The Best Times to Post on Social Media: 2021 Studies & Statistics

in Research   Posted on April 16, 2021  Author: Imed Bouchrika,

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to knowing when to post, how often to be active on social media, and which content to post and share with the world. In the wake of the global pandemic, uncertain markets, and distant socializing, the battle for social media engagement and visibility has become more competitive than ever.

Knowing the most ideal and the worst times to post on various social media platforms can make or break your brand. Especially for businesses that wish to stay on top of their game, social media are a powerful tool to promote brands and keep the interaction alive with customers.

In this article, we compiled data from 27 studies about the best times to post on social media. By leveraging these data, you can tap into the power of social media to engage with customers, reach more audiences, generate sales, and drive more traffic.

best times to post on social media

Studies About Best Times to Post on Social Media in 2021

  1. Sprout Social
  2. American Marketing Association
  3. CoSchedule
  4. TrackMaven
  5. HuffPost
  6. Neil Patel
  7. Jon Loomer
  8. Harvard Business Review
  9. Later
  10. Buffer
  11. Hootsuite
  12. FreeCodeCamp
  13. Oberlo
  14. The Balance
  15. Raka Creative
  16. Unmetric
  17. Hubspot
  18. Post Planner
  19. Falcon.io
  20. SurePayroll
  21. TruConversion
  22. BootCamp Digital
  23. QuickSprout
  24. The Drum
  25. Search Engine Journal
  26. Maria Halthoff
  27. Impulse Creative

Social media serves many purposes. People use it to find career opportunities, connect with other people across the globe, or use it as a platform where they can express and share their thoughts, feelings, insights, and emotions. It gives people the power to reach out to their loved ones despite physical distance, and it provides a useful platform to share information.

Today, there are more than 3.96 billion active social media users all over the world. To break it down, 90.5% of social media users are Millennials, whereas 77.5% are Gen X and 48.2% are Baby Boomers.

Source: Oberlo (2020)

In this article, we’ve analyzed 25 studies to find out the best times to post on social media. Take this as a starting point to find out which schedule works best for you and your followers.

The Best Times to Post on Social Media in 2021 According to 27 Studies

Sprout Social

Sprout Social, one of the world’s leading social media management platforms, worked with a data science team to analyze the most and least frequently engaged content from over 20,000 customer profiles. The findings highlighted the best time, best day, and worst day to post on social media.

On Facebook, the best day to post content appears to be on Wednesday, at 11AM and between 1AM and 2PM. According to Sprout Social’s report (“Best times to post,” 2020), activity rises at the middle of the week, tapering off on weekends for most industries. In addition, the data revealed that the most consistent number of engagements on Facebook happen from Tuesday through Thursday, from 8AM to 3PM.

Meanwhile, Instagram’s most consistent engagement occurs from Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 4PM. Because of the increasing popularity of Instagram Stories—which are easy to check at any given time—the social platform experiences more scattered engagement points on weekends and mornings compared to any other social media. Instagram has also proven to be an effective channel for showcasing and selling products of all types.

As for Twitter, Sprout Social recommends scheduling tweets around peak times from Monday through Friday, from 8AM to 4PM. Research data suggests that most Twitter users tap into the platform in the early morning for the latest news and updates.

best times to post on social media

American Marketing Association

American Marketing Association’s research on social media scheduling reveals that content posted on social media in the early morning resulted in an 8.8% increase in click-through rate (“Social media strategists” n.d.). For posts made in the evening, there was an 11.1% increase in engagements compared to posts in the afternoon.

Findings also suggest that the impact of the day, targeted content advertising, and content type affects social media engagement. According to AMA, posting content in the afternoon generates 21% more clicks than in the morning. On the other hand, posting at night leads to a 9.7% decrease in click rates.

