[Publish] Is there a perfect time to share content on social media?

Summary

Is there a perfect time to share content on social media? This is one of the most talked about questions, with so many different answers. Finding the best times to post can be challenging and there doesn’t seem to be one perfect way of uncovering them. Every social network is different, so it’s definitely worth spending some time figuring out what works for you on each one.

While there might be general times during which posts perform better, a lot of it will depend on your audience’s preferences, content and business area. There are two schools of thoughts when it comes to posting on social media:

  • Peak Time: Post when most people are online. This should increase the chance of your audience being able to see your posts.
  • Off-Peak Time: Post when less people are online. This would lead to having less posts to compete with and more exposure as a result.

The best way to figure out what works best for your audience and thus leads to the most engagement, is to test things.

Helpful Tools

Buffer Analytics 

Buffer offers  built-in analytics, allowing you to track your post performance data. A helpful way to test posting times is to vary up your schedule and then dive into analytics to see how each post is performing. Which posts got the most engagement? What time were they sent? We’d recommend testing and reviewing the data for a minimum of 2 weeks.

Followerwonk

Followerwonk, a Moz app, helps you to find the best posting times for Twitter. Sign up for their Free Plan and then head into the Analyze tab. Enter your Twitter handle, select analyze users they follow from the drop down and hit Do it.

A little way down the page, you'll see a chart listing the most active hours of your Twitter followers. Followerwonk is integrated with Buffer, meaning you can easily import these times into your Buffer schedule. Here's a quick video of how it all works.

Facebook Insights

Under the Posts section of Facebook Insights, you'll see a chart of when your fans are online. It shows you how active your Facebook fans are, on average, on each day or the week and each hour of the day. This could be helpful in determining when your optimal posting times might be. We recently wrote an in-depth guide to Facebook Insights over on our Social Blog. Feel free to  check it out here.

Our Research

January 2017 Study

In January 2017, we wrote about there being no universal best time to post on Facebook, and how it depends so much on your individual brand. Feel free to  check out that blog here.

April 2016 Study

In April 2016, we analyzed over 4.8 million tweets across 10,000 profiles, pulling the stats on how clicks and engagement and timing occur throughout the day and in different time zones. We learned a ton from this study and here are a few of the key takeaways:

  • Based on all of the tweet data we have collected, the early morning hours appear to be the time in which tweets receive the most clicks, on average.
  • Evenings and late at night are the times when your tweets receive the most favorites and retweets, on average.
  • In some cases, times with the highest amount of average engagement are almost inversely related to the most popular times to tweet.
  • The most popular time to tweet and the best times to tweet for engagement differ across time zones, so it’s still important to experiment and find the times when your audience is most engaged.

Keen to read more about this study? Feel free to   read the full write up here.

February 2015 Study

In February 2015, we worked with our friends at  SumAll to produce an infographic, outlining how often to post on social media. Feel free to download the infographic here . And here are a few highlights:

  • Twitter: 3 times per day, or more. Engagement decreases slightly after the third tweet.
  • Facebook: 2 times per day, at most. 2x per day is the level before likes & comments begin to drop off dramatically.
  • LinkedIn: 1 time per day. 20 posts per month (1x per weekday) allows you to reach 60 percent of your audience
  • Google+: 3 times per day, at most. The more often you post, the more activity you’ll get. Users have found a positive correlation between frequency and engagement. When posting frequency wanes, some have experienced drops in traffic up to 50%.
  • Pinterest: 5x per day, or more. The top brands on Pinterest have experienced steady growth – and in some cases rapid or sensational growth! – by adopting a multiple-times-per-day posting strategy.
  • Instagram: 1.5 times per day, or more. Major brands post an average of 1.5 times per day to Instagram. There’s no drop-off in engagement for posting more, provided you can keep up the rate of posting.

You can  check out the full blog post here.