Social media marketing is one of the most effective and affordable ways to build a brand and connect with your existing target audience and potential customers. Businesses can’t afford not to have their finger on the pulse of social media and many even have full-time staff dedicated to managing the profiles of social networks and posting times.
Consumers on social media are always looking for new content and don’t want to see the same stuff regurgitated. Therefore, a lot of what we post can only really be posted once and to maximise your chances of it being seen and shared or even people taking action upon what you have posted it is vital to know the most effective times to share things.
While we have collected a lot of data and information for this post, it is important to state that the industry you are in will always have an impact. Not only the type of business you are running but the customers you are aiming to reach need to be considered. There isn’t one single ‘best’ time for sharing something, but there are better options than others which are based on buying intent and what your customers are likely to be doing at any given time.
Consider the Platform
Not all social networks are created equal! Different platforms have their own unique selling point, which is why many businesses and individuals are on more than one social media site. Think about what the site is used for rather than just who is there and at what time.
For instance, let's say you are promoting something on LinkedIn. It doesn’t make any sense to share a post at midday on Sunday when most offices are closed and everyone is out enjoying their Sunday roast. Of course, there are some workaholics out there who may see it but, generally speaking, people visit LinkedIn during the day and on weekdays while at work (or on their lunch break). This is due to the nature of the site and its reputation for business networking.
The flip side is also true. Many of the best times for sharing content relating to entertainment or leisure is evenings and weekends when people aren’t at work, but there is even more at play here and certain patterns have been spotted which may help you decide when it is best to share your post.
What We Know about Social Media Platforms
Although there are some very unique parameters to each and every business, there are commonalities which have been reported in a lot of different studies regarding the best times to post. There are undeniable trends which will help you to decide and at least give you a starting point for experimenting with when to share.
Facebook users are more active towards the end of the working week, building to Sundays when the most time is spent on Facebook. In general, people are likely to respond to a post or click through to another site on a Sunday. This is especially true on a Sunday lunchtime. Of course, if you are posting about a product or something fun then this is probably going to be your best time. Activity dulls again on Monday and going into the working week.
Instagram is a brilliant platform for engaging with people due to the fact it is so visual and easy for people to digest. There are some spikes in interest on Mondays and Thursdays which have been reported by numerous studies, but this doesn’t seem to have a reason. What is important to know is that videos posted between 9pm and 8am do best on Instagram. Posts on this platform are still likely to show up for people a few hours after they’ve been posted due to the nature of its algorithm, so posting late at night does not mean you will miss out, come the following morning.
Twitter does not see as much of a clear correlation with days of the week. This is probably due to the fact that Twitter use is split so evenly between business and pleasure. What we do know is that the bitesize chunks of info and opinion shared on Twitter are often viewed between 12pm and 3pm (lunchtime hours) and also 5pm and 6pm (evening commute).
One of the more obvious ones. LinkedIn has a lot of use for business and is used by freelancers and businesspeople every working day. As such, Monday to Friday are all viable days for sharing. The best times are earlier in the week before people's attention shifts to the weekends and again, lunch hours prove popular for LinkedIn.
Another site which is popular at the weekends, Pinterest activity on Saturdays and Sundays is far higher than other days of the week, with Saturday night tipped by many as the perfect time to pin your content.
Track Your Results
As already mentioned, different results can be seen in different businesses. It is natural that there is variation depending on what you are offering and the type of content you are putting out to ensure engagement with your target audience. The tips above give a brilliant starting point but there is room for experimentation and the best way to know what works for your own unique business is to track the results.
Set up an analytics campaign if you are sending people to your own site or even do something as simple as track how many likes and shares you get in a spreadsheet. If you have a business page, many of the sites will give you advertising insights in an attempt to lure you in with ads, so you may be able to see exactly how many eyeballs you have reached.
Social media mastery has been the key to growing many a huge business. “Going viral” may be the end goal, but simply growing a basis of engagement with fans, or a ‘tribe’ of people loyal to your business or page can make all the difference. Work out when your audience is most attentive and strike while the iron is hot.