Best Times to Post on Social Media for Maximum Customer Engagement

10 min. read
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To start off with

Imagine this. You’ve just spent the last four hours crafting an eye-catching, well thought out, insightful piece of content that you’re ready to post on social media for your audience of thousands to see. Except, not thousands of them see it because you get too excited and post it as soon as you’re happy with how it looks. It’s 3.23 pm - i.e. when people are right in the middle of their afternoon work. You’ve missed the posting window when you are the most likely to get the best engagement!

To help you avoid this mistake, we’ve taken a look at the best times to post on social media across a range of some of your most loved platforms. We’ve also made some suggestions about what type of content is best suited for each in case you’re still figuring out what ones will be right for you or your business. But first we’ll have a look at some of the overarching factors that most social media sites share that determine how well your post will perform.

Reach and algorithms: What are they?

Reach is a social media metric which refers to how many people have come across your content. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they interact with it, just that it has appeared on their screen. A higher reach doesn’t mean more conversions or other favourable customer actions, but it certainly increases your chances of these interactions happening.

There are two primary types of reach. The first is organic reach, where customers find your content on social media organically, as in naturally -  for example, through their existing networks, by already following you, or through similar accounts. This type of reach is lusted after by marketers as it doesn’t cost anything to obtain. The second type is paid reach, where you pay social media companies to place your content on the screens of potential customers.

Reach is hugely influenced by algorithms. Algorithms are comparable to the hand of a higher being in the world of social media. They govern the content you see and when you see it using a complex pool of data. Powerful algorithms are a key factor of a social media platform’s success. Better algorithms mean you will be likely to see content that you enjoy every time you open the app, reinforcing your desire to use the app regularly. Since social media provides such a powerful marketing and customer acquisition tool, the more frequently people are using these platforms, the better for all businesses.

All the major social media platforms which we cover in this article use algorithms. Most are incredibly powerful, which is why it is important to be aware that they exist.

So how does posting time work with those algorithms?

Most social media algorithms prioritise more recent posts to show to their users when they first open the site or app. That means you want to be close to the top of that queue by selecting the optimal time to post for your audience. It’s essentially a costless way to improve your chances of gaining better reach.

General posting considerations

The best times we provide in the following sections are not a one-fit-all approach - the reason being, your customers are not necessarily the general population. In some cases they may be far from it (which makes them very special, indeed).

You will want to consider what industry you are in, what timezones your main customers are in and what their daily schedules might be like. Why? Because all these factors have a strong influence on their social media usage patterns.

Take this. Sam works late night retail. Your business sells basketball goods, which Sam loves to play during the day. Would you post at 6 am to reach this type of customer? Maybe not. They’re most likely still in bed! But, if you were a blender company aimed at gym enthusiasts, then maybe you would post at 6 am, so that they see your post first thing when they wake up and wistfully imagine how good it would be to own a blender to make delicious smoothies each morning.

Same goes for timezones. If your customers are largely split across the UK and US, then you will need to consider when would be the most optimal time to capture both markets, so that it isn’t the middle of the night for one of them. You might consider using an online tool to line up the timezones that your main customers reside in.

Keeping these considerations in mind, now it’s time to look at the more practical side of things, which is, when actually are the best global times to post on various platforms? And what type of content works best for each?

Take Note: All times listed in the following sections are in Central Standard Time.

Best time to post on Instagram

Overall, the global best times to post on Instagram are before work, during lunch and after work, which seems all very logical. An analysis from Sprout Social identified that specifically between 10.00 am to 3.00pm on weekdays is when Instagram usage is highest, which means this would be the best times to do Instagram marketing. 

Instagram marketing is defined as leveraging the popular social media platform, Instagram, to promote products, services, or brands. Businesses or individuals can use Instagram as a visual marketing tool, sharing engaging content such as images, videos, and stories to reach their target audience. Key elements of Instagram marketing include building a visually appealing profile, creating compelling and shareable content, using relevant hashtags, engaging with followers through comments and direct messages, and exploring advertising options like sponsored posts and Instagram ads. The platform's visual nature makes it an ideal space for showcasing products, telling brand stories, and connecting with a broad audience.

Now when it comes to actually implementing Instagram marketing, generally, the best days to post are Tuesday and Wednesday, while the worst days are Saturdays and Sundays.

For more specific posting times, see below:

Source: Sprout Social

Sue B. Zimmerman, an Instagram business coach supports the importance of following optimal posting times on Instagram:

“It may take time to get a long-term understanding of your followers’ activity, but it’s important to make sure you’re posting when the majority of your audience is online.”

💡 Top Tip: Choosing the best posting time isn’t necessarily going to get you a better reach if your post is terrible. You will want to ensure that your content is highly valuable for your customers so that they are commenting on your post, sharing it with their friends and saving it to their own collections. Good post engagement, coupled with a carefully selected posting time, can send your reach through the roof and it's best to prioritise these factors in accordance.

What Type of Content is Best for Instagram marketing:

  • Pictures
  • Memes
  • Demo videos
  • Walkthrough videos
  • Long or short captions with emojis

What Type of Content May Not Work for Instagram marketing:

  • Images with too much text
  • Complex graphs
  • Landscape videos
  • Videos where sound is a key feature (unless subtitled)
  • Videos that a longer than 1 minute

Best time to post on Facebook

Overall, the global best times to post on Facebook are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday between 9.00 am and 2.00 pm. Sounds like people might be enjoying this platform the most when they’re not laden down with too much work, like you might expect on Mondays or as people scramble to finish things on Thursday.

Generally the best days to post are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while the worst days are Saturdays and Sundays.

