The best times to post on social media are when the people you want to see the content are on the network.
That’s the easy answer.
And not a useful answer. Until now.
There are best practices for each social network, and the data from these 23 studies proves that posting at the best times will help you get more traffic, more engagement, and more followers.
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Before we dig into the details behind our research, snag this free template bundle. It includes our Best Times to Post on Social Media infographic (which covers Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+), plus three Google Analytics custom reports that will help you find your own best times to post (backed by your own data).
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Schedule And Republish Your Social Media At The Best Times Without The Guesswork
What if you could republish your best social media content at the click of a button? What if you didn't even have to think about it? What if it magically scheduled itself?
There's no magic involved, but it is possible to schedule your best content to automatically repost using ReQueue:
To make sure those posts get scheduled at the best possible time, use the best time scheduling feature in CoSchedule and put it on autopilot:
Alright, for those of you who'd like to try this the more manual way, read on!
Find Your Best Time To Post:
- How Do You Factor In Time Zones?
- What Are The Best Times To Post On Instagram?
- When Is The Best Time To Post On Facebook?
- When Is The Best Time To Tweet?
- When Are The Best Times To Pin On Pinterest?
- When Should You Post On LinkedIn?
- When Is The Best Time To Post On Google+?
- Best Time To Post On Social Media Infographic
- 3 Google Analytics Custom Reports To Find Your Best Time To Post
About The 23 Social Media Studies...
After digging around the Internet a bit and analyzing our own data here at CoSchedule, I compiled some research from within the past year and more recently, breaking it up into more palatable chunks of information. I’ll be referencing several sources in this blog post, including:
- Totally original data from CoSchedule
- Huffington Post's updated compiled research
- SurePayroll's compiled research
- Quintly's updated original research
- Post Planner's compiled research
- Later's original research
- AdEspresso's compiled research on Instagram
- Falcon.io's compiled research and analysis
In addition, these are a few bonus sources that may be slightly older than a year:
- Neil Patel’s research and compiled data on Quick Sprout
- MarketingProfs' compiled research from several TrackMaven reports
- Elle & Co. compiled research
- FastCompany's compiled research
- TrackMaven's research
- Chron's compiled research
- Kissmetrics' compiled research
- Fannit's compiled research
- Dustin Stout's compiled research
- HubSpot's roundup
- TruConversion's compiled research
- Forbes' research from a TruConversion case study
- Buffer's original research
- Buffer's updated compiled research
- Fast Company's compiled research
NOTE: Many of these cross-reference the same studies. However, not all draw the same conclusions from that data.
Let's get to it.
How Do You Factor In Time Zones?
Did you know that Arizona doesn’t practice daylight savings time?
It’s timing nuances like these that make finding the perfect times to post even harder. Before we delve into the best times to post on social media, let's take a look at the best time zones.
50% of the U.S. population is in the Eastern Time Zone, and the Eastern and Central combined represent almost 80% of the U.S. population.
In theory, the Eastern or Central timezone would be the best time to base off for a United States audience to reach the most people through your social media shares.
For those of you who have audiences outside the United States, demographic research like this is simple enough with Google Analytics to understand where your own audience is, giving you the opportunity to target their time zones accordingly.
There are also a few tools to help you find when your own audience is online and using the social networks you're concentrating on—which helps you understand the best times to share based in your local time zone. Read on to learn more.
What Are The Best Times To Post On Instagram?
Answer: Instagram audiences are engaged throughout the week. Mondays should maybe get a little more attention.
- Monday and Thursday at any time other than 3–4 p.m.
- Videos any day at 9 p.m.–8 a.m.
- Experiment with 2 a.m., 5 p.m., and Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Here are the general best times to post on Instagram:
- 8–9 a.m.
- 2 a.m.
- 5 p.m.
Quick Sprout: Instagram engagement is fairly steady, with slight increases on Monday and decreases on Sunday. Overall, though, any day of the week is good.
According to Patel, who noted that weekday engagement was fairly similar, the same could be said for time of day. Most Instagram users engage with Instagram content more during off-work hours than during the workday.
Elle & Co.: The best day to post on Instagram is Monday. Posting throughout the day would be fine since Instagram users are consistently active. However, there is a slight dip in activity from 3–4 p.m.
