How COVID-19 has changed optimal social media post times
The optimal times to do social media posts has changed as COVID-19 impacts our working and lifestyle habits.
Research by the Sprout Social media platform over its 20,000+ users shows a marked increase in optimum posting times as users work from home or simply spend more time interacting online.
The report compares the COVID-19 period (March-April) with February-March.
Facebook Posting Times. Previously, Wednesday from 11am and between 1–2pm were considered the best times to post on Facebook with Wednesday a peak day
overall. The updated review shows activity is consistently high throughout every weekday. Currently, the best times to post on Facebook are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 –11am.
Every day at 11am there's a slight peak compared to the rest of the day.
Instagram Posting Times.
As with Facebook, peak times during the week have expanded. Previously, Wednesday at 11 am and Friday from 10am–11am were the best times to post. Now, 11am Monday, Tuesday and Friday and 2pm Tuesday are the best times. There is consistent activity throughout the day and a drop-off from 6pm.
Weekends and the previous worst day, Sunday, are now active from 9am-5pm.
LinkedIn Posting Times.
Like Twitter, the best time to post has shifted from top times on Wednesday 8-10am and noon, Thursday at 9am and 1–2 pm and Friday 9am to current best times of Wednesday at 3pm, Thursday at 9–10am and Friday from 11am – noon.
Regular weekday engagement times now start and end a little later beginning at 8am rather than 7am and wrapping up around 4pm instead of 3pm. This is likely due to changing work patterns as more people work from home.
Twitter Posting Times.
Not a lot of change with usage patterns probably because of use of the platform as a way to quickly check news and spread useful public information such as government support programs, lock-down and quarantine information.
Previously the optimum time was Wednesday and Friday at 9am. It's now Friday 7–9 am with 9 am peak activity time.
So, are these the best times to post if you are a business? Not necessarily. Apart from the COVID-19 influence, the posting times are generally a guide based on the marketing advice from Facebook and research agencies who track consumer habits around the world. But, the only way to determine the best time to post for your business is to experiment and see how your audience respond. Naturally, this is also affected by what you post, how you engage and the goals of your posts.
Access Sprout's Social Media engagement report here.