As a social media manager, your success hinges on how well you can engage with and grow your audience. Figuring out the best time to post content on each social media platform can make or break your campaigns. To maximize engagement, you’ll need to know when to post and why.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at several social media platforms and what their optimal posting schedules look like.
Table of contents
When is the best time to post on social media in general?
When you’re trying to figure out when to post your content, you’ll quickly realize there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the best time to post on social media. Generally, the best times to post on social media currently are 3:15 PM, 7:00 PM, and 8:41 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
If you’ve just started building your social media presence, you can use these guidelines as a place to start. But remember: these are just general guidelines. There are a lot of variables that impact the best times to post, including the platform you’re using, your target audience, and your industry, among others.
If you’re eager to find the best time to post on social media for your business, you should do a bit of research.
How to determine the best times to post on social media
Try A/B testing
As you build your social media content strategy, you should experiment with different times and posting schedules so you can learn what works best for your business. You can do this with some classic A/B testing or split testing. A/B testing refers to a method where “A” is the control and “B” is the variable.
When testing which times are best to post on a social media platform, “A” represents the content you post and “B” represents the time you post it. So, you would post similar types of content at different times and measure the results.
Let’s say you have a new product you’re trying to promote. You’ll want to make two social media post ideas at two different times to learn when your content has better engagement.
You may find your engagement increases when you post between 7 to 11 a.m., or you may find your engagement rates are actually lower when you post in the morning. You’ll be able to collect data each time you post your content on a particular day and time. Eventually, you should see a pattern of what posts perform at the best times and be able to replicate it.
Check the social posting habits of your competitors
You probably have at least one competitor who you’d like to outperform on social media. You might find they’re posting similar content to yours, but you’re not getting the same results.
Take a closer look at their posting habits and try to figure out what they’re doing differently. It might take some time and effort, but creating a report of their recent posts, when they posted them, and how they performed may give you an idea of how to improve your posting schedule.
Competitor analysis should always be a part of your marketing strategy on social media. Not only can it show you areas where you can improve, but it can also tell you where you excel and outperform the competition. To help you further refine your marketing efforts, we have a social media marketing strategy template that you can download for free. Just follow the link and make your own copy.
Analyze your past posts
If you’ve been on social media long enough, you’ve probably had some posts that performed pretty well – and there’s probably a reason why. Looking at your best-performing posts can give you an idea of what times work best when you’re posting for your target audience.
There are a few key metrics to pay attention to when looking at the posts that performed the best, including:
- Engagement rate
- Click-through rate
- Account mentions
- Likes, comments, retweets, etc.
Find the posts that were seen the most, had the most engagement, and drove the most traffic to your website. Then look at the date and time you posted them. You might find your top-performing posts were all published on weekdays in the afternoon. This gives you a starting point when figuring out the best times to post on the platforms you’re using.
Post when your audience is most active
This seems like common sense, but it’s more overlooked than you might think. That’s because not all social media platforms offer analytics that show you when your audience is most active. However, Facebook and other platforms offer tools like Audience Insights that can give you detailed information about your followers, like their demographics, behaviors, and when they use the platform most.
Figuring out when your followers are most likely to be on social media increases the likelihood that the content you post will reach them. That way, you’re not trying to battle Facebook or Instagram’s algorithm or posting when your audience isn’t using the platform. Tools like Audience Insights will show you graphs that represent the best times you can post based on your audience activity.
The key to posting when your audience is active is recency. Your followers are looking for the most up-to-date information they can find. Also, social media algorithms prioritize the most recent content that you post. That means when your followers start scrolling through their feeds, they’re more unlikely to see your posts from the day before. That’s why posting close to the same time your followers are active plays to the benefit of the algorithm and the interests of your followers. You can use a social media calendar to keep you on track and posting at the ideal time to reach your followers.
The best times to post on social media platforms
Remember, doing your research is the ideal way to find the best times to post on social media, but looking at recent studies can give you a good starting point. CoSchedule has analyzed over 35 million social media posts on multiple platforms to get a good idea of the best times to post on each one. Keep in mind each of these suggested times should be applied to the timezones of your target audience if you want them to be successful.
Best time to post on Facebook
According to the research from CoSchedule, the best posting times to get more likes on Facebook are between 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM. The best days to market your business on Facebook are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Best times to post by industry:
Business-to-business (B2B): Afternoons, when people tend to take a break, seem to provide the best results.
Business-to-consumer (B2C): Periods before and after work and typical times for lunch breaks tend to perform best.
Healthcare: Posts that reach people in the healthcare industry in the morning get the best results on Facebook.
Software: Reaching people in the software industry before and after work, and during the middle of the day when they’re likely to take a break tends to work best for Facebook posts.
Best time to post on Instagram
You tend to get more followers on Instagram and better engagement when you post around 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM, and 8:00 PM, with Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays performing best on average. Like most platforms, early morning posts between 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM see the worst results, and Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday posts tend to see low results.
