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The internet never sleeps so the best time to post on social media seems like it’s at every hour of the day. We’re going to demystify this myth so your social team can plan, prioritize and create a successful social media marketing strategy.
With nearly 5 billion social media users worldwide and across several platforms, social media presents many opportunities. Social media has become a much more cross-functional and collaborative channel in the last few years. Where it had once been used solely for brand awareness, now there is an impact of social media on business across several teams: customer experience, sales, product development, content and marketing.
We worked closely with our data science team to review findings and trends in social media usage over the past year from Sprout Social’s more than 34,000 customers and understand when their content was most and least frequently engaged with, broken out by platform and industry.
Use the data from this article to help inform your publishing calendar. However, the best way to learn how to identify your best times to post globally across each network is to start a free trial of Sprout Social and test our ViralPost® feature with your profiles.
Disclaimer: Data from Sprout Social include users from various plan types, industries and locations. All time frames are recorded globally, meaning you should be able to publish with the times provided in any timezone and see positive engagement results. Number of engagements represents total engagements a brand received on the specific channel during that hour time frame. Industry-specific data includes mid- to high-level engagement times. However, we recommend testing with your own accounts to find the most optimal send times.
Best Times to Post on Facebook
- Best times to post on Facebook:
- Mondays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Thursdays from 8 a.m. to noon
- Best days to post on Facebook: Mondays through Thursdays
- Worst days to post on Facebook: Sundays
Don’t look alarmed. Facebook is still the most used platform by marketers worldwide at 90%, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. We’ve seen an interesting shift in most engagement times matching general business hours versus very early morning hours in recent years. What does this mean for marketers?
Optimal send times for Facebook are Mondays through Thursdays starting at 8 a.m. until early afternoon, generally 1 p.m. The only “off” hours for posting on Facebook are very early hours on Fridays through Mondays, generally midnight until 4 a.m.
With a solid Facebook marketing strategy, businesses can target the right audiences at the right time with their content. Keep in mind, engagement also has to do with how often you post on social media and what you post. Not all social content translates well across every social media platform. Posting the right content on the right platform makes a difference.
Best Times to Post on Instagram
- Best times to post on Instagram:
- Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon
- Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m.
- Best days to post on Instagram: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Worst days to post on Instagram: Sundays
Where Facebook was the most-used platform by marketers worldwide, Instagram comes in second with 79%. Not surprisingly, Instagram is also the second most preferred platform for customer service after Facebook, for marketers and consumers. With the competition for short-form video between Instagram and TikTok still heating up, Reels account for 30% of time spent on the Meta-owned platform.
The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., generally. Similar to Facebook, the “off” hours are the early morning hours every day of the week, from midnight until 4 a.m.
Instagram has grown a long way since its photo-only days. The app, which has nearly 2 billion monthly active users, is now a platform to share images, videos, Reels, and live streams, just to name a few creative content types. It is also an avenue to collaborate and partner with other brands and provides a stream of revenue through its e-commerce capabilities.
The Instagram algorithm is unpredictable. To be successful on the platform is a balance of consistently posting high-quality content that will engage and entertain your audiences. That’s a lot to ask for with each piece of content published. But using that as a guiding post can help with your Instagram marketing efforts.
Best Times to Post on Pinterest
- Best times to post on Pinterest:
- Tuesdays at 1 p.m.
- Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m.
- Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m.
- Best days to post on Pinterest: Wednesdays through Fridays
- Worst days to post on Pinterest: Sundays and Mondays
Pinterest is the visual search engine where users go to research and discover products, trends, designs and more. While not all brands may be on the platform, those who use it know Pinterest’s benefits.
Providing the best times to post on Pinterest is new for Sprout to include this year. Users are engaging with content at nearly all hours of the day, almost every day of the week. The best times to post on Pinterest include Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays around the 1 p.m. hour, extending either an hour before or later. Interestingly, Wednesdays at 6 a.m. are also a peak time to post on Pinterest.
It may be a combination of when users are searching their feeds and the Pinterest algorithm that affects engagement times, but that shouldn’t stop you from creating a social media calendar with posts scheduled at those hours.
Best Times to Post on TikTok
- Best times to post on TikTok:
- Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m.
- Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m.
- Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m.
- Best days to post on TikTok: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Worst days to post on TikTok: Sundays
As the youngest digital platform on this list, TikTok has grown significantly and made waves in half as many years as the others on this list. With the app now amassing over 1 billion active global users who spend nearly 20 hours on the app every month, TikTok has competitive staying power.
The best times to post on TikTok are Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m. Afternoons are when the highest engagements are on the platform; users are looking to fill their afternoon entertainment boost. However, generally, mid-morning through the afternoon (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) on Tuesdays through Thursdays see higher engagement on the app.
With future market trends changing quickly, it’s important to understand how trends start, evolve and influence. Once you understand how these forces, moments or signals work, you can better create a TikTok trend strategy to implement rather than participating reactively.
Best Times to Post on Twitter
- Best times to post on Twitter:
- Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Fridays 9 a.m. to noon
- Best days to post on Twitter: Tuesdays through Thursdays
- Worst days to post on Twitter: Sundays
Twitter has consistently been the platform for up-to-the-minute conversations and breaking news. And 2022 didn’t stop with breaking news and trends on or about Twitter. Brands looking to participate in trending topics need to be timely but conscious of their brand values in the process.
Twitter peak times for engagement grew significantly compared to last year, with hours consistently at late morning to midday during weekdays. The best times to post on Twitter are Tuesdays through Fridays beginning at 9 a.m. and taper off around noon.
This could reflect an interest in developing news and updates as the day unfolds, as well as a desire for entertainment. Keep in mind many brands use Twitter as part of their customer service strategy, as an alternative to traditional customer support options. Brands should continue to build trust between their customers and proactively improve customer experience through social listening.
How to find your own best times to post on social media
Social marketers can plan content more effectively when they’re armed with data. And as platforms evolve, how brands and consumers use social will evolve with them, or vice versa. Staying aware of new content formats and trends might help you reach your audience in unexpected ways, or even find new segments and personas you weren’t focusing on before.
While you may be ready to jump in and post at these provided peak engagement times as part of your strategy, consider pairing this data with your own social media data analysis. You may discover that your specific target audience is active near the peak times we’ve outlined or hours earlier.
A social media management tool like Sprout Social can help you drill into your analytics and develop tailored findings for your brand accounts across all networks, holistically and individually. Gain competitive insights by comparing your performance to your competitors, to find new opportunities for engagement.
With features like post tagging and cross-network reporting, you can separate different factors like post author or types of content, and drill down into how your posting time influenced your social success.
Sprout’s patented ViralPost® technology uses the same data we’ve used to look at all our customer accounts to determine the best time to post tailored for your account. ViralPost® algorithmically determines the results for our Optimal Send Times feature, a publishing option available in all plans. Our proprietary machine learning feature isn't new, but we're constantly learning and improving our product to help brands surface insights faster. Our goal is to help people who use our product work more effectively.
With Optimal Send Times, the specific times offered are based on when your audience engages the most using your publishing history. ViralPost® also continually updates and refines to save you time from doing the repeated analysis and allowing you more time to craft great content.
How Sprout gathered the data
We understand that these reports can raise questions about just where the data is coming from. That’s why we want to be clear about the data we pulled and how we got here.
Sprout Social’s Data Science team gathers this information by analyzing nearly 2 billion engagements across 400,000 social profiles across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok.
Find your best time to post with Sprout
Now’s the time to test your content calendar. Are you posting when your followers are most active? Start your free trial of Sprout Social and discover the best times to post on social media today.