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Throughout 2020 and into 2021, social media has grown significantly, with Statista reporting that, “In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025.” Social media continues to evolve into a primary platform for staying updated on the latest news, discovering new products and remaining connected to others while physically apart. With this projected ongoing growth, brands and advertisers should leverage social platforms to reach consumers, while also placing a stronger emphasis on identifying when to post on various social media channels to obtain the highest levels of engagement.
Best Times To Post On Each Social Media Platform
To help advertisers adjust to the increased “volume of social interactions and the demands on messaging,” recent research from Sprout Social analyzed engagement across top performing social platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to identify when and where to post to most effectively reach and engage consumers.
To maximize Facebook engagement, post late mornings during the week.
Facebook reigns supreme as the most highly used platform across social media, with Facebook users active on the platform nearly 24/7. “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,” Sprout Social shared. Even with such a high level of engagement around the clock, data from Sprout Social revealed the most opportune times to post on Facebook are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday between 9am and 1pm. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Saturday appeared to be the “worst day in terms of engagement and usage” on Facebook.
Mid-day Tuesday is the best time to post on Instagram.
Social media users continue to gravitate toward Instagram, as the social platform consistently seeks out new and innovative ways to attract users and create authentic interactions. Over the past year, Instagram introduced a number of new features, including Reels, Co-Watching and updated story options. As the platform evolved, so did the amount of prime engagement windows for brands and advertisers to capitalize on. “Similar to Instagram’s parent company Facebook, the top times to post on Instagram expanded in 2020 compared to previous years,” Sprout Social noted.
The highest level of engagement on Instagram, according to Sprout Social, takes place on Tuesday between 11am and 2pm and Monday-Friday at 11am. The top day to avoid when seeking user interaction on Instagram is Sunday.
Post on Twitter on Wednesday to maximize engagement.
Twitter emerged over the past year as a primary source for updates and information on the latest current events, acting in many ways as a 24-hour news source. Many Twitter users relied on the platform for its quick, accessible and accurate discovery tabs for the latest trending topics across the globe. With this broadened purpose for users, Twitter saw an overall uptick in user engagement Monday-Friday, specifically during the evenings. Sprout Social noted that the slot of increased engagement on Twitter “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.”
Overall, Sprout Social revealed the top times to post on Twitter are Wednesday between 9am and 3pm and Tuesday-Thursday between 9 and 11am. Saturday came in as the least effective day when looking to gain user attention.
LinkedIn engagement is highest during traditional Monday-Friday working hours
LinkedIn continues to represent a top networking site for professionals across industries with strongest engagement among users during the work week. As LinkedIn users gravitate toward and utilize the platform for its career growth opportunities, brands and advertisers should focus their social posting during more traditional working hours, as brands and advertisers will likely experience less engagement and activity on the weekends when users are taking breaks from their work lives. Sprout Social data revealed that, for LinkedIn, the highest level of engagement takes place Tuesday-Thursday between 9am and noon, while the lowest levels of engagement happen on Sunday.
Immediate Social Engagement Responses Matter Across Every Social Platform
The world of social media is continuously growing, meaning brands must constantly strategize the most effective ways to stand out from the pack and capture the attention of social media users within the crowded social platforms. The lifespan of a social post can be quick, so the small window to connect with users is vital. “The average lifetime of a social media post is different on each social platform - an average tweet, for example, will only survive 20 minutes before it drowns in the never-ending flow of content on Twitter,” notes Social Media Today contributor Melanie Tamble.
Keeping this small window in mind, it’s important for brands to have quick response times following their social posts going live. When a user likes, comments or shares a brand’s post in the early moments following the post going live, it’s a key opportunity to engage audiences to keep the post fresh and in the conversation. Likewise, if a user comments or engages a brand within someone else’s social post, reacting to this post quickly can be the difference between it becoming a conversation or just dying out.
As brands and advertisers continue to evolve their social media strategies, placing a stronger emphasis on when social posts go live and how to hasten response time will be influential factors in maximizing user engagement and expanding brand reach.
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