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Optimal Posting Times for Social Media

Social media can be a challenge. There are some days when you think you have created the perfect piece of content that will not only be read and liked, but also commented on, shared and even tweeted about. But then the next day your engagement metrics are low enough to make you cry. As a top web development company we have seen this happen before and many times the culprit isn’t your content; it has to do with when you posted it. That brings us to today’s discussion which is on the Optimal Posting Times for Social Media.

A quick disclaimer, there are always going to be people on social media at all hours each and every day. However for today’s discussion we are going to focus on the optimal days and times to post on the various networks based on traffic studies. By posting at the best time you have the best chance for views because there are simply more people active – which then equals more traffic, more engagement, and ultimately more conversions.

Optimal Social Media Posting Times

In general social networks have different prime time viewing windows. People tend to want to check their feeds either as something to pass the time or to help plan what they will do in the near future.

  • Facebook – For Facebook, the top dog in the social media world, people spend the most time active on Thursday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This makes sense on many levels, especially Friday when many people are counting down the hours after lunch until that last gasp of work before leaving. People also often check their feeds on those days to help be informed for the upcoming weekend. Saturday and Sunday are also good posting days as people tend to check in to post about their weekend or to enviously read about other people’s weekends especially around lunch.
  • Twitter – Out of all the platforms Twitter is by far the most consistent performer. People regularly are active in high numbers Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. This makes perfect sense as numerous people use Twitter as a primary news feed throughout the week. Often most people are too busy with work in the morning to check in, but from lunch until dinner (especially during the commute home) they want to stay informed. The absolute peak time is Wednesday at noon and then again from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • LinkedIn – Much like Twitter, LinkedIn is a consistent performer. Unlike Twitter, it is a popular choice in the morning which is understandable as posts are often work-related or can be considered for networking purposes. The optimal days and times are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., then again at noon until 1 p.m., and once more from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Instagram – Monday and Tuesday in the afternoon between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. is a very popular time for this platform. Many people seem to like to get caught up on weekend posts and activity in the late afternoon at work or for non-working parents, after school is out. However, most weekdays are fairly active with regular users.
  • Pinterest – Pinterest is extremely popular on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. This makes sense as it coincides with the start of the weekend and many people opt to undertake projects over the weekend and use Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. Friday from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. is also a good secondary time for those getting a jump on Saturday.

What about Time Zones?

Should you factor in time zones when looking at posting times? In general yes you should depending on your specific situation.

  • Local Business – If you operate on a local level or generally you operate within the scope of a single time zone, then it makes sense to simply post at the proper time within your own zone.
  • National Business – If your business operates on a national level then your focus should be on the Central and Eastern Time zones. With 80% of the U.S. population in the Central and Eastern Time zones they should be your priority to take advantage of the biggest audience. However, if your customer data dictates that more of your customers are in a specific zone, such as the Pacific Time zone, then you should focus there first.

An important idea to remember is that this guide is just a starting point. We recommend posting during these times for a few cycles to develop your baseline engagement metrics. Then you can test other times with additional posts to see how they fare in comparison. For example, if your optimal window is 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, try a post at 3 p.m. on Wednesday to see if your specific audience is still active.

The bottom line is that the optimal posting times for social media are important to be aware of. After all, your goal should be to put your posts in front of the largest audience possible. While some people will dive deep into their feed when they are active, most don’t so you want to make sure your posts are high enough in their feed that they are seen and engaged with rather than overlooked.

Be sure to check back every week for great new Lounge Lizard blog articles.

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