If you do a quick Google search for the “best times to post on social media”, you’ll get 5 billion+ results returned*.
You’ll be met with a plethora of posts with information and infographics pointing you towards the best times, days, or amounts of posts to put out. While these articles have some good insights, the truth is the social media algorithm is ever-changing, which means there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Here’s a challenge. Follow an infographic you find for a month. It’ll work at first, almost without a doubt, but as time goes on you’ll see your impressions and engagement levels drop off. Due to the way social media algorithms work, you will find that predictability can be a downfall. In other words, you shouldn’t look to post at the same time every day, every week.
Think about it, if there was an absolute best time to post, everyone would be posting at the same time. If that happened, feeds would be even more saturated than they are now, and metrics would fall.
Make use of data to find best times to post
Consider your ideal customer - their time zone, usual work, and social hours. If you’re just starting out with social media, you should experiment with different times and days as much as you can to gain a good data set. Then, you can take a look into the times and types of content that works best for you, replicate and revise on a regular basis.
In fact, if you choose to post at exactly the same times all the time, you’re cutting out a portion of your potential market.
Try the peak and off-peak times. Post multimedia content. Really have a month of trial and error and don’t worry about everything being perfect. At the end of the month, you’ll have a good indication of where to go with your content schedule.
But, if you’ve been running your social channels for a while, you’ll have tons of insights at your fingertips. Before delving too deeply into what times work best for you, we’d suggest first looking at what content works best.
Is it video, image, or text-based posts? Case studies, GIFs, or motivational thought-leadership? It’s important to look at how your audience reacts to different types of content and plan these into your future schedules.
Evaluate and replicate monthly and quarterly
The key here is to make sure you don’t check your metrics once and then never again.
We’d suggest looking into how content and particular days are performing monthly and quarterly. Then review and revise your schedule to suit.
There isn’t much benefit to posting at a planned time unless you’re launching a new product or making an announcement and want people to remember and look out for it.
Another time it would be beneficial to post at the same time every week would be YouTube videos or live streams - you want people to turn up immediately for this content rather than see it later on their timeline, so it needs to be at a time where they are available.
It’s more about the content, less about the time you post
Here’s the key. If your content is eye-catching and has the right message, it’ll reach your audience no matter the time you post it. It’ll be liked, shared, commented on - which are all factors towards gaining more reach and impressions per post.
Obviously, there are some cases in which content should be posted at certain times - but this is less stringent than a weekly chart. For example, reactive content to national days or events should be posted around the time to get the most relevance. But outside of this, there isn’t too much value in sticking to a schedule.
Great content that reflects your brand purpose and message is much more important than making sure you post once a day.
So, how often should I post?
Take into account:
- The data you’ve collected
- Your best performing content style
- What growth you’re looking to achieve
Then consider how many times a week you can realistically post with the content you have. You could post one great piece of content a week and gain great leads, or seven weaker pieces of content and gain none. Your focus should always be on the content you’re producing.
Once you’ve found a comfortable number each week, we recommend planning a framework for each month in advance using a spreadsheet or social planning tool.
In this way, you can loosely plan out topics you’d like to cover and note what imagery or videos you’ll need to create in advance. This will help you to keep on track with your marketing and plan ad-hoc posts when needed.
A monthly social media plan is a sure-fire way to make sure your marketing doesn’t slip and you move towards your goal week-by-week.
What are your biggest questions when it comes to social media? Comment on our latest post on Instagram @fitmediaco and let's get chatting.
* as of February 2021.