We all love the feeling we get when we are scrolling down our feed and find a post we enjoy. The instinctive double tap and the way we get excited when we share it with our friends.
The truth is making great content for social media is an art in itself but if our audience doesn’t get to see it, does it even exist?
When establishing a strong relationship with your consumer every interaction counts and knowing the right time to reach out is just as important as the message itself.
So if you are looking to boost your engagement, reach and exposure, I’m sorry to say: there really is no right answer that fits all.
But even if we can’t swear by an exact time you should be posting we can help you figure out your own best time to post in the day.
With the different social media platforms constantly evolving and the updates of new algorithms it can be easy for your posts to get lost in your overly bombarded viewers timeline.
Connecting with your audience through social media is not a task to be taken lightly. According to one of our partners, Sprout Social
76% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor”.
Having said that, your best bet in reaching your audience is to be posting when they are online. This gives your carefully crafted content its best shot to actually perform for the intended audience.
If you already have published content on your social media platforms, this can give you valuable insights when discovering your personal peak times. Going over each of your social media channel statistics will layout for you in which time and what days you have engaged with your audience the most.
You can also find out in what time zone and regions your audience is located and most importantly when your target audience is online. Knowing this will give you a starting point when intentionally testing out different times and days to post. This is a step I don’t recommend skipping.
You may be wondering why you should go through all of this. There are plenty of studies out there with statistics for the best times you can post. But, as Dr. Seuss said:
Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than You.
At the end of the day, your business and your target audience are unique. Your audience holds their own preferred social media channels, their interaction habits and are located in specific regions with their respective time zones. Plus you, as a business, have your own marketing goals you are aiming to fulfill with your social media strategy.
Remember, for all of this, timing is key. But if you are still needing a little bit more guidance we have broken down for you two of social media giants: Instagram and Facebook.
Bellow are statistics that reflect generalized ideal posting times and days. And a guide for you to go through the insights of each social media analytics tools and how you can make the most of it.
Instagram's new algorithm has proven to be a curveball for marketers everywhere. With this: Instagram declared:
Based on your feedback, we’re also making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed. With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won’t miss the moments you care about.”
So for Instagram, now more than ever, the timing of your posting is practically a game-changer. As Instagram is prioritizing the newest content that is being posted you want to be posting when your target audience is actively interacting inside the platform.
This social media platform is the fastest growing of its kind, with more than a billion users, and with a notable focus on retail, it has become a place your brand probably wants to thrive in. With different features like stories and Instagram TV, there are several ways you can effectively establish a connection with your audience.
Now how can you tailor it more to your audience and brands? The best way to start is by taking a look into Instagram Insights. This is Instagram’s native analytics tool accessible for Business and Creators Profiles that provides you with graphics packed with data that you will want to take advantage of.
Here you will find where your followers are located when they’re most active on the app and important data like their age and gender. This will give you a window into getting to know your audience better so you can adjust your strategy to meet their habits.
With this in mind, you can now start doing some research of your own. Use this tip from Later, a social media scheduling platform, to measure the best time for your brand to post.
Now you will be able to really personalize and establish the best post times that work best with your followers. Getting you well on the way to increase your exposure, reach and engagement.
Sound complicated? Don’t worry, on your right, you can download an Instagram and Facebook time tracking sheet for free.
Not only will you be able to put in all the data as mentioned, but as you do, it automatically makes graphics so you can easily see the total of comments, likes, and shares per day for each week. It also calculates for you the total average per month so you can have an accurate overview and easily see what times work best for you.
Facebook is the OG of social networks and can boast of having over two billion active users and of being the most popular social media platform. So, if your consumers are already there, it is pertinent for your brand to take a deep dive into this platform.
Unlike Instagram, Facebook is a social platform that users access both through computers and mobiles alike, either from work or at home. According to the Pew Research Center, 68% of US adults are users of this social network and around three-quarters of this sample use it daily. This is why your best times heavily depend on the characteristics of your audience.
