Social media is one of the best ways to amplify your brand and the great content you’re creating. But it isn’t enough to just post content to social whenever you feel like it. Some times are better than others.
So, which one is best?
Unfortunately, there's no perfect answer. Different businesses may find different days and times work best for them. In fact, timing often depends on the platform you're using, how your target audience interacts with that platform, the regions and corresponding time zones you're targeting, and your goals (e.g., clicks versus shares).
That said, there is ample data out there on the best times to post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Earlier this year, the great folks at CoSchedule looked at a combination of its own original data and more than a dozen studies on this very topic -- from the likes of Buffer and Quintly, just to name a couple -- and compiled it into the infographic below.
Bookmark this post as a go-to set of guidelines, and refer to it next time you need to find the optimal posting times for your business.
The Best Times to Post on Social Media
With many businesses facing a growing global audience, varying time zones have become a growing concern, especially when it comes to the best times to post.
To start, let's take a look at the U.S. About half of the country's population is in the Eastern Time Zone, and combined with the Central Time Zone, that accounts for over 75% of the total U.S population.
Given that sizable share, if you're targeting a U.S. audience, try alternating posting times in Eastern and Central Time Zones -- we'll get into those specific times in a bit.
If you're targeting users outside of the U.S., conduct some research to find out where they live and which social media channels they're using. That kind of data is available through studies like Smart Insights' Global Social Media Research Summary, or We Are Social's annual Digital Global Overview.
1) Best Time to Post on Instagram
Instagram is meant for use on mobile devices. Half of its U.S. users use the app daily, though it would appear that many engage with content more during off-work hours than during the workday.
- In general, the best times to post on Instagram are on Monday and Thursday, at any time other than 3-4 p.m.
- The best time to post videos is 9 p.m.-8 a.m., on any day.
- Some outlets have reported success on Mondays between 8-9 a.m., correlating with the first morning commute of the week for many.
2) Best Times to Post on Facebook
People log in to Facebook on both mobile devices and desktop computers, both at work and at home. How it's used depends heavily on the audience.
- On average, the best time to post is 1-4 p.m., when clickthrough rates have shown to be at their highest.
- Specifically, 12-1 p.m. is prime time on Saturday and Sunday.
- During the week, the same goes for Wednesday at 3 p.m., as well as Thursday and Friday between 1-4 p.m.
- The worst times are weekends before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
3) Best Times to Post on Twitter
Like Facebook, people use Twitter on both mobile devices and desktop computers, both at work and at home. How it’s used also depends heavily on audience -- but people often treat it like an RSS feed, and something to read during down times like commutes, breaks, and so on.
- Good times to tweet average around 12–3 p.m., with an apex at 5 p.m. -- which makes sense, given that it correlates with the evening commute.
- Weekdays tend to show a stronger performance, though some niches might have more active audiences on the weekend.
- If your goal is to maximize retweets and clickthroughs, aim for noon, 3 p.m., or 5–6 p.m.
4) Best Times to Post on LinkedIn
Roughly 25% of U.S. adults use LinkedIn, largely for professional purposes, during weekdays and the work hours. It's used with slighly less frequency than some of the other channels on this list, with more than half of users visiting less than once a week.
Aim to post toward the middle of the week, between Tuesday-Thursday.
When aiming for a high clickthrough rate, post on these days during times that correspond with the morning and evening commute -- roughly 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. -- as well as the lunch hour, around 12 p.m.
Some have also seen a positive performance on Tuesdays, between 10–11 a.m.
5) Best Times to Post on Pinterest
Pinterest users skew heavily female, and 25% of users are active on this channel daily.
- Interestingly enough, Saturday evenings are said to be the best time to reach users, especially between 8-11 p.m.
- Some have also seen a strong performance on the later side of Friday afternoon, around 3 p.m.
- Contrasting many of the other channels we've listed here, evening commutes tend to be some of the worst times to post to Pinterest. That could be due to the fact that it's not as "browseable," with many pins requiring navigation away from the channel.
6) Best Time to Post on Google+
People love to debate whether or not Google+ is a social media channel worth investing in -- though according to my colleague Chris Wilson, some marketers have experienced success with it.
But if you're going to use it, you might as well do so effectively -- which includes posting at the optimal times.
- People seem to be most active on Google+ during the start of the workday, between 9-11 a.m.
- That's especially the case on Wednesdays, around 9 a.m.
- Some marketers have also seen success during the lunch hour, posting between 12-1 p.m.
There you have it, folks. Happy posting, tweeting, and pinning.
What days and times have proven to be the most successful for your business? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.