The best time to post on social media is one of the most controversial questions since the beginning of from Facebook, Twitter and Co. It’s an internal battle fought and ultimately never quite won. Going with your intentions can often result in unsuccessful campaigns, wasted resources and frustration. The following article will show you an approach how to find the best time to post on social media, specifically tailored to your community.
Each company has its own, very unique, audience with different habits. Deloitte, the global accounting firm, surely doesn’t have the same type of audience as Nike and they probably don’t get engagement at the same time, as people consume the content at different hours of the day. Hence, saying that you have to post every Wednesdays at 3:30 pm might not be as true as you think, and you eventually end up with loss of time and resources. There is no rule of thumb.
Adapt to the times your users are engaging
You have to adapt your posting days, times, and type to what your audience wants to see. This way, you will make sure to catch the attention of your followers and fans when they should be in the mood to engage.
Luckily social media analytics software allows you to do just that - double down on your social media performance and gain insights into campaign success. Multinational social accounts see where their audiences come from which helps them to tailor posts to different time-zones.
They can then make sure to post content that their audience in the US and in Europe has the chance to engage with. In addition, they help gain these insights for your competition in order to stay one step ahead.
How to identify the sweet spot
The following metric is the data-driven answer to the question “What’s the best time to post on social media?” Here quintly shows all Own Posts in the analyzed period for AirBnB Germany. These postings are visualized in blue bubbles. The second dimension, which makes the metric revealing, are the grey bubbles which visualize the Interaction Rate received at the specific times. That basically means that a business, in this case AirBnB Germany, should consider posting when the Interaction Rates are the highest, meaning to say their followers are online and willing to engage.
As the opacity, which helps to understand the overlaps, makes it sometimes hard to understand which bubbles visualize higher post frequencies or interactions, I often play around with hiding and unhiding Own Posts and Interaction Rates one after the other. By doing that I easily see patterns in posting times and the Interactions.
Shameless plug here: You can find your sweet posting spot in quintly.
Taking numbers into action
In this specific case it shows that AirBnB Germany tends to receive many interactions Monday around lunch time (We Germans are really strict with our lunch times), Monday 7pm, Tuesday and Wednesday morning and Friday morning from 8 to 11 am. So the best time to post on social media could be in one of these times.
This does not necessarily mean that posting at this time will “skyrocket” your interactions, but it gives you a good idea when your followers are online and likely to interact with your content.
Looking solely at the blue bubbles we can identify that AirBnB’s German team posts a lot throughout the week, which peaks on Tuesdays after lunch time and Friday until early afternoon.
Having said that, AirBnB could try to test posting more in the above mentioned highly engaging time in order to find their best time to post on social media, in this case on Facebook. The same metric is also available for Twitter and Instagram.
This metric is especially helpful for Facebook Country pages as AirBnB Germany does not have an issue with posting in different time zones. This challenge also often appears on Instagram for businesses, blogs and influencers that are active in more than one time zone. However, it is also easy in this case to identify ideal posting patterns for the selected social media profiles in order to receive higher interaction on social networks.
How to find the best time to post on social media
Step 1: Analyze when you users are online
Step 2: Choose a metric that tells you when you post and when users engage most
Step 3: Be aware to time zones while analyzing
Step 4: Create an action plan when to post exactly
Takeaways for marketers
The way to success is not only looking at this metric once but checking the overlaps of Own Posts and Interaction Rate on a continuous basis. That means, check and adjust if necessary on a weekly or at least monthly basis to make sure that you always reach your audience. As mentioned in the beginning it can be read very often that the ideal posting time is for example 6 pm, but this does not take your specific community nor the agile world of social media into account. So, analyze in detail and look specifically at the people you want to reach to be ahead of the game.