Do you want more people to see and interact with your social posts? Curious about when you should publish for maximum reach and engagement?
In this article, you’ll discover how to find the best time to post on social media using a research-based approach.
The Best Times to Post on Social Media: What You Should Know
If you typically publish social media content in real time, you may be tempted to post whenever is most convenient. Yet the timing of your posts can have a significant impact on your metrics—and posting content at an off time can compromise performance.
In fact, for most social media channels, recency is one of the key ranking signals. When determining which content to deliver to a user, social platforms consider when a post was published. That doesn't mean new content always displays at the top of the feed but it does mean a newer post can outrank an older post.
So what's the best time to post on social media? Below, you'll find a breakdown of what the research shows is the optimal time for each channel. These recommendations are ideal if your business is new to social media and your profile doesn't yet have enough data. They're also helpful if your content is underperforming and you need to get it back on track.
We'll also cover how to find the best time for your business to post on social media. Using your social media analytics, you can find out what time to post based on past content performance and when your audience is most likely to engage.
#1: When to Post on Instagram
Finding the right time and day to post on Instagram has never been more important. Now that the platform has brought back chronological feed options, getting your content's timing right is essential.
The Best Days to Post on Instagram
In general, weekdays are the best days to post on Instagram. According to Sprout Social, posting on Tuesdays and Wednesdays tends to generate the most engagement. In contrast, weekends are the worst times to post, and Sundays usually have the lowest engagement.
The Best Times to Post on Instagram
You're most likely to get maximum engagement on Instagram if you post on the early side. Sprout Social's research indicates that posting around 11 a.m. works best, but really any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. is likely to work well.
If your audience spans multiple time zones, it's important to keep these differences in mind when planning content. For example, you might test 11 a.m. time slots for each time zone to find out which works best overall.
How to Find the Best Time for Your Business to Post on Instagram
Depending on your industry or audience, the best time for your business to post may be earlier or later. To find recommendations for your profile, take a look at your Instagram Insights. In the Instagram mobile app, navigate to your business account and tap the Insights button. Then tap Total Followers.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the Most Active Times section. Tap the Days button to see which days of the week are most active for your followers. Tap the Hours button to get an hourly breakdown for each day. You can scroll through to find the best times for each day of the week.
For more detailed insights, open Creator Studio and navigate to your Instagram profile. Open the Insights tab and select Audience. Then scroll down to see when your followers are on Instagram. You can hover over any hour to see the number of followers active at any time on any day of the week.
Is your audience more active later in the day, contrary to what the research showed was best? It's a good idea to base your publishing schedule on your own audience analytics, rather than on standard best practices. In other words, don't hesitate to test afternoon or evening time slots if that's when your audience is most active.
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#2: When to Post on Facebook
Like Instagram, Facebook defaults to a feed view that uses the platform's algorithm to deliver content. But similar to Instagram, Facebook has a Recent feed option that lets users scroll through content chronologically. Either way, timing is also key on Facebook.
The Best Days to Post on Facebook
Weekdays tend to be best for publishing on Facebook. According to Hootsuite, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to post. Sprout Social's data indicates that Mondays through Fridays are ideal for posting on Facebook. Both datasets show that content posted on Saturdays and Sundays gets the lowest engagement.
The Best Time to Post on Facebook
On Facebook, peak audience activity tends to skew earlier than it does on Instagram. In general, the best times to post on Facebook are between 8 a.m. and noon in your audience's time zone.
How to Find the Best Time for Your Business to Post on Facebook
To find the right times for your business to post, check your Facebook Page Insights. Open Meta Business Manager and navigate to your Facebook page. Select Insights from the left-hand menu and then click Posts.
Here, you can see when your page's fans are online. The chart shows the total number of fans who are online each day of the week. The chart helps you visualize when they're online throughout the day.
You can hover over any hour to see the exact number of fans typically online at that time. You can also hover over any day to see how the hourly breakdown compares to the average over the course of the week.
Note that the insights that appear on your Facebook page charts are always in Pacific Time. That means you may need to adjust for your audience's time zone to schedule content at the optimal time.
#3: When to Post on TikTok
Getting your timing right on TikTok is essential. Unless they start to gain traction right away, TikTok videos start to lose value as soon as they're posted.
The Best Days to Post on TikTok
The best days to post on TikTok are Tuesdays and Thursdays, according to SocialPilot. Both days have a huge window of time for publishing content. If you post videos on other days of the week, it's much more important to post at specific times.
The Best Times to Post on TikTok
On Tuesdays, posting between 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. tends to generate a lot of engagement. On Thursdays, anytime between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. is likely to be a good choice. Interestingly, it's best to avoid posting on Saturdays between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., when performance tends to be the worst.
How to Find the Best Time for Your Business to Post on TikTok
To find the right times for your business to post, open TikTok Business Suite and go to the Analytics tab. On the Followers tab, you can see audience activity by day or hour, which can help you identify the right times to post content.