Huffington Post: The best time to post on Instagram is 2 a.m. and 5 p.m. The peak time and day is Wednesday at 7 p.m.
TrackMaven: The best time to post videos is between 9 p.m.–8 a.m. with picture posts consistent throughout the week with slight peaks on Thursday and Monday.
MarketingProfs: Posting on Instagram between 1–2 p.m. is best for engagement. Monday is a great day to boost your engagement, and specifically from 8–9 a.m.
Later: Avoid posting during work hours, especially between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Instead, post when people are more likely enjoying their leisure time.
CoSchedule: Sadly, it's really hard to get traffic from Instagram. However, if that is your goal, try Tuesdays at 2 p.m.
What Is Your Your Best Time To Post On Instagram?
Iconosquare is an Instagram analytics tool that has a feature to help you understand when to post to Instagram to reach more of your own followers.
When Is The Best Time To Post On Facebook?
Answer: The best time to post on Facebook is 1–4 p.m. late into the week and on weekends.
- Saturday and Sunday at 12–1 p.m.
- Thursday and Friday at 1–4 p.m.
- Wednesday at 3 p.m.
When to post on Facebook in general to increase your shares and clickthroughs:
- 1 p.m.
- 3 p.m.
- 9 a.m.
Quick Sprout: The best days of the week to publish to Facebook are any day during the workweek, with engagement being the highest on Thursday and Friday. Engagement is about 3.5% lower on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. And people seem to be happier on Friday (small wonder), so funny or upbeat content will fit right in to that “happiness index.”
According to Patel, early afternoon is the optimal time to post on Facebook. 1 p.m. will get you the most shares, while 3 p.m. will get you the most clicks. Anytime between 9 a.m.–7 p.m. will always be better than content shared outside of that window.
Elle & Co.: The best days to publish on Facebook are Saturday and Sunday with the peak times at 1 p.m. on those days. These posts get 32% more engagement than workweek posts. According to Elle & Co, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1–3 p.m.
SurePayroll: Wednesday at 3 p.m. is the best day to post on Facebook. But on average, 1–4 p.m. get the highest clickthroughs. The worst times are weekends before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
Fast Company: The best times to share on Facebook are 1–4 p.m., and the peak time is Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Overall, Fast Company says that the worst time to post is after 8 p.m. on weekends.
Huffington Post: Thursday and Friday are the best days to post on Facebook. Monday and Wednesday get the lowest engagement rates. Generally speaking, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1–3 p.m. and more broadly 9 a.m.–7 p.m. In addition, Facebook use spikes by 10% on Fridays.
Kissmetrics: The best day to share on Facebook is Saturday, and shares tend to spike around noon and a little after 7 p.m. The best time to post on Facebook is noon.
Buffer: Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays. The best time to post on Facebook has been up for some debate with stats ranging from 1 p.m. to get the most shares to 3 p.m. to get the most clicks, and anytime between before dinner generally. Stats seem to fall anytime after dinner, and posting before work is a long shot.
Dustin Stout: The worst time to publish is between 8 p.m and 8 a.m. (essentially, avoid overnight posting).
CoSchedule: Original data shows that sharing at 9–10 a.m., 11 a.m.–noon, and 4 p.m. will increase your traffic from Facebook.
Tools To Help You Track When Your Audience Is On Facebook
Right in your brand's page in Facebook, go to Insights and click on Posts to see the data of when your viewers are online.
This tool helps you track several different key performance indicators of your Facebook pages. Finding the best time to reach your unique audience is one of them.
When Is The Best Time To Tweet?
Answer: The optimal times to tweet are 12–3 p.m., with a peak best time at 5 p.m. During the workweek is the best, though some niches might have more active audiences on the weekend.
- Wednesday at noon and 5–6 p.m.
- Monday–Friday at 12–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
- Experiment with 2–3 a.m., 6–7 a.m., and 9–10 p.m.
When to tweet in general to increase retweets and clickthroughs:
- 5–6 p.m.
- Noon specifically
- 3 p.m.
Quick Sprout: The best day to tweet depends on whether you are business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C). If you're B2B, you’ll do better tweeting during the workweek, getting more more engagement than on weekends. However, individuals tend to interact with Twitter more on weekends, so if you're B2C, you’ll definitely want to be tweeting on the weekends, too.
