Managing all of your social media networks can be a daunting task. Knowing the best times to post on social media is even more challenging. Just ask any seasoned social media manager how difficult it is to be on top of each network.

Managing these communities takes knowledge and a fair share of hunches. Managing multiple accounts makes it hard to know the best times to publish on social media.

Know the Best Times to Post on Social Media

Knowing the best times to post on social media can make the difference between one click or 10. Always fish where the fish are biting.

While it’s easy to guess or choose a specific time, it’s more effective to discover time frames rather than exact moments. Banking on an exact time can be a waste of time as every business’s audience varies. But knowing all the possible times in the day can make publishing simpler.

Let’s take a look at each major network and see what we found on the best times to post on social media:

Best Times to Post on Facebook

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With roughly 1.18 billion monthly active users, Facebook is king of social media. However, with the ever-changing Facebook algorithm, it’s difficult to get your organic posts in front of all your viewers’ eyes.

This leads brands to be more strategic with what time of the day they post to Facebook. Through the different data sources, Facebook is certainly an active spot every day of the week. While other social media networks certainly have fewer active days throughout the week, Facebook is kind of hard to get wrong when finding a time to post.

However, there are a few notable times, patterns and days of the week that could give you the upper hand. Some of the findings showed:

  • Thursday to be the most recommended day to post
  • 1 p.m. on Thursday to be the most active time
  • Relatively safe to post any day between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Early mornings and late nights are the least optimal posting times
  • Wednesday through Sunday are the strongest days to post

3 Things to Know Before Posting to Facebook

Facebook is unique in the marketing world because of its size, as well as how difficult it is to engage. That’s why it’s smart to know what you’re going to post before hand. Here are three things to know:

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1. Use Videos
Videos continue to dominate Facebook viewership. In fact, a study by Socialbakers discovered video posts on Facebook have an organic reach of 8.71% compared to 5.77% for photo posts. Additionally, data from Digiday found some brands see 85% of their video views on Facebook happen without any sound. This means you need to post highly engaging videos that don’t necessarily rely on audio. But don’t forget your captions as the text could keep users engaged without needing sound.

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2. Know What Worked in the Past
Don’t make things more complicated by posting random content to Facebook. Instead, track your total reach, likes, comments and engagements with Sprout Social’s Facebook management tools. Easily detail the pieces of content working the best and use that to your advantage.

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3. Keep Posts Short & Sweet
Facebook allows you to write a novel for a post, but do your followers really want to read that? Instead, BuzzSumo recommends quick and succinct posts using 0-50 characters. The network is not a place where users spend a ton of time on each post, which means quick engagements usually work the best.

Best Times to Post on Twitter

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Twitter is still one of the fastest ways businesses communicate with customers via social media. In fact, Sprout Social’s 2016 Q2 Index discovered 34.5% of customers prefer social media as the point of contact (the highest rated method).

Also it’s just as important to know the best times to Tweet so you optimize your maximum audience potential each day. To gain better insights on the network, here are a few interesting facts about the best times to post to Twitter:

  • Monday Through Thursday are the strongest days to post
  • Thursday is the most recommended day to post in the week
  • Noon on Thursday is the most active time in the week
  • Safe to post any weekday between noon and 3 p.m.
  • Early mornings and late nights are the least optimal posting times

3 Things to Know Before Posting to Twitter

Like we mentioned before, Twitter is complicated and moves at a lightning pace. You want to be smart about your posting schedule, but just as importantly, know what you’re publishing. It’s smart to think of “quality over quantity” for your social media publishing habits and this idea goes tenfold for posting to Twitter. Before you get started, here are three things you should know:

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1. Follow All Your Industry Leaders
Whether your industry is as niche as camera repair or as massive as healthcare, you need to follow all the pros in your industry. Doing so helps you get your brand name out there and increases the chances of engagement with thought leaders in your industry when you post. Also, if you follow these best times to post to Twitter, you’re more likely to hit your thought leaders’ optimal viewing times, which would significantly further your reach.

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2. Be Ready to Engage
Knowing the best times to Tweet is critical, but it’s just as important to be ready to engage once you Tweet. According to the Sprout Social Q3 2016 Index, 57% of users get annoyed when brands are too promotional on social media. For Twitter try to limit your promotional content and instead, be ready to engage with users. If done correctly, you’ll build better relationships and increase trust in your brand.

