All too often, we are asked by small business owners, “When is the best time to post on social media?” The answer, sadly, is not a straightforward one. There are many factors which influence the best times to post, which we will talk about later on.
But first, why are social media timings important?
More or less, all of us use social media in one form or the other. Thinking about your own patterns of use, consider the content you see on social media. Do you always see posts from business pages you follow? Unlikely. This is due to algorithms (more on that another time!) but when a post is scheduled is a big influence.
As a small business, making sure your social audiences see your content is essential. It maximises the time and effort put in and hopefully generates some return on investment. There is no point in posting at any old time of the day when your audience isn’t online! And that is why timings are important.
Catching the eye of social media users at the right time is a sure-fire way to generate more engagement.
What Factors do I Need to Consider?
First of all, consider your audience. If you are a B2B service provider, chances are your target audience will be online at the start and end of the working day, just before and after they finish work. If you are a local beauty therapist, you could consider posting into the evenings.
You will know your audience better than anyone. This refers to your current customers and also the potential customers you’re aiming to target. A quick and easy way to get an insight into social media use is to ask them!
Another factor to consider is platform.
No two social media channels are the same, in fact they work very differently to one another. Here’s a breakdown into the top social media channels for a better understanding:
- Facebook is used both at work and at home, on both mobile and desktop. This means it’s broadly accessible, but it does depend on the audience and industry
- As Instagram is a platform meant for mobile, it means users to tend to use the network all the time, any time and on the go
- Twitter is often treated as a quick consumable so is often used during commutes, breaks and so on. Like Facebook, Twitter is very user dependant.
- LinkedIn is a platform for professionals and is predominantly used around work hours
- Pinterest comes alive in the evening and night-time when people have time on their hands when sat in front of the TV!
Let’s talk about Days
Days are equally as important as times when it comes to posting on social media. Let’s take into consideration the platforms and how they behave like we have identified above. If you are using LinkedIn to network to other businesses, posting late on a Saturday night won’t have much effect.
That’s not to say weekends are a no-go. Most of the best practices dictates that Saturday and Sunday are often the worst days for engagement. The rule of thumb when working this one out is:
- Understand your audience/target audience
- Know your industry
- Recognise the platform and its purpose
For example, at drumBEAT Local our target audience is small businesses and we use 4 different social media channels to tap into that audience. Here are our social results from our Facebook business page showing how Saturday works for us:
Here you can see we’re seeing a good rate of engagement at around noon on Saturday.
It’s curious as the significant drop you can see at around 3pm onwards is something we see across most Facebook business pages, regardless of industry!
Best practice suggests these days are the best to post on social media:
- Facebook – Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
- Instagram – Friday
- Twitter (B2B) – Weekdays
- Twitter (B2C) – Saturday and Sunday
- LinkedIn – Wednesday
Best Practices vs. Our Advice
We work with social media day in, day out. We do the research and we know the best practices, which are put together by social media giants such as CoSchedule and Sprout Social. These statistics are based on extensive research and are data-driven, so we have combined their information with our own findings.
B2B Best Practice recommends posting at 9am, 3pm and 4pm. However, we recommend posting between 9am until 1pm. The best day and time to post is Wednesday at 11am, 1pm and 2pm
B2C times to post are 9am, 10am, 12pm, 1pm, 4pm and 5pm. Best days and times to post are Wednesday at 1pm and Friday at 11am
You can find your own Facebook business page insights to create your own best times. Here’s how:
B2B for Instagram is 12pm and 1pm, 5 & 6pm and 8 & 9pm. Best days and times are Wednesday and Friday at 10 & 11am
B2C best times to post to Instagram is 8am, 1 pm and 9pm. The best day and time to post is Wednesday at 3pm
B2B is 7, 8 and 11am and 6 and 9pm. Best days and time to post are Wednesday and Friday at 9am
B2C is 8, 9 and 10am and 12, 7, 8 and 9pm. Interestingly, the best day and time to post is Sunday at 11am
B2B best time to post to LinkedIn is 8, 10 and 11am and 12pm and 6pm.
Best days and times to post are Wednesday are 8-10am & 12pm, Thursdays 9am and 1-2pm and Friday at 9am.
Knowing the best times to post on social media can take a while to get your head around. This is especially the case if you have more than one platform. Using the above data can really help and we always advise to look at your own insights to get a true representation.
If you would like more advice on this, please get in touch with the team!