A Guide for Small Business on When to Post on Social Media
Are you a social media whiz looking for a different perspective? Or are you a complete newbie looking for some advice to start you off? Hopefully, this article can give you a bit of both.
Social media is a fickle thing, always changing and you need to try and keep up with it.
There are a lot of aspects you’ll need to look at before you can get set up with a sound social media plan, but one of the most important factors to your success is the time at which you start posting.
Why do the times I post at matter?
The times you choose to post your social media content at matters because you need to make sure your target audience sees it. Otherwise, why post your content at all? You need to know when your audience is online, and why. This will allow you to decide when to post, and what you should be saying. To illustrate this, I went back and had a look at some of the insights from our own Facebook page. As you can see from the graph below, our audience peaks at about 1pm. This makes sense, as many of the people using Swipii are office workers who earn points while on their lunch break!
You can also guess from the graph, that posting at 7pm or 8pm isn’t always effective for us. That said, it could be effective if the content was right for this time in the day. By the way, if you have a Facebook page, you can find this page by clicking on Insights (should be at the top of your page) and then click on Posts (along the left-hand side). Voila!
As you will be able to tell as you read on, what I am sharing with you here is a guide to get started on optimising your social media planning and scheduling. What I am not giving you is a strict, no-wiggle-room list of times at which you need to post your content.
Hopefully, but the end of this article, you’ll know how you can start acing social media planning and you’ll have an idea of how you can adapt and improve as time goes on.
Should I trust the suggested times on social media scheduling tools?
If you haven’t used social media scheduling tools, you may be wondering what I’m going on about. So here’s an example to illustrate it. When I go to post up some hilarious posts on the Swipii Facebook page, I use our Hubspot social media tool.
What Hubspot do, is suggest the times that they think would be the most suitable for your social media post. Which we’ve seen is roughly 11am, 2pm and just before 5pm as you can see from the image above. However, this doesn’t really change depending on the day. And it’s the same for all connected social accounts we have here at Swipii. So is it worthwhile using them? Well, I think yes. These times often prove effective for getting a good level of reach and engagement, and they can be useful for social media beginners who aren’t sure where to start.
Plus, there is always the option to “Set custom publish time” once you have found the rhythm and schedule that works for you.
So, in conclusion, yes you should trust the times offered up by social media scheduling tools. You should also trust in your own ability to know when you have a better idea of what would work for your small business.
Does the market I’m in change which time I should post?
YES! For starters, are you marketing Business to Business, or Business to Customer? This will have a huge impact on the right times to post your social media content. Business owners will often be looking at and using social media at completely different times of day than the average joe. Think about when you, as a business owner, find yourself on Facebook or LinkedIn. Do you use it as part of your job? Or do you check your notifications during quiet times? These quiet times are often when your customers are back in work! So why would you post then, when a minimal portion of your audience is going to see it?
On top of that, different small businesses will have very varied target audiences. A local gardener would want to post at the weekend when people are thinking about what they can do and get done around their garden. If you’re a cafe who wants to give your lunch sales a boost, post early in the morning when people are on their commute to put the idea in their head that they want one of your tasty lunches when their break comes around. Costa Coffee is good at this, posting in the mornings to tempt you into a delicious drink when you’re out and about. I’ve fallen for it more than once.
What times are we thinking then?
If you’re in the middle of researching the topic, you are going to see varied opinions on the subject. From reading a lot, doing our own time testing and checking out what people are doing, here are the best times to start posting on your social media channels!
Here’s what we found to be the most popular times to post on Facebook:
- Wednesday- Sunday from 12pm-3pm (Meltwater)
- The best times to post to Facebook are Wednesday at 11am and 1pm or weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm (Sprout Social)
- Thursdays and Fridays between 1pm and 4pm, or between 8:30am and 9:30am if your target market could be commuters (Shareable)
- B2C: 9am to 10am, 12pm to 1pm, 4pm to 5pm, B2B: 9am to 4pm, with 3pm to 4pm being the best, Software Services: 9am to 5pm, then it drops off. 9am, 3pm, and 5pm are the best, Healthcare: 6am-7am, 9am, 11am-Noon, Media: 7am, 11am, 6pm, Higher Education: 8am, Noon, 3pm (Thanks, CoSchedule)
- Facebook sees [an] increase in clickthrough rates between 11am – 12pm (HubSpot)
- Between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (Hootsuite)
From this, you can gather that during the week, the best time to post is around the midday to early afternoon point- and we think that’s perfect for us, as most of our users are online at this time! Do you think this would work for you?
