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Sprout Social releases its 2022 report on the best times to post on the socials

First things first, let’s unpack why posting times matter; it’s all to do with activity and reaching the most active users at one time depending on the demographic that follows you. The best time to post to reach your target audience is based on your unique audience, and their activity within each app. You can find some of these insights within the analytics tools in the various social apps, while you also need to experiment and test in order to see when your posts generate the best response. Various factors can weigh into this, like when your users are more active, when they’re most receptive to your messaging, what other content is being posted at any given time (which could clutter user feeds), the specific content that you’re sharing, algorithm sorting, etc.

Sprout Social just released their annual report on the best times to post on social media in 2022 which is based on usage insights gleaned from Sprout’s 30,000+ customers. Essentially, the report has determined the times when people are most engaged and active within each of the major apps.

It is to be noted that the report is not a prescriptive guide for when, exactly, your business will see the best results necessarily, it is simply a guideline which should be played and experimented with in order to discover what works best for your business. 

Let’s unpack the report, starting with the popular girl of the social media group, Instagram. 

Sprout says that Mondays at 11 am, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 1 pm, and Thursdays and Fridays between 10 am and 11 am are the best times to post on Instagram. So mid-morning seems like the Instagram sweet spot, which could be great insight for your planning, and maximising your Instagram engagement.

The report doesn’t specify whether this relates to Stories and regular feed posts, though this would likely be focused on feed posts in particular. But even so, it could also be worth testing Stories along the same lines to see what sorts of results you get. In terms of best days, Sprout says that Tuesdays and Wednesdays see the most IG activity, while Sundays are no good.

Interestingly, the report noted that while the competition for short-form video content from TikTok is heating up, there’s no denying the staying power of Instagram, especially as it rolls out new features and enhances existing ones. Instagram Video has taken new life and expanded to 60 minute videos, and Reels have made it easier to create and discover videos on the app.

Compared to 2021, midday engagement during weekdays became denser with top times ranging between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., while evenings and weekends still showed increased opportunities for engagement.

In terms of what people are using the app for, ​​Instagram is still a platform for product discovery of brands, products or services. And new or expanding ecommerce features are shaping the way consumers use the app. In fact, 44% of users shop for products on the app weekly. Because the platform is built on sharing high-quality photos, it makes sense to expand the app to include ecommerce capabilities.

Twitter

Twitter has seen somewhat a resurgence in 2022 and towards the end of 2021 due to Web3 activity and NFT culture re-flocking to the platform to expand their communities. Furthermore, brands looking to participate in trending topics need to be timely but conscious of the brand’s values in the process.

Twitter peak times for engagement shifted significantly compared to last year, becoming much more concentrated during mid mornings and middays throughout the week. This could reflect people in Web3 spaces communicating from very different time zones. 

Remember that Twitter’s use extends beyond breaking news and viral content. Many brands use Twitter as part of their customer care strategy, as an alternative to calling customer support. This is particularly important for the platform as brands continue to build trust between their customers and proactively improve customer experience through social listening as well.

LinkedIn

Unsurprising for this professional-focused social platform, LinkedIn engagement times continue to be consistent to the US workweek. High engagement hours are more concentrated midday and don’t extend too far out past the US workday hours, as it had in years past. You’re less likely to get eyes on your LinkedIn content on the weekend, where engagement drops significantly.

While LinkedIn continues to be more specialised than other social platforms, it’s also increasingly branching out in what types of audiences it attracts. With over 810 million members in 200 countries, LinkedIn is becoming equally important for a wide range of content creation. Businesses on LinkedIn are finding new ways to generate leads, find co-marketing partners, highlight company culture and attract talent, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. LinkedIn is also an ideal fit for employee advocacy and empowering employees to advance their personal brand or professional development as they publish content to their own profiles.

How to know when you should post: 

Social marketers can plan content more effectively when they’re armed with data on the top times to post across social networks. Still, as platforms evolve with how brands and consumers are using social media, there are new ways to innovate interactions all the time. New content formats and trends might help you reach your audience in unexpected ways, or even find new segments and personas you weren’t focusing on before. 

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