How often is too often to share with your audience? Mastering posting frequency – and walking that fine line between being informative and becoming an annoyance – is as much a science as it is an art. We want to connect with our social media followers without driving them away.
We want to stay top of mind without driving them insane. And we want to find the perfect, three-way balance between sharing original content, curating interesting pieces, and utilizing user-generated content. A Sisyphean task? Not necessarily– as long as you keep these best practices in mind.
How to Optimize Social Media Posting Frequency?
The quest for the best posting time can drive even the most rational and experienced social media manager a bit crazy. I’ve combed through the available posting research to pull together sample schedules for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest:
When to post: Thursdays and Fridays get the best post engagement; however, you should aim to post at least daily. For daily posters, mid-afternoon times (1 pm to 3 pm) are best for optimal engagement, says Matt Banner with On Blast Blog. Facebook post engagement is steady for the first 90 minutes, so start with a mid-afternoon schedule and tweak from there.
How frequently to post: Aim to post five to 10 times per week.
Highest activity levels: Posts at 1 pm get the most shares; posts at 3 pm get the most likes. Activity levels are pretty steady throughout the workday and evening commute (9 am to 7 pm).
Bonus engagement tip: Let’s be honest, most of us scroll through our Facebook feed when we wake up each morning, right? If you’re struggling to find a sweet spot for “likes” (and feel like your brand is getting drowned out in the evenings) try experimenting with early morning posts.
When to post: If you can swing it, follow a daily schedule. If you’re not following a daily posting schedule, then Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday are the best days for posting. Tweets have an incredibly short life cycle (around 18 minutes), so timing and frequency is everything.
How frequently to post: Three to five tweets per day are the magic number for optimal posting reports Track Social; response per tweet peaks at five and then drops off. Note this number doesn’t include response tweets to fan engagement; if a fan tweets at your brand, don’t leave them hanging just because you’ve it your pre-determined daily tweet number.
Highest activity levels: Highest level of B2B activity is during the weekdays; highest B2C is on weekends and Wednesdays. Expect the most retweets at 1 pm and the highest CTR at 12 pm and 6 pm.
Bonus engagement tip: @mention influencers, individuals or companies that you reference in your content for more retweets.
When to post: Peak Instagram posting time coincides with the end of the workday and start of rush hour traffic. Matt Banner with On Blast Blog recommends 3 pm to 4 pm, although 2 pm and 5 pm also see a spike in engagement. Another surprising peak engagement time? 2 am is popular, says HuffPo. Sleepless nights, anyone?
Highest activity levels: Everyday is a good day with Instagram! Activity levels vary very little based on the day of the week.
How frequently to post: Aim to post once per day, every day. Don’t spam your followers with more than two daily posts!
Bonus engagement tip: Tag industry influencers in relevant post and resist the temptation to buy followers. More followers but low post engagement versus likes is a red flag that you’ve purchased a fake list of bots, which hurts your credibility with real followers.
When to post: In general, the best day to post is Saturday. During the workweek, optimal posting time is 8 pm to 11 pm, with activity peaking around 9 pm. Since most users log on inconsistently, varying your timing will help expose your pins to the widest user segments.
How frequently to post: At a minimum, aim for 5 pins per day; if you have more content, post up to 30 times per day. No matter how many pins you’re posting, spread them out over the course of the afternoon and evening; never schedule a “pin dump” all at once.
Highest activity levels: Peak engagement times can vary by industry; the peak time for fashion and retail is Friday at 3 pm, reports Matt Banner with On Blast Blog. Foods and crafts are most popular on Sundays and fitness pins perform best on Mondays, reports Buffer. Experiment to find when your pins perform the best.
Bonus engagement tip: Pins are highly searchable; make yours easy to find. While the majority of clicks (70%) happen within the first day, the remaining clicks can occur through 30 days or beyond. With the right search terms, your pins will have a very long shelf life.
Next Steps for Optimizing Social Media Posts
These guidelines are intended as a useful jumping-off point for experimenting with your own posting schedule. For best results, they should be used in conjunction with social media management software so you can monitor analytics and tweak to adjust your audiences’ evolving preferences.
I’m a big fan of Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer for managing posts and tracking feedback. If you’re relatively new to the world of social media brand management, consider bringing in the experts to help get things set up and running smoothly.
Even big companies like eBay, Microsoft and Expedia turn to outside experts for digital marketing support. If you’re curious, those companies have all used WebMoves Internet Strategists. There’s no shame in getting help; in fact, reaching out to the experts may be one of the smartest marketing moves you could make.
With social media consumption habits changing as our relationship with different platforms continue to evolve, what worked last year might not work today.
Case in point: Periscope and Snapchat are two of today’s hottest platforms, and they weren’t on most brands’ radar, this time, a year ago.
The best we can do is to predict, measure, adapt and repeat– all the more reason to pay close attention to your social media analytics!