Here’s what we found to be the most popular times to post on Twitter:
- Wednesday if you’re B2B, Saturday & Sunday if B2C. From 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 6pm (Meltwater)
- The best times to post on Twitter are Wednesday at 9 am and Friday at 9 am (Sprout Social)
- Between 12pm and 1pm, you should find a good number of active users. We find that few Tweets also gain average engagement levels between 4pm and 6pm (Shareable)
- B2C: 8am to 10am, Noon, 7pm to 9pm, B2B: 7am to 8am, 11am, 6pm, 9pm, Software Services: 10am, 2pm, 6pm, Healthcare: 9am, 6pm, Media: 6am to 7am, 11am, 7pm to 8pm, 10pm, Higher Education: 8am, 5 pm, 7pm, 9pm (CoSchedule)
- Good times to tweet average around 8:00 – 10:00 AM, as well as 6:00 – 9:00 PM (Hubspot)
- The best time to post on Twitter is at 3 p.m. Monday to Friday (Hootsuite)
By the looks of it, the internet is a bit more spread out when it comes to the optimum tweet times. However, similar to Facebook, we think sticking to lunchtime is one of the best shouts. You should also experiment with early mornings and later in the evening to see when works best for your audience. We see some success on tweets we send out around 2pm, just to throw a spanner in the works. Try finding out more on your specific audience and tailor your scheduling to suit.
Here’s what we found to be the most popular times to post on Instagram:
- Monday and Thursday from 8am to 9am, 5pm, and 2am (Meltwater)
- The best times to post on Instagram are Wednesday at 11am and Friday at 10 to 11 am (Sprout Social)
- Anytime between 11am and 1pm on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday are ideal times (Shareable)
- B2C: 8am, 1pm, and 9pm, B2B: 12pm to 1pm, 5pm to 6pm, 6pm to 9pm, Software Services: 11am, 1pm, 5pm, Healthcare: 10am and 2pm, Media: 9am, 12pm, and 3pm, Higher Education: 5pm – 6pm (CoSchedule)
- On average, the best times to post on Instagram across industries are 1pm and 5pm (Hubspot)
- The best time to post on Instagram is from 12pm to 1pm Monday to Friday (Hootsuite)
Besides Meltwater, most of these experts (and us) agree that posting between 11am and 1pm is the most optimum time of day to be posting your snaps on Instagram.
Here’s what we found to be the most popular times to post on LinkedIn:
- Tuesday and Wednesday from 7am to 8am, 12pm then 5pm to 6pm (Meltwater)
- The best times to post to Linkedin are Wednesday at 9am to 10am and 12pm (Sprout Social)
- Get the greatest engagement on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 7:30am to 8:30am, and between 5pm to 6pm (Shareable)
- B2C: 12pm, B2B: 8am, 10am to 12pm, 6pm, Software Services: 9am, 11am to 12pm, 5pm to 6pm, Healthcare: 10am, 12pm to 2 pm, Media: 8am, Higher Education: 10am (CoSchedule)
- Aim to post on LinkedIn between 10am to 12pm (Hubspot)
- The best times to post on Linkedin are 7:45am, 10:45am, 12:45pm, and 5:45pm Monday to Thursday (they choose to post at the 45-minute mark as everyone else is doing it on the hour) (Hootsuite)
With LinkedIn, there seems to be a bit of a theme around posting between 10am and 12pm- which is pretty different from the other social media platforms we’ve mentioned. Audiences on LinkedIn are often using the platform professionally, so are more likely to be using it during work, rather than while on a break. What do you think?
As always, learn and adapt when you notice a trend!
I can give you this advice to start you off, but you have to go out and look at the successes and flops you might have on different posts and learn what works for your own audience. Although, posting on a Wednesday seems to be a shout for any business! If you do business in a particularly niche market, the times and guidance I’m providing may not work for you! Nevertheless, it’s a good place to get started and test things out. Use the free data available to you from Facebook insights or from reports provided by free scheduling software. When you notice a pattern emerging, jump on it! And always be aware that this can change. Seasons, holidays, even a freak day of good weather can have an impact on your reach and engagement on social media!
Let us know how you get on with planning your social media calendars!
Remember, Swipii for Business is another tool that could help your small business to get more exposure and create a loyalty program to increase customer retention. And it’s free! You can sign up for free in just a few minutes, with no contract, hardware, integration or card details required.
Get freebies and find local business near youDownload