According to Patel, tweeting around 5 p.m. will get you the most retweets, but 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. will bring you more clickthroughs. Twitter gets used a lot during work breaks and the commute to and from work.
Elle & Co.: The best day to post to Twitter is Wednesday with the best times to tweet between 12–1 p.m. and 6–7 p.m. You’ll get more retweets during these times.
SurePayroll: The best days are Monday–Thursday. The best times are between 1 p.m.–3 p.m. on the optimal days. Anytime between 9 a.m.–3 p.m. are peak times of Twitter use.
Huffington Post: For maximum retweets, post at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. The best days to post for B2B organizations is Monday–Friday, and for B2C it's the weekends and Wednesdays.
Kissmetrics: The best time to tweet is at 5 p.m., and the best days to tweet are midweek and weekends. The ultimate best day to tweet is specifically Wednesday.
Buffer: Dan Zarrella’s research shows engagement is 17% higher on weekends. Clickthrough rates are highest on Wednesdays for B2B audiences while weekends work best for B2C. Retweets are highest around 5 p.m. while clickthroughs are best at noon and 6 p.m. Recent research shows tweets get the most clicks from 2–3 a.m., most retweets at 9–10 p.m., and the ultimate best times to post for clicks worldwide is 6–7 a.m.
Dustin Stout: Similar to Facebook, the worst times to tweet are overnight. Avoid posting between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m.
CoSchedule: Schedule tweets to post at 11 a.m., 9–10 a.m., and 2 p.m. to get the most traffic from Twitter.
Tools To Help You Monitor Your Best Time To Tweet
Twitter Analytics provides an easy way for you to understand the best days to tweet according to your own audience's engagement with your content. Just cruise to your Twitter Analytics dashboard and hit Tweets.
This tool from Moz helps you discover where your followers are located and when they tweet to help you focus your social sharing during the right time zones and when they actively use Twitter.
When Are The Best Times To Pin On Pinterest?
Answer: Saturdays are your best bet for reaching Pinterest users—and later at night.
- Saturdays at 8–11 p.m.
- Fridays at 3 p.m.
General awesome times to Pin to Pinterest:
- 8–11 p.m. with 9 p.m. peak
- 2–4 a.m. and 2–4 p.m.
- 1–3 p.m.
Quick Sprout: The best day to Pin on Pinterest is Saturday. According to Patel, the best times to post on Pinterest are 8–11 p.m.
However, this is a conglomeration of several groups of data that show Pinterest posts also do well between 2–4 a.m. and 2–4 p.m.
Elle & Co.: The best time to Pin to Pinterest is 8–11 p.m. SurePayroll agrees with the idea of Saturday morning as the best time for posting, though Pinning on Fridays at 3 p.m. performs well, too.
HubSpot: Data that compiles some of the findings from this post along with older (and updated) information reiterates the findings from the other studies. Pinning from any day from 2–4 a.m. and 2–4 p.m. is the best. Specifically, 5 p.m. on Fridays and 8–11 p.m. on Saturdays are good times, too.
Fannit: While Fannit agrees that 2–4 p.m. and 8–11 p.m. are great times to Pin to Pinterest, they suggest 5–7 p.m. and 1–7 a.m. are the worst times.
Dustin Stout: Interestingly, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. appear to be the worst times to post on Pinterest. This could be because people aren't active immediately after leaving the office for the day.
CoSchedule: Pin to Pinterest at 12 p.m., 2 a.m., and 1–3 p.m. to get the most traffic.
Find The Best Days To Engage Your Pinterest Followers
Pinterest Analytics is a powerful tool that shows you the dates when you've gotten the most viewers and engagement for your Pins. Use that information to analyze the days of the week when you typically get the best results.
When Should You Post On LinkedIn?
Answer: Midweek posting is optimal from 5–6 p.m.
- Tuesday at 10–11 a.m.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7:30–8:30 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5–6 p.m.
When to post on LinkedIn to get the most clickthroughs:
- 5–6 p.m.
- 7–8 a.m.
- 12 p.m.
Quick Sprout: The best days to post on LinkedIn are during the workweek, preferably Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The most clicks and shares happen on Tuesdays.