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3. Clicks are Critical
According to data from Shareaholic, Twitter was found to be the least effective in driving clicks compared to all other social networks. Because it’s so hard to get clicks on Twitter in the first place, you have to make sure your content is absolutely clickable and engaging. Use Twitter analytics tools to track post clicks so you are certain what content drives engagement and what falls flat.

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Best Times to Post on Instagram

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Brands quickly discovered the power of Instagram in terms of boosting social media engagement, making it one of the most popular networks. In fact, data from Forrester discovered Instagram has the highest per-follower interaction rate (2.2%) compared to any other social network (second-highest being Facebook at 0.22%).

With the immense engagement potential, a newly implemented Instagram algorithm and more users joining every day, knowing the best times to post to Instagram could mean all the difference in your marketing strategy. Some of the most important things we learned included:

  • Monday through Friday are the strongest days to post
  • Monday tends to drive the most engagement out of the week
  • 3 p.m. each day is least optimal time to post
  • Safe to post nearly any time (excluding 3 p.m.) on Monday through Thursday
  • Most recommended posting times include 2 a.m., 8.a.m. and 5 p.m.

3 Things to Know Before Posting to Instagram

Data from eMarketer predicted by the end of 2017, more than 70% of US brands will be on Instagram. This means more companies are expected to be on Instagram than Twitter (67.2%), which would be the first time ever for the visual network.

Even though brands are quickly moving to Instagram, it’s important to know what type of content to post first. Here are three must-know tips before you start posting to Instagram:

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1. Color Themes and Schemes Work
If you look at some of the brightest and most visually appealing Instagram accounts out there, you’ll find a common theme. Brands that kill it on Instagram typically have a consistent color scheme when you view their profile. Great brands will make all their images and video seem like they meld together seamlessly by using specific themes and colors. Try to make your brand visually cohesive on Instagram.

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2. Use Hashtags and Emojis
Did you know these Instagram stats: 7 out of 10 hashtags on the network are branded and more than half of text contains an emoji? This means branding yourself is essential to awareness, loyalty and reach. At the same time, the amount of emojis show this is a network where you can be more personal and connect with users via emojis.

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3. Feature Your Products Sparingly
Like we mentioned before, you never want to get overly promotional with your product, but instead focus on engagement. Try the popular 80/20 rule which states 80% of content should be educational and engaging, while 20% is self-promotional. This will help you keep your audience’s attention longer and make you a source of information on Instagram.

Best Times to Post on Google+

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Google Plus has had its fair share of criticisms, but the fact remains, people still use it to post content. People tend to use their Google Plus accounts for posting comments on YouTube, but there are people who actively use it as a social network. According to Stone Temple Consulting, of the more than 2.2 billion public Google Plus accounts, 9.7% are active.

This equates to more than 200 million people, which the firm discovered 16 million post at least once a month. While these numbers are dwarfed by giants like Facebook and Twitter, there’s still an opportunity. However, with lower engagement rates and posts, your best times to post on Google Plus can vary. We found:

  • Monday through Friday are the best days to post
  • Wednesday is typically the most engaging day of the week
  • 9 a.m. on Wednesday is the most optimal time to post
  • Mornings, early evenings and late nights are the least effective time to post
  • Safe to post nearly any time during the afternoon on weekdays

3 Things to Know Before Posting to Google+

Just because Google Plus isn’t at the forefront of the most popular social networks doesn’t mean you should post whatever, whenever. Instead, try to follow these tips before posting to Google Plus so you truly optimize your content’s potential:

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1. Google+ Is Mobile Friendly
Think mobile before posting to Google Plus as roughly 30% use the network on their smartphone at least once a month. While the majority of networks are mobile-friendly, think about how you can further target your audience on an under-utilized network.

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2. Focus on Traffic Generation
Google Plus has approximately 300 million users, which means you have the potential to use it as a significant traffic generation network. Instead of making Google Plus the place for all your information, try to turn it into the vehicle to your most important links.

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3. Know Your Demographics
You’ll often see our recommendation to limit your social networks and to not be on every platform just because you can. Try to understand your demographics before you invest too much time into the network. Using a Google Plus management tool can help you track your most important network data.

Best Times to Post on LinkedIn

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Known as the “professional’s social network,” there are more than 3 million companies with LinkedIn company pages on the network. Overall there are roughly 238 million users and that number is only expected to grow.