Link Clicks on Social Media for Morning and Evening Posts

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Source: American Research Association (2019)

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CoSchedule

CoSchedule referenced various studies to come up with a list of best and worst times to post on social media. In a detailed infographic, CoSchedule summarizes the most ideal posting times on Facebook:

  • For B2C businesses: 9AM to 10AM, 12PM to 1PM, and 4PM to 5PM
  • For B2B businesses: 9AM and 3PM to 4PM
  • For software businesses: 9AM, 3PM, and 5PM
  • For healthcare businesses: 6AM to 7AM, 9AM, and 11AM to 12PM
  • For media companies: 7AM, 11AM, and 6PM
  • For higher education: 8AM, 12PM, and 3PM

On Instagram, here are the best times to share photos:

  • For B2C businesses: 8AM, 1PM, and 9PM
  • For B2B businesses: 12PM to 1PM, 5PM to 6PM, and 8PM to 9PM
  • For software businesses: 11AM, 1PM, and 5PM
  • For healthcare businesses: 10AM and 2PM
  • For media companies: 9AM, 12PM, and 3PM
  • For higher education: 5PM to 6PM

With people treating Twitter like an RSS feed, CoSchedule recommends tweeting at these hours:

  • For B2C businesses: 8AM to 10AM
  • For B2B businesses: 7AM to 8AM, 11AM, 6PM, and 9PM
  • For software businesses: 10AM, 2PM, and 6PM
  • For healthcare businesses: 9AM and 6PM
  • For media companies: 6AM to 7AM, 11AM, 7PM to 8PM, and 10PM
  • For higher education: 8AM, 5PM, 7PM, and 6PM

TrackMaven

Instagram remains a powerful marketing tool for businesses who want to expand their reach and visibility. Data from the social media monitoring platform Mention show that 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram for their marketing and advertising strategies (“Top 10 Instagram,” 2021).

business that use Instagram

For TrackMaven (“TrackMaven joins Skyword,” 2020), the best day to post on Instagram is on Monday. Data reveals that engagement on the photo-sharing platform stays consistent throughout the week, with only a slight spike on Mondays, and falling slightly on Sundays.

HuffPost

An article published by the HuffPost reports that tweets at 5PM, 12PM, and 6PM deliver higher click-through rates. For B2Bs, the most ideal days to tweet are Mondays through Fridays, while for B2Cs, engagement rates peak on weekends and Wednesdays. In addition, HuffPost recommends posting content on Twitter at least four times a day for maximum engagement rates.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s peak hours happen between 1PM to 3PM and sometimes from 9AM to 7PM. The best days to post appear to be Thursday and Friday, whereas the worst days with the lowest engagement rates are from Monday to Wednesday.

Neil Patel

As reported in the Neil Patel blog, social media engagement varies depending on the industry that you belong to (“Is there a generic best time,” 2020). Based on data collected by the business firm, the best time to post on social media in 2021 according to studies is from 1PM onwards, with 3PM getting the most engagement and click-through rates.

Jon Loomer

An article published by business consultant Jon Loomer (“Facebook content strategy,” 2014) introduces another strategy for social media visibility, which is posting on Facebook during the off-peak hours. According to the research, Facebook posts published during peak hours were outperformed by those made during non-peak times. This is likely because, at non-peak hours, competition from other brands is minimal, thus allowing your posts to reach more of your target audience.

Source: Jon Loomer (2019)

Harvard Business Review

A study by the Harvard Business Review (“Study shows,” 2018) examined and analyzed the link clicks of 5,706 Facebook posts. Findings revealed that posts made in the morning generated higher click-through rates, as compared to posts made at other times of the day. Data showed that morning posts attracted 8.8% more link click rates, while evening posts generated 11.1% link clicks.

Later

Based on the original research by Later, an industry-leading marketing platform for Instagram, the best time to post on social media depends on where your followers are located. By analyzing over 12 million global Instagram posts, Later found out that the best time to post on Instagram is from 9AM to 11AM EST. But if you want to get the most engagement for your business, it’s best to find your personalized times based on your unique followers.

For each day of the week, here are the best times (represented in EST) to post on Instagram according to Later:

  • Monday: 6AM, 10AM, and 10PM EST
  • Tuesday: 2AM, 4AM, and 9AM EST
  • Wednesday: 7AM, 8AM, and 11PM EST
  • Thursday: 9AM, 12PM, and 7PM EST
  • Friday: 5AM, 1PM, and 3PM EST
  • Saturday: 11AM, 7PM, and 8PM EST
  • Sunday: 7AM, 8AM, and 4PM EST

Buffer

Buffer, a social media marketing blog, analyzed over 4.8 million tweets and discovered that the best time to tweet is during the early morning hours. Based on the tweet data collected from over 10,000 profiles, tweets made in the early morning appear to have the most clicks. Meanwhile, tweets made in the evenings and late nights receive the most likes and favorites.

