By Emma Fitzpatrick
When you research what the experts say about the best times to post on social, you can make smarter decisions. Then, you get to test those days of the week and see how they perform.
To make the smartest decisions, though, you need to compare the performance of those recommended times against the times and days when your content historically performs best. The data specific to your bank is always going to trump studies from others.
In short, the common wisdom is a great place to start, but not a great place to end.
The same goes for how often you should post on social. That answer is a bit clearer cut. If you have a piece of content that will entertain, educate, or engage your audience, post it. But if you’re slapping together a mediocre post just to have something to post, skip it.
Without further ado, here are the best times to post on social along with how often to post.
Note: Unless otherwise mentioned, all below data is compiled and cross-checked using recent, multiple sources.
- How often to post: One post per day is best. You can share two posts now and then, but not consistently. Once you start posting more than that, studies show your engagement rates begin to fall drastically. Plus, with the latest change to Facebook’s algorithm, it’s much more about how many conversations your post can generate (not how many posts you’re publishing).
- Days of the week: Save your best posts for later in the week! Content posted on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday performs best. Specifically, you’ll see higher engagement on the true weekend days, Saturday and Sunday.
- Times of day: People are looking at Facebook midday, so aim to post in the afternoon, generally between 1 and 4 p.m. 9 to 10 a.m. is another golden hour. Whatever you do, don’t post before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. No one is on Facebook then!
- Note: If you have some feel-good content, share it on Friday to maximize its performance.
- How often to post: Back in late 2014, the most popular accounts on Instagram were posting, on average, 1.5 times per day. Even four years later, that’s still the rule of thumb: post on Instagram one or two times a day. In fact, after analyzing over 100,000 Instagram accounts, Tailwind found that only 5 percent of Instagram accounts share more than once a day. But, here’s the opportunity. The more you post on Instagram, the faster you’ll grow your following. Plus, when you start posting on Instagram more frequently, you increase your engagement rate.
- Days of the week: Monday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are great days to post on Instagram because you’ll see more engagement. Weekday posts perform better than those that go live during the weekends. Specifically, content shared on Sundays gets very low engagement.
- Times of day: Generally, people look at Instagram when they’re not at work, so posts before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. perform well. 2 a.m. posts were also an unexpected hit. Likely, people who can’t sleep and those who check Instagram first thing in the morning caused those spikes in engagement.
- Note: If you’re posting a video, share it between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. to maximize engagement.
- How often to post: On other networks, you want to be careful not to over post. On Twitter, that’s not an issue. Some studies recommend tweeting up to 51 times a day while others suggest no more than 20. In short, you can post as much as you want to. Aim for three to five tweets a day, but if you have more to share, go for it!
- Days of the week: Again, most days are relatively comparable on Twitter. Almost any work day will do, but Wednesday or Thursday may be slightly better. Weekends can be lackluster.
- Times of day: Post between noon and 3 p.m. to give workers an afternoon distraction. Or post during their commute home between 5 and 6 p.m.
Emma Fitzpatrick is a Philly-based freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social media marketing and short, snappy writing. Pick her brain at email@example.com.