What are the best times to post on social media? It’s a question social media professionals are constantly asking.
In other words, what hours of the day and days of the week should you post at reach the most people and get the most engagements at the highest engagement rate?
In this section, we aggregated all 1.1 million+ posts in the data set to see which times were connected to the best post performance on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Again, all the posts analyzed were organic.
That being said, these times are not a prescription for what will work for you or your brand. There are thousands of factors that affect post performance, and dozens of factors that influence what the best posting time is for you specifically.
For example, what timezone is your target audience in? When does your target audience tend to log in to each social network? What hours are you facing the most competition for feed space at? These are just a few of the questions you need to answer for yourself to find the ideal posting times for your organization. However, we hope that these general trends will serve as a starting point.
Reach by Hour
On Facebook, the average reach for organic posts peaked from 6-8 am and from 6 pm to 12 pm. Meanwhile, organic reach was at its lowest from 1-4 am and from 8 am to 5 pm. This makes sense intuitively. Reach should be the highest when the highest number of users are online and there is the least competition from other posters for feed space.
Because the majority of Facebook posts are made by competitors during business hours, there is less competition for feed space outside of business hours. Further, users have more time to browse their feeds before and after working hours, except in the middle of the night when the majority of users would be sleeping.
For social media pros, this suggests that switching up posting times and pushing content outside of working hours could be the ticket to reaching as large an audience as possible. The only way to be sure is to run tests to see if these peak hours for reach are the same for your organization.
Reach by Day
Facebook posts made on weekends had significantly higher average reach than posts made on weekdays. Meanwhile, Thursdays and Fridays had the lowest average post reach.
This suggests that content was more likely to reach users on their days off. There are a few possible explanations for this. First, the days with the most posts from organizations were Thursday and Friday, while the least posts came out on Saturdays and Sundays. This means there was less competition for feed space and therefore reach on the weekends.
Second, more people use Facebook in their time off, so there was likely also a larger potential audience to reach on weekends compared to weekdays.
While B2B companies may still want to focus their posting on weekdays, other organizations should consider posting more often on weekends to reach as many users as possible.
Reach by Hour
On Instagram, posts made from 6 pm to 10 pm and from midnight to 7 am got the most organic reach on average. Meanwhile, the lowest point for reach was from 8 am to 5 pm.
The general trend in this data suggests that posting outside of working hours was the best way to reach a large audience. The spikes at 1 am and 5 am are likely exaggerated due to bias from the small sample size of posts made at those hours in the data.
The main takeaway here is that it’s worth posting in the evening on Instagram and scheduling posts outside of work hours when few users are looking at Instagram and many organizations are competing for limited feed space. It may also be worth testing posting in the middle of the night to see if it works for your audience---in some cases, this means your content will either be the last thing they see before going to bed or the first thing they see when they wake up.
Reach by Day
As on Facebook, Instagram posts made on weekends had significantly higher average reach than posts made on weekdays. Reach also gradually declined through the workweek, with posts made on Thursdays and Fridays generating the lowest average reach.
This is likely for similar reasons to Facebook. The fewest posts were made by organizations on Saturdays and Sundays, so these days had the least competition for feed space and reach. Furthermore, a larger number of users were likely checking their feeds on weekends, making it easier to attain a higher reach.
For social media pros who want to spread brand awareness, posting to Instagram on weekends may be a winning strategy.
Reach by Hour
On Twitter, tweets posted from 9 pm to 4 am got the most impressions on average, while tweets posted from 5 to 9 am and from 11 to 3 pm got the least impressions.
This follows a similar trend to organic reach on Facebook and Instagram, with the greatest number of users typically seeing tweets posted outside working hours. This could mean that Twitter users were more likely to read tweets in the evening and late at night, or that there was less competition for feed space from 9 pm to 4 am.
The spikes in impressions at 1 am and at 3 to 4 am were likely so extreme due to bias from the small number of tweets posted at those hours in the study. However, these hours may still have high average impressions, especially if tweets made at these times end up higher in users’ feeds when they wake up.
Social media professionals should consider scheduling tweets for the late evening and night, especially if their organizations are B2C instead of B2B since potential customers are more likely to see tweets outside of working hours.
Reach by Day
Average impressions on Twitter were surprisingly stable throughout the week, with a noticeable peak on Saturdays. Thursdays and Fridays had fewer impressions than other days of the week on average, but only by a very small margin.
This suggests that tweets are equally likely to reach audiences on Twitter every day but Saturday. Saturday was not the day with the least competition for feed space, however, with Sundays and Mondays having fewer posts per day on average. This could mean that users spend more time looking at their Twitter feeds on Saturdays than on any other day.
For social media pros, this means that while Saturdays are great for reaching slightly more users than usual, it doesn’t make a major difference what day of the week you post. Test out different posting schedules and cadences to see if there’s a different trend for your specific audience.