Buffer’s findings also reveal that the best times to tweet for engagement and the most popular times to tweet differ across time zones. For instance, the most popular hour to tweet when you’re in the Pacific Time is from 8AM to 9AM, but in Eastern Time, tweets receive the most engagement when it’s made from 12PM to 1PM.

Buffer’s latest research into Facebook’s News Feed algorithm also shows that the key factors to boost the visibility of a Facebook post are clicks, comments, and reshares. The same study finds that engagement rates on Facebook are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays. During weekends, however, engagement rates are 32% higher.

most popular time to tweet in the US

Hootsuite

Hootsuite’s findings reveal that it’s best to post on social media during the workweek (from Monday to Wednesday), from 9AM to12AM EST. This is based on data compiled from 300 brands, which fall into B2B and B2C categories.

For B2B brands, the best times to post on Facebook is between 9AM and 2PM on the following days: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On the other hand, B2C brands can find it more to their advantage when they post on Facebook at 12PM EST on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

Hootsuite’s study also included data from the Twitter profiles of B2C and B2B brands. According to the research, B2B brands’ best days to tweet are Mondays and Thursdays, between 9AM and 4PM, while for B2C brands, tweets get the most engagements from Monday to Wednesday from 12PM to 1PM EST.

FreeCodeCamp

According to FreeCodeCamp, a nonprofit organization that provides an interactive learning web platform, you can find out the best time to stream on Facebook Live through your familiarity with your target audience. For instance, pregnant moms are mostly online on Monday afternoons, while teenagers aged 18 to 22 are usually active on Saturday morning.

Data from Pew Research Center also show that 90% of social media users are aged 18 to 29 years old. By taking this into account, you can personalize your content to fit your target audience and post them at times when users are most active.

Source: Pew Research Center (2020)

Oberlo

A study conducted by Oberlo reveals that the best times to post on Instagram are during lunch, from 11AM to 1PM, and in the evening after work hours, from 7PM to 9PM. The same study also reveals that Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are considered the best days to post on the photo-sharing platform.

Meanwhile, weekends appear to be the worst days to release content on Instagram, especially on Sundays. At 5PM every Saturday, however, Instagram posts generate the most number of engagements.

For Facebook, Oberlo finds that posts gain maximum exposure when they’re made between 1PM and 4PM. This is because most employees check their Facebook accounts during downtimes and are therefore more receptive during these hours. On the other hand, the only good time to post on Facebook every Sunday appears to be at 3PM, when most people on their rest days check their social media.

Oberlo’s study also included findings for the best time to post on LinkedIn. According to the dropshipping platform, the best time to post on LinkedIn is between 10AM and 11AM, with Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays as the best days that generate the highest number of engagements. Meanwhile, the worst times for engagement and visibility are weekends and after work hours.

If your business also owns a Twitter account, then you’ll find it better to post during lunch hours, from 12PM to 1PM, than any other times. Tweets made on workdays also tend to get the most engagements, with Wednesday being the best day to tweet and weekends the worst.

The Balance

For The Balance, one of the world’s largest finance companies, the highest average click-through rates on Facebook occurs between 1PM to 4PM. It peaks on Wednesdays at 3PM, which is the time when there are more people clicking the links on your ads or posts on Facebook. Meanwhile, weekends appear to be the worst time to post content on the social media platform, especially before 8AM and 8PM.

The Balance also finds out that adding photos to your Facebook posts can boost engagement by up to 50%, which equates to double the number of likes and number of comments. Videos and streams on Facebook Live are also found to have more reach and engagements compared to regular posts.

images boost Facebook engagement

Raka Creative

If you’re looking to boost the visibility of your posts on Instagram, Raka Creative recommends posting content on Mondays and Thursdays, from 3PM to 4PM. The peak hour, however, occurs after midnight at 2AM, when most users tend to check their Instagram feed.

