Is it possible to pinpoint the exact time of day to post on social media to yield higher levels of engagement? The truth is, there is no specific hour or minute of the day that will increase engagement on posts across the various social media channels. However, there are certain periods of time and days of the week that will get content in front of a larger audience – which will most likely lead to higher engagement on social media posts.
When To Post Across Social Media
As we all know, social media is instantaneous and always evolving. When planning ahead and scheduling posts, timing is everything for your social media strategy. We all know that what is trending one minute fades fast the next. Knowing when to post and implementing these tactics into your social media strategy will not only boost engagement but help increase the visibility of your brand.
You may be wondering if timing on Facebook is important since content on user’s News Feeds is filtered through an algorithm and no longer pulls through in chronological order. The answer is yes, timing still matters. Hootsuite found publishing time does still play an important role in increased engagement on content.
So when is the best time to publish content on Facebook? HubSpot along with several other sources report:
- The best time to post is between 1pm and 4pm. The best days to post are Thursday and Friday.
HubSpot also notes engagement spikes at the end of the week starting on Thursday through Sunday. Additionally, they report the best time to post on Saturday and Sunday is between 12pm-1pm and the worst times are before 8am and after 8pm.
Twitter’s timeline is significantly more fast-paced compared to other social networks and it can be hard to captivate an audience when the life of tweets are not long-lived. To make sure you are heard by your audience, Falcon.io reports:
- The best time to tweet is around 12pm or between 5pm and 6pm. The best days to post are Thursday and Friday.
Falcon.io and other studies have shown activity on Twitter spikes at lunchtime and then again as people are getting off work. In general, for maximum visibility, it is best to post in the afternoon and during the weekdays, as activity during the weekend declines.
Instagram is solely a visual platform which can make it hard to breakthrough to your audience. It is especially necessary to produce high quality content for this channel. While the best times to post seem to differ amongst sources, the general consensus agrees with Simply Measured’s findings:
- The worst time to post is between 3pm and 4pm. The best days to post are weekdays, specifically Monday and Thursday.
Finding the perfect timing on Instagram can be tough and can take some trial and error in order to determine the days and times that gain higher levels of engagement. For Instagram, consider when your audience might be logging on to scroll, such as first thing when they wake up or before bed at night, and when they might be on a lunch break at work.
When To Promote on Social Media
Timing plays a huge role in paid campaigns across social media. Since most campaigns typically run several days – if not weeks – the hour and minute a campaign starts does not need to be quite so specific. The only time you would need to specify hours is if you choose to run ads on a schedule versus all of the time (on Facebook). In this instance, make sure the schedule includes the best times to publish on Facebook for maximum visibility.The main timing component to focus on when running campaigns is days and months, not necessarily hours and minutes.
Paid campaigns can help increase reservations on your independent site, promote your event space, and build brand awareness. Paid campaigns require planning ahead, but when they perform well, the return on investment is high. Choosing the right time to run a paid campaign is centered around your end-goal. For example, if you decide to run a campaign promoting your wedding venue, it would be optimal to have the campaign run during wedding planning season (January and February). Holiday party bookings would best be advertised preceding the holiday months (September or October).
General paid campaigns promoting your hotel do not require as intensive planning when it comes to timing. When running short campaigns (i.e. campaigns with smaller budgets or that are only scheduled to run for a couple of days), it can be beneficial to run your campaign during Facebook’s peak activity days (Thursday and Friday).
Strategies to Consider
There is plenty of data and studies that have proven when the best times are to post content across your social media channels to reach higher levels of engagement. Implementing this information in to your social media strategy will be useful in getting in front of a larger audience. However, the following instances are when you should not stick to the recommended guidelines.
When planning posts, consider the time zone that the intended viewer is in. If you want to reach people in a specific area, post at the optimal time for that time zone. To reach people across multiple time zones, try posting around the average best time for most time zones. For example, if you post at 4pm EST, it will be 1pm PST; posting at this time would fall within the peak times to post on Facebook (between 1pm and 4pm). Posting content using this strategy will help increase reach and engagement as your audience expands. International audiences would be more difficult to reach using this multiple time zone strategy; in this instance, it would be best to post at optimal times for the specific time zone of the international country you are trying to reach.
The established ‘optimal times’ to publish posts may not always be the most sensible time, depending on the content you are sharing. If you are sharing an image of an incredible sunset or your breakfast buffet, post at a time that is appropriate for the content you are publishing. The picture of pancakes paired with a “Good Morning!” caption will have a bigger impact on followers in the morning than it will midday.
While timing your content is important, it’s equally necessary to take advantage of live moments as they happen. Hosting an event on-property? Promote it a few hours before and live stream or upload pictures as the event is happening. Take part in trending topics and contribute to the conversation while it is still relevant! Be in the moment and engage whenever possible.