Social media is a game that we all play. We post certain content to appeal to specific audiences, panic if our posts get less likes than usual, and try everything in our power to maximize the reach of our accounts. Everything comes down to how many likes and follows you have. But maybe we’re trying the wrong strategies to gain engagement and impressions.
Don’t get us wrong, hashtags, content, the frequency of your posts, and your engagement with others are all extremely important for growth. However, have you ever thought that maybe the cause of low impressions and engagement isn’t the content itself, but the time that you are posting it?
Timing really is everything, so we’re sharing our best tips for when you should be posting on social media.
Audience Specific Tips
When determining the best time to publish your content, it is most important to consider the demographics of your target audiences. What time zone does the majority of your following reside in? It is important to publish your posts when your audience wouldn’t be working or sleeping. Shoot for early morning, lunch, and after dinner. You also need to consider when your target audience is most active on social media.
Many social media managing apps, and even the social platforms themselves, can help you narrow down on the best time for your followers. Make sure you are using the data provided in your social media metrics. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all offer these insights for business accounts.
Aim to post on days and at times that your audience is the most active. Social media managing apps, such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite, even use algorithms to find out when your audience is active on social media. For example, Sprout Social allows users to set their posts on queue and it will publish your post for you when most of your followers our active on that platform.
By following specific audience timing, you can ensure maximum impressions that ultimately translate to more opportunities for engagement.
As far as gaining followers, you should use some of the data from your current audience demographics, however it is also important to look at platform standards.
General Tips Based on Platform Standards
While it’s important to consider your audience when choosing the best time to post, it’s equally as important to consider the platform specific standards for the best times to post.
Many studies are conducted every year to find the optimal posting time for each social media platform. These studies are not something to be ignored, and you should take points from both the research and from your target audience data to create the perfect schedule for your posts. You may find that many findings from research studies and your personalized analytics will even overlap. This overlap creates an even greater argument for why you should be posting at that specific time on that specific day.
Another trick to consider, after you find times and days that work for you, is creating a posting schedule and sticking to it. Set schedules stick with audiences. They will expect to see your posts, and more importantly will look forward to seeing your posts. Think about cable television, people anticipate watching certain shows at a specific times, every week. Give your audience a similar excitement to look forward to!
There have been thousands of studies researching the best times to post a photo/video on Instagram. Most recently, experts say the best time to post on Instagram is between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and in the evening between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. The best days to post are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays. Experts warn that Sundays are the worst days for engagement, while Wednesdays have been shown to provide the most engagement.
Research shows that the best time for Facebook posts are between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Overall weekends are the best time to post on Facebook; specifically Sunday at 3 p.m. shows the best results. Stay away from posting on Tuesdays, and try to stick to Thursdays and Fridays when posting during the week.
For Twitter, try to post during the week as opposed to weekends.Weekends have been shown to be the worst days to tweet. The middle of the week, Wednesday, has been shown to be the best day! Research has also shown that tweets between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. receive the most engagement.
Tips for All Platforms
While trying to decide when you should publish your post, be sure to consider the platform itself. Speculations by multiple social media experts state the way most users access the platform has a lot to do with both engagement and overall impressions.
For example, Instagram and Twitter are mostly used on mobile devices, while Facebook receives a lot of users from desktop computers. This being said, most employed Twitter and Instagram users will most likely be on those platform the least during normal work hours, because they won’t be on their phone at work (if they’re a good employee anyways). However, Facebook is frequently checked on the job because it’s easy to open and view in a normal computer browser.
Overall, social media is a battle for attention. If you play your cards right, do your research, and follow our tips, you may just win the attention of your audience! For more social media tips, check out the rest of our blog posts. We are committed to helping you grow.