Make Every Post Count with Data-Backed Timing Strategies!
Knowing the best time to post on social media is crucial for brands and marketers looking to effectively engage their target audiences.
According to the most recent data from DataReportal, there were 4.95 billion active social media users worldwide in October 2023. This figure represents approximately 61.4% of the global population. Which means tha standing out on social platforms is more challenging than ever. However, by posting content when your followers are most active and receptive, you can significantly increase your reach and engagement.
This guide will provide research-backed recommendations on the optimal times to post across popular social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more.
For each network, we will explore the peak usage hours based on age demographics, day of the week, and time of day. You’ll learn insider tips on how posting during high-traffic windows can help you beat the algorithms and get content in front of more of your target audience.
We’ll also delve into emerging video platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts and examine trends in the peak viewing hours for short-form video.
Finally, we’ll discuss how advanced social media management tools can make scheduling and posting at the right times quick and easy. Whether you want more website traffic, increased sales, or greater brand awareness, this comprehensive look at the best times to post on social media will help you achieve your goals.
The Best Times to Post on Facebook
Facebook remains one of the most important platforms for brands looking to drive engagement and increase awareness. With over 2.96 billion monthly active users, it’s almost impossible to neglect when creating a social media marketing strategy.
When to Post on Facebook
- Weekdays (Monday-Thursday) tend to see higher engagement on Facebook, with a 65% boost over weekends.
- Post between 9 AM – 3 PM for your best shot at visibility. The early afternoon (1 – 3 PM) is often the sweet spot.
- Thursdays and Fridays typically perform better than early weekdays.
Facebook Key User Demographics
- 29.4% of users are ages 25-34.
- 22.6% of users are 18-24 years old.
- Together, these groups comprise over 50% of Facebook’s audience.
Leveraging Facebook Features
- Post natively through Facebook Pages or within popular Facebook Groups, which have over 1.8 billion members.
- Use Live Video or Facebook Stories to engage users in real-time. Both can help beat the algorithm.
- Create Short-Form Reels up to 90 seconds long to tap into sharing trends.
Now that we’ve covered optimal Facebook posting times, let’s examine another visually-driven platform popular for lifestyle content and inspiration – Pinterest.
The Best Times to Post on Pinterest
With over 400 million active monthly Pinterest users saving Pins across more than 250 million boards, having an effective Pinterest strategy is key for retailers, bloggers, creators and more.
When to Post on Pinterest
- Weekdays see higher engagement, especially Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
- Afternoons drive the most repins and clicks, with 12-3 PM being primetime.
- Schedule Post Tailored to Time Zones: Pinterest has a global audience, so timing varies.
Pinterest User Demographics
- 71% of users are women
- Above average incomes – great potential customers for ecommerce brands!
- 25-54 year olds dominate the platform
Leveraging Pinterest Features
- Create eye-catching Pins with engaging imagery.
- Organize content across niche boards that align to user interests and shopping habits.
- Add clickable links and optimize with relevant keywords to improve discovery.
In addition to image-first platforms like Facebook and Pinterest, let’s analyze the video-centric world of TikTok and the ideal times to tap into its trafficked For You Page.
The Best Times to Post on TikTok
As the viral video app continues record-breaking growth, nearly all brands are looking at TikTok now when making marketing plans. And timing matters greatly in whether or not your video hits the coveted For You Page.
When to Post TikTok
- Tuesday-Friday are peak days, with Wednesday seeing the most views & engagement
- Afternoons and evenings (2-10 PM) tend to perform best
- Posting multiple times per day can help content go viral
TikTok User Demographics
- 37.3% of users are aged 18-24
- 32.9% of users are 25-34 year olds
- Clearly the platform to tap into Gen Z and young Millennial audiences
Leveraging TikTok Features
- Use trending songs, effects and hashtags to increase discoverability
- Post 3-5 videos per week to stay top of mind in the fast-paced environment
- Go LIVE to engage followers in real-time and get on the For You Page
In addition to the leading social platforms detailed above, let’s now pivot to examine professional networks like LinkedIn and Twitter.
The Best Times to Post on LinkedIn
With over 830 million members, LinkedIn is the go-to platform for B2B marketing, thought leadership and lead generation. Here’s when you need to post to move the needle.
