All social media platforms’ algorithms are rigged. Professional content creators, like me, know the feeling when you’ve been working on a post for hours, days, or weeks possibly. You hit the post button in the hopes of going viral and sit and wait… and wait… and wait.
Nothing happens when you’ve been waiting for hours, days, and weeks for the results to appear. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world. I find it most annoying because it’s entirely out of your control. Whether it’s on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, the algorithms are built in such a way that you will never reach 100% of your audience. The audience that YOU worked for to build up, all those hours. The way these companies treat the people who made them big is rude. We have to play by their rules, whether we like it or not. Luckily, content creators are very inventive in business, so we always figure out how to adapt. The most straightforward way of doing this is to follow the rules of the algorithms and find the best times to post on social media to reach as many people as possible.
We went on the internet and found the best times to post on each social media platform and the overall best and worst days to post. Although every account and audience need a slightly different approach, you can take this data as an extra reference when planning your content calendar.
Best times to post on YouTube
We are starting with YouTube. You may wonder - why YouTube first? Unlike all the other social media platforms we will talk about today, YouTube doesn’t have a timeline. This results in difficulties in finding the best times to post YouTube videos.
We would all love to have these so greatly desired millions and millions of views and subscribers and earn money from sponsorships. Though, it all starts with learning. Let’s get into it!
Frederator Network complied data across their network of 3000 network channels and 1 billion monthly views. The results in EST time:
- Mondays 2-4 pm
- Tuesdays 2-4 pm
- Wednesdays 2-4 pm
- Thursdays noon-3 pm
- Friday noon-3 pm
- Weekends - 9 am-11 am
Edgy has similar views to the data shown above. They recommend that the best times to post youtube videos are between 2-4 pm (EST) on the weekdays, as most people will be done with school, university, or work. Uploading early morning on the weekends seems to be the best practice, as most people have the weekend free, and the chance to sit back, relax, and watch YouTube videos is higher.
Another crucial tip that they mention is to upload your video before the peak so that the video can get indexed, and it will have higher chances of showing in search results. If you want to go more in-depth about optimizing your YouTube metadata, this video by Neil Patel will help you out.
To summarize all that we said, post an hour before the peak, optimize your metadata and remember these best times to post YouTube videos (we know that you’re a visual learner, so we included Influencer Marketing Hub’s graph):
Best times to post on Instagram
Learning about YouTube was fun, right? Let’s now move on to the best times to post on Instagram. As we previously talked about how social media algorithms don’t work the most favorably for content creators, we have to find a way to go around that. One way of doing that is knowing the best times to post so you can edge over the competition.
While extensively researching the data available on the internet, we decided that the best report available for this case is Hubspot’s Instagram Engagement Report 2022. They, together with Mention, have gathered data from over 110 million Instagram posts. Let’s look at the most important takeaways from their learnings.
When asking “what time of the day you is the best to post on Instagram”, the answer isn’t exactly the same for every account. The data below shows some clear trends on the highest engagement rate.
As we can see, posting content between 6 pm and 9 pm has the highest engagement rate. Mornings are usually kind of slow - 5 am to 12 pm offering the lowest engagement rate, and it’s gradually rising after that.
Be aware of where your audience is located. For instance, if the best time for engagement for you is 12, aim to post at 12 in the timezone your audience is based on, even if this means posting at a different time for you.
The takeaway is that people love using Instagram during evenings, as they are usually free, and that mornings aren’t people’s favorites (surprise, surprise) to browse on Instagram. Saturdays and Sundays seem to generate the highest engagement rates.
Best times to post on TikTok
On TikTok, the game is played a little differently as their algorithm is slightly different from other social media platforms. You have the option only to watch content from accounts you follow. However, most people can be found scrolling through the ‘For You’ page for hours. Yes, we’re guilty too.
Once again, the Influencer Marketing Hub came up with excellent research on the best times to post on TikTok.
Unlike YouTube and Instagram, engagement rates on TikTok can be very successful in the morning. In fact, Tuesdays at 9 am, Thursdays at 12 am, and Fridays at 5 am seem to offer exceptionally high engagement levels. Of course, you shouldn’t estimate the following two questions:
- What time is your audience awake?
- Where is your audience located?
If you treat your account seriously, you want to ensure that you have the answers to the above questions and use the graph of the best times to post on TikTok.
The Best times to post on Facebook
Good old Facebook. The platform isn’t the most favorable between marketers; however, it can be hugely underrated.
While doing our research, we have found that many experts consider that there isn’t such thing as a single universal “best time to post on Facebook”. Instead, the focus should lie on the best time for your (personal) brand to post. The reason - it’s not possible for a user to consume all of the content shared to Facebook, and algorithms help to determine what is shown to us every time we use the app.
In this Global Engagement graph by Sprout Social, you can see the theoretical best days and hours to post on Facebook.
Though, as we said above, there isn’t a universal best time to post. Therefore, we gathered the following data from four different big players in the social media marketing industry, who are arguing that the best times to post on Facebook are:
- Buffer - Monday until Saturday from 1 pm to 3 pm
- Hubspot - Thursdays and Fridays from 1 pm to 3 pm
- TrackMaven - Thursday at 8 pm
- CoSchedule - Thursday until Sunday from 1 to 4 pm
- Buzzsum0 - post on off-peak hours
Considering the information above, posting between 1 pm to 3 pm seems like a safe option. However, you must understand when your audience is the most active. This can be done through analytics (Facebook & Google). Only then will you find your best times to post on Facebook.
Best times to post on Twitter
Twitter is my personal favorite social media platform.
According to Sprout Social, the times that generate the most engagements are:
- Wednesday and Friday
- Best time: 9 am
This info below reflects on their chart below, in Central Standard Time (CST). But this represents averages of their 20,000 customers. To make it easier to visualize, check out the graph below:
If your audience is very diversified, a study of 4.8 million tweets from Buffer shows the most popular times to tweet by time zone are:
- 8 am - 9 am Pacific time
- 12 pm - 1 pm Mountain time
- 12 pm - 1 pm Central time
- 12 pm - 1 pm Eastern time
- 8 pm - 9 pm Eastern European time
- 4 pm - 5 pm Central European time
- 8 am - 9 am Hong Kong time
Please DO NOT forget about hashtags. Also, you’ll have to consider what your audience really likes. For instance, if you own a football-related account, you would like to post during the Champions League or the World cup. Considering this data would help you to figure out the best times to post on Twitter.
Best times to post on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a platform primarily suitable for business-related things. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t promote your content because cross-channel promotion has excellent benefits.
Contrary to most of the platforms we discussed in this article, one of the best times to post on LinkedIn is actually… in the morning! Nick Martin, who is a Social Engagement specialist by Hootsuite, says:
“People are getting started on their day. They’re taking the morning to get caught up on articles, scroll social media for news, and get their brains ready for work. Later in the afternoon, people are heads-down on projects or in meetings, and they have less time to engage.”
The quote above is further confirmed by Sprout Social’s LinkedIn Global Engagement graph:
As seen above, mornings during weekdays are usually the best time to post on LinkedIn. This is because professionals are starting their day off nice and easy. Because the platform users are mainly professionals, weekends tend to be relatively slow.
Are you ready to be on top of your social media game? It starts with lots of research, proper planning, and finding the best times to post on social media. The information in this article will be super beneficial to you; however, experimenting with what works best for your audience is the best solution to finding the best times to post on social media. Then you will be well on your way to increasing your followers. This is the first step of building your super fans audience that is way more important than having tons of followers. But again, the one can’t go without the other. See how Fangage can help you create gated content, interact with your community, and much more!