Best times to post by industry:
B2B: Most B2B audiences tend to scroll through Instagram during their downtime, so midday during lunch breaks and early evening are the best times to post.
B2C: Similar to B2B followers, mornings, midday, and evenings are best to reach B2C followers when their minds are off work.
Healthcare: Followers in the healthcare industry will avoid social media during the peak hours later in the evening, so morning to early afternoon is the best time to post to reach them on Instagram.
Software: Just like other industries, followers in the software industry scroll Instagram when they have the time, before and after work, or during a lunch break.
Best time to post on LinkedIn
Posting late morning to early afternoon provides the best results to market your business on LinkedIn – preferably from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Like other platforms, late evening posts into the early morning tend not to perform as well. Posts that see the best results on LinkedIn are on weekdays like Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, while Saturdays and Sundays tend to see less preferable results.
Best times to post by industry:
B2B: Similar to other platforms, B2B audiences are often focused during the workday, so posts before and after work and during a midday lunch break will likely reach the most followers.
B2C: While LinkedIn tends to have more appeal to B2B audiences, you can still effectively reach a B2C audience during a typical lunch break in the middle of the day.
Healthcare: Posts scheduled for mid-morning and early afternoon tend to have the most reach for healthcare audiences on LinkedIn.
Software: LinkedIn is a great place to reach software professionals, but you need to catch their attention before work or in the middle of the day when they’re taking a break from their busy schedules.
Best time to post on Twitter
The best times to post on Twitter have gradually shifted toward late morning to early afternoon. Posting from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM tends to get the best results, while the earliest hours of the morning, from 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM, provide much worse results.
It also seems that Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are the best days to post content on Twitter while Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays have poorer results.
Best times to post by industry:
B2B and B2C: Both industries use Twitter throughout the day to get information on the latest news in their industry. However, both morning and evening perform the best when people have free time to scroll through their feeds.
Healthcare: Posting earlier in the morning and later in the evening tends to get the best performance in the healthcare industry.
Software: Although you might think posting in the morning and evening would be best similar to B2B and B2C businesses, posts in the middle of the day tend to perform better in the software industry while their minds are in “work mode” during the middle of the day.
Best time to post on Pinterest
Pinterest users tend to be more active in the afternoon and evening than any other social media platform. It seems posts from the evening 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM tend to perform better than morning. In fact, early morning between 12:00 AM to 6:00 AM tends to be the worst time to post on Pinterest. Throughout the week, posts on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays perform best on Pinterest, while Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays have lower results.
Best times to post by industry:
Health: Followers in the health industry often look for the latest trends in mental health and wellness during non-working hours in the morning and evening.
Travel: Most Pinterest users looking for travel ideas are most likely to search during their leisure in the evenings.
Beauty: Posts about beauty trends on Pinterest see the best performance in the morning hours.
Food & Beverage: Food is a major part of what Pinterest users look for on the platform. Because they’re often looking for new recipes, right around 5:00 PM gets the most engagement as users look for a dinner recipe.
Best time to post on TikTok
TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform, and according to Influencer Marketing Hub, the best times to post are between 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM. The best days to post on TikTok are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
TikTok is a young but rapidly growing app. While there is a lot of data showing how much and how often the app is being used, there is still work to be done breaking down what times work best for certain industries. That said, there are a few major industries that dominate TikTok:
- Home Interior
- Mobile accessories
Start by using these general guidelines for the best posting times on TikTok. Then take the time to use the techniques we discussed earlier to find out what times will be best for your audience and industry. In time, you’ll figure out the best posting schedule for your content to increase your follower count and boost your engagement.
Frequently asked questions about the best time to post on social media
The best time to post on social media depends on the platform, industry, audience, and other factors.
Both afternoon and early evening can provide positive results as followers are done with work and winding down for the day.
Posting in the evening can be beneficial, but posting late at night tends to have negative results as most social media followers are asleep.
Yes. Posts between 11 PM and 3 AM tend to get the lowest engagement on all platforms.
Most popular posts tend to get published between 12 PM and 9 PM.
The best general times to post on social media are 3:15 PM, 7:00 PM, and 8:41 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The best time of day to post on social media is in the evening when most people are done with work and winding down for the day.
People are most active on social media in the mornings on weekdays between 9 AM and 10 AM.
Publish your posts on time with Birdeye Social
Sharing content is just the first step to making a meaningful impact on social media. Posts need to be frequent and on time to keep followers engaged with your business. With Birdeye Social’s visual calendar, you can keep content for all your social media accounts organized in one place. Watch our free demo and start increasing engagement today.
This blog post is part of our Social Media Marketing education series
- Social media analytics: Definition, types, and importance
- How to craft a social media content strategy
- 11 Social media benefits for your business
- 15 Types of social media to help boost your brand
- Free social media calendar template for local businesses
- 20 proven social media post ideas for your marketing strategy
- 10 Types of social media content to grow your business
- How to create the next great social media campaign
Instagram Marketing related topics
Originally published Dec 30, 2022, updated