You spend hours curating content for your social media. You spend days working on AB testing for images and copy. You carefully curate target audiences.
You calculate your ad spend budget and your daily or per click max. But all that doesn't matter if you post at the wrong time.
So what is the right time? It must be on the internet somewhere right? Doesn't the internet have all the answers? Unfortunately not in this case.
There are different "best" times to post on social media according to different sources. Each media channel has its own recommendations, which we've compiled for you below.
Before we go into details from the experts, we wanted to point out that you already have information available to you. Facebook gives you important feedback.
When you go to your analytics, you'll see a timeline of engagement with your posts. It looks like a set of waves and it tells you when most people interact with your post.
Regardless of what we say in this guide, that's what history and tracking say your best time to post is. That doesn't mean you can't improve it, but it's what is working for you right now.
It also depends on your niche. Let's say you have a Facebook page connected to a blog about being a mom. Scheduling posts to go out at 7:15 AM isn't your best bet.
Why? Because those moms will be busy doing the morning circus act of getting their kids to school.
Think about your audience before you prescribe to a time that some expert decided. The times we'll talk about below are general and don't necessarily apply to your niche.
When it comes to Facebook, there are few schools of thought. Some people think you shouldn't overload your audience by posting multiple times a day.
Others think that your only chance of getting eyes on a post is to publish multiple times a day. The data we're seeing lends itself to the second school of thought - but don't go crazy.
The "life" of a post is around eight to twelve hours. So if you post things in the morning, people who log on in the afternoon/evening won't see them and vice versa.
So, does it make sense to post the same thing twice a day? No, you don't want to do that. Then, the people who follow you that are always on Facebook will see you as desperate.
If you're going to post twice a day, make sure you're posting different content. If you publish content A in the morning on Wednesday, wait until Friday to publish content A in the afternoon.
That way you can cover both afternoon and morning users, but it won't look like you're playing the system.
According to this post, the best days to post on Facebook are the days that people aren't thinking about work. That means stay away from posting (or expect lower engagement) on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesday.
You can expect the highest engagement on Saturdays and Sundays. Thursdays and Fridays are still higher than the rest of the weekdays, but not as engaging as the weekend.
Finally. if you want to share something funny or uplifting, Friday is your best bet. People like more humorous and for-fun content when they're looking forward to the weekend. Can't say we blame them.
According to the same data, you can expect the most engagement if you post at 9 am if you plan to post in the mornings. Afternoons are a little more flexible at 1 and 3 pm.
The time you post in the afternoon gives you different results. Apparently, people are more willing to share at 1 pm, while they feel more "clicky" at 3.
Who knows why?
According to another data set, you should stay away from posting before 8 am or 8 pm, especially on weekends. Posting between twelve to one pm on the weekends is your best bet.
Maybe people are coming home from church or brunch, but that's when they're checking their phones.
As Instagram didn't gain popularity until a few years after Facebook, we don't have quite as much data for it. Which is a good thing when it comes to the sheer number of timing opinions.
When it comes to square photos (or videos) Mondays and Thursdays are the best days to post. Maybe people are looking over weekend memories on Monday, checking out the evidence. On Thursdays, maybe they're looking forward to the weekend. Either way, that's when experts agree the best time to post is.
That's for feed-related pictures. What changed when Instagram rolled out their story feature last year? Well, it changed how often people check the app, some think.
We do know that it changed how long people are in-app for. People spend longer on Instagram now that stories hold different content than their feed.
So, when's the best day to post something to your story? It depends.
Are you having luck getting likes and engagement with your current days or the ones we suggested? Then leave your Insta stories to post then.
If you want to use story traffic to drive to your posts, take a screenshot of your new post in your story. Use the crayon feature to colour over the post and encourage people to click through and check it out.
This way you get traffic from people who click through stories but may not have time to find wherever the algorithm put you in the feed.
Strangely, data shows that you can and should post to Instagram at . . . 2 in the morning? We don't 100% understand why. Maybe that's a sweet spot to get you in the algorithm right as people wake up.
The other time is around when people are getting to work. Either they're checking their feeds on their commute (not while driving please!) or they're giving their phone a final scroll before they do some work.
If you or your audience are more night owls, then aim for five pm. Do you see the trend here? People don't seem to be scrolling Instagram while they're at work like they do Facebook.
Think of your feed as giving them entertainment before, after, and on the way to work.
If you think your followers check later in the evening or before they go to bed, you can try seven or nine pm. Don't go any later than nine - unless you're waiting until 2 in the morning.
We don't make the rules, we just report them.
Is Pinterest a social media channel? It's not in the strict definition where people share their own memories, but it also involves sharing and connecting with friends.
Whichever argument you prescribe to, there are specialized days and times you need to post on the maybe-social media platform.
Weekends are when we finally get a second to try that pin we saved, right? Well, Pinterest activity reflects that. It's most active on Saturday and Sunday.
Within those days, the times to post are like those of Instagram, except for the early afternoon.
Apparently, people manage to squeeze in a peek at Pinterest at 2 pm. Perhaps they're checking what they need to pick up from the store on the way home to make that pinned recipe for dinner?
If you don't have anything planned or don't know what particular content to post that day, pay attention to what's trending. You'll see it at the top of your page or if you click "popular".
Pinterest, like Facebook (and Instagram via Facebook) offers AB testing. With it, you can try out what versions of content attract people at different times of the day.
Again, we can't stress that these are general times and recommendations enough. There's not one time that works for all businesses.
Try out the days and times we suggested, but don't be afraid to try something different. Maybe you see that 8 pm works better than 7, or that you're getting engagement on the tail end of the suggested time.
Go where your engagement is. You're not trying to reinvent the wheel, just trying to smooth out any bumps along the way.
As a business owner, you have a lot on your mind. Do you really want to worry about the right time to post on social media on top of everything else?
If all the times were the same for all the channels, that'd be one thing, but they're not.
Instead of adding more to your plate or figuring out who you want to hire in-house, let us handle your social posting. Not only are we experts, but we can take times and more off your plate.
You have better things to do, like run your business. Let us run your feed! To get started with our services, fill out our form here.