Unfortunately, there isn’t one straightforward answer to this question. The best times to post on social media will depend on the platform you’re using, as well as the audience you’re trying to target.
You’ll also need to take into account the country or region you’re targeting. If you’re targeting US audiences, for example, note that about half of the country’s population lives along the east coast and follow the Eastern Time Zone (EST). When combined with the Central Time Zone (CST), you’ll be targeting more than 75% of the total US population. In other words, in order to receive maximum engagement, consider alternating your posts between EST and CST.
If you’re targeting users outside the United States, consider researching the most popular social media platforms in the target region. Such data is readily available from agencies like We Are Social’s digital reports.
The best times to post on Facebook
In 2019, Facebook tweaked its News Feed algorithm to prioritize “meaningful interactions” with friends and family over content from brands. This has made it much harder for brands to get their organic content in front of users without paying to boost it. In the last half of 2019, the average reach for Facebook posts was down by 2.2%. This meant that brands could expect their posts to be seen by about 5.5% of their Pages’ followers, according to data gathered by Hootsuite. Big brands with large followings could expect an even lower average reach. According to Facebook, posting consistency is a ranking signal that could impact how prominently your posts are featured on the News Feed. Now more than ever, you’ll need to be consistent with your social media posting schedule to maximize your audience reach and boost engagement. Aside from posting targeted, high-quality content, another viable way of ensuring that your content is seen by the right audience is to properly time your posts.
People use Facebook across devices (i.e. mobile, desktop, and tablet), both at work and at home. On average, the best time to post content is at 9 AM during the start of the workday, according to Hubspot (using data gathered from CoSchedule). There’s another surge in click-through rates between 11 AM and 12 PM, during lunch breaks. Overall, the best days to post are Thursday to Sunday.
The best time to post for B2Bs is between 9 AM and 2 PM EST, and the best days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, according to Hootsuite (using data gathered from Unmetric).
The best time to post for B2Cs is 12 PM EST on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, according to the same Hootsuite study.
According to Unmetric, the number of interactions per post is highest on Wednesdays for brands, even though brands post less on Wednesdays on average. Hence, brands that want to boost their engagement rate may want to experiment with posting more content in the middle of the work week.
The best times to post on LinkedIn
Approximately 25% of American adults use LinkedIn for professional networking, with the highest engagement seen during weekdays and work hours.
Unlike other social media networks, the timing of your posts isn’t as important as their quality and engagement. Hence, it’s not unusual to see posts appearing on the LinkedIn feed that are weeks old. This is because the site’s algorithm is designed to feature high-quality posts that spark conversation and user interaction.
The best times to post on LinkedIn are 7:45 AM, 10:45 AM, 12:45 PM, and 5:45 PM EST, according to Hootsuite.
The best day for B2B brands to post content is on Wednesday (followed by Tuesday), according to Hootsuite.
The best days for B2C brands to post content are on Mondays and Wednesdays, according to the same Hootsuite study.
The best times to post on Twitter
Unlike LinkedIn, the lifespan of the average tweet is pretty short at just 18 minutes—which means timing is extremely important to get maximum eyeballs and engagement on this platform.
Similar to Facebook, people use Twitter across their devices, though engagement patterns vary by audience segment. Many people treat it like an RSS feed and tend to consume content during their downtimes.
As previously mentioned, people tend to consume content on Twitter during their breaks, which is why engagement peaks at noon (when everyone is on their lunch break) and around 5 to 6 PM (when people are done with the workday). There’s also a slight surge in engagement around 3 PM when many workers are on their coffee breaks.
Other viable windows include 8 to 10 AM and 6 to 9 PM, which corresponds to morning and evening commutes.
The best time to post for B2Bs is between 9 AM and 4 PM EST, and the best days are Monday and Thursday, according to Hootsuite (using data gathered from Unmetric).
The best time to post for B2Cs is 12 PM to 1 PM EST, from Monday to Wednesday, according to the same Hootsuite study.
The best times to post on Instagram
Instagram is primarily geared towards smartphone users, and approximately 60% of US users engage with the app daily. Users tend to consume the platform’s content during breaks in their workday and during non-work hours.
The platform’s current algorithm prioritizes the recency of posts, and though posts aren’t strictly served chronologically, it’s designed to serve users with fresh content that they’re likely to interact with.
To optimize your Instagram posts, you’ll need to post your content when your target audience is likely to be online, capitalizing on its “freshness” factor.
It’s best to plan your Instagram social media posting schedule around people’s workdays, taking into account that they enjoy consuming bite-sized videos, images, and Stories during their breaks. Peak engagement periods include noon (when people are snapping pictures of their lunch) and after-work hours (when people are relaxing).
The early hours of the morning are also great for engagement (5 AM onwards), as people tend to check their phones as soon as they wake up.
Overall, the best days to post content on Instagram are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, according to data gathered by Falcon.IO.
The best time to post for B2Bs is 12 PM to 1 PM, 5 PM to 6 PM, and 8 PM to 9 PM, according to data gathered by CoSchedule.
Overall, the best time to post for B2Cs is 8 AM, 1 PM, and 9 PM, according to the same study by CoSchedule.
Listed below are the best days and time slots to post content, based on data provided by Hootsuite and Unmetric:
- Travel & Tourism - Fridays, between 9 AM and 1 PM
- Media & Entertainment - Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 PM to 3 PM
- Food & Beverage - Fridays at 12 PM
- Retail - Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 12 PM
- Non-profits - Tuesdays at either 10 AM or 4 PM
The best times to post on Pinterest
Pinterest has a smaller number of monthly active users and the overwhelming majority of its users are female. Despite its more niche appeal, brands can still reach a very targeted and engaged audience on this platform.
Overall, the best times to post on Pinterest are 8 PM to 11 PM, and from 2 PM to 4 AM, according to Hubspot. The early morning hours could indicate significant engagement in non-North American time zones, which provides significant opportunities for global brands.
Hubspot further reveals that evening commutes are some of the worst times to post content on Pinterest, probably because many pins require users to navigate away from the platform.