When it comes to social media, there are still a lot of things businesses don’t know. Namely, what is that best time to post to each network?
Understanding when to post on social media can help maximise engagement with your posts, boost reach and ultimately increase conversions — the problem is, there is no magical formula that will work for everyone.
But the good news is, you don’t need to wonder anymore. Thanks to a new report from Sprout Social, there is now research-backed proof on when is the best time to post on each of the main social media networks, along with some other insider tips, and what that means for your business, and for the healthcare industry.
At time of writing, Facebook has over 2 billion active users, which makes it the most popular social media platform out there. Such a huge figure brings with it huge opportunity for organic engagement from its user base — if you post the right thing at the right time. When it comes to Facebook, research conclusively shows that:
- The best time to post is Wednesday at 11am and 1pm
- Overall, Wednesday is the best day to post
- The safest times to post are weekdays, between 9am and 3pm
- The day of the week with the lowest engagement is Sunday, particularly between 10pm and 4am
- Each day, early mornings before 7am and evenings after 5pm are times you will get the least engagement
Interestingly, the data changes slightly depending on the industry you’re posting from. For example:
- The best times for brands selling consumer goods to post are Wednesday at 1pm or Friday at 11am
- For education, you will see more success if you post on Wednesday at 9am or Saturday at 5pm
- In the non-profit industry, the highest engagement will come on Wednesdays between 8 and 9am
- For the healthcare industry, practices will see more results if they post on Wednesdays between 9 and 10am, and minimal results if they post on Saturday or Sunday during the day.
One of the things Facebook is famous for is changing its algorithm to benefit users, with recent changes focusing on friends, family and meaningful connection. When you’re creating content for social media, your best bet, therefore, is to focus on building meaningful connections with your audience and driving genuine engagement.
You can boost this engagement by posting in those optimum time windows. When your content does well with your audience, Facebook will then promote it to a wider audience, which will improve reach.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, so it’s not surprising that there are a lot of similarities in the data between the two. Like Facebook, there is a focus on personal feelings and social experience — and the addition of the ‘stories’ function has added to that significantly. Unlike Facebook, Instagram is exclusively a visual-based platform, prioritising images and video.
- The best times to post are Wednesday at 11am and Friday between 10 and 11am
- As with Facebook, Wednesday is the best day of the week to post
- The safest times to post are Tuesday through Friday, between 10am and 3pm
- Again, Sunday received the least amount of engagement
- The least amount of engagement happens late at night through to the early morning, between 11pm and 3am
Again, the industry you’re posting from has an impact on the results you will see:
- Higher amounts of engagement for shopping and retail fall on Saturday around 10am
- Media companies will see better engagement on Fridays at 9am
- Education is similar, with the best time to post being Fridays at 10am
- Non-profits will find the best time to post is Wednesdays at 2pm
- Healthcare companies and practices are the odd ones out, seeing the best results on Tuesdays at 8am, and the worst after 6pm
Instagram is incredibly focused on retail, having cemented its spot as a top network for shopping, which means these stats are incredibly important. The most important thing to note is while a lot of the best engagement times mirror Facebook, there are some windows during the evenings and mornings that brands can take advantage of.
Over the years, Twitter has carved out a niche for itself as the ideal platform for conversations and customer care. It’s a quick response platform that has encouraged both brands and consumers to use it as a way to communicate about issues and have conversations. This has resulted in over 500 million tweets being sent every single day. Due to the sheer volume of posts, businesses need to make sure they are posting at the optimum times on Twitter to ensure their messages are seen.
- The best times to post are Wednesday at 9am and Friday at 9am
- Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days of the week to post on Twitter for engagement
- The safest times to post are Monday-Friday, between 8am and 4pm
- Unlike the previous two networks, Twitter’s lowest engagement day is Saturday
- The lowest engagement points of the week fall in a pattern – every day from 10pm – 4am
When it comes to industry specifics:
- Consumer goods businesses will see the best results on Sunday at 11am
- Educational institutions and schools will see more engagement on Saturdays at 5pm
- Non-profits fall into the average bell curve, with the best results on Wednesdays at 7am
- Healthcare businesses benefit the most from Twitter, with the best times for healthcare practices being Wednesday at 9am and 11am
As we’ve already mentioned, Twitter is the perfect platform for communication and customer care. This means that industries like healthcare have the most to gain from using Twitter effectively.
Users take to Twitter to ask questions, and healthcare questions can be the most pressing of all. This means that healthcare brands need to be ready to respond to their audiences at all times, even during the slowest periods.
Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn specifically targets business professionals. As such, you probably won’t find many consumers on board, but you will find a wealth of B2B businesses.
As such, there is no industry-specific breakdown on this network, since pretty much everything in the research pointed towards all industries seeing very similar patterns.
When it comes to LinkedIn:
- The best times to post are Wednesday between 9am and 10am, and again at 12pm
- The best day of the week, again, is Wednesday
- The safest times to post are Tuesday – Friday, 8am – 2pm
- Again, the day with the least engagement is Sunday, with the least popular times to post between 9pm-3am, every day.
When you put all of the data together, it becomes easy to start spotting patterns forming. For example, on every single social network, the best day of the week to post seems to be Wednesday.
Armed with this new information, brands can really strive to understand their audience, the times they’re active online and what makes them tick. But it’s important to remember that even though there are preferable times to post, you still need a strategy in place to work out the best type of content to post for your audience.
That’s where we can help. At Orbital Media, we help brands develop social media strategies, create campaigns and tailor-make content to get the best from their social media efforts. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with the team today.