Okay, these advice guides are always somewhat controversial, and yes, there are many factors and elements that can play into this data which would impact the performance relative to your own brand.
But in general terms, they can help – and this week, Sprout Social has published its latest insights into the best times to post on Facebook and Twitter, based on performance insights from Sprout’s 30k+ customer base.
Again, this is not prescriptive - this is not to say that all brands, definitively, will see optimal performance if they post at these times (worth noting, too, that the times listed at all CST, though they would be relative to your local time zone). But if you were looking to change up your posting process to improve performance, or maybe map out a more effective strategy, these times, based on current engagement trends, could be a good place to start.
First off, on Facebook – according to Sprout’s data, the best time to post your latest update to Facebook is 3am, Monday to Friday.
“What? 3am? What’s with that?”
Well, there are various factors that would play into this.
First off, at 3am, there’s likely a lot fewer people posting, which means less competition in the feed. That could mean that you get some early engagement which then helps to improve the reach of your post, and by, say, 9am, when more people are online, that early response could then help to ensure that your content is then shown to even more people.
Sprout also notes that the times are listed in CST, and 3am CST is also:
- 9am British Standard Time
- 10am Central European Time
- 6pm Australian Eastern Standard Time
So because you’re looking at global engagement, you also need to factor in regional variability – i.e. it’s not just people in your time zone that you’re reaching.
Depending on Sprout’s user base, that could be a significant factor, so it’s worth also analyzing who you’re reaching, geographically, within your Facebook Insights.
But as you can see in the chart, 3am, Monday to Friday, sees better engagement, while Tuesdays at 10am and noon also drives good response.
Sprout further notes that the worst day to post on Facebook, in terms of engagement, is Saturday, with Sunday not looking much better.
Worth factoring into your experiments.
On Twitter, Sprout’s engagement data suggests that the best time to post is 9am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
It seems that people are more inclined to log into Twitter at 9am in order to catch up with the news of the day – except on Thursdays, when everyone’s, I guess, looking forward to the weekend instead?
The data likely reflects the real-time nature of the tweet feed, and how people use the app to keep up with the latest developments, which could be worth factoring into your planning.
Sprout says that the best days to post to Twitter are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with Sundays being the worst for tweet engagement.
Overall, the data provides some interesting pointers for your own experiments. But again, this is not prescriptive, and there are many factors, as noted, that are relative to your audience, and how your community engages with your content.
But it may get you thinking about your posting approach, which could highlight new opportunities.
Sprout has also published industry-specific breakdowns in its full overviews of Facebook and Twitter engagement insights.