What’s the best time to post on social media? As a social media manager, it’s one of the questions I get asked most by small business owners looking to market their product or service online.
The timing of your post can make the difference between high engagement – likes, comments, shares and tumble weed.
Social media is busy. Social media is noisy. Being seen and heard by your audience can be tricky and getting the timing right can maximise the opportunity to get in front of your ideal client.
So when should you post on social media?
11:11 am on a Tuesday. If only. I’d love to give you a precise answer, but the truth is, the optimal timing is different for every audience, every platform, and every business!
In this blog I’ll cover 3 things to consider for getting the timing right.
Know your Audience
Who do you want to speak to, and when are they online?
💐If you are a wedding florist wanting to reach brides, lunch breaks might be your peak.
👶 Hoping to speak to parents of new-borns? 4am could be the sweet spot.
🚗Is your ideal client a school run mum, scrolling on her phone in the car before she goes through the school gates? Try 2.55pm
📺 Sunday night drama watcher? 8.55pm scroll could be your moment.
How often are your audience online?
The Facebook feed of someone who opens the app several times a day will look quite different from someone who logs in once or twice a week. In the case of the later, they may not see your posts for several days. But may still see it.
Check the insights for your followers and test, test, test! Try different options and see what works for your audience.
And use some common sense. Your insights might tell you that Monday at 11am is the best time for your audience, but if you are a restaurant that is closed on Monday’s there’s no point sending them a “Book now” message when there’s no one there to take the call!
If your audience is international, you may need to throw different time zones into the mix…
When is your audience online? What do your account insights tell you? What does your experience tell you?
What works for you?
Setting boundaries is important. I don’t want you responding to every ping of your phone. That way madness lies, as does low productivity.
The best time for your audience might be 6am on the commuter train into London, or perhaps its 1am as they scroll mindlessly unable to sleep.
Can you physically post then? And do you want to? If not, scheduling tools can help. You can automate your posts to ensure you aren’t talking to an empty room. Many schedulers offer features that will even pick the “best” time for you to post. But a word of warning. This can lead to a trap of “ghost posting”. By which I mean, posting on a social media platform and never engaging.
If you ask a question at 6am on Facebook, but you can’t engage with the replies until 10am, to answer comments and be present on the platform, your engagement may still fall flat. If your post is starting a conversation, you will get the best results if you are there to continue that conversation.
When will you be online? When do you want to engage with your audience on social media?
Good content will be seen, no matter when you post it.
We no longer have chronological feeds on social media. In other words, we don’t see the latest posts of everyone we follow. Each social media platform has its own algorithms that control who sees what, but in general, your post will be shown to a small proportion of your followers, and if those people react, click, comment, save or share then this sends a signal to Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Linkedin that your content is interesting, and it will be shown to more people. Like ripples in a pond. If no one responds, it will sink out of sight and fall down the feed never to be seen again… but good content, that engages, educates and entertains your audience will continue to be seen, for days or weeks, no matter what time you post it.
Getting your posts in front of your audience at a time when they will engage can help your message to reach more people. Your social media posting schedule should consider your audience and it must work for you. You need to strike a balance between the two.