If you’re hoping to utilize organic social media to promote your business, digital marketing strategy, event, or even just your own personal account, there’s nothing worse than putting in hours of effort and seeing no results. However, many social media users forget to factor in the importance of one significant piece: timing. The time you choose to post to your social media accounts will weigh heavily on whether or not your audience will even see your message, let alone engage with it. Much research has been put into this idea and here’s what was found.
Every Social Media Platform is Different
Think about your own personal social media habits for a minute. How often do you check your Instagram? Twitter? Facebook? Do you engage in one more heavily than another? What makes you prefer that one over the next? And, most importantly, what time are you checking these feeds? These are the questions and patterns in which marketers are most interested. According to the most recent industry research, there are clear answers to these questions, from which social media users can benefit from knowing. One thing is certain: user patterns are a little different for each social media platform.
The Social Media Breakdown
If you’re looking to increase engagement, the simple answer is to post when your audience is actively online. This means avoiding the times when your audience is most likely to be busy or distracted. The sweet spot is finding when your audience has the downtime and attention to absorb your message and engage. Here’s the breakdown:
According to the Pew Research Center study published in February 2018, the majority of people who use Facebook check their feed at least once every day. It also appears that Facebook users are generally more active on weekdays at midday versus any other time. The sweet spot? Data provided by Sprout Social says the best times to post are weekdays between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m for the most exposure and highest level of engagement.
It’s also worth noting that Facebook is still the most used social media platform… by far. Pew Research Center studies confirmed 68 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook in 2018, compared to 35 percent on Instagram and 24 percent on Twitter.
If you’re big on visual content, images or video, Instagram is your home. Particularly popular with the younger generation, this is the platform that allows a more intimate connection to their favorite brands, influencers, and organizations. In addition to simply following friends, you can get some genuine insight when it comes to businesses.
The studies reveal that Sundays and Mondays show the least activity on Instagram. Aim for Tuesdays through Fridays between 9:00 a.m and 6:00 p.m. for the most action on your account. This timeframe is most likely a reflection of users checking their feeds during periods of downtime at work or school.
Twitter can be tough. With so many tweets constantly going out, it’s difficult to really make yourself stand out in the crowd. However, there is a tighter window of engagement here that you can really take advantage of, if Twitter is your thing. Studies show that Friday is absolutely the best day to post on Twitter, with the hours between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. being the most likely to garner engagement.
An excellent way to get noticed on Twitter is to use your account to engage with others rather than just posting your own content. Responding, retweeting, and tagging other users with their twitter handle are often the best ways to build your following.
Realistic Social Media Goals & Expectations
Just because the research and data show certain times can be more beneficial to post than others, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re sure to be successful if you post during these hours. There’s also vital importance placed on the kind of content you’re posting, the quality of the content, whether or not your target audience follows the trends highlighted in these general studies, and many more considerations to factor into your efforts. However, timing is a major piece of the puzzle when it comes to successfully engaging on social media.