When is the best time to post on social media? From afternoon tweets to evening Facebook posts, there are a number of studies that tell us when the best time to post on social media is based on the day and even the type of business you are in. But if you’re reading this for the executive summary, here it is: The best time to post on social media for your business or brand is when YOUR customers are online, no matter what any third-party reporting tells you.

But that doesn’t mean that we discount any of that reporting either. The studies done to determine the best time to post on social media can help to create a base for you to start.

A February 2020 study published on SocialMediaToday.com shows that the best days to post on Facebook are Thursday through Sunday. As the work week winds down, time on the most popular social network ramps up.

The study continues to show that the best day to post on Instagram is Friday, but we always recommend more than one post per week on Instagram, so including one to two additional days outside of Friday is beneficial as long as you have quality content to share.

If you’re business-to-business, using Twitter during the workweek is advantageous, whereas business-to-consumer tweets perform better on the weekends.  Seeing a trend yet?

Platforms that are used for fun and making connections with friends and family see a higher amount of activity on weekends when work and school commitments are mostly done.  But platforms like LinkedIn, which are designed for business networking, see higher activity on Wednesdays, the best day to post, according to the study.

The best time to post on social media, Facebook-specifically, depends on the type of business. Early morning posts work for some industries, while others benefit from afternoon and nighttime posts.

Just as with Facebook, the study shows that the best time to post on Instagram depends on the type of your business but with many verticals benefiting from later in the afternoon and early evening posts.

Tweets tend to gain more traction earlier in the morning, around 8am, and then once again right before and during the noon hour, just about the time when people are gearing up for lunch and ready to scroll through their Twitter feed while microwaving last night’s leftovers.

LinkedIn posts do well in about the same timeframe as Twitter tweets. Professionals get situated into their desks or on the train ride to the office and pull up LinkedIn to catch up on industry news and make new networking connections. Lunchtime posts are also popular, as more and more workers use their desks as the new lunch table.

The most important thing to remember about the best time to schedule social media posts is that your audience dictates the posts and tweets more than anything that industry average reports and white papers tell you. If research shows you the best time to tweet is at 10am but you’re in higher education, most of your audience is either in class or at work. So, try tweeting after 3pm, or first thing in the morning before school buses become full and carpools take to the roads.

If you’re business-to-business, stay away from weekend posts and try during the workweek. People try to disconnect from business dealings on weekends as much as they can, so they’re probably not going to be too interested in what your service or product can do for them as they’re heading to the beach or out to a movie. But when the suit and tie come back on Monday morning, they’re in the right headspace to read your posts.

The best practice when posting and tweeting is to not only know your audience but also when they are online. Try posting on different days and at different times. Track the analytics and see what works (and doesn’t work) for the posts. Once you’ve determined the best time to post on social media, continue to post on those days and times to help create an expectation from your audience.