When to Post on Social Media

The Best Time to Post on Social Media for Your Small Business

When I searched on Pinterest for “best time to post on social media” hundreds, if not thousands, of infographics flooded my screen.  And there were 835,000,000 results when I searched Google for “best time to post on social media.”  Switch over to the images in Google results and you get hundreds or thousands more infographics telling you the best time to post.

With all of this information overload, how in the world do you know which infographic or blog post is giving you the information you need for your small business? The authors of these infographics or posts use data that shows what works best for their company or an average of what works for many people. The information they give you is neither good nor bad, it’s subjective. Will that posting time work for you?

Best time to post on social media as indicated by the icons from a blog post written by Marianne McGlynn for Loveland Technology Examiner
Best times to post on social media as indicated by the icons from a blog post written by Marianne McGlynn for Loveland Technology Examiner

A real life example

Let me give you an example of why the times given in these infographics won’t work for everyone. I managed a social media campaign for a local dinner restaurant to promote their new lunch hours. If I followed the rule for Twitter posting times in many of the infographics I should post between 1:00pm-3:00pm. By doing that I would have missed the lunch crowd who would have too much time to forget about the restaurant before they made lunch plans the next day. The best times I found for the restaurant to post on Twitter were 10:45am-12:15pm.

In my experience, the best time to post on social media is when your clients or potential clients are online. To figure out when your clients are online you have to post at various times of day for a month or more and see which posts get the most engagement from your targeted audience. The data you get from this trial and error will tell you what times are best for social media posting for your small business, as well as what types of content get the most engagement.

The Best Time to Post on Social Media for Your Small Business - Image of Tom's Restaurant in NYC
Image of Tom’s Restaurant in NYC taken by Christophe Gevrey

How I found the right time to post

To get to the 10:45am-12:15pm Twitter posting times for the restaurant, I posted in the morning, afternoon, and evening one day. The next day I would move my post time by one hour, still morning, afternoon, and evening. I continued doing this every day until I figured out which posts got the most engagement from my audience. To gather more data, I looked at competitors’ Twitter accounts to see what times their audiences engaged most with their posts. While I’m specifically talking about Twitter for this campaign, the same strategy works for all social media.

Once you have the data and start posting during your peak times, don’t forget to occasionally post during off-peak times. The data you receive from the off-peak posting will give valuable information on whether your clients have shifted or if you’re reaching a new crowd of potential customers. Or the new data may support your original data so you know you’re on the right track. A social media posting schedule is not a set-it-and-forget-it marketing scheme. You have to regularly analyze your data to see if your schedule is still working for you and your audience or whether it needs to be tweaked a little.

What about your small business? What times do you find work best for your social media posts? How did you arrive at your schedule? Post your answers in the comments below so we can all learn from each other.

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