Best Times to Post to Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter
I'm not one to spend much time on social media. Consequently, when it comes to posting, I want to make the best use of the time I do spend there. To make even better use of my social media time, I began using Buffer to automate my social media postings, though I have now discontinued using them due to recent feature cutbacks with their free account. Buffer is what is known as a social media management tool and is similar to products like Hootsuite, Zoho Social, and Sprout Social. For me, the two most attractive feature of these tools is first the ability to establish a posting schedule for each of your social media platforms and second the SMM's ability to do the actual posting.
But when is the best time to post? If I'm going to take the time to prepare a post (and the time to do the actual posting), I want to know that I'm posting at a time when it is more likely to be read. In short, I want to do what I can to maximize engagement.
Using my favorite search engine – which does happen to be Google – I found a number of articles and studies addressing the question "When is the best time to post to social media?"
Many of these articles were simply restating the findings of other articles and many were older articles. In order to construct my own posting schedule, what I did was to eliminate all search results prior to 2016 and to trace the various articles back to the source studies being referenced.
Each of these studies listed one or more hours of the day that were identified as being the best time to post for a given social media platform, with Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter being the platforms regularly analyzed. For each of the three social media platforms (Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter), I summed the number of times that each hour of the day was identified as being the best hour to post for that platform. And obviously this was done on a day by day basis. The result was a distribution of hours of the day and days of the week cited by all the studies as being the optimal posting day/hour. In order to highlight what I deemed to be a consensus on the part of the different studies (3 or more being in agreement), I colored the data cells associated with those hours green.
If you look at the results in the infographic for Facebook, you can see that there is general agreement between the studies as to the best times of day to post. In fact there is a very high degree of agreement that the best times to post to Facebook are between 1:00pm and 3:00pm on Thursday and Friday.
Looking at the results for Linkedin, the consensus of studies is pretty good – with 12:00pm to 1:00pm and 5:00pm to 6:00pm on Tuesday through Thursday being identified as the best times to post on Linkedin.
Twitter is a somewhat different matter. While there is a consensus about tweeting between 1:00pm and 3:00pm on Monday thru Thursday, you can see that there is a falloff in that consensus with respect to other hours of the day and days of the week. Perhaps Twitter's traffic is simply more dispersed than that of Facebook and Linkedin.
One thing is clear: today is not a good day to do a social media post to either Linkedin or Twitter about this story. Fortunately it can wait until next week so I can post at a time when it is more likely that one of my connections will see it in their feed.
And what about Google Plus? Because only a minority of the studies included Google+ in their analysis, I decided to drop them from my analysis.
In closing, for another take on optimal posting times (and one that does include Google+), see this article over at Sprout Social: Best Times to Post on Social Media: A Complete Guide