When is the best time to post online?
As you’re scheduling content for your business, you may find yourself asking, “When is the best time for me to share this post online?” Determining the best time to post your content in order to reach the maximum amount of consumers is not only an important aspect of your content strategy but a challenging one as well.
Unfortunately, there is no “secret sauce” or “one size fits all” answer to this question. Rather, it is dependent on a number of variables (i.e.: social platform, your target audience, location, content goals, etc.) specific to your business. In the end, every business will have its own “best time” to share online – the trick is determining yours.
Although we do not have the answer to when you should post your content online, this article will provide you recent data and best practices to help determine the optimal sharing time for your own business.
Optimal Posting Times – by Social Platform
Depending on where you are sharing content, every social platform (i.e: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) has its own unique “peak user” time frames. In other words, there are certain days of the week or times of day when users are most likely to be logged in and interacting with a particular platform. This is largely influenced by what the platform is used for and what the major user demographic is.
Facebook is the behemoth of all social media platforms with over 1.86 billion monthly active users (as of December 31, 2016) and, on average, 1.23 billion daily active users (as of December 2016) [Source: Facebook Newsroom].
Of those 1.23 billion daily active users, 1.15 billion are accessing Facebook via their mobile device [Source: Facebook Newsroom]. (That’s a whopping 93% of daily users using Facebook on their phone!)
When are people using Facebook?
Compared to other social platforms, Facebook is unique in that users engage with it both at home and during work. Whether on a phone or a desktop computer, users check their Facebook News Feed multiple times throughout the day – when they wake up, while commuting, during lunch breaks, before bed, and so on. The fact that users spend, on average, 50 minutes of their day on Facebook [Source: The New York Times] further proves that this is a channel consumers frequent often.
Peak User Times on Facebook
According to HubSpot’s “The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites” article, the following days of week and times of day are when most users are most likely to be using the Facebook platform.
3:00-4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays
12:00-1:00 p.m. on Saturdays & Sundays
1:00-4:00 p.m. on Thursdays & Fridays
To optimize on Facebook’s peak user times, consider scheduling some of your Facebook posts during these time frames to reach users when they’re most likely logged in and checking their account. Notice any increases in reach or engagement by posting at these times? If yes, incorporate that time into your content schedule. If not, don’t worry! The peak platform time may not be representative of your specific audience.
Twitter, a social platform used to create and share ideas and information instantly, has 313 million active users logging in on a monthly basis (as of June 30, 2016) and, on average, 82% of its active users accessing the platform via mobile device [Source: Twitter]. Although there are significantly less active users than on Facebook, Twitter is not to be overlooked when it comes to social marketing.
When are people using Twitter?
Due to Twitter’s fast-paced informative feeds, users often check their Twitter feed quickly during commuting hours or during daily breaks. According to Twitter, users are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute and 119% more likely to use Twitter during school or work hours [Source: Quick Sprout].
Peak User Times on Twitter
According to HubSpot’s “The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites” article, the following days of week and times of day are when most users are on the Twitter platform.
12:00-3:00 p.m. on Monday thru Friday
5:00-6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays
To optimize on Twitter’s peak user times, consider scheduling your tweets during these time frames to reach the maximum amount of online users possible. Notice any engagement differences by posting at these times? If yes, incorporate those times into your content schedule. If not, the peak platform time may not be representative of your specific audience.
Facebook-owned mobile photography and videography sharing platform, Instagram, is one of the fastest growing social platforms with 600 million total users and 300 million daily active users as of 2016 [Source: Social Media Today].
When are people using Instagram?
Due to Instagram being a mobile-only sharing platform, users are accessing their accounts from everywhere and at any time. This “on-the-go” platform thereby receives consistent activity and engagement throughout the week.
Peak User Times on Instagram
According to HubSpot’s “The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites” article, the following days of week and times of day are when most users are on the Instagram platform.
Anytime except 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. (Monday – Thursday)
Slightly higher engagement during off-work hours
Additionally, according to TrackMaven, there are also “slight spikes of engagement on Mondays and Thursdays and a slight dip on Sundays.” [Source: Hubspot]
For retail specifically, according to this 2019 article from AdEspresso, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 12 p.m. are optimal.
The one caveat to posting on Instagram is that you cannot schedule or automate your content. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where you can pre-curate your posts and use various tools to schedule or automate the posts, Instagram requires you to log in at the time you would like your content to go live in the feed. Depending on your daily schedule, this may impact or limit your ability to try out various posting times.
Optimal Posting Times – by Local Audience
Although “peak user” times help to understand when the majority of users are on a specific social platform, it does not necessarily represent when your audience is online. That’s why it’s important also consider when your fans and followers are online the most. (As it’s very possible that Facebook’s largest demographic is not the same as your business’ demographic!)
Facebook Audience Insights
If you’re interested in learning when your Facebook page fans and followers are most likely to be online and scrolling through their News Feed – take a peek at the following information found within your Facebook page insights.
Reach Insights: Posts that get more likes, comments and shares show up more in News Feed and are seen by more people. Posts that are hidden, reported as spam or cause people to unlike your Page reach fewer people.
If you notice a spike or dip, look at what you posted that day to learn more about how you might have influenced your reach.
Page Insights: Understand when your fans and followers are most likely to be on Facebook.
If you notice a particular day of week or time of day when user activity spikes – try posting on those days and times to reach users while they’re actively using the platform.
People Insights: Find out more about who likes your Page and who likes, comments, and shares your posts to improve your targeting and scheduling. See how they’re similar or different from the target consumer who comes into your store.
Retailer Quick Tip:
Now that you’re implementing peak user times (for both overall platform and your specific audience) into your content schedule – use your Promoboxx Reporting tab to see how many people you’re reaching and how many of those people are engaging with the content. Notice any trends? Does the type of campaign (promotional, inspirational, educational) make any difference? Repeat what’s working and always be testing to figure out what is best for your business.