As for Facebook, Raka Creative reveals that the best time to post is between 1PM to 4PM, with the prime posting slots being Thursdays and Fridays from 1PM to 4PM, Wednesdays at 3PM, and any day between noon and 1PM. The worst times, however, are before 8AM and after 8PM on the weekend.

With Twitter being a primary source of information for many individuals, Raka Creative finds that most users treat it as an RSS feed that they browse throughout the day. That being said, the best time to tweet is from noon to 3PM, and from 5PM to 6PM. These are considered to be the hours when most users have the time to browse through their feed—during their break time at work and on the commute home.

Unmetric

Data presented by Unmetric reveals that the best times for brands to post their promotional content is between 11AM and 12PM. This is based on the timing and engagement patterns of the top 100 brands from various industries.

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 73% of people who use social media are active on YouTube, 69% use Facebook, while 22% are more active on Twitter. For Unmetric, the best days to post content on Instagram are on Tuesdays, on Facebook are Wednesdays and Thursdays, and on Twitter every Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Source: Pew Research Center (2019)

HubSpot

To find out the best hours to post on each social media platform, HubSpot analyzed data from more than a dozen studies. HubSpot’s research combines original data with insights provided by the likes of Buffer and Quintly to come up with a list of the most ideal posting times. Based on the collected data, the best times to post on social media vary depending on the target audience and the social media platform you are using.

For instance, Twitter and Facebook both have high engagement rates at 9AM, while for Instagram, the best time to post content is at 5PM. As for LinkedIn, the ideal posting time is between 10AM and 12PM, since the platform caters mostly to B2B audiences. Lastly, Pinterest sees high engagement rates as late as 4AM.

PostPlanner

Based on the latest Digital 2020 July Global Snapshot report, there are now more than 4.57 billion people around the world who use the Internet, and 346 million of those users have only just come online in the past 12 months.

global users of internet

Thus, PostPlanner also consolidated data from various studies to find out the best times to post on every social media platform. It cites Entrepreneur Magazine and TrackMaven’s study, which reveals that the highest engagement rates for Facebook and Twitter happen on Thursdays—8PM for Facebook and 5PM for Twitter.

It also highlights Mariah Althoff’s studies, which state that the largest audiences on Facebook are present every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the best times to post being 9AM, 1PM, and 3PM. On Twitter, however, the best day to tweet is every Wednesday at 12PM, 3PM, and between 5PM and 6PM.

Falcon.io

Falcon.io dives into research from across the net and concludes that the best time to post on Facebook is between 11AM and 3PM. Based on the studies analyzed by the marketing platform, Facebook engagement and usage peaks during early- to mid-afternoon hours.

On the other hand, Falcon.io suggests posting on Instagram between 10AM and 11AM, as well as from 2PM to 3PM, since these are the hours when users are more likely to browse through their feed. Lunchtime and afternoon breaks are the peak times for user engagement on Instagram, users tend to scroll through videos, images and stories during these hours.

Meanwhile, Twitter posts also peak during lunch hour and from 5PM to 6PM when most users have just clocked out of work.

SurePayroll

As of 2020, 79% of all Americans have a social media profile. This figure is up from 10% in 2008, which only proves that more people today rely on social media for various purposes.

In an infographic prepared by SurePayroll, it states that posting on Facebook from 1PM to 4PM results in the highest engagement rates. On Twitter, peak hours fall at 1PM to 3PM from Mondays to Thursdays, whereas for LinkedIn, the best hour to post is from 5PM to 6PM of any day.

The infographic also highlights the worst times to post on each social media platform. For Facebook, the worst times for engagement appear to be on weekends before 8AM and after 8PM, and for Twitter, it’s any day after 8PM and especially on Fridays after 3PM. It’s also inadvisable to post on Mondays and Fridays from 10PM to 6AM on LinkedIn.

A Comparison of Americans Having Social Media Profiles in 2020 and 2008

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Source: BroadbandSearch (2020)

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TruConversion

A TruConversion article reports that user engagement on Facebook reaches all-time high on Fridays. It also cites a Buddy Media study (“Hacking social media,” 2015) that shows how 86% of Facebook posts published in the workweek peak on Thursdays and Fridays.

