Jun 30

Understanding The Best Time to Post on Social Media

The Best Time to Post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (Data-Backed Study for the UTC time zone) according to Unamo, is a pretty basic question frequently asked by social media beginners. And this topic has already been covered. There are lots of theories about it, and you can find plenty of articles explaining the science behind the best posting times. Finding the best time to post seems to be a pretty straightforward task because all you need to do is post when your audience is present on a particular social network. But to help you skip the guesswork, we’ve decided to look at this topic a little differently and will advise you how you can leverage our tools to boost your social media outcomes. We’ve pulled the analysis to provide data-backed information about the best posting times on social media for a few chosen business types, specifically, for travelecommerce and SaaS industries. For the sake of this study, we’ve come up with three three topics – and have used the Unamo Social Media Monitoring Tool to see what time of day social media activity for a specific niche is the most intense.

Travel Niche

Beforehand, answer this question: What are the top three companies that come to mind when you think of the travel industry in Singapore and South East Asia? To us the answers are relatively straight-forward for e.g., Booking.com, AirBnb and Agoda.com, respectively. So we have included these three brand names as keywords. And because Unamo is a brand new tool that currently only operates on the Asia market (but will start monitoring the US market very soon), we have pulled the analysis for the UTC time zone. With the use of Unamo, you can easily estimate how many mentions for a specific topic have been generated on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during a day, a month or a year (you can set practically any date range). This is called the hourly distribution of mentions. The hourly distribution of mentions on Facebook + Twitter + Instagram for the travel niche looks like this:

As you can see, this industry receives, on average, the most buzz at 8 PM UTC among all of the social networks. The chart above shows that 8 PM is the best time to post (on each channel) because that is when the most followers are present on these platforms. In order to set your posting habits correctly, check your hourly distribution of mentions for the last month or even year. The broader your date range is, the more objective and reliable results become. It will help you understand at what hours during the day your audience is actually online. Narrowing the date range, on the other hand, can give you data specific to a seasonal event or any other particular occasion. Now, let’s split up the channels and focus on each one separately to see if the combined results are precise enough. We will start with the giant network: Facebook.

Facebook

As you can see, the chart looks completely different. Sure, the number of mentions similarly peaks between 8 PM and 9 PM UTC, but the levels of mentions are much more aligned during the day. There is also a visible second spike between noon and 1 PM UTC. Travel business Based on the hourly distribution of mentions, we can assume that the best posting times on Facebook are:

  • 8-9 PM UTC
  • Noon – 1 PM UTC

Now, let’s look at Twitter performs.

Twitter

The hourly distribution of mentions graph for Twitter presents results utterly unlike the combined ones and different than the Facebook results, too. You can see that night hours indicate rather low activity, and in the morning, activity starts to rapidly grow at 8 and 9 AM. So the first spike of traffic is at 11AM and then another (smaller) spike at 1 PM. In the daytime, mentions maintain similar levels and the third peak happens around 9 PM.

To summarize, based on the hourly distribution of mentions graph, the best posting times on Twitter for the travel niche are:

  • 11 AM UTC+8
  • 1 PM UTC+8
  • 9 PM UTC+8

So if your brand operates in this specific industry, make sure that you post then!

Instagram

Instagram is also a top social network for the travel industry. In general, looking at the number of mentions for this particular niche allows you to see that both Facebook and Instagram hit pretty high activity levels, and this is a clear indication of their importance for this type of business. Instagram’s chart of mentions is deprived of any sudden falls and growths. The night time is characterized by drops in mentions, and at 6 AM, the numbers smoothly start to grow toward the first peak at 10 AM UTC, and once again at 9 PM UTC.

So, based on the hourly distribution of mentions, the best posting times on Instagram for the travel industry are: 10 AM UTC 9 PM UTC respectively

E-Commerce

To examine the best times to post on social media for the e-commerce market, we have again chosen three keywords representing the biggest online store builders. According to my individual opinion, these are Shopify, Woocommerce and Wix.com. And the hourly distribution of mentions for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram combined grows systematically during the daytime and peaks visibly at 8 PM UTC.

How does this graph change when we narrow down the criteria to one specific channel? Have a look:

Facebook

Facebook’s chart seems to mirror the shape of the combined results; the wave draws similar lines, but the peaks are much more clear. The distribution of mentions per hour is the most intense at the 9 PM UTC spike, then at 1 PM UTC, and lastly at 9:30 AM UTC.

For more information on using Unamo to boost your digital marketing effort especially on social media and SEO, please visit here.