Every time I see one of those "best times to post on social media" posts, I always cringe a little. Not because they're wrong - the authors have conducted research, looked at when people are most active online and matched that to engagement levels, the process makes sense. But the information is just too generic. You can't say "every brand should post at 11am on Friday for best response" because it depends on your unique audience.
Every brand has a different market, a different following and different people within it. The only way to truly know when the best time to post for your brand is is to test what your audience responds best to. Test, analyze, refine.
That said, TrackMaven have taken something of a different tack with their new "best times to post" data, an approach which while it still can't cover every brand and situation, does offer additional insight and consideration.
What they've done is TrackMaven's analyzed more than 17.5 million social media posts from more than 17,000 brands in order to provide a listing of the best times to post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest - and they've come up with a generic, overall best day and time to post for each network based on that data, similar to your normal "best times" charts.
And that's interesting, as noted, that's something to consider in your process. But TrackMaven are aware of the same concerns I've mentioned above, that it's too generic to be widely applicable. And as such, their researchers have also gone deeper, producing the same info but specific to various industry sectors - 75 of them to be exact.
So, for example, if your business is in the education sector, or financial services, TrackMaven's report has you covered, with data based on when other companies in your vertical are seeing the most engagement.
This industry-specific approach still doesn't cover all bases - you can't use it as a prescriptive guide for every one of your social posts moving forward, necessarily - but it does provide additional context and consideration.
As noted by TrackMaven:
"Consider that for airlines, the best time to post on Twitter is 1 p.m. EST on Fridays, perhaps when many customers are preparing to commute or travel on the weekend. While, for the architecture industry, the best time to tweet is 9 a.m. EST on Saturdays, when audiences could be considering home projects or plans for renovation."
So while no research (other than your own) can definitively say when your brand, specifically, will see the most engagement, TrackMaven's data provides a solid contextual base centered around what brands in your niche are actually experiencing.
As noted, the data covers 75 sectors and is a worthy reference source to take into account in your posting process. Even if you only use it as a jumping off point, it may streamline your social media practices by giving you a better idea of when people are looking to engage with businesses like yours - so rather than having to post at all hours over a few months to see what times generate the best response, starting at the times outlined for your sector could streamline the process and get you on track faster.
The full TrackMaven report is available here (via sign up) and is worth a look to get an idea of when your business should be considering posting to each of the five social networks listed.