As brands and consumers settled into a new routine that was caused by the disruption from the pandemic, there’s been a shift in how we all interact and use social media today. And what seemed like the best time to post on social media last year has become more concentrated and focused in 2022.
With nearly 4 billion social media users across all platforms and the average person using several social platforms per month, there’s no doubt that social media presents opportunities for many businesses. In fact, 71% of consumers found themselves using social more than they have in years past, which means brands and marketers need to meet their audiences where they are. And when marketers meet consumers’ expectations on social media, the benefits extend to every area of the business.
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 30,000 customers and understand when their content was most and least frequently engaged with, broken out by platform and industry.
Use this data to help inform scheduling for your publishing calendar, or read on for ideas about how to integrate these findings into your own analysis of your specific account’s peak times for engagement.
Disclaimer: Data from Sprout Social include users from various plan types, industries and locations. All time frames are recorded in Central Time (CST). 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.
- What are the best times to post on social media overall?
- What are the best times to post on Facebook?
- What are the best times to post on Instagram?
- What are the best times to post on Twitter?
- What are the best times to post on LinkedIn?
- How to find your own best times to post on social media
- How we gathered the data
Best Times to Post on Social Media Overall
Each social platform has its own benefits depending on your goals, content type and audience. If you’re noticing your engagement isn’t where you want it to be, consider revisiting your social media goals and overall KPIs. Of course, knowing which days you get the most engagement helps you reach those goals as well.
While interpreting the data for each social network individually, we consistently noticed that the highest times of engagement were Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 or 10 a.m. Midweek mornings proved to be a successful time across most social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Best times to post on social media overall: Tuesdays through Thursdays at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.
- Best days to post on social media: Tuesdays through Thursdays
- Worst days to post on social media: Sundays
There’s more to posting on social media than this quick stat though. Each network saw varying ranges of engagement throughout the week and at remarkably different times. And once industries are factored in, engagement varies even more. So while Tuesdays through Thursdays at 9 or 10 a.m. are generally the best times to post on social, there are a few more factors to consider before you schedule any posts.
Read on for our findings by network.
Best Times to Post on Facebook
- Best times to post on Facebook: Mondays through Fridays at 3 a.m., Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and noon
- Best days to post on Facebook: Tuesdays through Fridays
- Worst days to post on Facebook: Saturdays
Facebook continues to be the most used platform by marketers worldwide but we’ve seen an interesting shift in when there’s the most engagement in 2022. While mid-mornings used to dominate more strongly in years past, it now appears early morning hours have taken the lead.
Compared to last year, there are a few more “off” times for Facebook when reviewing the data. Weekday very early mornings and mid-mornings still show more consistent engagement and have become much more opportune times for brands to get eyes on their content.
Keep in mind that the top times shown are recorded in US Central Time, so the high engagement shown in the early mornings in addition to the traditional US workday reflects Facebook’s significant global audience. What does this mean, exactly? Facebook continues to show opportunities in conducting a multi-location or international social media strategy.
Best Times to Post on Instagram
- Best times to post on Instagram: Mondays at 11 a.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursdays and Fridays 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
- Best days to post on Instagram: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Worst days to post on Instagram: Sundays
We’ve seen Instagram boom throughout 2020 and 2021 and watched it reach 2 billion monthly users as of early 2022. While the competition for short-form video content from TikTok is heating up, there’s no denying the staying power of Instagram, especially as it rolls out new features and enhances existing ones. Instagram Video has taken new life and expanded to 60 minute videos, and Reels have made it easier to create and discover videos on the app.
Similar to Facebook’s other popular app, Instagram’s top times to post expanded in 2021 compared to previous years. Midday engagement during weekdays became denser with top times ranging between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., while evenings and weekends still showed increased opportunities for engagement.
Instagram is still a platform for product discovery of brands, products or services. And new or expanding ecommerce features are shaping the way consumers use the app. In fact, 44% of users shop for products on the app weekly. Because the platform is built on sharing high-quality photos, it makes sense to expand the app to include ecommerce capabilities.
Brands shouldn’t sleep on Instagram though, if that’s where their target audience is. Use the platform to highlight products or showcase your brand’s unique design through infographics. There are endless opportunities to engage followers when posting various content on Instagram.
