Today, social media is a key component of nearly every brand’s marketing strategy. However, with multiple accounts to manage and online platforms to navigate, marketers struggle to keep up with what’s working and what’s not. With so much information to monitor, how can you recognize the best times to post your content in order to achieve optimal engagement?
The solution is to take a strategic approach to timing. When building your plan for posting, you’ll start by identifying the target audience you want to reach. Once you have that information, you’ll need to ask two basic questions:
1. What social media channels do they use?
2. When are they most receptive to messaging?
Below are 4 quick tips to help you get started building out a custom posting calendar, followed by our guide to the overall best times for each channel.
1. Do a deep dive into your industry
Industry-specific benchmarks can help you uncover patterns in audience behavior, such as what time of day the customers typically log onto social media platforms. It also can indicate what posting patterns will get the best response from your audience.
A great example of this is the real estate industry. According to a study conducted by Hubspot, real estate accounts see the highest engagement per post when they post once per day. This goes against the common understanding that it is best to post multiple times per day. On the other end of the spectrum, consumer goods companies see the most engagement per post when they post 10 or more times per day.
2. Experiment with scheduled posts
Use a social media management tool to schedule your posts at specific times across multiple platforms. Compared to manual posting, automated tools allow you to post more often and post at times when you might not otherwise be connected.
Best of all, scheduling your posts enables you to easily plan out testing. Consider various posting schedules or posting a piece of content twice – at different times – to see what works best for your target audience.
3. Track engagement
Once you’ve started testing different posting times, you need to analyze what is working. It could be that one schedule results in more clicks on your posts while another schedule shows an increase in shares. How you choose to optimize depends on what your marketing goals are.
With so much data to sift through, it’s important to be able to break it down by type of engagement as well as time period. While spreadsheets can do the trick, a visual representation of your performance makes it easy to notice trends and spikes. The longer you track your performance, the more likely it is that you will identify what changes can be attributed to seasonality and what variables are actually making a difference in your results.
4. Focus on quality over quantity
Try to keep posts short and concise, ensuring that the information is relevant and easy to comprehend. As you track your performance, be sure to pay attention to what type of content is delivering engagement. Video is proven to drive better performance across the board, especially when it does not require audio. But for some audiences, compelling text can be just as engaging.
Best and worst times to post on social media
Still not sure when to post? Whether you’re just getting started with a new account, or don’t have enough engagement to set clear benchmarks, there’s still plenty of data you can use to guide your social schedule. We’ve collected the best times below. Just keep in mind that these guidelines are not audience-specific.