BootCamp Digital

According to BootCamp Digital, an industry-leading digital training platform, it’s essential to get to know your audience first before finding out the best time to post on social media. For instance, data by Pew Research Center (Perrin & Anderson, 2019) show that  69% of U.S. adults today use Facebook to post content and share information.

number of adult Facebook users in the US

Hence, if you want maximum visibility for your posts, BootCamp Digital recommends posting on Facebook at least one to four times a week. On Instagram, where 35% of all users are adults from the U.S., it’s best to post one to seven times per week (“Social media use 2019,” 2020).

QuickSprout

QuickSprout highlights that the best days to post on Facebook are at the last days of the workweek—on Thursdays and Fridays. According to QuickSprout, this is mainly because people are more distracted at work on these days and are already looking forward to the end of the week. The latest social media research also shows that Happiness Index on Facebook is also found to spike by 10% every Friday.

The Drum

An article published in The Drum (Hussain, 2019) cites SproutSocial’s case study in finding out the most ideal posting time on social media. Data from the case study reveals that on Facebook, the best times to post are at noon and at 2PM every Wednesday. Data also reveals that engagement rates on Facebook peak at 1PM and 2PM on Thursdays.

As for Instagram, The Drum suggests posting on Tuesdays from 9AM to 6AM. Weekends are also considered to be a good time to post, since these are the days when more people are having their rest days.

In a one-of-a-kind study on the subject, a survey of B2Bs found Twitter to be the most effective social media platform for distributing content. And with Twitter being more audience dependent compared to other social media platforms, tweets on weekdays appear to have a stronger performance rate than those made on the weekend (Kolowich, n.d.). In addition, The Drum recommends posting at noon, at 3PM, or from 5PM to 6PM if you want to maximize retweets and click-through rates.

Source: Content Marketing Institute; Marketing Profs 2015

SearchEngineJournal

SearchEngineJournal compiled various studies to find out the universal best times to post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. It highlights findings by CoShedule and the like, stating that the best times to post are 9AM, 1PM, and 3PM for Facebook; 2AM, 8AM to 9AM, and 5PM for Instagram; 7AM to 8AM, 12PM, and 5PM to 6PM for LinkedIn; and 12PM, 3PM, and 5PM to 6PM for Twitter.

According to SearchEngineJournal, the variation found in every data is caused by the different types of audiences that each social media platform targets. To determine the most ideal posting time, you also need to consider the following factors: your target demographic, the industry you’re in, the goal you want to achieve through your posts, and the engagement behavior of your audience.

Mariah Althoff

Today, more than 3.91 billion people in the world use their mobile phones to open social media platforms (“Global social media,” 2020). And with social media becoming more accessible, data published in microblogging site Mariah Althoff show various peak hours for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

number of social media platform users using mobile phones

When it comes to Facebook, the best days to post are Sunday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, every 9AM, 1PM, and 3PM. On LinkedIn, the most ideal days to post content are on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, at 7AM to 8AM, 12PM, and 5PM to 6PM. On the other hand, Instagram and Twitter’s engagement rates peak every Monday and Wednesday respectively.

Nonetheless, the Mariah Althoff case study highlights that the most ideal posting times still vary depending on which platform you are using, as well as the online behavior of your target audience.

Impulse Creative

For Impulse Creative, it’s best to post and share content on social media when most of your followers are active. Peak hours for engagement and visibility on Facebook are from 6AM to 8AM, with Wednesday as the day that generates the highest Facebook traffic.

On Twitter, the best time of day to post is in the afternoon between 1PM to 3PM, while for LinkedIn, it’s best to post in the morning between 7AM to 9AM and 5PM to 6PM.

The Best Times for Social Media Updates

When it comes to finding the best time to post on social media, there are many factors to consider. Most important, perhaps, is your familiarity with how your target audience engages with each post and content that you share. Given that there are different types of audiences that interact with each social media platform, it’s only to be expected that the reach of each social media post you make differ from platform to platform.

That being said, peak hours vary greatly from one social media channel to another. Nonetheless, finding a personalized best time to post on your account is a great starting point to strategically schedule your social media posts. By finding out when is the best time to post on social media sites, you can effortlessly reach the highest number of people possible.

You may also check out this guide to different types of writing to maximize the potential of your social media content.

 

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