As access to the internet increases, so does the competition for consumer focus on social media. At any given moment, there are hundreds or thousands of posts waiting in the wings to be shown to users on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. To be heard through the noise, it helps if marketers post their content at the optimal times. Hootsuite recently released a report that examined the best times to post on various social media platforms.
To create their report on the best posting times. Hootsuite analyzed its own content, as well as the metrics from more than 400 million posts that were scheduled through their service. Their results found that the optimal time to post to a social media network varied depending on the platform.
According to Hootsuite, the best time to post on Facebook is between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The window is similar, but smaller on the weekends, with the optimal time to post on the weekends being from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Facebook’s news feed algorithm means posts will rarely be shown to users exactly when you post it. For example, a post scheduled at 12 p.m. won’t be shown in someone’s news feed until later that day. However, Hootsuite found that the posts that were scheduled during the above time frames still performed better.
Hootsuite also noted that they see lower engagement on the weekends, but that there is often a spike in click-throughs for posts published between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
For the Instagram, Hootsuite advises that the best time to post on the image sharing platform is from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. They suggests this may be due to people browsing through their Instagram feeds during their lunch break.
“There’s no doubt our community scrolls through Instagram during their lunch hour,” Hootsuite social media team lead Amanda Wood explains. “We find that time also works best on the weekends, but since we are a B2B [business-to-business] brand, our Instagram strategy is weekday-focused.”
For retailers with a more business-to-consumer focus, Hootsuite recommends trying off-hour times like 7 p.m. when consumer have more time to browse and possibly shop for the items they see.
Instagram is no longer defaulting to a chronological list and they explain on their blog that posts are ordered “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.
On Twitter, Hootsuite found the best times to tweet were between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, with their highest amount of clicks and retweets occurring at 3 p.m. However, they note this may be due to the fact they are a B2B brand.
For business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, Hootsuite recommends tweeting when your followers and target audience members aren’t working, such as before 9 a.m., at noon, and after 5 p.m. or during during the week.
An analysis of the aggregate of Hootsuite userdata shows us the most popular days to post on Twitter are Monday to Friday, and the most popular times to post fall between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
For LinkedIn, Hootsuite says the best times to post are 7:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 5:45 p.m. Monday to Thursday. The reason Hootsuite uses the :45 time slot is that it decreases immediate competition. Most people would post at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., etc., so going 15 minutes earlier gives their posts a headstart on the competition.
The Hootsuite data shows that marketers should take time to think about the best time to post content and to experiment to find what works best for them. For more recent news about online marketing, read this article on recent SEO changes on Google.