We’ve all seen articles telling us that if we post on a certain date, at a certain time, we’ll have a greater chance of social media success. Ok, maybe. But there are a few problems with this. And in fact, this is one of my biggest pet peeves.
For one thing, there are no absolutes when it comes to social media. Secondly, everyone’s online community is different (different ages, different interests, different lifestyles), and they use social media at different days/times.
So here’s the short answer to the question of when the best time to post on social media is: It depends.
What does it depend on? When YOUR audience is online.
The good news is that you an easily find this information. You just have to dig into your metrics (this honestly sounds scarier than it sounds, promise!). Here’s how to see when YOUR followers are online, by platform.
Go to your Facebook Page. In the left navigation, click on “Insights.” Then click on “Posts.” You’ll be able to see a graphic showing data for a one-week period. Take note of any peaks and valleys, and schedule around those times to see if engagement levels change. And check back regularly to see if there are any notable shifts.
INSTAGRAM BUSINESS ACCOUNT
In the Instagram app, navigate to your main profile page. Click on the hamburger icon in the top right-hand corner and click on “Insights.” You’ll see three tabs (Content, Activity, Audience).
Click on “Audience” and scroll to the bottom where it says “Followers.” You can choose between “Hours” and “Days” — which gives you the average days/times your followers are on Instagram. Again, take note of any peaks and valleys, and check back regularly.
Unlike Facebook and Instagram, Twitter doesn’t make this info easy to find. And while there is a free analytics tool that I recommend using in general — analytics.Twitter.com — it doesn’t offer a quick snapshot of when your followers are online. For that, you’ll likely need a third-party tool. Many of these products come at a price. Alternatively, you can try posting at different days/times and checking to see when you’re getting the highest levels of engagement.
POSTING DURING OFF-PEAK TIMES
Given how crowded many of the social media platforms are, you could also make the argument that posting during off-peak times might also be worth trying — the argument being that with fewer posts to wade through, yours might filter up.
As with all things social media, it’s important to experiment. Check your metrics, try posting at different times (and even in different quantities). And then see what happens. But the social media success of your accounts will always be based on YOUR audience — no one else’s.