This is by far the question I get asked most frequently…
“When is the best time to post on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/Snapchat etc”
Everyone who runs social media accounts; whether they are for your own personal blog or your small business, wants a digital marketing hack. We all want the shortcuts, the unknown tips, methods and tools to boost our social media game. And whenever someone asks me this question, all eager to hear the big reveal , notepad in hand to jot down the revelation, they’re always somewhat dismayed and reluctant to believe me when I reply…
“There is no perfect time.”
There is no such thing as a set ‘best time to post on social media’. No one-size-fits-all time that I can whisper in your ear to let you go off and become a viral whizz.
It’s A Myth
If you so much as Google “Best time to post on social media”, you’ll find a ton of articles completely contrary to my advice, telling you that you should post on Facebook between 7pm-9pm, to use Instagram after 3pm and be active on Twitter early in the morning and later at night.
And to be honest – this is a load of nonsense. Yes, sometimes by following these tips you may certainly notice a spike in traffic or a boost in engagement or perhaps a new flow of followers. But you also might try it out and see absolutely no change to your social media results. That’s because what’s true for one social media account is not always true for another.
Why? The best time to post on YOUR particular social media account is down to who YOUR audience are and what their online behaviour is like. For example; if your target audience is office working men aged 25-45, your best time for posting may be 8am in the morning, when they are commuting on the train, and 9pm at night, when they’ve eaten dinner, put the kids to bed and have some personal time to unwind.
However, if you’re targeting stay-at-home mums, you might see more success if you post at 11am, when the kids are at school and she’s sitting down to have a coffee.
Your best posting time is the time your audience is most likely to be online. (And if you want to find out how to get to know your target audience better you can read an article I wrote about on Unformatic.com)
Content Is King
I also firmly believe that social media success is all down to WHAT you’re posting, not WHEN you’re posting. If your content is good, it will get engagement no matter what time you post at. And likewise, if it’s shit it will get no engagement. It really is that simple.
I’ve uploaded posts at 5pm on a Friday that have reached 500,000 people and also uploaded different posts at 5pm on a Friday that have reached 10 people. And it’s simply because the first piece of content I uploaded was good and the second one was rubbish.
(I’ve written more about organic engagement on Brand24.net)
Another reason why ‘best times’ are a myth is due to social media algorithms. If you’re even the slightest bit into Facebook, you’ll notice that posts and updates do not appear on your Newsfeed chronologically. Facebook’s little magic bots detect the people and pages you engage with most and you will see their content on your Newsfeed in no particular order.
This means that even if you post at 7pm on the dot, this does not necessarily mean that your audience will even see your post at 7pm.
Of course, the point about algorithm does not apply to Twitter or Instagram, as their timeline and feed, respectively still appear chronologically. However, both platforms have announced that they will be making changes to fall in line with Facebook’s methods, so if you want your content to be seen, get your audience to engage with your it NOW, so that you will still see success when these changes eventually roll out. Do it by creating great content and focusing on what you’re putting out there, not when you’re putting it out.