Branded content has the chance to thrive on LinkedIn and reach key audiences in the process. Promoting content at the right times can make all the difference especially for B2B brands. Here’s our findings on the best times to post to LinkedIn:

  • Tuesday through Thursday are the most recommended days to post
  • Noon and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday are the most optimal times to post
  • Least optimal posting times include every day from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Least optimal posting days include Saturday and Sunday
  • Safe to post 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays

3 Things to Know Before Posting to LinkedIn

LinkedIn is all about clickable content. The social network works well as a driver through your marketing funnel, but there are some things to note before you get started. Here are three things to know before posting to LinkedIn:

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1. Know Your Target Seniority Level
Whether it’s entry-level, manager or chief officer, it’s critical to know your target LinkedIn demographics and job positions. With Sprout Social’s LinkedIn analytics, you can decipher seniority levels and the industry positions of all your followers. This will give you insights into who to reach with your content.

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2. Share Industry and Company Events
With LinkedIn’s ability to connect professionals, use this opportunity to highlight your company events or to promote causes you support. Additionally, updating content around industry events could help you get the attention of core-users in your field.

3. Encourage Employees to Share
LinkedIn is a great spot for your employees to share your company’s content. With the help of an advocacy program like Bambu by Sprout Social, you take out the worry of putting your employees in the driverseat to post company content. Curate and manage news, company updates and open positions with Bambu.

Best Times to Post on Pinterest

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Pinterest is one of the most unique social media platforms because of its content and reachability. This network has more than 100 million active pinners and content tends to have a much longer lifespan compared to other social media outlets.

Even though content typically lasts in users’ feeds longer, it’s helpful to know the best times to post to Pinterest to to reach a larger initial audience. Connecting early on in Pinterest is important because more users will come back after they see your feed and consider it informative.

Of all the major social networks listed, Pinterest had the oddest suggested times. There was little data suggesting to post during normal workday hours. Here’s a deeper look into the best best times to post to Pinterest:

  • Saturday is the highest recommended day to post
  • Friday through Sunday are the strongest days to post
  • Late nights until 3 a.m. (excluding midnight to 1 a.m.) are safe times to post
  • 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday are the most optimal posting times
  • Least optimal posting times include Sunday through Friday 4 a.m. to 7 p.m.

3 Things to Know Before Posting to Pinterest

To be successful on Pinterest, you have to put effort into growing your audience and getting more exposure. If your content is set up correctly and posted at an optimal time, you have a much better chance at extending your reach. Here are three things to know before posting to Pinterest:

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1. Focus on Your Core Audience
Brands using Pinterest have a great option to get more specific with their content. Pinterest allows you to write searchable descriptions to help you narrow down users’ search intentions. For example, you could add descriptions like “The best cordless and most affordable tea kettles that come in black.” Doing this allows you to get ultra-specific with your content.

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2. Put Time Into Your Pin Descriptions
Pin descriptions shouldn’t just contain keywords. Instead, use this space to get specific, detail your visuals and name anyone who took the photo or made the object. This will help Pinterest users engage with your content more freely.

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3. Room for Engagement
Just like any other network, Pinterest is great for engaging with other users. Create user-generated content boards for your loyal followers to build rapport. When users engage, they come back and share your content.

How We Gathered the Data

After reading so many articles on the best times to post on social media, we found there were many conflicting data points and arguments. For example, some data showed per region, while others highlighted specific industry. Each set of data was based on different findings and from various audience sizes.

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We wanted to prove there’s no set-in-stone minute of the hour to reach the biggest audience or to get the most engagement. The data is so interchangeable for each industry or business that it’s much simpler to know the time and date ranges across the board.

That’s why we chose a heat map of all the data we found versus a single report. Our goal was to gauge the temperature of the water for you by using most critical data points from all the sources (and tried to keep the data from overlapping).

Once the info was accumulated, we presented everything on a bases of “level of interest” for each time and day. As more recommendations from the data grew for a certain day or time period, we increased the heat index. Instead of specifics, you have ranges for when to post.

Make Scheduling Easier With Viral Post

Knowing the best times to post on social media is truly helpful, but it shouldn’t take time out of your day. While many social media management tools having scheduling capabilities, Sprout Social’s Viral Post takes it to the next level.

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Viral Post was crafted to help social and community managers find the best time to post to each platform. With this feature, you can easily set your content to publish and Viral Post will choose a time where your most influential users are online.

With the help of this best posting times guide and Sprout’s Viral Post, you shouldn’t have to worry about connecting with your audience at the right time again. Make social media easy for your brand by following these tips and using Sprout. Try us for free with a 30-day trial today!