Originally Posted on 11 Dec 2019
Originally Found on AMA.org – updated for 2021
Sprout Social’s updated listings offer data on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn
Sprout Social recently updated its listings of the best time to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, based on the activity of 25,000 Sprout users. The data is broken down by platform, overall engagement and industry.
In the report, Sprout Social acknowledges that successful marketing strategies on major platforms will look different across brands as they connect with their unique audiences.
“An e-commerce brand may see social engagement follow daily and seasonal patterns of shopping engagement, while a corporate thought leadership account may see plenty of clicks at the start of the workday when readers are looking for inspiration,” the report’s author writes. But the data provides marketers with an overview of engagement that might guide them as they develop and improve their strategies. The report also suggests that brands make use of ViralPost, a tool from Sprout Social designed to target optimal posting times.
Here are Sprout Social’s recommendations for brand usage on each platform based on global engagement.
What are the best times to post on Facebook?
- Best times: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
- Best days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
- Worst day: Saturday
With Facebook’s status as the most used social media platform in the world, it’s no surprise that there was virtually around-the-clock engagement in 2020.
Compared to past years, there were few completely ‘off’ times for Facebook when reviewing the past year of data. Weekends, late night and earlier morning all showed more consistent engagement and have become much more opportune times for brands to get eyes on their content.
Keep in mind that the top times shown above are recorded in US Central Time, so the high engagement shown in early morning as well as the more traditional US workday also reflects Facebook’s significant global audience. This makes it an opportune platform for any brand running an international or multi-location strategy.
While this might sound like an almost overwhelming amount of organic content to plan, keeping these peak times for when to post on Facebook in mind can help you plan your content calendar effectively.
What are the best times to post on Instagram?
- Best times: Tuesday 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday through Friday 11 a.m.
- Best day: Tuesday
- Worst day: Sunday
Throughout 2020, Instagram continued to step up new features such as Reels, enhance Stories, and push discovery on its Explore page. This made it a perfect platform for social media audiences dealing with lockdown measures to find and share new hobbies—something brands can use social listening to stay up to date on as these trends emerge.
Similar to Instagram’s parent company Facebook, the top times to post on Instagram expanded in 2020 compared to previous years. Midday engagement during weekdays became even denser with top times throughout the 11 a.m.–2 p.m. range, and evenings and weekend times showed increased opportunities for engagement.
Instagram is a great place for brands to branch out with their content: reinforce your visual identity with high quality photos, or highlight your brand’s graphic design efforts by showing off what you’ve created for content such as infographics and data reports. Instagram Live, like its Facebook counterpart, exploded in popularity in 2020 as a way for people to stay connected in an immediate and less curated way. Reels also allow for shorter and more viral-ready content that can complement your feed content. Instagram also experimented with longer-form content by adding Instagram Guides as a way to provide more in-depth information on wellness, eventually expanding to other topic areas.
If you’re looking to amplify your Instagram strategy, use these best times to post, and check out our guide on getting the most out of your IG presence:Published on CategoriesInstagram for BrandsHow To Build A Creative, Engaging, High-Impact Strategy
What are the best times to post on Twitter?
- Best times: Wednesday 9 a.m.– 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 9–11 a.m.
- Best day: Wednesday
- Worst day: Saturday
In 2020, Twitter was many social media users’ first source of information on developing stories such as COVID-19 and the US Presidential Elections. As such, the platform focused heavily on news and information accuracy, with specific trending topics discovery tabs dedicated to these ongoing stories.
Twitter peak times for engagement remained high throughout all weekdays in 2020, with increased periods of high engagement going into the evenings. This could reflect the ongoing attention to developing news and updates, as well as the platform’s role as a place for entertainment via viral Tweets and memes.
While Twitter distinguished itself as a resource for up-to-the-minute news in 2020, it’s also still a key place for customers to easily get a direct line to brands through conversations and mentions. This means that having a customer care strategy in place is particularly important for the platform, as is moving beyond reacting to individual issues and towards proactively improving the overall customer experience through social listening and analyzing voice of customer data.
All of these focus areas means brands can have multiple, and sometimes competing, priorities on Twitter. Review the top times we found above to help determine when you should focus on prioritizing publishing new content versus devoting resources to customer support.
What are the best times to post on LinkedIn?
- Best times: Tuesday through Thursday 9 a.m.–noon
- Best days: Tuesday and Wednesday
- Worst day: Sunday
LinkedIn engagement has become extremely consistent throughout the US work week, unsurprising for this professional-focused social platform. You’re less likely to get eyes on your LinkedIn content on the weekend, where engagement drops more significantly compared to weekdays than on other social networks we reviewed.
Considering how much LinkedIn content is centered around professional thought leadership and career growth, it makes sense that a majority of audiences are getting the most out of this content during their working day.
While LinkedIn continues to be more specialized in focus than other social platforms, it’s also increasingly branching out in what types of audiences it attracts. In addition to being an important target for employee advocacy campaigns and recruiting, LinkedIn is becoming equally important for a wide range of content creation.
While the platform is an obvious match for B2B strategy, any brand can utilize LinkedIn marketing best practices and highlight wins as a company and culture. It’s an ideal fit for employee advocacy and empowering employees to advance their personal brand or professional development as they publish content to their own profiles.