For more specific posting times, see below:

Source: Sprout Social

A Few Facts about the Facebook Algorithm: Facebook uses “signals” to decide what to show users in their newsfeeds. Signals include number of comments and shares on published content and replies to comments on video content. . .right, so make your videos good enough to get your followers to tag their friend and hopefully they’ll reply saying they like it! Another interesting feature of the Facebook algorithm is the score it assigns to each piece of content:

“Every piece of content receives a quality score based on its relevance to the user. The higher the score, the greater the chance it has to appear in the user’s news feed.” (source)

Craft your content with the aim of creating audience hype and getting engagement, then use the times above to select the time best to post, thinking about your target market.

What Type of Content Might be Best for Facebook:

  • Landscape videos
  • Long-format captions
  • Memes
  • Mailing list sign-up portals
  • Virtual or physical events pages

What Type of Content May Not Work for Facebook:

  • Images with too much text
  • Complex graphs
  • Duplicate images from Instagram
  • Videos where sound is a key feature (unless subtitled)

Best time to post on TikTok

Get into this data while it's still hot. TikTok marketing might just be THE place to be on right now for building a following and, of course, it offers the tantalizing opportunity to go viral fast.

The global best times to post on TikTok are Tuesday 8.00 am, Thursday 11.00 am and Friday 4.00 am.

Those sound like weird times to you? That’s because TikTok marketing caters to a global audience, so the most popular times in Central Standard Time correspond to other less surprising times overseas. For example, 4.00 am CST is 11.00 am in the United Kingdom and 10.00 pm on the East Coast of Australia.

Generally the best days to post are during the middle of the week, Tuesday - Thursday or on Friday to capture the upcoming weekend audiences.

For more specific posting times, see below:

Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

We found some top tips from Louise Myers, social media guru, to help upgrade your TikTok marketing strategy alongside posting at an optimal time:

“Test out on-trend hashtags in relevant content. Watch what other brands are doing and see how you can create your own version. When you’re ready, check out how to run TikTok ads!” (source)

What Type of Content is Best for TikTok marketing:

  • Videos where sound is a big feature
  • Demo/Walkthrough/Tutorial videos
  • Long-format captions
  • Funny content
  • Behind-the-scenes content

What Type of Content May Not Work for TikTok marketing:

  • Landscape videos
  • Videos with lots of text in them
  • Videos that are longer than 1 min
  • Long captions
  • Image slideshows

Best time to post on twitter

The best global times to post on Twitter are weekdays between 9.00 am and 12.00 pm. Twitter with a morning cup of coffee, maybe?

Generally, the best days to post are Tuesday and Wednesday, while the worst days to post are on the weekend.

For more specific posting times, see below:

Source: Social Sprout

Brian Peters of Twitter shares many more useful tips to boost engagement on Twitter and give your content the best shot at standing out. In particular, he provides the following advice: 

“Increasing your Twitter engagement organically means more than just posting more content. It also involves creating a community and actively engaging with that community on a daily (or weekly) basis. People appreciate hearing back from a brand when they've reached out on Twitter. Believe it or not, a good reply can be just as (or more) successful than a good Tweet.”

So make sure you’re prepared to continue to monitor your post after you’ve tweeted it; that way you can respond to customer comments and continue to boost it to a wider audience! 

What Type of Content Might be Best for Twitter:

  • Conversational, informal content
  • Short-form text-based content
  • Emojis

What Type of Content May Not Work for Twitter:

  • Marketing videos
  • Tweets that push sales

Best time to post on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is unsurprisingly the most busy during working hours, that is between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm on weekdays.

The best days to post are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, while the worst days are Saturday and Sunday, but particularly Sunday.

For more specific posting times, see below:

Source: Social Sprout

💡 Top Hack: The Forbes Coaches Council suggests that using LinkedIn polls to ask your audience a question can be a great way to boost engagement. They also suggest setting up a ‘pod’ on Instagram where you invite accounts who also target your customers (but are not direct competitors) to react and comment on your, and other members of the pod’s posts regularly to mutually increase each other’s engagement.

What Type of Content Might be Best for LinkedIn:

  • Long-format posts
  • Articles
  • Links to blog posts
  • Business updates
  • Press releases
  • Emojis

What Type of Content May Not Work for LinkedIn:

  • Informal content
  • Lots of slang and lingo
  • Suggestive content
  • Posts that are overtly salesy

Posting time tips

We’ve mentioned thinking about what industry you are in and what type of social media usage patterns your customers might have (i.e. gamers may be more likely to be checking social media at 11.30 pm than early-morning runners), but what are some tools and tips that might make it easier to determine the optimal post time for your business, specifically?

Scheduling tools

There are plenty of tools that have sprouted up in recent years that can schedule and automatically post your content for you on a variety of social media platforms. What’s better, is that a lot of them can automatically select the best time to post based on the activity of your followers. We’ve listed a few of these services below:

Having a scheduling tool can take off a bit of the time and guesswork in choosing the best time to post, but be aware that you have to pay for the privilege!

Testing for optimisation 

A strategy that doesn’t cost anything is through good old trial and error, or as marketers say, A/B testing. This involves posting the same piece of content at two different times and seeing which one performs better. If you post the same picture and one clearly gets more engagement, then you can fairly confidently conclude that the posting time you selected is largely to thank.

Concluding remarks

While not perfect, we hope that this article has given you a good overview of the best types of times to post on various social media platforms, with the understanding that these suggestions are far from perfect, and it really depends on you doing some of you own strategizing to find out where your customers are located, when they might be using social media, and what times to avoid posting full stop. Then go ahead and test the times you think will be best and track their performance.

Questions and discussion

If you have any questions about posting on social media, starting an online business, or eCommerce in general, then please reach out to one of our friendly team members and we’ll be happy to help.


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Jason Acidre

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