The annual analysis of the best times to post to the major social platforms has been released by social media management firm Sprout Social. The report is based on a year’s worth of engagement data from Sprout’s 34k+ users. This year, for the first time, data on TikTok has been included.
- Sprout says that, with nearly 5 billion social media users worldwide across several platforms, social media presents many opportunities. The objective of its annual ‘Best times to post’ report is to assist social media planners in creating successful social media marketing strategies with informed publishing schedules.
- In the report, Sprout says that the value of each platform depends on specific goals, content type and audience. Knowing which days deliver the most engagement helps in achieving those goals.
- In its coverage of the report release, Social Media Today’s Andrew Hutchinson notes that Sprout has also published industry-specific breakdowns to deliver sector specific insight. However he said:
While these reports can be helpful guides to hone in your strategy, it all comes down to experimentation, and analyzing what works best for your specific audience.
Best times to post overall
Looking at the data for each social network in the round, Sprout’s data team saw that the times of highest engagement are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9am and noon. This was true for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, Pinterest and TikTok saw higher engagement in the afternoons.
Looking at individual days, the best days to post were Tuesdays and the worst day was Sunday. The best times to post on individual days were:
Mondays – 10am to noon
Tuesdays – 9am to 2pm
Wednesdays – 9am to 1pm
Thursdays – 9am to noon
Fridays – 9am to 11am
Looking at individual platforms:
Facebook is still the most used social platform for marketers (90%), while Instagram comes in second (79%). Weekday mornings are the best time to post on Facebook and Instagram, generally between 8am and 2pm. For both Meta platforms, Sundays are the worst days for engagement.
Hutchinson at Social Media Today points out that the lack of engagement on Sundays might be because fewer brands post at the weekend and that the relative absence of fresh content might actually be an opportunity for marketers.
Twitter is hard to call at the moment, with all the upheaval. However, data from the last 12 months points to mornings, Tuesday to Friday, as the best time to post in line with Twitter’s real-time news focus.
Weekends look like a bust on work-driven LinkedIn; Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 am to noon are the best posting times for company pages.
Afternoon posts do better on TikTok, according to Sprout’s data – Tuesday to Thursday, after 2pm and before 6pm, sees the most engagement. Surprisingly, weekends are not good for TikTok engagement either.
On Pinterest, Sprout says the highest engagement can be seen between 1pm and 3pm, Tuesday to Thursday.
Hutchinson underlines the idea that Sprout’s research should only be used as a guide to the best times to post. He advised:
Use the info here to consider your posting approach, and maybe try out some new times, and see what results you get. It could lead to a big boost in activity – or it may enable you to cancel out another time for your strategy.