When to Post LinkedIn
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are peak days
- Early mornings (6-8 AM) and mid-day (10 AM-12 PM) drive the most clicks and reactions
- Avoid weekends as engagement drops significantly
LinkedIn User Demographics
- 60% of users are aged 25-34
- 26.5% hold director, manager, or senior management positions
- Highly influential decision makers across industries
Leveraging LinkedIn Features
- Publish long-form posts and link to gated assets to capture leads
- Go LIVE or post videos to share expertise and personality
- Join industry-specific groups to share content and elevate authority
In addition to creating connections on LinkedIn, microblogging sites like Twitter (now X) enable real-time information sharing and engagement opportunities.
The Best Times to Post on Twitter/X
While Twitter has seen major shifts, it remains an impactful tool for news distribution, trend participation and timely engagement.
When to Post Twitter/X
- Tuesday through Thursday are peak times
- Mornings to early afternoons (9 AM – 2 PM) see high traffic and engagement
- Post 1-2 times per day, allowing real-time interaction
Twitter/X User Demographics
- Roughly 42% of users are aged 18-29
- Very strong presence of journalists, celebrities and politicians
Leveraging Twitter/X Features
- Reply directly to tweets and participate in Twitter chats
- Use trending hashtags to tap into what’s hot in news and pop culture
- Share article snippets, images and video clips to catch scrolling eyes
While we’ve covered the most popular general social platforms, there are also opportunities on emerging networks like Reddit to home in on specific niche communities relevant to your brand.
The Best Times to Post on Reddit
With over 50 million daily active users and over 2 million subreddits, Reddit presents a chance to engage highly passionate niche audiences.
When to Post on Reddit
- Early mornings on weekdays (6-9 AM) tend to work best
- Mondays often see high engagement as users catch up
- Redditors also browse sites on evenings & weekends
Reddit User Demographics
- Roughly 70% of users are male
- Highest percentage of users are 18-29 years old
- Tech savvy millennials who crave specific interests
Leveraging Reddit Features
- Share articles, images and videos tailored to subreddit topics
- Don’t overtly self-promote – provide value to the community
- Utilize AMAs and Reddit ads to raise awareness for your brand
As you can see, timing matters greatly in cutting through the noise on all major social platforms. But with the right tools, you can easily schedule and queue content optimized for your audience.
Streamline Posting with Social Media Tools
Trying to manually post quality content across multiple social platforms at just the right times would be extremely difficult. Thankfully, sophisticated social media management platforms like Sprout Social and Hootsuite enable effortless scheduling optimized for your audience.
Key Features to Look For in the Social Media Tools
- Single dashboard to manage all social profiles
- Ability to analyze engagement analytics by network
- Scheduled posting for future high-traffic windows
- Customizable libraries of approved content
- Collaboration tools to manage team workflows
- Shortening, analytics and asset creation
Top Platforms to Consider
- Sprout Social
Many solutions also offer free trials and tailored pricing for small teams vs enterprise brands. You’ll want to choose the platform aligned to your budget, resources and long-term social strategy.
The key is that these tools enable following posting best practices across networks while saving massive amounts of time and headache. You can test out the times and tips recommended in this guide at scale while monitoring real performance data through powerful analytics dashboards.
Industry-Specific Timing Considerations
While the general best times outlined apply broadly across business sectors, there are some nuances in peak engagement hours depending on your industry. Here are tailored tips for priority sectors:
Retail & Ecommerce Brands
- Post early morning and evenings for impulse shoppers browsing during commutes
- Schedule weekend midday posts to catch leisurely scrolling
- Time summer sales posts leading up to long weekends or holidays
- Post news links mornings and afternoons as audiences are arriving at and leaving work
- Local news plays better midday and early evenings during the week
- Monitor analytics for what content plays well on weekends
- Engage future and current students in evenings when classes/jobs end
- Utilize move-in weeks and lead nurturing times specified by admissions team
- Activate alumni on weekends and around university events
- Promote gated offers, webinars and events on Tuesday-Thursday mornings
- Share leadership perspectives midweek when decision makers are online
- Sunday evenings can capture interest as the week begins
Non-Profits & Associations
- Steward monthly donors at beginning of month when bills paid
- Maximize end of year giving by starting holiday appeals in October
- Engage supporters on #GivingTuesday with matching opportunities
Think about your specific buyer’s journey and customers’ lifestyle patterns. Then tap into analytics to validate hypothesized peak times against actual performance. From there, doubling down on promoting content when your audiences are most receptive can pay dividends.
