For social media marketing to succeed, you must gain your audience’s attention and get them to engage. This engagement is something that brands can largely accomplish by serving up high-quality social media content, but that’s not the only factor that influences reader retention. The timing of your content matters as much as what you publish.
Your audience is much more likely to engage with a post if you publish it when they are actively on social media. The challenge is determining the best time to post on social media in 2023.
Your Posting Schedule and Your Audience
How do you know the best time to post on social media? Your platform should influence your posting schedule and audience. Start by getting to know your target followers.
The best singular answer to the question, “When is the best time to post on social media?” is “when your current and prospective customers are online.” Unfortunately, there’s more to it than that. In addition to audience preference, you must consider the differences from one platform to the next.
Fortunately, there is a lot of excellent research on this very topic. Here’s a platform-by-platform breakdown of the best time to post on social media:
Best Time to Post on Facebook
If your Facebook page has become the flagship of your social media presence, you are not alone. Many brands now use Facebook for most of their marketing efforts. Some have even opted to use the platform as their de facto website. So it’s essential to know the best time to post on Facebook. Data taken from this study should help:
- Weekdays from 1 to 3 in the afternoon are peak engagement hours on FB
- The worst times for audience engagement are Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday appear to be the best days overall
Take this as a guide, not as an absolute. What works for you may vary from these stats. Use data available to you on FB insights and other sources to determine when your audience is online and actively engaging.
Finally, keep the relevance factor in mind. That overrides everything else. You’ll get the best engagement when your content is relevant.
For example, if you are throwing a surprise sales event Sunday morning, you want to post it throughout the day on Friday and Saturday. The fact that weekends are generally poor for engagement is irrelevant.
Best Time to Post on Instagram
Instagram is known for two things. It’s a fabulous platform for eCommerce brands with audiences eager to discover new products and brands, and it’s also got a famously complex algorithm.
To truly master this platform, you have to gain a deep understanding of how it works. That includes understanding the best time to post on Instagram for the best possible results. Here are some data points to help you get started:
- The best day and time overall is Tuesday between 11 AM and 2 PM
- There is also significant engagement on other weekdays, beginning at 11 AM
- Sunday is the worst day for post engagement on Instagram
The times to post on Insta appear to align with lunch hours and the period just after — likely when people are spending a bit of spare time checking out products and keeping up with their favorite influencers.
Best Time to Post on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an undeniably valuable platform for B2B content marketing, engaging in employer branding, and sharing updates about your company. However, like other social media channels, timing is absolutely everything. Here are a few helpful facts on this:
- Weekends are the worst for LinkedIn engagement
- Wednesdays and Thursdays during the workday are best for engagement
- Other weekdays also get a reasonably decent response during the day
Of course, if you are trying to reach a global audience, the middle of the workday could really be any time of day.
One way to deal with this is to post new content during daytime hours for your largest audience. Also, keep in mind that some audiences simply don’t conform to expectations. Use analytics tools to help determine when your posts get the most traction.
Best Time to Post on Twitter
Because of the nature of the platform, it’s possible to post to Twitter several times each day. Many companies use Twitter to share news, drop insights, and engage in conversations.
There may not be a bad time to Tweet, but there are better times, especially if you want as many people as possible to see your content.
Here’s the data on that:
- The best day for Tweeting overall is Wednesday
- Tuesdays and Thursdays are also high-engagement days
- If you Tweet on Wednesday, do it between 9 AM and 3 PM.
- On Tuesday and Thursday, try to Tweet between 8:30 AM and 11 AM
- Engagement is also reasonably low on Sunday and Monday
If you favor Twitter, there is some good news overall. Since the pandemic, engagement on the platform has increased notably.
Best Time to Post on TikTok
Because it’s so new, significantly less research has been done on TikTok than on other platforms. Still, it’s important to know how to get the most engagement from this fast-growing platform. Fortunately, there are some excellent data to help with that:
- Highest engagement times: Tuesday 9 AM, Thursday 12 AM, Friday 5 AM
- There’s more engagement earlier in the day during the week
- Engagement drops off between 6 PM and 9 PM on weekdays
Brands that use TikTok should note that the highest engagement times on the platform tend to come in bursts, then drop off again. Also, keep in mind that the data for TikTok is likely more volatile than for other platforms.
Analyzing Your Own Social Media Data
Remember, your brand is a unique creature in the wild social media jungle, and so is your following. That means your peak posting time might not sync perfectly with the general sweet spots we’ve given you.
This is where the treasure hunt begins: built-in analytics tools. They’re your secret decoder ring for understanding the mysterious lives of your posts and, more crucially, your fans. Instagram Insights, Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Page Analytics – these are your new squad. They’ll spill all the details about your audience – who they are, when they’re most likely to be online, and which posts are getting them pumped.
But here’s the kicker: you can’t just give this a once-over and call it quits. This is an ongoing gig. Keep your eye on the game, and tweak your tactics based on your discoveries. Play around with different posting times, observe the fallout, and then carve out your timetable around when your followers are most likely to be active.
Don’t forget to call in some reinforcements. Third-party social media analytics tools can furnish even more intricate reports, allowing you a deeper dive into your audience’s behavior and how to whip up a frenzy.
Remember, succeeding on social media is all about the dance between you and your audience. The better you understand them, the better you can engage them, amuse them, and pump up your brand’s presence.
Automating Your Social Media Posting
What can you do when the best time to post on social media is outside your regular business hours? This consideration is common for companies that do business globally and must consider a 24-hour posting schedule. Brands with a wide-ranging audience demographic also experience this.
In that case, it’s automation to the rescue. There’s no need to stay up all night until it’s the best time to post on social media. Instead, take advantage of available tools that allow you to set up a social media calendar and schedule posts ahead of time.