Each social media platform is a force in constant flux.
While there is always a "best" time to schedule a post, note that there is not necessarily a "perfect" time. There is no magic, mathematically-sound formula that will send traffic speeding your way. There are, however, a number of studies that gather enough data to give some needed answers towards building a proper framework for maximum audience engagement.
Many factors come into play when thinking about scheduling your posts. Firstly, there’s your target audience, along with their corresponding demographics and behavior patterns. Your brand, service, or product, as whole, must also be taken into consideration. Focusing on your specific industry, and deciphering the factors that make your audience tick are of the utmost importance. Monitor your KPIs, read the analytics of each platform, and conduct A/B testing on your posts in order to establish what your perfect timing actually is.
Given that social media runs on a 24/7 schedule, time zones are also of increasing importance. If you’re targeting a U.S. audience, Coschedule, who collected data from 20 studies, state that 80% of the U.S. resides in Central and Eastern times zones—which helps to narrow things down.
Now, without further ado, here is our breakdown of the optimal times to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and Youtube.
The most frequently used of the social networks, Facebook’s lifespan sits at approximately 5 hours. The best days to schedule your posts, in general, are on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The most popular time to post is on the weekend (ideally between 12 and 1 PM), which amounts to 32% higher engagement.
As for the best times: 9 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM. Statistically, 3 PM will get you the most clicks, while 1 PM will get you the most shares. The worst times to post are on the weekends before 8 AM and after 8 PM.
For more traction, pin a post to your timeline, or sponsor your post for maximum reach within the confines of Facebook’s algorithm.
In 2016, Twitter introduced what is called the ‘algorithmic timeline’; meaning that your feed - which used to list every tweet from every person you followed in chronological order, with the most recent on top - then became defined by audience interaction. Likes, retweets, and general engagement became the factors that determined a post’s value. Now, pair that with a current tweet lifespan of just 18 minutes and you have yourself an interesting task when it comes to scheduling.
Reliable times to tweet are weekdays between 12 - 3 PM. Twitter users are also 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute, both morning and night. In addition, B2B performs 16% better during business hours, with B2C performing better on weekends.
Linking and re-tweeting your own content, as well as pinning your tweets will allow for a greater lifespan according to Twitter’s algorithm.
The newly streamlined B2B and B2C-centric network has amassed over 500 million users, making it the third larger social network in existence. And while LinkedIn is the top social platform for business professionals the world over, make sure to steer clear of posting during actual business hours.
The best times to engage your network are between 7 and 8 AM (the morning commute); at 12 PM (lunchtime); and between 5 and 6 PM (the evening commute). When it comes to a post’s lifespan, we’re looking at 24 hours.
LinkedIn engagement peaks during the middle of the week, from Tuesday to Thursday, with very low engagement on Monday and Friday. For more information on LinkedIn’s many features, continue your read here.
Comprised of predominantly female users, the charming image-collecting network sees the best time to post between 8 and 11 PM on Saturdays, with the worst times being work hours. Saturdays and Sunday, in general, are the two days of the week which garner the most engagement.
When posting, keep in mind that Pinterest’s Smart Feed is an algorithm that functions primarily as a filter. Showing the most ‘relevant’ pins rather than the ‘newest’ pins, a post can easily be buried if posted at the wrong time. The Smart Feed algorithm prioritizes pins based on their quality—quality being something determined by a pin’s engagement.
Want to expand your pin’s 4-month lifespan? Consider giving it a boost.
A platform that has become wildly popular in recent years, Instagram now boasts over 800 million users worldwide. According to Later’s recent poll of social media managers, the ideal times to post on Instagram are lunchtime (between 11 AM and 1 PM) and evenings (between 7 and 9 PM). The slowest hours to post are between 3 - 4 PM on any given day. And with a post lifespan of 21 hours, timing is crucial.
In addition, posting a video at 9 PM will get 34% more interactions, according to Coschedule research. For Instagram, Saturdays and Sunday can be a hit or miss. Save your best content for the weekday, but feel free to experiment with the weekend time slots. You can find further details on how to optimize your Instagram strategy here.
When it comes to publishing videos on Youtube, the key is to be consistent. Since the majority of traction will come from your video subscribers, it’s best to establish a set time when your videos will be published. Again, this will depend on your own personal analytics.
As a general rule however, it is best to post your videos in the afternoon, between 12 PM and 4 PM. Most people will watch youtube videos in the evenings, after the work day is over. With a lifespan of approximately 20 days, this gives you some time to share the video multiple times across other channels.
One important detail to note is that while Google+ gets many views, it has very little audience engagement and no discernible post lifespan (which makes it difficult to monitor results). It still is, however, an indispensable resource.
The best times to post on the platform are 9 AM, 11 AM, and between 12 PM and 1 PM with Wednesday being the prime day to post. As for the worst times: early morning or late in the evening. Business hours, in general, is when the platform is most used.
The best time to schedule your social media posts will depend on your industry, and the audience you want to reach. Scheduling your posts ahead of time by using marketing automation platforms (like your friendly neighborhood VBOUT) will also help immensely.