The Importance of Personalized Post Timings

Understanding the Impact of Post Timings on Algorithm Performance

I have to be honest and say that up until recently, I would Google ‘best time to post on TikTok and Instagram’ before I clicked publish on my content. I wasn’t even sure how much it mattered but like any content creator and artist I want to make sure the content I worked hard to make can be seen by as many of my followers as possible. So I decided to do some proper research on post timings; do they matter and if so, when the hell should I be posting?

Beyond the Average: Tailoring Post Timings to Your Audience

When it comes to social media algorithms, it is often a first come first serve basis. Sure, content can go viral hours, even days, after posting but this occurrence is few and far between. For this reason, it’s important to get engagement within the first few hours of posting so that the algorithms will show your posts to more of your audience. And finding the right times to post for your brand can help with that.

Recommended Best Times to Post on Different Social Media Platforms

Social Media Peaks: When to Publish for Maximum Reach

Many studies suggest best times to post based on aggregated data. The challenge with this is that the data includes businesses and individuals from different locations and different industries while your audience is unique to you. It’s hard to say that the average best time to post for a wide range of businesses would apply to your business.

Here is a quote by Matt Rhodes, from his article The danger of bad insights and poor digital marketing decisions, that brilliantly sums up the need for personal post timings; “For a brand targeting mums, for example, it may make more sense to create engaging content at 2am when mums are awake and alone with their babies. For a brand targeting football fans, as another example, your research may find that your audience most wants to engage after football matches in the afternoon or evening.”

It is therefore a good idea to go beyond just taking the “best times” from studies and understand why those could be great times to post. Perhaps it’s because people are using Facebook while commuting to work. Or maybe it’s because teenagers are scrolling through Instagram late at night before they sleep. Essentially, while the general guidelines for post timings are certainly helpful, they should be treated as such; guidelines. Try to treat them as a starting point and analyze your own audience from there. 

Leveraging Social Media Analytics to Enhance Posting Strategy

According to Hootsuite, the best time to post on social media overall is 9:00 AM PST (12:00 PM EST) on Mondays. But every network has its own sweet spot.

  • The best time to post on Facebook is 10:00 AM PST on Mondays.
  • The best time to post on Instagram is 9:00 AM PST on Mondays.
  • The best time to post on Twitter is 9:00 AM PST on Fridays.
  • The best time to post on LinkedIn is 1:00 PM PST on Mondays.
  • The best time to post on TikTok is 1:00 PM PST on Sundays.

Crafting Your Posting Schedule: From Guesses to Data-Backed Strategies

However, to provide a personalized experience to your brand’s followers, you need to post according to your audience’s social media usage behavior. When done right, there’s a higher chance of them seeing and engaging with your social media posts — more reach and more engagement!

Social media scheduling platforms offer features to help with this analytic. For example, Buffer offers Analyze, a feature that allows you to get three personalized recommendations on when to post on Instagram to maximize your reach for the week. If you want more great times to post, you can dive into the chart and look for other times with above-average hourly reach. This feature is currently available for Instagram Business profiles only. 

Navigating the Initial Phase: Creating a ‘Guess-timated Guideline’

For those who don’t or are unable to use such platforms as well as for newer accounts still figuring out their audience page, it is worth starting out with a ‘guess-timated guideline’. Try the following; 

  1. Mornings and evenings during commute time
  2. Lunch and tea break
  3. Weekdays for B2B brands and weekends for B2C brands

If you know your target audience and their rough location, you could use that information to strengthen your hypotheses. For example, if you are a local business in Paris, you might want to focus on times when people in France and general western Europe are awake.

Putting Your Posting Hypotheses to the Test

Once you have a handful of informed guesses, it’s time to test them. I always suggest keeping a posting schedule, one that can be as bare or detailed as you wish. As a creator with 25k+ followers, I literally write what I’ll post on a piece of paper every Sunday evening. It takes me 15 minutes and I write down the following

  • What content do I have banked and can edit to post this coming week?
  • What content should I create this coming week? (followed by a bullet point list of 2-5 ideas) 
  • What does this content look like on Preview (see below)
  • What performed well last week that could be repeated

Aligning Visual Storytelling with Profile Coherence

This very simple and easy schedule doesn’t restrict me but gives me a helpful guide for the following seven days. Preview is also a great app which helps you plan your Instagram Grid in advance. I find it excellent for testing out different covers for Reels and Carousel to keep my profile looking as professional and diverse as possible. I am a music artist and creator and so along each line of 3 images on my Instagram profile I try to keep a balance of one musical, one fashionable and one active/personality-related image. It doesn’t need to be exactly on the nose but I like for my page to showcase those three sides of my character as consistently as possible. This way when brands and contacts go to my page, it’s clear what I offer as a creator. 

The Path to Consistent Social Media Success

Embracing the Tested Approach to Social Media Strategy

As with anything social media related, I would say that the recipe to success is a tried and tested one. When planning out your week, start with the general guideline for best posting times, see which works the best and repeat that!

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