How to Uncover the Best Time to Post on Social Media
Darsana Vijay May 15, 2018
Visibility is key on social media. If you think about it, every aspect of social media strategy is about getting the most eyeballs. You need to put out content that reaches your target audience and compels them to engage with it. A key part of it is being visible when your audience is the most likely to pay attention. We’ve done some detailed research into the best time to post on social media for brands.
We analyzed the engagement and timing patterns of the top 100 brands from various industries selected according to audience size between November 15th and December 22nd, 2017. We’ve distilled our findings into the following infographic so that you can quickly see when brands are getting the most engagement on each social network.
Feel free to embed this infographic, with an attribution to Unmetric. You can find the embed code below:
As you can see here, the best time to post on each social network varies. This is because of the difference in when people are likely to be active on each platform. Which is why we urge you to pay attention to when you see best results on each platform and not go by these broad guidelines alone.
Another fact that we’d like to highlight is that these figures are for brands in general. So, it takes into account the timing patterns of Ford, Sephora, Bank of America, Wendy’s and several other brands from various industries that target different audiences. It’s important that brands take a look at their owned and competitive data to decide when to post.
Let me elaborate with an example. According to the data presented in the infographic, the best time to tweet for brands is between 11 AM and 12 PM. If you take a look below, you’ll see the timing strategy of Playstation:
As you can see here, the most number of tweets are published between 9 PM and midnight. This is not very surprising as you’d expect gaming enthusiasts to be quite active even later into the night.
Arby’s social media messaging is oriented towards the gaming crowd too, however, during the same period, they posted only between 12-3 PM (see chart below)
Arby’s might have decided on tweeting in this window because of the success they’ve had in the past. Another reason could be that being top-of-mind to their audience around mealtimes is super important for QSR brands. In the chart below, you’ll see that a lot of top QSR brand tweets take place between 12 - 6 PM:
What we’re trying to stress here is that you should look at the following factors while deciding when to post:
Owned analytics: When have your tweets or posts received the best engagement?
Competitive analytics: When do your peers and industry leaders see the best results?
Audience insights: When is your audience the most active?
And, remember, timing and its impact on engagement should not be studied in isolation. Based on just timing, you might see that your competition is getting really good engagement on posts they’ve published at 8 AM. Instead of quickly changing your posting schedule around to mirror theirs, you also need to consider the following factors:
Promotion: Was the reason behind such stellar engagement a paid push?
Content breakdown: Did they get better reach and engagement because of a live video or was it because they participated in a trending conversation?
Campaign intelligence: Was this post part of a campaign they were running that led up to a particular event?
All these insights that hold the key to social media visibility can be easily accessed on Unmetric Analyze. If you find yourself unsure when the best time to post for you on social media is, fire up Unmetric and you’ll get the answer.