To save you a long read if you are not here for the why: there isn’t really a best time to post on social media, or rather, if there is one, it can change overnight, depends on a lot of factors, and ultimately, doesn’t really matter. Let’s explore.
The issue with consistent behaviour
Are you always on social media at a set time per day, for half an hour, between 1pm and 1.30pm while you are eating your lunch? Does everyone at your company log off at that time as well, everything goes quiet, and all browse through Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and then Facebook in that order? No? You’re not alone.
What you have in common with other social media users is that social platforms have become such an integral aspect of our lives that we could be on it at any time. Social media users have become unpredictable. Some people catch up on Twitter when they wake up, others during breakfast, others are night owls and will be Tweeting until 1am. There is no real rule anymore for when to use social media, and a thousand ways to get around company or school VPNs/security measures. The ‘when’ of it all is increasingly foggy.
Does it even matter?
The thing to consider here is that, when using paid, it doesn’t matter what time people are online – the ad will be delivered to the user when they are able to see it (through the auction system, but let’s leave that alone). The important takeaway here is that with paid campaigns, there is essentially someone working around the clock to make sure that your ad gets seen by a user.
Well, great! What about organic? Here we’d recommend you do some testing of your own. Send out your posts at different times of the day. Posting during mealtimes can help. Weekends are a great bet – don’t feel as if you have to stick to office hours, especially if you’re approaching a B2C audience. Use articles on the best times to post on social as guides and to get ideas, but ultimately, make up your own mind. The best time to post on social media for your highly targeted, niche audience, is the time you discover.
So, why are there so many articles?
And why do they all say different times? It all depends on the sample sizes, the geographical location, which year the study was done, etcetera, etcetera. They’re as inconsistent as their predictions for when people actually log into social! But man, do they get clicks, and we get the question all the time from clients as well. ‘Is there a document with best times to post on social media?’ is a regular query during meetings. And the answer usually is, ‘Yes, probably. Are we running this on paid? It doesn’t matter. Are doing this organically? We can look into it, but by the time we do, it’ll likely have changed as we grow our audience.’
In conclusion, your honour: test for yourself, use articles as guides, use paid to ensure your ad gets seen, and listen to your audience – when are they engaging with your content? Has there been a spike recently, and does that mean your strategy should change? Just ask the questions you want answers to, and then get your own answers.