The Best Time to Post on Social Media

Regardless of your reason for posting on social media, you will want to maximise engagement on your post. Whether it is a press release for your business, an interesting news article you have shared, or even that bomb selfie – you will want people to see it, and ultimately engage with it.

The best part about social media is that it is incredibly easy to see what type of post does well, and at what part of the day. Metrics are simple to track, and even without any in-depth analysis, it is relatively clear to see the relative success of your post.

Without a doubt, there are ‘better’ times of the day to post. For example, at 5:30 pm once most of the population have returned home from their place of work and begin to relax – do you think now is a good time to post those impressive financial figures for your business on LinkedIn? Maybe not…

Why do different platforms have different ‘prime time’ posting hours?

This is rooted in how social media sort and rank posts to show to others. Recency is a large factor in the newsfeed algorithm, so common sense decrees that having your post viewership maximised depends largely on posting when most people are online.

Different platforms target different niches. Whereas Facebook can attract almost any demographic, LinkedIn targets professionals looking to network. This is something to bear in mind when analysing the engagement heat maps – why are the best hours the best, and why are the worst hours the worst?

Source – Optin Monster

Global Engagement Hours – Facebook

Source – Sprout Social

The image above shows a heatmap based upon global engagement – with the darker shades reflecting higher engagement. It is interesting to see the similarities throughout the working week, with work habits clearly influencing social media usage. As soon as the weekend rolls around, however, social media usage drops dramatically. This is likely due to the general population using weekends for recreational activities.

Conclusion: Best Facebook posting hours are between 11 AM and 2 PM on Wednesday. Avoid posting on the weekend, if possible.

Global Engagement Hours – Instagram

Source – Sprout Social

Similarly to Facebook global engagement hours, there is a clear pattern throughout the working week only to drastically change for the weekend. Although it is owned by Facebook, Instagram offers something entirely different as a platform.  The way media is posted and subsequently consumed encourages massive engagement differences.

Engagement remains high through the working week between the hours of 6 AM and 9 PM, so there is plenty more wiggle-room to be flexible with posting hours. As long as posting occurs within this huge window – you should not encounter any problems.

Conclusion: Best Instagram posting hours are between 10-11 AM Fridays and 11 AM on Wednesday. Similarly to Facebook, avoid posting on the weekends, if possible.

Global Engagement Hours – Twitter

Source – Sprout Social

Twitter, again, offers something completely different to the other social media platforms in this article. Twitter focuses on creating a feeling of direct connection to one another, fostered through their unique character limit and newsfeed stream. The most successful Twitter accounts are able to regularly communicate effectively within the character limit – there is a real emphasis on making your words count.

Did you know that there are 500 million tweets sent every single day? That is roughly 200 billion tweets per year… So, how do you stand out from this crowd? Source – Dsayce

Most Twitters users seem to regularly check in during the early hours of the morning, using it as a news source. This is something to keep in mind when assessing posting hours for different content types. Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 AM and 4 PM should be considered to be good posting hours – engagement remains pretty consistent throughout these hours.

Interestingly, Twitter morning usage spikes still occur over the weekends – bucking the trend we have seen with the previous two platforms.

Conclusion: Best Twitter posting times are Wednesday and Friday at 9 AM. Saturday is the worst day to post but still retains the 9 AM spike – if absolutely necessary to post on the weekend, earlier is better.

Global Engagement Hours – LinkedIn

Source – Sprout Social

LinkedIn offers a social platform for professionals to network, engage, and scout out opportunities and competition. Because of this – there is a much more specific user type. Just because LinkedIn does not offer the same huge user numbers does not mean that it is not viable for marketing, in fact, there is a case to be made that there are marketing opportunities simply not offered by any other social media platform.

LinkedIn creates a platform where thought-leadership and influencer marketing are priorities.

The usage heatmap shows what is to be expected from a professional social media platform, high usage during the working week. The general rule of thumb to follow is to aim for posting between the hours of 8 AM-2 PM, Tuesday to Friday. Outside of usual working hours, engagement drops off dramatically. Monday shows unusually low engagement, though this is likely due to the stress of returning to work at the beginning of the week.

Conclusion: Best LinkedIn posting times are Wednesday 8-10 AM and midday, Thursday 1-2 PM and 9 AM, and Friday at 9 AM. Absolutely avoid Sundays and Mondays at all costs!

Conclusion of Results

PlatformBest Posting TimeWorst Posting Time
Facebook11 AM-2 PM WednesdayWeekend
Instagram10-11 AM Friday, 11 AM WednesdayWeekends
Twitter9 AM Wednesday and FridayWeekends (after 11 AM)
LinkedIn8-10 AM Wednesday + Midday, 1-2PM Thursday + 9AM, 9AM Friday.Weekend

Although we could definitely go into more detail regarding how best to temporally structure your posting specific to content, it is simply not addressable in this article. It can be clearly seen from the analysis and table above that some patterns are observable across social-media channels. Weekend posting should be treated with a degree of caution as engagement is so low across the board. Unusually, Wednesday morning to early afternoon seems to be the best time to post – who would have thought…?

Google Snippets

What are the best times to post on Facebook?

11 AM to 2 PM on Wednesdays.

What are the best times to post on Instagram?

10 to 11 AM on Fridays, 11 AM on Wednesdays.

What are the best times to post on Twitter?

9 AM on Wednesday and Friday.

What are the best times to post on LinkedIn?

8 to 10 AM and midday on Wednesdays, 1 to 2 PM and 9 AM on Thursdays, 9 AM on Fridays.

What are the worst times to post on Facebook?

Any time during the weekend.

What are the worst times to post on Instagram?

Any time during the weekend.

What are the worst times to post on Twitter?

Any time during the weekend after 11 AM.

What are the worst times to post on LinkedIn?

Any time during the weekend.