Okay, before we get into this, it’s important to clarify the true importance of this report, and how it can be of benefit to your planning.
The best time to post to reach your target audience is based on your unique audience, and their activity within each app. You can find some of these insights within the analytics tools in the various social apps, while you also need to experiment and test in order to see when your posts generate the best response.
Various factors can weigh into this, like when your users are more active, when they’re most receptive to your messaging, what other content is being posted at any given time (which could clutter user feeds), the specific content that you’re sharing, algorithm sorting, etc.
There’s no one perfect time for all businesses to post to any social app – but, if you’re trying to plan out your strategy, and you’re considering when you should be scheduling, this annual report from the team at Sprout Social can provide some guidance for your planning and experiments, to help you find the right times and cadences for your approach.
Based on usage insights gleaned from Sprout’s 30,000+ customers, the Sprout Social team has determined the times when people are most engaged and active within each of the major apps.
Based on this, if you looked to post around these times, that could see you reach a wider audience – but again, it takes experimentation and testing, this isn’t a prescriptive guide for when, exactly, your business will see the best results necessarily.
With all that in mind, here are the latest results from Sprout’s Best Times to Post study, starting with Facebook, and when Facebook users are most active in the app.
(Also: note that all times are recorded in CST, but the relative insights, based on habitual usage, likely translate to your local time zone as well)
As you can see in the above chart, according to Sprout’s analysis, the best times to post on Facebook are Mondays through Fridays at 3 am, and Tuesdays at 10 am and noon.
Why 3am? Well, there’s likely a lot less competition at that time, and it could be that by posting in these down times, that could be the initial engagement spark that you need to reach more people throughout the day.
Facebook is also used by people around the world, in different time zones, so there may be additional interaction coming from other regions, which again could help to kickstart your post activity.
Early mornings, and between 9am and 12pm on weekdays seems to be when Facebook users are most active, so that could also be a ripe testing ground to start with for your post experiments.
Sprout’s team says that Tuesdays through Fridays are the best days to post, while you want to avoid Saturdays entirely. Fewer people logging in on weekends, maybe, or maybe Facebook prioritizes content from friends and family more in those times, but either way, engagement rates, overall, are low on Saturday and Sunday.
Sprout says that Mondays at 11 am, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 1 pm, and Thursdays and Fridays between 10 am and 11 am are the best times to post on Instagram.
So mid-morning seems like the Instagram sweet spot, which could be great insight for your planning, and maximizing your Instagram engagement.
The report doesn’t specify whether this relates to Stories and regular feed posts, though this would likely be focused on feed posts in particular. But even so, it could also be worth testing Stories along the same lines to see what sorts of results you get.
In terms of best days, Sprout says that Tuesdays and Wednesdays see the most IG activity, while Sundays are no good.
The best times to tweet, according to Sprout’s analysis, are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 9 am.
Maybe that relates to how people use Twitter to catch up on the latest news of the day – while this could also be a skewing in Sprout’s data, due to most Sprout customers, you would assume, being business users.
If most of Sprout’s subscribers are using social media for business, then it makes sense that most of them would be logging onto Twitter at around 9am each day.
Either way, according to Sprout’s insights, that morning block of between 9am and 12pm is when people are more actively consuming tweets, which could help guide your thinking.
The best days to tweet are Tuesday and Wednesday, while Sunday should be avoided.
Finally, Sprout’s analysis suggests that Tuesday between 10 am and noon is the best time to post on LinkedIn.
Weekdays, between 7am and 3pm, look like they see pretty good LinkedIn activity overall, so there’d be a few opportunities within there, and it could be worth trying out different posting schedules to see what works and what doesn’t.
In essence, I’m not sure there’s anything truly definitive here – though it would be worth trying the Tuesday mid-morning timeslot based on this advice.
The best days to post to LinkedIn are Wednesday and Thursday, while unsurprisingly, the weekends see far less LinkedIn engagement.
Again, these notes are not prescriptive, they are not to say that ‘you must post at these times to see the most engagement in each app’. This is based on a sample pool of tens of thousands of users, and based on those insights, posting within these time periods could help you see more engagement, and drive more response with your updates.
But it’s individual, it’s different for every brand, every audience, and you’ll need to test and experiment to find what works best.
But they could be a good guide, and it could be worth changing up your posting process in line with this data to see if your numbers go up.
You can read Sprout Social’s full best times to post report here.