According to Patel, the best time to post is during the workday, which makes sense if you understand that LinkedIn is the “professional” social network. Between 7–8 a.m. and 5–6 p.m. are good times to post. Tuesdays between 10–11 a.m. may also be a sweet spot.
Elle & Co.: The best days to post on LinkedIn are Tuesday and Thursday, while SurePayroll broadened that to include Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
According to Elle & Co., the best time to post is between 7:30–8:30 a.m., and between 5–6 p.m.
Huffington Post: The best days to post on LinkedIn are Tuesday through Thursday during work hours. In addition, Tuesday 10 a.m.–11 a.m. are known to get the most clicks and shares. The worst time to post content on LinkedIn is between the hours of 10 p.m.–6 a.m.
Fast Company: The best days to post on LinkedIn are Tuesday through Thursday with the optimal time to post being noon and 5–6 p.m. The worst time is after 8 p.m.
Chron: The best times to post on LinkedIn are early evening starting between 5–6 p.m. The worst time to post is between the hours of 10 p.m.–6 a.m. The best days to post on LinkedIn are midweek from Tuesday—Thursday. An assumption is that Monday is bad because people are just getting back into the work week, and people are leaving early for the weekend on Fridays.
Forbes: Since LinkedIn is a professional network, Forbes suggests posting between 8 a.m.–5 p.m. on weekdays returns the biggest results.
Fannit: Data agrees with the majority of the studies, suggesting that early morning and after work are the best times to post on LinkedIn on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Post at 7–8:30 a.m. and 5–6 p.m.
LinkedIn: Perhaps unsurprisingly, overnight hours are the worst times for posting on LinkedIn. Avoid posting between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and schedule your messages when busy professionals are more likely be online (and not asleep).
CoSchedule: Get the most traffic by posting to LinkedIn at 8–9 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m.
Tools To Help You Post On LinkedIn On The Best Day
LinkedIn Analytics can help you understand which specific dates you've received the most reach and engagement for the content you've shared. Use this to understand the best days of the week to share content on LinkedIn.
When Is The Best Time To Post On Google+?
Answer: The beginning of the workday morning is optimal for Google+.
- Wednesday at 9 a.m.
- Weekdays at 9–11 a.m.
When to post on Google+ in general:
- 9 a.m.
- 11 a.m.
- 12–1 p.m.
Quick Sprout: The workweek is the best time to post to Google+, and not the weekends. Wednesday posts fare a bit better than other workdays. According to Patel, 9–11 a.m. is the best time to post to Google+, with late mornings generally doing better as far as engagement is concerned. SurePayroll agrees with those findings.
SurePayroll: 9–10 a.m. is the best time with the peak time being Wednesdays at 9 a.m. The worst time to post on Google+ is early mornings and evenings.
Fast Company: The best time to post on Google+ is during the workday since it's a professional social media tool. The best time to post is from 9–10 a.m. with the peak time to post being Wednesday at 9 a.m. The worst time to post on Google+ is in the early morning and evening.
Fannit: Reporting early on the trend, Fannit agrees that 9–11 a.m. is the best time to post on Google+ while 6 p.m.–7 a.m. is the worst.
Dustin Stout: Dustin (one of the most prolific Google+ experts we know) doesn't recommend posting on Google+ after 6 p.m. either.
CoSchedule: Providing some new insight on Google+ posting times, you can get more traffic by sharing at 12–1 p.m., 11 p.m., and 8 a.m.
When Is Your Google+ Audience Looking At Your Content?
Liz Jostes has some good advice on measuring the impact of the content you share on Google+. Experiment with your posting times to measure their impact on your metrics with Google+ Analytics.
Timing+ is a tool built precisely for Google+ to help you know the perfect time to share your awesome content. Simply go to their website and sign in to Google+ to start sharing your posts at the absolute best times for your audience.
Still Not Enough For You?
Take a look for yourself at what the studies are saying:
Getting away from the specific days and times, each network is better understood by how it is used.
- Facebook is broadly used on mobile and desktop, at work and at home. It really depends on the audience as far as who and how they use Facebook.
- Twitter is a hard nut to crack, and definitely audience-dependant, like Facebook. It is often treated like an RSS feed, and something to read during down times like commutes, breaks, and so on.
- LinkedIn is for professionals, and they tend to use it around work hours—but not necessarily during the workday.
