Why there is *really* no best time to post on social media

Last week, I read a report on the best times to post on social media and thought to myself, “Man, are they still selling this?” Brands are obsessing over “best times” to the point it sounds superstitious. But really, are there such sacred time slots to post on social media?

Short version:

Nope. Not really.

Long version:

If I have to send out an email newsletter on a Monday, I’d think twice. Same goes with Friday. What can I say, I’m a marketer who watches open rates like a hawk. But when it comes to social postings, it doesn’t matter.

Most of these articles reports have a psychology backing, which I understand. Monday = grumpy day. Friday = happy day. Wednesday = hump day = perfect day. Going by this, all posts that receive the best engagement must have been posted on a… Wednesday? Think about it.

I’ve been using social media for a long time (even before the Orkut wave…phew!) now — in work and personal capacity. So here are my thoughts on why the “best times to post on social media” does not matter.

1. Your audience has a smartphone

More and more people are now talking about being mindful while scrolling through social media platforms. However, the majority of us do not stick to a particular time slot to scroll through the feed. I catch up on Twitter and Instagram even if I have 5 minutes when I’m waiting for someone. Social interaction, as we know it, is dying. Social media interaction, however, is not.

What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter if you post at 9 A.M or 12 P.M because the smartphone generation will find it and like it if your content talks to them.

Social media best times to post

2. Your audience is cosmopolitan

Many brands now have a global audience. I live in India, but I follow brands like Glossier, Colourpop, Cult Beauty, etc. because I love their products. (God bless brands that offer international shipping!)

I see the updates posted at 12 P.M GMT only around 5:30 P.M IST. Has that stopped me from keeping a track of their updates?


3. Algorithms do their own thing

Twitter has ‘Top Tweets’ (unless you choose to disable it) and Instagram stopped with the chronological display of updates. Facebook’s updates are seen based on the engagement from the audience. Linkedin is no different either. So even if you post during particular times of the day, there is no guarantee that it will pop on someone’s newsfeed.

What brands can do instead

There’s no one size fits all solution for social media engagement. This is because every brand has a unique audience. Brands must spend time to understand their engagement and their account analytics to figure out time/ time slots that work for them.

It is essential for a brand to consider factors like their target audience, the geography of their audience, algorithms of the social platform and past successes to figure out a time that works for them.

It doesn’t pay to fish where the fish are biting when it comes to publishing on social media.

PS: I wrote this post originally here.