When Is the Best Time to Post on Social Media?
One of the most common questions our social media professionals get is, “when is the best time to post on social media?” Whether you’re utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. there is no easy answer to give. It really all depends on who your target audience is and what social platform you are using. Then, it comes down to trial and error and spotting patterns and correlations between the time and day of your posts and audience impressions and engagements. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it seems. And to prove this, we’ve outlines five steps for you to take in order to find your best time to post on social media. Think of this almost like the scientific method to social media.
- Define Your Target Demographic
Chances are you’ve already done this part, especially if you’re a part of your brand’s marketing department. Your target audience is the driving force behind any marketing or social media strategy, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, or LinkedIn, just to name a few. Your target demographic will also give you insights into how to go about planning and prioritizing your social media strategy. For instance, it might clue you in as to how many hours a day your audience is using social media, what time of day they’re most likely on social media, what time zone they are in, and what platform they might be using the most (which brings us right into the next step).
- Define a Favored Social Media Platform
Based on your target audience and the content you plan on posting, one social media platform might clearly stand out to you as being the most beneficial. If your brand is targeting millennials by posting photos, Instagram might be your go-to. But if your target is soccer moms and you plan to post announcements, videos, or blogs, Facebook might be the best way for you to go. If you need additional guidance to ensure you’ve made the right decision, check out our blog post “What Social Media Platform is Best for Your Brand.”
- Make an Educated Guess
Programs, like Blu (a social media management platform powered by Socialocca) not only help you schedule your posts ahead of time on multiple social media platforms, but also suggest the best times to post based on previous patterns and analytics. If you’re not using a program like Blu, we recommend giving it a try! In the meantime, think about the time of day when your target demographic (think age, income, career industry, etc.) is most likely on social media. Is it first thing in the morning, on a daily commute, during a lunch break, or in the evenings after dinner or after putting kids to bed? You can also conduct preliminary research on social media and your industry, and/or your target demographics to find patterns that might already exist. Just like the scientific method, this research will help influence your hypothesis on when the best time to post may be.
- Test it Out
Once you have an idea of when you want to post, go for it with confidence! Social media algorithms are always changing, and some professionals argue that there really is no “best” time to post on social media. So, don’t sweat it so much. Instead, follow your gut and consult the analytics, or identify patterns on your own once you’ve published a few posts.
- Consult Analytics and Find Patterns
Social media analytics are about to be your new best friend, especially if you enjoy graphs, charts, and spotting correlations in data. If you’re utilizing Blu (mentioned above) you can be gifted each week with (on average) two pages worth of social media analytics sent straight to your inbox. If your brand has profiles on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter you even have the option to receive one analytic email for each platform…so much amazing and valuable data! Use this data to see if you’re reaching your target audience as well as the goals and performances of your posts. This is the best tool in social media for you to find what works best for your brand. If you’re not signed up for Blu, you can still access limited data to find these patterns using Facebook analytics, which can be found at the top of your brand’s Facebook page under the tab “insights,” or on Instagram, when you click “view insights” located right above the like and comment buttons under each of your posts.
Once you’ve found the perfect formula for maximum engagements, don’t think your job is done. As we mentioned above, social media algorithms are always evolving. So, keep your eyes open and always check back in on analytics and research to ensure your latest plan of attack is still the best strategy.