You’ve decided which social media platforms to use to interact with your present and prospective customers. You’ve also looked at some key aspects of a good social media marketing strategy. Now comes the next big question: when should you post on those platforms? This article looks at 3 platforms in particular: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
The first thing to mention is that every social media platform is different. That’s because each has a different audience that uses the platform on different days on the week and at different times. LinkedIn, for example, is a professional networking platform where interactions are more formal, more business-focused. Twitter and Facebook are places where people hang out, chat with friends and talk about things that are more personal.
The second thing to mention is that there are no hard and fast rules about this. Different studies and articles say different things about when’s best to post, and results vary from sector to sector. What I’ve tried to do is harmonise the most recent studies and articles that are available and pull together a rough guide to posting times. Remember, however, that these platforms are constantly changing and this time next year, or next month even, everything could be different.
Posts on LinkedIn get the most engagement during work hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Engagement is typically very low on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
- The best time to post is 10am to 11am on Tuesdays. This is known for getting the most clicks and shares.
- Other optimal posting times are 12pm to 1pm, 7am to 9am, and 5pm to 6pm.
- The worst times to post on LinkedIn are after work hours and at the weekends.
Hootsuite suggests posting at quarter to the hour (so 7.45am, 10.45am, 12.45pm, 5.45pm) because so many brands are posting bang on the hour.
Research shows that Twitter is mostly used during work hours, particularly lunchtimes, and while people are commuting to and from work. In general it is better to post on Twitter during the week.
- The best time to post on Twitter is at 12pm on weekdays.
- Other optimal times to post are 7am to 9am, 12pm to 3pm, and 5pm to 6pm.
- The best days to post on Twitter are Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- You probably don’t want to schedule lots of your posts for 12pm — because everyone will be doing that. If you want to catch people at lunchtime, post just before 12pm or between 12pm and 1pm.
Studies show that engagement on Facebook gets better as the week goes on and that people tend to go on Facebook during the afternoons.
- The best days to post on Facebook are Thursdays and Fridays.
- Wednesdays and the weekends are the next best days to post (weekends are particularly good for B2C).
- Mondays and Tuesdays get the least engagement.
- The best times to post are 12pm to 3pm on weekdays and 12pm to 1pm at weekends.
B2B versus B2C
While the stats above are across the board, several articles make mention of a B2B/B2C difference. B2B brands have a much better chance of reaching their audience during the working week. Meanwhile some B2C brands may find they achieve better engagement when their followers aren’t working, i.e. before and after work, lunchtimes, and at weekends. One study suggests that individuals interact with businesses more at weekends and that Twitter engagement for B2C brands is 17% higher at weekends.
The other side of the argument is that sadly many people in this world find their jobs dull and social media is a common means of alleviating their boredom. This goes for B2B and B2C. This could be the reason why several studies report high engagement at 3pm on Facebook on weekdays — despite the fact that most people ought to be hard at work at that time! Buddy Media sums it up perfectly: “The less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook!”
A lot of the content and social media I do is for B2B technology companies that sell software and IT solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises. These clients get most engagement from their followers during the week, and most of that engagement comes through LinkedIn. In fact QuickSprout says that 93% of B2B marketers rate LinkedIn as their top social media lead generation source.
In other words, B2B brands should treat that Tuesday morning slot on LinkedIn as their goldmine!
Some insights for tech brands
Since I do a lot of copywriting for technology companies, I thought I’d try and find some stats specifically for tech brands. I found some 2018 industry data for Facebook and Twitter but unfortunately not LinkedIn. They come from a social media software provider called Sprout Social.
Facebook for tech brands
- The best times to post on Facebook are 11am on Mondays and 10am to 12pm on Tuesdays.
- More generally a good time to post on Facebook is 8am to 4pm on weekdays.
- Tech companies get the lowest amount of Facebook engagement on Saturdays.
Twitter for tech brands
- The best day to post on Twitter is Fridays.
- The best time to post on Twitter is 8am to 9am on Fridays.
- More generally it is good to post on Twitter between 8am and 4pm on Tuesdays through Fridays.
- Tech companies get the lowest amount of Twitter engagement on Sundays.
Bear in mind that these stats do not distinguish between B2B and B2C technology brands. It’s also worth noting that a number of the more general Sprout Social stats conflict with what the other studies are saying.
It’s very difficult to harmonise all the data out there on this subject. My advice would be this: use the stats as a rough guide to your posting habits, but don’t treat them as absolutes. They’re not and they can change as quickly as the wind. What’s more, there is no ‘one size fits all’ for every market and industry. It’s a case of learning what works best for your brand.
In other words — suck it and see.