Let’s do a quick check in on the latest news, because things change! This time, Facebook has made it clear that its going to punish business Pages that make misleading or exaggerated health claims for the purpose of promoting products. Obviously this is countering a very specific kind of sales issue in a certain industry, but it’s good to make a note: Don’t exaggerate your business on Facebook!
Also (and we may talk more about this later), but 2019 is already a big year for motion graphics, and if you haven’t considered this trend yet, now is a great time! Motion graphics are basically an animated video using an artistic, memorable style. These animations are typically used to explain a process, brand or service in a fun and memorable way. When created with skill, motion graphics can be very effective – more effective than video in the same circumstances. Check out some of the popular styles being used these days, and think about what motion graphics could do for your brand.
But now onto our main topic: When is the best time to post on social media? This question gets asked a lot, and the answer can be…a little more complicated than people expect. Let’s take a look at the basics and what you need to know about social media timing.
First: Every Audience is Unique!
An important caveat here – general advice is nice, but your target audience will have the most valuable information. If you can, study when your audience is active on social media. This is one area where customer personas and similar data can be very useful…along with good, old-fashioned experience. Your local audience in particular might vary from the mean when it comes to social media preferences: When do your long-term customers interact with you on social media? When are your competitors active? This data will all inform your decisions.
Second: Understanding Your Audience’s Social Media Habits is Very Important
Why should you care? It’s common for businesses to wonder why posting on social media at a specific time is important. Won’t people see it anyway? No – they may not!
Social content is always moving. The news feed is being constantly updated, and people usually only notice the top posts and maybe what they can see with a few seconds of scrolling. Unless you are specifically paying for a promoted post or ad, your social content will be quickly lost in the stream of other posts that everyone else is making: If you want eyes on your post, you need to make it when people are active on social media and refreshing to see what’s happening now.
This is particularly important on platforms like Facebook, where algorithms are shifting to favor family and friend posts more, making it less likely that people will see a post from a business they don’t interact with very much.
Third: Let’s Look at Some Specifics
Whether you post manually or schedule your post for specific times, it’s important to know when your audience is active. Let’s look at the data from Sprout Social, broken down by popular social platforms.
The best time to post on Facebook for the average user is on Wednesday between 11am and 1pm. It’s easy to see why! The boredom strikes around this time, and people are looking to pass the hours any way they can. Wednesday in general is one of the best days to post on Facebook, and Facebook tends to see the most activity on weekdays between 9am and 3pm (again, people looking for ways to pass the time at work or school). While that may not be quite as helpful in the B2B world, here’s a bit of data you may find interesting too: Sunday has the least amount of engagement out of any day of the week, and weekends in general are typically a band day to post. Also, don’t post when people are off work!
Instagram is similar to Facebook, with a few changes. The best times to post on Instagram on Wednesday at 11am and Friday at 10 to 11am – perhaps the Friday focus is because Instagram is a more social and active platform, although Wednesday still sees the most engagement overall. Posters should try to stick between 10am and 3pm on weekdays. Again, Sunday is the worst day for posting here.
With Twitter we see a difference creep in: The best times of the week to post are 9am on Wednesday and Friday, and the best weekday times overall on 8am to 4pm (with Saturday doing the worst out of the whole week). Why does Twitter favor earlier posting? Maybe because it moves fast and is particularly easy to check for news and trends first thing in the morning, whether people want to stay updated on their industry or just follow what celebrities are doing.
The best social media post times on LinkedIn are Wednesday at 9 to 10am and around 12pm, with weekdays between 8am and 2pm being an overall solid choice. This makes sense, as LinkedIn is a professional platform and sees most of its activity during working hours, but isn’t used quite as much to pass the time during boring hours.
Now that we’ve taken a look at the data, we’d really appreciate you weighing in. Have you tried sending out your social content at specific times? What were your results? When does your audience appear to be most active on social media, and is that different from the research? Let us know on social media @21handshake.
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