Another important point to take into consideration is Facebook's Algorithm, as it controls the order in which you see the posts in your feed. It is tailored for you to see what Facebook infers matters to you most, prioritizing posts by friends, family, and meaningful connections.
For the 2019 new Facebook Algorithm, the social media platform aimed for users to be able to personalize their feeds even further by gathering feedback from them through surveys. This effort targets the decrease of spammy content and makes the user feel that all the content they are seen is relevant to them.
Facebook stated the following regarding the effect of this to business pages:
These changes aren’t meant to show more or less from Pages or friends. Rather, the Page links that are surfaced to people will be ones they find worth their time — and the friend posts will be from friends people want to hear from most.”
A way to interpret this statement is that the amount of engagement your post holds, either from reactions, comments or shares, are valuable elements if you want your followers to see this content as relevant.
Sprout Social's data, pulled from the same 2019 study as mentioned above, reports that the best time to post on Facebook is Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The best day, like with Instagram, is Wednesday. The most recorded engagement on this day is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The worst day to post on this social media network can be found on the weekend. Sunday is the weekday that tracked the least overall engagement in a day for Facebook.
And the worst timings you could be picking, regardless of the day of the week, is before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m. These hold the least amount of engagement in this social media channel.
As we can see, these findings don’t really differ that much with the ones we saw with Instagram. Wednesday remains as the peak period and engagement are consistent from morning to mid-afternoon on weekdays.
This tells us that even if people check Facebook several times through the day the time where they engage the most is during lunch break hours. This makes sense since it is when they have a considerable block of time that allows them to go through the posts that hold their interest and engagement follows suit.
At the same time, we can see that weekends are not the best days to get the engagement, exposure and reach you should be looking for. So your marketing and campaign efforts for your target audience are better left to be focused on weekdays around business hours.
Of course, different markets and target audiences make it important for you to tailor your best times to fit your followers and your goals needs. The first place you will need to explore for this in your account is your Facebook Page Insights. Here you will find the analytics regarding your audience demographics along with data illustrating how your posts are performing.
You can find this by clicking on the tab Insights that is located at the top of your screen. Inside of it, you can see different sections like Overview, Followers, Likes, Reach, Page Views, Posts, etc. Take your time to explore each one and take notes of your findings.
The really cool part is that this analytics tool lets you pinpoint when your followers have been seeing your page and how they got there. Also, you can see when your audience is online (this is located in the Post section), what time zones they are located in and what cities or countries they live in (this is located in the Page View section).
One of the sections of your account where you want to spend a significant amount of time is in the Post section. Here Facebook lets you track the engagement of your posts, this data will give you a leg up next time you are scheduling your content.
Inside Post go to All Post Published to figure out when your followers are more likely to engage with your brand. Here you will find the statistics from all the posts in your account. You can see the post, the day and time you publish it, the number of comments, reactions and shares you got for every single one.
For a more in-depth analysis dig into your Audience Insights that relays added information about the followers you have and people that are using Facebook in general. We recommend that you select the option of people connected to your page to learn more about your followers.
Click into the locations tab inside Audience Insights to have a more in-depth knowledge of the demographics of your audience. You will not only mapped out where they live, what time zone they are in but also what language they speak, what sort of education they hold, their job titles, relationship status, etc.
Cross referencing all of this information will help you develop a schedule for posting on social media. Download for free our Time Tracking Analysis spreadsheet so you can get a handle of your engagement. Measure the number of likes and comments, your posts have per day and hour and follow the same method we described earlier for figuring out your best time to post on Facebook.
Now that you know the basics of figuring out the best days for you to post on social media is time for you to get to work. But don’t forget to keep the following in mind:
Gray Group International loves to work with partners in finding the best social media strategy for your brand. We would love to hear from you regarding the challenges you face when crafting the schedules for your social media strategy.
Schedule a free consultation with one of GGI’s Growth Advisors and let’s talk about how to up your social media marketing game.
Now that you have a handle on the best posting times for your brand on Instagram and Facebook make sure to check out Part 2. Here you will find specific pointers for developing a successful posting schedule for your Twitter and LinkedIn strategies.