While it seems like there is no rhyme or reason to the elusive like, retweet, or share, there actually is a knack to posting on social media. You've just got to use the stats.
Each social media site has its own individual traffic flow which peaks at different times of the day. You want to hit each site with posts when your audience has the highest chance of seeing them - if you ignore the stats, don't expect miracles. Play it like a numbers game. For example, if you change your profile picture on Facebook between 9am - 3pm at the end of the week, chances are it will garner more likes, than if you changed it on Tuesday at 8pm. If you are big into tweeting, it's best to wait until the weekend to post on Twitter, especially between 1pm - 3pm.
It might all seem a little calculating for personal accounts, but clearly businesses could benefit a lot from this knowledge. Knowing the ebbs and flows of each site will save time, energy, and money - and prevent well-thought out posts falling off the edge of the social media cliff.
Best time to post on Facebook
Facebook users are most active at the end of the week, from Thursday to Sunday. Since many people start making plans for the weekend, Thursday and Friday are the best days for for promoting events. Peak-hours are between 1 and 4 pm, with a large number of active users. According to a CoSchedule research, posts published around 1pm get the most likes, while posts published around 3pm get the most shares.
However, if you are not so popular on Facebook, it’s also good to try non-peak hours if you are looking to build and audience. How so? The competition is not that high before peak-hours and there’s a higher chance that your posts will make it to users’ newsfeeds without being overshadowed by the other posts.
Best time to post on Twitter
Tweets work by the rule ‘less is more’, less meaning 140 characters (not counting emojis or symbols, according to recent changes). This makes it easier for users to quickly check Twitter during their daily commute or during a quick break. According to Buffer, the best time to tweet is between 11am - 1pm, the peak-time being at noon. Things get more nuanced when it comes to B2C tweets. Consumers engage with brands during the weekend and, according to Twitter stats, the average user follows approximately 5 brands. User engagement increases with up to 17% during weekends. So if you are tweeting to promote a brand, make sure you keep your followers up to date during weekend.
Best time to post on Instagram
Teenagers and young millennials seem to be taking the old saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words' very seriously. Instagram is much popular than Facebook and Twitter for people between 18-29 and 41% of its worldwide users are below 24 years old. It’s not surprising then that posting on Instagram at 2am can get you many likes - that’s usually the high-time for parties! Generally, Instagram users are active every day, so the time of the week doesn’t make a huge difference when posting. Regarding the time of the day, posts made in the evening or late at night get more attention than posts done in the early afternoon.
The most important thing is to experiment with your posts and see what works for your audience. Statistics and general rules are useful, but you shouldn’t be following them blindly. Success on social media is mostly trial and error - try different things and see what works for your audience.
This infographic from Fannit.com lists the best times (and the worst) to post to all the major social media sites: Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and your blog. A good general guide is:
The worst times to post, and other helpful tips are in the graphic below.