Are your posts not performing as well as you’d hoped? Are you doing everything right, but still can’t seem to get the engagement you want? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Have you ever thought about what time you post on social media? It has more of an impact on your engagement than you might think.
Things to Consider about Posting Times
Let’s start off by saying that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for the best time to post on social media. The best time will vary based on the social network, time zone, country, and other factors. Let’s take a look at just a few of them.
Time zone. Where do the majority of your followers live? The best times to post may vary by country.
Country. If you live in Japan, but your target audience is in America, chances are you might not be able to post at the right times due to time zones. That’s why you need a post scheduler, which we’ll talk about later.
Worst times to post. Believe it or not, there are times of the day when you shouldn’t post on social media, because your posts will earn virtually no engagement. We’ll go over the worst times for specific networks in the next section. The general rule, though, is not to post after 8 PM (except for Instagram) or before sunrise. People are usually unwinding after a long day or sleeping during these times.
The 'life' of a post. Posts on different social networks "live" for different amounts of time. This means that they’ll earn most or all of their engagement within a certain timeframe. You should know how long a post lives on its social network. (Luckily for you, we’ve included this information in the next section.)
The Best Times to Post
Now let’s get to the goods you came here for: the best (and worst) times to post on social media.
Best days to post: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Best times to post: Morning & mid-day
Worst times to post: Before 8 AM; after 8 PM
The life of a Facebook post: 2.5 hours
If you want maximum engagement on your Facebook post, it’s a good idea to post in the morning, around 9 AM, and during mid-day, from 1 PM to 4 PM. Your post will usually receive most or all of its engagement within 2.5 hours of posting. On weekends, you’ll receive increased engagement, since people spend more time on social media during the weekends.
Best days to post: Mondays and Thursdays
Best times to post: Late night, early morning, 5 PM
Worst times to post: 3-4 PM
The life of an Instagram post: 1.2 hours
For some strange reason, Instagram posts perform best around 2 AM. Posting on Instagram between 8 and 9 AM, and at 5 PM, will also earn you more engagement. Your Instagram posts will receive the majority of their engagement within a little more than an hour after you post. Consider using an Instagram bot like Gramista to make sure your followers see your posts, especially if you’re not a night owl.
Best days to post: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Best times to post: Lunchtime to mid-day, and from 5 PM to 6 PM
Worst times to post: After 8 PM
The life of a Tweet: 18 minutes
Many Twitter accounts are professional, which means that users will only get a chance to browse Twitter during their lunch break and just after quitting time. Tweets don’t live very long, so you’ll need to make sure you post at the right times for maximum engagement. Weekend tweets don’t perform very well, either. Switch to Facebook when the weekend rolls around for more engagement.
How to Optimize the Timing of Your Posts
You know the best times to post on social media and how long each post will stay live. Now what?
Well, you need to make a plan of action. Here are a few tips on how to use this information and what you need to do to get maximum engagement on your posts.
Make a note of the best times to post.We’ve listed all the best times to post right here, so you can just save this post somewhere easily accessible. Alternatively, you can make a note on your own social media plan or set recurring reminders so you won’t forget.
Schedule your most important posts for those times. Not every post has to be scheduled for the best times for each social network. You should try to schedule the posts you want to receive maximum engagement for these times.
Add relevant hashtags and media. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. If you’re going to post at the optimum time, make sure you’re posting optimum content that is visually appealing and searchable via hashtags.
Check what’s trending around these times. If you’re surfing Facebook just after lunch, you should peek at the trending topics. Is your scheduled post relevant to what’s trending? If so, make sure to add the hashtag. This will put your post in front of thousands more users than usual. (And it works for any social media network, not just Facebook.)
Use analytics. Before you schedule all your posts for the times listed above, check your analytics page first. It’ll show you where in the world your audience is located, which social network referred them to your site, and so much more. No matter what the studies say, your audience comes first. Take time to learn about their preferences and behaviors, and tailor your social media plan accordingly.
Give life to your posts by promoting them. Want that social media post to live just a little longer? Most social media sites now offer promotion services. You can pay a small amount of money to “boost” the post, which increase its reach and engagement. It’s not always ideal, but it might be a good option for those super important posts.
There’s a lot more to managing your social media accounts than just creating superb content. You also have to know the best and worst times to post, how to account for time zones, and how your own audience behaves. Hopefully our guide has provided you with some insight on these things, but it’s up to you to implement them into your own social media strategy.