rachael helps brands reach their full potential through creative content strategies and out of the box social media campaigns. She loves writing about trending topics and is the first to show you that new viral video. She considers herself a pop culture savant, loves reading the news and has a slight obsession with pugs.