The Art of… Perfect Timing?

Raise your hand if you’ve had your phone fall flat on your face while you laid in bed, scrolling through your social media accounts, and falling asleep? GUILTY!

Depending on who you are, what your interests are, and who you follow or interact with on social media platforms, the time of day that you spend the most scrolling through can differ greatly.

As a social media marketer, whether it be your career, or a side hobby, taking into consideration the best times of the day to post your content is of utmost importance. According to the 60 Second Marketer, there are two main reasons why good timing plays a very important role in your social media campaigns:

  1. It increases your digital engagement rate. This is done by posting at the appropriate time during the day, where you will have more likes, shares, follows, and retweets, depending on the platform you are using.
  2. It also increases the traffic to your account, and/or website, which most businesses have. This is typically how it plays out: your followers start scrolling through your business or creator page and they are exploring your content and posts. If your audience finds interest in the posts they are seeing, then it is more likely that they will either visit your website to learn more about any services or products that you provide/sell.

So, whether you run the social media accounts for a business, or a personal interest account, it is quite important to post content at the appropriate times. However, how does one determine the best times to do so?

Currently, I am running a personal interest account on Instagram (my favorite social media platform), called @KidsReadingNook, where, “Through the magic of children’s books, we seek guidance, support, diversity, and inclusion. Showcasing curated picks and honest reviews.”

I happen to agree with the Irish Tech News blog that spells out clearly, the reasons why I love Instagram:

  1. Better Target Market Penetration
  2. Better Content Display
  3. Instagram users are the most active and spend a lot of time in the App

Needless to say, it is my go-to application for social media use. However, as previously discussed, it’s still paramount that content is posted at the optimal times, for greater engagement.

According to HubSpot’s 2021 report , specifically for Instagram:

On average, the best time to post on Instagram is between 10 AM and 3 PM CDT. However, the level of engagement you get can change dramatically depending on what day of the week you post. The best days to post on Instagram are Wednesday throughout the day, but particularly around 11 AM, and Friday from 10 AM to 11 AM.

For my own personal interest account, I have to take into consideration my target audience, to understand the best times to post. I have 2 target audiences, teachers/educators, and parents.

MDR Education conducted a study which found that teachers use Instagram every day, and due to their very busy, and extra long schedules, most participants said they spend 15–60 minutes per day during the week on Instagram. On the weekends, their usage goes up even higher with 36% of participants estimating they spend 1 hour or more on it each day. Because they start their days so early, and end so late, the best time to post for them is around lunch time for students, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, and on the weekends.

For my second audience, parents, according to Insight Social Media, Sunday evenings are prime times for moms, as their week has ended, and kids are in bed early. It further claims that moms are the most active user between 6–11 pm. It also strongly suggests that Monday’s and Friday’s are a no-go, and as a parent, I can absolutely understand why (incredibly busy days).

With that in mind, I have recently started using the the application Later, to help me with scheduling posts automatically, and have them nicely organized in a content calendar. With my own busy schedule, I cannot post in the ideal posting times for my target audiences, therefore having the Later app do it automatically for me is ideal! I am using Later because it has a free option, that is quite robust. My favorite tool that allows further insights on when to post, is Hootsuite, which is an excellent tool for measuring social media ROI — something that is no easy task! However, it can be pricey, and therefore not ideal for me at the moment. Another favorite of mine is SproutSocial, who has an amazing platform, with ViralPost technology which provides impressive results at finding the best time to share your content. However, that one too is a bit pricey — perhaps a future tool is my personal interest account ends up being a success.

However, whether using a tool, or sticking to your own research, timing is of the essence when it comes to reaching and engaging with your audience, no matter the platform you are using.

So, if you’re like me, and have ventured into the world of social media (I mean, who hasn’t!), keep an eye on the time and have fun!

| Learning & Development Consultant | Social Media Curator | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion | Disney Magic Maker | Mother & Wife | She/Her/Hers |