If you’re looking to amplify your Instagram strategy, use these best times to post, plus check out our guide on getting the most out of your Instagram presence.
Best Times to Post on Twitter
- Best times to post on Twitter: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 9 a.m.
- Best days to post on Twitter: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Worst days to post on Twitter: Sundays
Twitter has been the go-to platform for up-to-the-minute conversations and breaking news. And 2021 didn’t slow down with the COVID-19 pandemic going into its second year. Brands looking to participate in trending topics need to be timely but conscious of the brand’s values in the process.
Twitter peak times for engagement shifted significantly compared to last year, becoming much more concentrated during mid mornings and middays throughout the week. This could reflect greater attention to developing news and updates, as well as a desire for entertainment via viral Tweets and memes.
Remember that Twitter’s use extends beyond breaking news and viral content. Many brands use Twitter as part of their customer care strategy, as an alternative to calling customer support. This is particularly important for the platform as brands continue to build trust between their customers and proactively improve customer experience through social listening as well.
All of these focus areas means brands can have multiple, and sometimes competing, priorities on Twitter. The top times to post on Twitter we found above may help you determine when you should focus on prioritizing publishing new content versus devoting resources to customer support or consider a multiple Twitter account strategy.
Best Times to Post on LinkedIn
- Best times to post on LinkedIn: Tuesdays 10 a.m. to noon
- Best days to post on LinkedIn: Wednesdays and Thursdays
- Worst days to post on LinkedIn: Saturdays and Sundays
Unsurprising for this professional-focused social platform, LinkedIn engagement times continue to be consistent to the US workweek. High engagement hours are more concentrated midday and don’t extend too far out past the US workday hours, as it had in years past. You’re less likely to get eyes on your LinkedIn content on the weekend, where engagement drops significantly.
Considering how much LinkedIn content is centered around professional thought leadership and career growth, it makes sense that a majority of audiences are getting the most out of this content during their working day.
While LinkedIn continues to be more specialized than other social platforms, it’s also increasingly branching out in what types of audiences it attracts. With over 810 million members in 200 countries, LinkedIn is becoming equally important for a wide range of content creation. Businesses on LinkedIn are finding new ways to generate leads, find co-marketing partners, highlight company culture and attract talent, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. LinkedIn is also an ideal fit for employee advocacy and empowering employees to advance their personal brand or professional development as they publish content to their own profiles.
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 on the top times to post across social networks. Still, as platforms evolve with how brands and consumers are using social, there are new ways to innovate interactions all the time. 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.
More tips for content scheduling and social strategies
- Building your social media marketing strategy for 2022
- How to craft an effective social media content strategy
- 20 social media ideas to keep your brand’s feed fresh
- Creating a 30-day social media plan
While posting at peak engagement times is a go-to strategy, a detailed analysis of your audience might reveal less busy times when your specific audience is active, but competitors are not. A tool like Sprout Social can help you dig into your own analytics and develop tailored findings for your accounts to complement the wide range of data across industries we’ve surveyed here.
With Sprout’s tools like post tagging and cross-channel reporting, you can separate different factors like network or types of media and drill down into how your posting time influenced your social success.
Sprout’s very own ViralPost® algorithm uses the same types of data we’ve looked at across all our customer accounts to determine the best time to post for your individual account. ViralPost® algorithmically determines the results for our Optimal Send Times feature, a publishing option on our Professional and Advanced plans.
With Optimal Send Times, the specific times that your own audience engages the most are identified based on your publishing history. ViralPost® also continually updates and refines to save you time from doing repeated analyses yourself.
Want to see it in action? Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Sprout Social.
If you’re looking for more of our findings from this year’s study of our customer data, see what we learned about the best times to post across ten industries on these networks:
How we 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.
First off, we were lucky enough to work with Sprout Social’s very own data science team to gather this information from our customers. Joel Booth, a Senior Data Scientist at Sprout, explained how it all works.
“Sprout integrates with the different social media platforms via their API, which allows the application to receive messages on behalf of our customers,” Booth said. “Essentially, this is how we power features such as Sprout’s Smart Inbox and Reports.”
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 your best times to post on social media today.