Regional Differences to Consider
While global connectivity continues to increase, there are still some varying trends in social media usage and demographics tied to geography that marketers should consider when fine-tuning scheduling.
- Facebook remains top platform, while adoption of TikTok and new apps happens quickly
- Huge spikes in usage mid-week during workday late mornings and lunch hours
- Engagement drops Friday evenings through the weekend as entertainment options rise
- WhatsApp sees heavy adoption and usage in countries like Netherlands and Spain
- Digital lifestyles more unified to standard work schedules of 9-5
- Less of a weekend engagement lag compared to North American patterns
- WeChat utterly dominates daily social media activity given China’s large market share
- Japanese, Australian and Indian platforms maintain strong cultural footprint
- Morning train commutes and average shorter workdays shift hourly peaks earlier
- Usage concentrated on mobile devices with limited desktop access
- Significant growth opportunities remain for tapping into emerging middle class
- Traditional siestas and shifting business operating hours impact timing
Analyze location-specific analytics and experiment regularly with timing to determine optimal windows to reach your audience, regardless of geography or primary platforms.
In addition to leveraging data and cultural nuances for timing, creating visual assets can condense key recommendations for readers.
Visualizing Optimal Posting Times
To help condense the wealth of recommendations shared throughout this guide into easily digestible snapshots, we’ve highlighted top posting days and hours for key networks in the charts below.
When to Post by Weekday
This bar graph displays the higher performing weekdays on major platforms at a glance:
[Bar graph with days of the week along x-axis and engagement level on y-axis, showing Thursday and Friday peak for most networks]
Top Hours to Post Daily
This line graph showcases the top performing 2-3 hour windows by platform:
[Line graph with time of day along x-axis from 8AM through 10PM and engagement on y-axis, depicting peaks and valleys reflecting best times per above recommendations]
Best Days & Times to Post by Network
For quick top takeaways, this table compiles the above data into one view:
These visual assets help reinforce broader trends revealed in engagement metrics and user analytics referenced throughout the guide. They provide an at-a-glance perspective across networks.
With research-backed best practices now optimized for multiple modes of learning, we end with calls-to-action for activating the recommendations.
Network Comparison Charts/Graphs To visualize the best times to post for easy comparison between platforms, here are two charts:
|Social Media Platform
|Highest-Performing Weekday (Peak Engagement Rate)
|Friday (13.5% engagement rate)
|Monday (12.4% engagement rate)
|Tuesday (11.3% engagement rate)
|Sunday (11.1% engagement rate)
|Wednesday (10.8% engagement rate)
|Wednesday (10.2% engagement rate)
|Tuesday (9.8% engagement rate)
Now lets have a look at the best hours per platform:
|Social Media Platform
|Key Target Age Groups
|Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
|7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
|Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
|12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
|Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
|9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
|25-54, 55-64, 65+
|Friday, Saturday, Sunday
|9:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Weekends)
|Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
|12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
|Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
|12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
|Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
|12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Takeaways for Applying Recommendations
Easily put, these social media timing best practices into action:
- Audit your audience demographics and posting history analytics on each network
- Use built-in scheduling tools to queue content for target windows
- Test posting at 2-3 varying times daily and analyze impact over 2 weeks
- Refine your visual and textual content tailored to each platform
- Monitor industry trending topics and leverage culturally relevant hooks
- Rinse and repeat posting popular evergreen content when appropriate
With the right mix of data-backed timing strategies, compelling content, and consistency, you’re sure to boost awareness and engagement across all your social media channels.
The Future of Social Media Timing
While we’ve covered optimal posting times for top networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and more based on current data and trends, social media moves quickly. As new platforms emerge (like BeReal), demographics shift, and algorithms evolve, flexing your timing strategy will be key.
Best Practices for Continued Success
- Consistently analyze your audience and engagement analytics data.
- Be nimble and test posting at different times to see what resonates.
- Take advantage of built-in scheduling and listening tools.
- Follow thought leaders and insiders for platform updates.
The sites and apps covered in this guide account for over 80% of social media usage and present immense opportunities for brands. By understanding your customers’ digital behavior and posting when they are most receptive, you can cut through the noise to drive results. Mix these best times to post with compelling, value-driven content tailored to each channel and you have a recipe for social media success in 2023 and beyond!