If you are managing a social media account, even a personal one, you’ve probably asked yourself this question: When is the best time to post?
Your goals probably include engagements, website visits, email signups and purchases. These metrics all increase when the number of views your posts receive grows. One of the best ways to ensure people are seeing your posts is to share them when your followers are on social media.
Each social media platform has its own personality, timeline and algorithm. This lets you tailor your content to different audiences. It also means a one-size-fits-all approach to your social media posting schedule won’t get you the results you’re looking for.
Let’s focus on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Facebook, the most popular social media app in the US, is great for asking your audience to share their opinion, especially if your potential customers are older. High-quality visual content works best for Instagram. LinkedIn is your professional go-to.
Looking at the graphs below, notice that both Facebook and Instagram are most often used during the week. LinkedIn is also busiest midweek, which makes sense, because that’s when working professionals are, well, working.
Images courtesy of Sprout Social.
Understanding the Analytics
The best time to post is when your followers are on social media. The charts above illustrate an average based on a study of other business’s social media audiences. If you want to tailor your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn posting schedule, you need to dive into your own data.
The Best Time to Post on Facebook
Sprout Social’s research shows engagement for many businesses is between 12 and 3 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This is a great starting point, and you can try these times for yourself to see if you receive more engagement when you post on weekday afternoons.
For customized data, select the Insights tab at the top of your Facebook page. Under the Posts tab, you can see when fans are online and which of your recent posts are most successful.
Sort the data in the All Posts Published section by day, week or month to view the interactions and engagements your posts received. If these numbers are increasing over time, your strategy is working. If they are stagnant or decreasing, it’s probably time to switch up your posting times.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram
When you switch to a business profile on Instagram, you gain access to lots of insights, including data on when your followers are using the app.
Tap the “hamburger” menu in the top righthand corner of your profile and select Insights. Start by clicking on Posts under the Content tab to look at how many likes, comments, follows and impressions your individual posts received.
Under the Audience tab, scroll down this tab and you’ll find lots of cool information, including when to post to reach the biggest piece of your audience. If you aren’t sure what you’re looking at or how it can benefit your business, click the “i” next to each category for a description of the data. Once you’ve identified the best times to post, you can maximize your engagement by scheduling your Instagram posts in advance!
The Best Time to Post on LinkedIn
Unfortunately, LinkedIn analytics are less robust than other social media platforms. When determining the best time to post, use a combination of industry research, trial and error, and common sense. You can see which posts receive the most engagements, so use this as a guide when determining what day and time help you reach the largest, most engaged audience.
Once you have a full understanding of your audience’s habits on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, it’s perfectly acceptable to follow your own custom schedule rather than “best practices.” However, it’s important to continuously follow the data each platform offers. Social media is an ongoing process that requires constant improvements for maximum ROI!