When are the best times to post on social media you ask? Well when the people you want to view the content are on that network, of course.
That’s what I thought too, at first. After social posting for hundreds of businesses through Vendasta’s Digital Agency, I’ve seen that it isn’t so easy to predict what posts are going to get the most traction. Sometimes we post a hilarious, witty post and sit back to wait for the likes. And we keep waiting. On the other hand, I’ve seen posts get substantial engagement that I didn’t have high expectations for. So what’s the difference?
There are a few key things to take into consideration when you are posting that absolutely unbelievable, life altering, possible viral post! Here’s a hint: timing is everything.
Factor in time zones
Depending on where you live and what time zone you are posting to, this is a HUGE, HUGE factor to consider! If you want your post to have the maximum life changing effect, then you need to choose your time wisely. Do you know what time zone the majority of the population live in? One of the most important things to know is when the highest percentage of your target audience is going to be browsing your social networks. Nearly 50% of the population makes up the Eastern Time Zone, and if you pair it up with the good old Central Time Zone, you are looking at 80% —that’s 80% of US population, ready to tear into your (surely amazing) social post (Kissmetrics)!
Well now that we have the time zones covered, it is time to move on to the next consideration…
Timing. Again. Timing is Everything
You want to catch your target audience when they actually have the time to look, to see what you are posting. This increases the likelihood of comments, shares, likes—you name it! You are looking to engage your audience and give them something of value to take away from the post. Whether you leave them with something funny, new information or actionable steps to implement, make sure that your post is memorable.
Of course, the “best times” to post change periodically. That’s why it is essential to pay attention to your followers and to see when they are active on social media. If you do this, you will increase traffic and the number of shares.
While ideal times vary across vertical, time zone and platform, there are some common denominators that you can apply to any social media strategy. Do you want to know the best times for posting right meow (pun intended)? Determining the content for posts, sourcing the networks your audience uses and keeping time zones in mind can be a tiresome process. Luckily for us, Cool Infographics made a, well, cool infographic about the best times for posting. Here it is:
These are the times that you are most likely to engage your audience and get them interested in what you are posting, even getting them to like, follow or join your social networks so they can be entertained by your witty, engaging social posts on a regular basis.
So while you’re hitting those post lunch hour tweets, are there any times to avoid? An analysis of some of the worst times to post by Payroll Blog pops up a few common themes:
- Worst times for Facebook: Weekends, before 8 am and after 8 pm
- Worst times for Twitter: Any day after 8pm, Fridays after 3 pm
- Worst times for Linkedin: Mondays to Fridays. 10pm to 6 am
These are the times that your post is least likely to be noticed. Your amazing post will not get the recognition that it should be receiving and your hopes for viral glory will be dashed. Sure, a few people might notice, but you will not optimize the majority of your audience, and that really is the goal while posting.
A couple other stats to keep in mind when curating content for social media (QuickSprout):
- Facebook engagement stats drop 3.5% when a post is published Monday-Wednesday
- Post around 1pm on Facebook to get the most shares, and 3pm to get the most likes
- For highest number of retweets, post around 5 pm, 12pm and 6pm for highest click through rates
- Twitter users are 181% more likely to use Twitter during their commute
- People are 119% more likely to use Twitter during school or work hours (go figure!)
- Posts on Linkedin published during business hours have a greater chance of success
- Linkedin users get the most likes and shares when posting between 10am and 11am
When I drill down into the analytics, I notice a trend—afternoons are, generally, a good time for social posts. This makes sense to me, as there seems to always be a recognizable lull in the day. When people aren’t working, they’re facebooking, tweeting or sharing.
Go forth and make social posts
Now that you have knowledge for when the best time for a post is, go forth, wow your audience with your amazing, witty talent and conquer the social network world!
Here are a few resources to help get you started intently tracking social engagement and determining when is the best time for you to post to your networks.
- Facebook - Fanpage Karma
- With Fanpage Karma, you can analyze engagement, best times for posting, best topics, types of posts, etc. They also provide you insight into some of your key competitors (some for free).
- Google+ - Timing+
- With a quick Google account authentication, Timing+ tells you the ideal times and days of the week to engage your Google+ audience.
- Twitter - Twitter Analytics
- After simply signing in, Twitter Analytics offers a quick breakdown of some of your top performing tweets and top followers broken down by month.