You can also use your content's performance to inform when you post. On the Overview tab, you can toggle between Video Views, Likes, Comments, and Shares to chart when your content has generated the most engagement.
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On the Content tab, you can easily spot your trending videos. Consider the times and days when you posted trending videos as you optimize your publishing schedule for future content.
#4: When to Post on LinkedIn
The LinkedIn algorithm tends to weigh signals like engagement heavier than recency. Yet timing is still a factor on LinkedIn, especially since users can sort their feeds by recent posts.
The Best Days to Post on LinkedIn
Since LinkedIn is a professional social media network, it's no surprise that weekdays are the best to post on this channel. Sprout Social's research shows that Tuesdays through Thursdays are best for posting on LinkedIn, while Hootsuite's data favors Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In either case, weekends are the least engaging days to post on LinkedIn.
The Best Times to Post on LinkedIn
In general, the start of the workday is the best time to publish content on LinkedIn. Research shows that between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. tends to be optimal for most businesses. Keep in mind that if your audience spans multiple time zones, it's helpful to aim for a time that's between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in all relevant time zones.
How to Find the Best Time for Your Business to Post on LinkedIn
Unlike some social media platforms, LinkedIn doesn't reveal when your audience is active or online. Instead, you have to use your visitor and content analytics to identify the best times to post. Navigate to your company page on LinkedIn and click the Analytics tab. Select Visitors from the Analytics dropdown menu. Then look for patterns or spikes in page views.
Next, select Updates from the Analytics dropdown menu and view impressions over time. Did your content generate far more impressions on some days than on others? Identify the most popular days for your page and make a note of the best days of the week to post.
Since impressions don't necessarily equal engagement, it's helpful to analyze how people interacted with your content, too. Scroll down to the Update Engagement section to find the posts that generated the most engagement or the highest click-through rate. To sort the data, click the Export button to download your page's metrics.
Note that LinkedIn analytics only include days, not times. To identify the best times to post on your company page, experiment with scheduling content at various times between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Then use the workflow above to review your analytics and find the right time for your audience.
#5: When to Post on Twitter
At just 15 minutes, tweets have some of the shortest lifespans of posts on any social media channel. That means timing your tweets right is especially important on Twitter so you can maximize engagement and reach. Like many other channels, Twitter also allows users to see content as it's published, rather than relying on the default Top Tweets feed.
The Best Days to Post on Twitter
Research shows that every day is typically a good day to tweet—except Sunday. According to Sprout Social, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are best, while Hootsuite's research favors Mondays and Thursdays. Because tweets have such short lifespans, it's a good idea to post at least once a day aside from Sundays.
The Best Time to Post on Twitter
Like many other social channels, mornings tend to be the best times to post on Twitter. Research from Sprout Social and Hootsuite suggests that 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. is the best time for most businesses to tweet.
How to Find the Best Time for Your Business to Post on Twitter
Similar to LinkedIn, Twitter doesn't provide audience activity analytics. That means relying on past content performance is your best bet for Twitter. Start by navigating to your Twitter account and selecting Analytics in the left-hand menu. Once the analytics panel opens, select Tweets from the top menu.
You can get a quick overview of performance over time by reviewing the engagement graphs in the right sidebar. You can quickly spot days with the highest engagement rate, retweets, link clicks, likes, and replies. Then in the main panel, you can find the tweets you published on those days and make a note of when and what you posted.
Alternatively, you can click the Top Tweets button to find your best-performing content quickly. Twitter automatically sorts content by engagement rate so you can see what resonated most with your audience.
To narrow down the best times to post, you'll need to download your Twitter analytics. Click the Export button to get all of your data including dates, times, engagement statistics, and tweet permalinks.
#6: When to Post on YouTube
Unlike the content on many social media channels, the lifespan of a YouTube video is measured in days rather than minutes. Although your videos can still rack up views and engagement long past the first hour or day, it's still best to publish at the right time for your audience.
The Best Days to Post on YouTube
For most YouTube channels, posting later in the week typically works best; Thursdays and Fridays tend to be good choices.
The Best Times to Post on YouTube
When you upload a video to YouTube, it doesn't start appearing on users' home pages or in searches right away. Instead, it generally takes an hour or two for YouTube to index videos and start distributing them to subscribers or searches.
That means it's best to upload a couple of hours before viewers usually watch your content. For most channels, that means publishing between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays. On weekends, it's best to post videos between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
How to Find the Best Time for Your Business to Post on YouTube
To identify the best time for your subscribers, go to YouTube Studio and open Analytics in the left-hand menu. On the Audience tab, look for the When Your Viewers Are on YouTube section. YouTube shows the days and times your viewers have been active for the previous 28 days so it's a good idea to check back regularly for updated analytics.
Publishing content at the right time is helpful for boosting performance, no matter which channels your business uses. With the insights above, you can find the best times to post on social media and continue to optimize your publishing schedule by testing new time slots.
Get More Advice on Social Media Marketing
- Rebrand your business on social media the right way.
- Create a social media content calendar.
- Use buyer personas in your social media marketing.
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