No business can afford to ignore the tremendous power of social media marketing for brand awareness and as part of your overall marketing strategy. Your website is your shopfront, but social media is the doorway by which your customers can enter.
With so many different social platforms, it can be hard to keep up with each or find the time to effectively use them all, making it tempting to post the same content on all of them and tick ‘social media’ off as job done.
If you’ve taken the time and trouble to put together some really great content, which is likely to attract the eyeballs of exactly the kind of audience who you’d want to be aware of your brand and to engage with, surely it makes sense to find out when they’ll most likely be around to see it?
A smart approach, therefore, is looking at the strengths as requirements of each individual platform and not only tailoring your content to suit, but also investigating the best publishing times to maximise your chances of it being seen by ‘the right people’.
In order for you to stand the best chance of having your content seen by your audience, it’s important to post it when they’re looking. Publish when they’re elsewhere and it still ‘may’ be seen, but they’ll have to scroll much further to see it and are likely to scroll right past rather than engaging.
So, with this in mind, when should you post to social media?
What’s the best time to post to Facebook?
Facebook is the most popular social platform and if you only have time to manage one social channel, then it’s probable that Facebook is the one on which you should concentrate.
Naturally, you’d expect people who work typical office hours to access Facebook before work, during their lunch break or after they clock off in the afternoon. In reality though, with their smartphone always within reach and the urge to procrastinate strong, timing a post at 9 in the morning (to coincide with when they’re putting off making a start on what they’re supposed to be doing) is better than posting first thing in the morning. Better still, is posting in between lunchtime and ‘home-time’. Schedule your content between Noon and 4pm for maximum exposure, with user engagement starting to rise on Wednesdays and peaking on Fridays.
With Friday being a day of peak engagement, it can be tempting for the businesses and brands who’re aware of this to save their best content for the last day of the working week and many do. This leaves Wednesday, still a day of solid engagement comparatively neglected. With fewer posts overall and competitors likely to post their best content later in the week, a piece of engaging content posted midweek is likely to stand head and shoulders above the average content everyone else is posting.
When should I post to Twitter?
With human attention spans reportedly so diminished, the famed brevity of Twitter’s tweets, make them perfect for users looking for bite-sized morsels of information from their social media, without committing to the consumption of more substantial content.
Just like Instagram, lunchtime is a peak time for audiences to be browsing their Twitter feeds, with Wednesday and Thursday being especially good for engagement. Mondays and Tuesday are runner-up days for engagement with 5pm to 6pm being runner-up times of the day. Fridays however, have far less engagement, weekend Tweets even less so.
When is the best time to post to Instagram?
In order to stand a chance of your content being noticed on Instagram, a place where people and brands alike post their most beautiful and inspiring content, it’ll have to be pretty special. In competitive or popular areas, it’s likely to be pushed down your audience’s feeds pretty quickly too.
With this being the case and to stand the best time of sitting towards the top of feeds for the longest, recent thinking suggests that a couple of hours after midnight is the optimum time to post, a time when your posts will have very little competition.
The 2am time slot doesn’t just catch insomniacs and insatiable Insta-addicts, it also allows your posts to be seen first thing by those who’ve hit ‘snooze’ and pick their phone even before getting out of bed.
On the other side of things, midday is also a good time to post, when everyone is taking a break, sharing pictures of their sandwiches and checking their feeds (no pun intended) before getting back to their desks.
Remember those sandwich pics your audience posted earlier? So do they. So you can be sure that when 5pm hits, they’ll be logging straight into Instagram to see if they got any likes, comments or follows and if you post your content at that time, it may get noticed.
For best exposure, post your best content on ‘hump-day’. Wednesdays, positioned as it is, in between last weekend and next weekend, tends to be the best day for engagement. Any other weekday will work well also (apart from Tuesdays). Weekends, however, do worse, especially Sundays.
When should I post to Linked-In?
While the 5pm to 6pm time slot is a runner-up in terms of Twitter engagement, it’s prime-time for Linked-In users.
Whether users of ‘the social network for professionals’ are logging on at the end of a particularly hard day, looking for their next career opportunity, or just seeing (and inevitably being disappointed by) the latest speculative connection request they’ve received from a complete stranger, (who totally doesn’t work for a recruitment agency and defintitely isn’t trying to sell to them anything).
Engagement is at it’s strongest from Tuesdays to Thursdays, with Tuesday being especially busy. Posts scheduled from Fridays to Mondays, however, are less likely to receive any attention.
When is best to post to social media?
If you’re looking for a single best time to post to all your social feeds, there isn’t a time that’s best for them all, but Wednesday lunchtime is the best option if you were looking to post to all of them at once. For optimum performance of your social posts, schedule your best content as follows;
- Facebook – Wednesday to Friday, from Noon to 4pm
- Instagram – Wednesday 2am or at noon
- Linked In – Tuesday to Thursday, 5pm to 6pm
- Twitter – Wednesday & Thursday lunchtimes
Bear in mind, however, that the above is only general information and while it covers the average user for each social media platform, your audience may well fall outside these averages. With this in mind, it’s worthwhile experimenting and analysing to find the days and the times to post which most fit in with when your own specific audience is online, logged in and in the mood to engage.
If your business operates across time zones, but doesn’t have a separate account on each social platform per timezone/country, then it’s worthwhile looking at when the best time to post content is based on those time zones and when the maximum number of people across each are likely to be online at the same time. Depending on how far these zones are apart, there may need to be a little compromise, where the ‘best time’ in one zone isn’t a good time in the other/s, but there’s a midway or alternate time which is ‘good enough’ for all/most of them.
At Falkon Digital, we’re experts in all aspects of digital marketing, which naturally includes social media strategy and optimisation. If you’d like advice and information about the various aspects of social media content creation, scheduling and engagement, feel free to get in touch, we’d be delighted to hear from you.