A fair amount of Social Media is common sense. If I post a picture at 2:00am, I probably won’t get as many likes as 6:00pm. When it comes to personal use, the difference between 5:00pm and 6:00pm isn’t extremely important. It could be the difference between a couple of likes, but the post is still targeting the same audience. However, for businesses trying to optimize their social media presence, common sense isn’t sufficient. Companies are turning to analytics to find the optimal times to post their content.
TrackMaven, a marketing analytics software provider analyzed 17.5 million social media posts by 17,737 brands across 75 industries. The result? A cheat sheet that helps companies better understand how to reach potential customers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. In the report, TrackMaven describes the best day of the week and time of the day to post for each social channel. They also dive a little deeper and explore the best day of the week and time of the day to post for each of the 75 industries.
Let’s get into it:
(TrackMaven evaluated the best times to post “based on the average number of interactions per post per 1,000 followers during each hour of the day and day of the week”)
According to the analysis, these are the best times to post for each of the corresponding sites:
- Twitter: 5 p.m. EST, Thursday
- Facebook: 8 p.m. EST, Thursday
- LinkedIn: 9 a.m. EST, Wednesday
- Instagram: 7 p.m. EST, Friday
- Pinterest: 1 a.m. EST, Friday
I think this data is extremely interesting; it paints a picture of our social media habits. For example, none of the optimal times are during the weekend. My initial hypothesis was that Saturdays and Sundays would be gold mines for likes, comments, and shares. People have more free time during the weekend and can interact with content while lazily watching football on their couches. But apparently users are the most active toward the end of the workweek. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pick up activity right before the weekend, perhaps because people are trying to connect with friends before making weekend plans. Pinterest’s activity spikes on Friday at 1:00am, possibly serving as a nightcap for people lying in bed getting ready for their weekend activities.
As you can imagine, this data gets a lot more complicated as it is applied across 75 industries. Even within the same industry, the optimal times to post vary by social network. In the apparel and fashion industry the best time to tweet is around noon EST on Tuesdays, while on Pinterest, the best time is Saturdays at 6:00pm EST. In the airline business, the best time to reach customers on Twitter is 1:00pm on Friday, probably as people as preparing to travel for the weekend. Although TrackMaven didn’t release all of this data you can access it here, by giving them some of your information.
Hubspot did their own analysis of the best time to post on social media. They pulled data and research collected by CoSchedule from sources such as QuickSprout, SurePayroll, The Huffington Post, Buffer, TrackMaven, Fast Company, and KISSmetrics. Their answer to the question is a little bit different than TrackMaven’s. Hubspot’s general answer is: whenever. They encourage marketers to post on social media as often as possible as long as its worthwhile content. Additionally, they recognize that the best time to post depends on a couple of key factors: the platform, the region that is being targeted, your goals (clicks vs. shares), and how your target audience interacts with the platform.
The following quotes and pictures come from this Hubspot article:
“Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, and weekdays from 1:00–4:00 p.m. tend to see the highest clickthrough rates. On Fridays, Facebook use spikes by 10%.”
“For B2B organizations, the best days to post are Mondays through Fridays, and clickthrough rate is highest on Wednesdays. For B2C organizations, the best days to post are Wednesdays and the weekends, when clickthrough rate is highest. According to CoSchedule, B2B content performs 16% better during business hours, whereas B2C content performs 17% better on weekends.”
“Pinterest users skew heavily female, and are most active in the evening. The best time to post on Pinterest is in the evening any day of the week, especially Saturdays from 8:00–11:00 p.m. Other optimal times include every day from 2:00–4:00 a.m. and 2:00–4:00 p.m., and Fridays at 3:00 p.m.”
“Videos tend to perform best any night of the week between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., according to TrackMaven’s research. Some businesses have also seen success with posting at 2:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m., and Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.”
“Tuesdays tend to see the most clicks and shares, especially between 10:00–11:00 a.m. Mondays see lower engagement rates than the rest of the workweek, likely because people are catching up from the weekend. Friday may see lower engagement rates too, as people are wrapping up the week and even leaving early for the weekend.”
The time that you post on social media is important, however, it won’t make or break your brand. Although some times are better than others for posts, the most important takeaway is to stay within your strategy. Focus on providing interesting content that understands the platform being used, the audience being targeted, your specific goals, and how your target audience uses the platform (how, when, and where).