While quality content is the most important ingredient when it comes to consistent growth in your social media communities, knowing when and how often to post is essential to making sure you reach your audience. We scoured the web and tapped experts for the latest data and thinking on when to post to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. If you’re looking to grow a following or simply want to chat with your community when they’re most likely online, consider the following tips for giving your audience what they want, when they want it:
- Twitter: Writing three tweets a day is about right. After that third tweet, data suggests engagement significantly decreases. That said, having conversations (not promotions) on Twitter as they come up will help you engage with your community in a way that scheduling a tweet cannot. While all social media is, at its best, a conversation, Twitter is the best platform to treat your followers like friends by regularly responding to questions or retweeting or favoriting other people’s content. The more you interact without pushing a particular agenda, the more likely people will pay attention when you post original content.
- Facebook: A good Facebook strategy is posting once or twice each weekday and once over the weekend. This schedule makes you a regular presence in your followers’ lives, while not bombarding their feeds. In fact, posting more often could cause you to lose page likes – while users love interacting with their favorite brands, they also want to see what their friends and family are up to.
- Instagram: Unlike Facebook and Twitter that come with clear best practices, Instagram is still like the Wild West. We suggest posting at least one photo per day, but how often you post depends more on your goals and your particular brand. Consider experimenting with frequency to see what kind of response you receive. Certain brands, for example, successfully share up to 10 Instagram pictures daily.
- Pinterest: For maximum engagement, post between four and 10 times per day. Pinterest users love lots of content; in addition, people have to seek out your Pinterest page because your pins don’t automatically appear in their feeds, so you’re not risking overwhelming them with content. (Bonus tip: Vertical photos are better received by Pinterest users.)
Timing is Everything
- Facebook: Posts to Facebook around 1 p.m. are usually shared the most, while posts at 3 p.m. receive the most clicks on average.
- Twitter: Tweets posted between noon and 6 p.m. get noticed more. Bonus tip: If you’re looking to increase your chances at retweets, shoot for 5 p.m. That hour often sees a spike in retweets, probably because people hop on Twitter after leaving work. However, some Twitter experts advocate tweeting during off-hours, particularly from 8 p.m. to midnight. Unless there’s a major live-tweeting event (like the Oscars ceremony), your tweets will be more visible due to less competition. Try it yourself to see if it works for you and your brand.
- Instagram: Posts between 2 am and 5 am receive the highest engagement because the photos are among the first followers see when they wake up.
- Pinterest: Your best chances for re-pins are between between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. or between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. Since many Pinterest users have children, late afternoon and evening – after school and during dinner and bedtime – are less effective times to post.
Finally, it’s crucial to post high-quality content such as vivid images, captivating videos, thought-provoking quotes and useful facts. Indeed, fewer posts are better than dull or repetitive posts (e.g. overly salesy material). When your social-media pages keep delighting people, you could see huge growth in your customer base thanks to positive word of mouth. And you’ll experience one of the great joys of fan engagement: reading scads of grateful and enthusiastic comments.