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  • jamesanstee

When is the best time to post on each social platform?

A question that plagues every digital marketing professional: how can I optimise the reach of my social media posts? Of course, a post’s reach depends on a multitude of factors: the content of the post itself, use of the correct hashtags if applicable, the number of followers the page/account has etc.

A lot of these things are either quite ephemeral or require sustained effort to improve. One thing that is completely in control of the poster is the time that a post is made. This has a major effect on the performance of an individual post simply due to the habits of social media users.

While this can be different for entertainment industries (creating a moment around a cultural product’s launch is much easier outside of work hours), for businesses, posting around 9-10AM, giving time for some engagement before a lunch time rush is usually optimal. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays also tend to have the best performance. Sundays tend to have the worst performance.

While this is a good rule of thumb, each platform has its own specific quirks according to the data. Facebook for example has an odd spike with posts at 3am on weekdays, while the worst day is Saturday. Mid-mornings are still second most optimal though, with the added bonus that there’s less of a dip on Fridays compared to other platforms.

Instagram has a slightly later optimal post time of 11AM, likely due to users logging in on lunch breaks as opposed to on work computers with platforms like LinkedIn. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best for engagement, while the usual Sunday is the worst.

Twitter has an odd quirk of having a very early optimal post time: 9am Monday-Saturday. It’s unclear why this is, but it may be due to Twitter’s very mixed content streams and ‘recent tweets’ chronological format. A breaking news story may appear next to a meme about yesterday’s Love Island next to a brand responding to a complaint, making it a very competitive space with both business and private concerns.

LinkedIn has the most predictable schedule, perhaps due to it being so tied in to workplace culture. 10AM to noon is usually best, with Wednesdays and Thursdays the best. Saturdays and Sundays are predictably the worst, due to people wanting to switch off for work for the weekend.

It’s worth bearing in mind that these times are just generalised, your industry and audience may have different optimal times, like the aforementioned entertainment industry preferring evenings. However, these are a good starting point to begin to maximise your posts reach and engagement, giving you a good base to experiment from.

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