Social media may seem like a place to post freely about whatever’s on your mind, whenever the urge strikes. Businesses, however, must take a more strategic approach. For every successful enterprise on social media, there is a data-backed schedule determining what it posts and when. Luckily, researchers have done the work for you when it comes to social media timetables.
We’ve compiled all of the most up-to-date information on the best times to schedule social media here for your benefit.
*Tip: Pay attention to your intended audience’s time zone. If your primary market is in the UK, for example, posting at midnight PST will be 8 a.m. in England.
YouTube and Facebook are still the hottest social media platforms that you can use today. YouTube has two billion users, with almost five billion videos watched daily. Although only 51% of people say they use YouTube daily, this platform has some of the highest numbers in user engagement. You can tap into this massive audience by knowing the perfect times to post video content on YouTube:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 2-4 p.m. Videos posted midday on the first three days of the week get the most user engagement since it gives the platform time to index the videos and send them to subscriber newsfeeds.
- Thursday, Friday: 12-3 p.m. A slightly earlier time frame appears to work better on Thursdays and Fridays. Thursdays and Fridays are the peak days to post on YouTube as a brand.
- Saturday, Sunday: 9-11 a.m. Studies have concluded that earlier YouTube posts work best on the weekends.
YouTube is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. Help your video content stand out by posting during both peak and non-peak times and days. Posting during high-traffic times, however, maximizes the odds of catching your audience’s attention. Keep in mind that users will see your YouTube videos in feeds and search results a few hours after you post them, since YouTube indexes content.
Facebook is still the most-often daily used social media platform by U.S. adults, with 74% of Americans using the site every day. More than half (51%) of Facebook users say they log on several times a day. Facebook’s status as the most popular social media platform has remained unchanged since Pew started gathering social media use data in 2012.
Facebook receives more than 1.85 billion active users daily. To tap into this audience with a social media marketing plan, brands should use Facebook posts to publish curated content (think how-to guides), blog posts (with photos), videos, and live videos to engage with audiences. Here’s what research says about the best times to post on Facebook:
- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Most research comes to the same conclusion about Facebook posting: in general, publishing content between 9 to 4 appears to get the most user engagement. The best performing days and times being Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- 10 a.m. For every day of the week, ten in the morning seems to be the best time on average to publish content.
- Early afternoon. On weekdays, early afternoon posts seem to do the trick, with Wednesday at 11 a.m. and between 1-2 p.m. being the best day and time to post for maximum exposure.
- The worst time to post on Facebook is after 6 p.m. on weekends. It appears that while consumers are active on social media at these times, they aren’t interested in seeing branded content. Before 8 a.m. on weekends also has low user engagement.
Snapchat receives more than 265 million daily active users. Marketing through Snapchat can involve well-placed video ads, which based on studies receive twice the attention of ads on Facebook. Part of making Snapchat work for your business is knowing when to schedule your posts:
- Late nights. Believe it or not, experts say to post your company’s snaps late at night – between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. The majority of Snapchat users access the app nocturnally.
- Any day. It doesn’t appear that any particular day of the week or weekend is best for posting to Snapchat, as users access the platform at all hours.
The ideal amount of snaps to post is four to seven posts per day. Since posts (not ads) disappear within 24 hours, Snapchat gives you more leeway for frequent posting compared to other platforms. For maximum engagement, post when your desired audience is most likely to be on — night times and weekends. Keep in mind that Snapchat will only be an appropriate place for your brand to advertise if you’re targeting users ages 18 to 24, as 73% of people in this age group are likely to be on the platform. If you’re looking for an older audience, other platforms might be more appropriate.
As of June 2018, the social network reported more than 1 billion monthly active users worldwide and the social media network’s daily active users stood at 500 million. With more than 112 million monthly active Instagram users, the United States is the photo sharing app’s leading market based on audience size. Instagram is a place to post high-quality, high-resolution photographs and live videos (“stories”). The best times to post on Instagram based on consumer research are as follows:
- Early to mid-morning. 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. appears to be the most effective time frame. The best days to post are weekdays, with Wednesdays as a stand-out exception.
- Lunch break. Posting during off-work hours is the most effective on Instagram, as this appears to be when users take the time to stop and scroll. Post between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to reach the lunch-hour Instagram rush.
- Evenings, after business hours. Studies cite 7-9 p.m. as the best time frame to post on Instagram, with some even saying to post as late as 2 a.m.!
Sunday Instagram posts receive the least amount of user engagement. Instagrammers look for aesthetically-pleasing visual content on Instagram rather than lengthy captions. Quotes also perform well on Instagram.
Twitter is the platform for blog posts (with links), curated content, attention-grabbing GIFs, and news updates. Twenty-two percent of American adults use Twitter. Give your Tweets the largest audience by posting according to the following schedule tips:
- Weekdays get the most Twitter engagement. Twitter is mostly a workweek-type of an app, with Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. being the best day and time to post. Weekends typically generate the least user engagement.
- High noon. Posting at 12 p.m. puts your Tweets in front of the lunch crowd for the most bang for your buck.
- 5-6 p.m. Tweeting during “happy hour” garners high user engagement, as people get off of work and check their phones and feeds.
Like Snapchat, feel free to post on Twitter more often than you would on most other social media sites. Although Tweets don’t disappear after a day, users expect to see more frequent updates from brands on Twitter than on Facebook or Instagram.
LinkedIn is the perfect platform to post about your company and professional endeavors. Consumers go to LinkedIn to find information about a brand, like getting to know its employees or finding out if they’re hiring. You can also use LinkedIn to post long-form articles and white papers. The best times to post include:
- 8 a.m-2 p.m. The early morning and afternoon hours often see decent LinkedIn engagement, at the start of most peoples’ workdays. Many may be looking for interesting news to bring up by the water cooler that day.
- The best days to publish content are Wednesdays and Thursdays, with Sundays being the day that generates the least user engagement.
Wow the LinkedIn crowd by timing your posts to coordinate with their busy professional schedules. Post during off-work hours and in the early morning for your best chance at being seen.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free reputation management tool where you can post important information about your business and interact with customers directly. In addition, you can post photos and publish promotions, company news, and upcoming events.
The timing of the posts you publish to GMB is important, but for different reasons compared to other social media platforms. To create the best Google My Business posts, be sure to:
- Post frequently. Since GMB posts expire after seven days, it’s important to keep a consistent publishing schedule. Update your profile often to keep information fresh — since customers check this platform any time and day, you’ll want to make sure your profile has the most updated information possible.
- Keep your content timely. When posting to GMB, the timeliness of your content is key to its success. If you’re posting about an upcoming special, event, or sale, you’ll want to publish this information ahead of time to give your audience enough time to see and take advantage of your offer.
Posting content consistently and proactively will work in your (and your customer’s) favor. Don’t forget to regularly check and respond to online reviews to provide a positive customer experience. Thanking a customer for a positive review or resolving a negative one will do wonders for your reputation and boost customer acquisition and retention.
Don’t want to worry about timing each social media post perfectly across multiple channels? Partner with ThumbStopper and we’ll do the work for you! We can schedule social media posts to appear in the feeds of your retailers, according to their audience, time zones, and marketing best practices.