- Google+ is for a more tech-savvy audience who is most active in the morning.
- Pinterest users seem to like to make network activity an evening sport, much like sitting down to TV in the evening during their free time.
- Instagram users are on a platform meant for mobile, and that means they tend to use the network all the time, any time.
How Do You Know When Your Followers Are On Social Media?
One of the reasons you want to know when to share on social media is because you want to get more traffic to your blog. It makes sense, then, to post your content to social media when you typically get the most traffic from your unique audience.
Grab these three Google Analytics custom reports (available in your kit that complements this post) to help you know what times and days you typically get the most traffic, and measure your progress every day. Here's how:
Find Your Best Day To Post On Social Media
Kick off your research with the Best Days To Post On Social Media report. When you do, you'll see a list of all of your social networks listed from the ones that give you the most traffic to the least.
Simply click on any network to view the days when you typically get the most traffic.
Go one step further and click on the day to learn the specific times when your followers give you the most traffic from that network.
Use that information to help you choose the best days to share to specific networks based on your own audience, along with the times that work best for getting traffic on those specific days.
Find Your Best Time To Post On Social Media
Let's say you don't care as much about the days, and instead want to know only the times when you get the most traffic from your social networks. No problem. Look at your second Google Analytics custom report, Best Time To Post On Social Network By Hour.
Find the specific hour of the day when you get the most traffic by clicking through on a specific network.
The times when you get the most traffic are listed in order from most to last, with 0 being midnight and 23 as 11 p.m.
Now you can schedule several messages based the times when you receive the most traffic from your social followers.
Measure Your Social Media Traffic By Date And Hour
When you test a new posting schedule, it's a solid practice to understand how what you did impacted your success. Use the third Google Analytics custom report to view the traffic from your social networks by a specific date and hour.
This report is especially handy if you're testing new publishing times and days because it will show you the traffic you received per network for a specific calendar date and time.
Start by navigating to the network you'd like you know more about.
You'll see the list of specific dates that show the year, month, and day like this: YYYYMMDD. Your highest-trafficked date is on top of the list.
Click through on any date to see your best time. Now you can correlate this back to your social media posting schedule when you sent messages to each specific network.
How To Use This Data To Reach More Followers With Every Social Message
As you can see, not everyone agrees as to the best timing for social posts, and when they do, it's often because they're referring to the same source. Even using data doesn’t provide a perfect answer, because it doesn’t take into account:
- Different industries
- Different audiences
- Different goals (e.g. clicks vs. reshares)
So, putting this data to work for you in an attempt to find optimal social media posting time involves four possible outcomes:
1. Pick One And Stick To It
You might decide to use one of the sources listed in this post and stick to what they found. Consistency in approach has its benefits; certainly your audience gets used to what to expect.
However, you may not see the success you could. Maybe you picked the wrong one, or are limiting yourself too much.
2. Use A General Approach Of Several
You could use a broad swath of ideal posting times, mixing together the days and times of several of the data sources in the hopes of finding a fit by covering a wider range. For those of you wanting to do this, check out the summary that combined the results of the data covered.
This approach might work, but you’ll have more ground to cover and more work to do in order to create and publish posts to cover larger blocks of time.
3. Find The One That Works For You
By this, you might start with one set of research, stick to it, measure it, and note the results. Then adjust that with different days and times, and do the same measurement and data recording.
In other words, test it out. See which one works for you. Not every industry is the same. Patel even noted, for example, that the fashion industry sees better success on Pinterest with a slightly different approach.
4. Let CoSchedule Automagically Use This Data To Share Your Social Messages
The data from this post is built right into your best time scheduling feature in CoSchedule. The timing best practices will help you reach more followers, get more reshares, and grow traffic to your blog—all while putting this data into use on autopilot.
You read that right—you can reap the benefits from everything you just learned without actually having to remember it all.
Plus, you can use ReQueue to reschedule your best posts without having to think about it. Take it from our friend Dustin Stout:
Put It Into Action
Test out your new knowledge by scheduling a few social messages for your content right in CoSchedule using the best time scheduling feature. Target a specific time and use that network's social analytics—or one of the other tools from this post—to measure your success.
Good luck as you find the best times to post on social media!
This post was originally published on April 13, 2016. It was most recently updated and republished on April 4, 2018.