Numerous factors go into determining the best times for brands to post on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, and conditions vary for every industry and every company, but Sprout Social took its 2019 stab at giving brands in six verticals a good starting point in answering those questions.
Sprout Social’s data science team analyzed over 25,000 customer interactions across those four social platforms for brands in consumer goods, media, education, nonprofits, tech and healthcare.
Manager of social media Rachael Samuels said in an email, “Marketers understand the importance of having a strong presence on social media, but with so many competing priorities, it is easy to fall into a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to publishing. While social posting can seem daunting, brands that focus on fishing where and when the fish are biting will break through the noise, build authentic connections and be memorable on social. As the landscape becomes more crowded and the volume of social content presented to consumers continues to grow, this data can help marketers create more efficient publishing efforts that achieve the highest rate of relevancy and return on investment.”
Wednesday is the best day to post to Facebook, and the best time is on that day, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The safest times to post are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Conversely, early mornings and evenings—before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.—generate the least engagement, and Sunday is the worst day of the week to post in terms of engagement.
Sprout Social wrote, “While people frequently check in throughout the middle of the day to see what’s going on, the peak times are around lunch breaks. When people have more time to scroll through their Facebook feeds and dig into interesting posts, engagement rises correspondingly. On the other hand, late night and early evening, along with weekend days, bring in relatively low engagement. While people may check in or post a few updates from weekend activities in the middle of the day on Saturday, these times aren’t your best bet for reaching audiences.”
Consumer goods: The best times to post to Facebook are Wednesday at 1 p.m. and Friday at 11 a.m., and other high-engagement times include Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Thursday at 5 p.m. Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. are the safest times to post, while Sundays and any day between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. should be avoided.
Media: Tuesday at 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. are the best times to post, and other solid times include Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and at 5 p.m., as well as Thursday at 5 p.m. The safest times to post are Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the lowest engagement was found on Sundays and every day from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Education: The best times for schools to post are Wednesday at 9 a.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. The safest times are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the most engagement taking place from 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. is also strong, while the least engagement occurs on Sunday and every day from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Nonprofits: The best Facebook posting time for nonprofits is Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and other times with strong engagement are Thursday at 10 a.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The safest times for nonprofits to post are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Engagement wanes on Saturday and Sunday, as well as from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day.
Tech: Tech companies had the most success posting to Facebook Wednesday at 10 a.m., with Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon representing a peak time for the sector and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday coming up as the safest times to post. Sunday and every day from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. should be avoided.
Healthcare: The best time for healthcare businesses to post to Facebook is 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday, and the safest times are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or at 4 p.m. Companies in this sector should avoid Saturday and Sunday, as well as 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. every day.