Imposed by the lack of travel, selfies and photo opportunities, there’s been a huge shift in the type of content shared on social media. Covid-19’s lockdowns and furloughs has seen many people having much more time with fewer ways to fill it, now that restaurants, shops and entertainment venues are closed. With the change in hours people are spending actively scrolling on social media, naturally there’s been a revised strategy to which times are best to post for maximum engagement. Although this varies depending on your audience, here’s what the statistics say and what we have to say:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday are proving to be the days when people are most active, with maximum engagement between 10–11am. Pre-pandemic, evenings were often the most popular time to post with people returning from work, but now there’s a significant drop off after 5pm, as remote workers are looking to spend more time with their families in the evening.
With the lockdown providing people with much more time, we’ve found people are always active on Facebook. With Messenger helping drive record numbers of users, people usually stay on the platform to have scroll after replying to the group chat. With remote workers changing habits from a lunchtime stroll to a quick-scroll, our client’s accounts often find that between 11 am – 1 pm is a good time to post when the newsfeed is less crowded.
For now, discovering Insights for Facebook is only available for pages and not for personal accounts. To find out when your Facebook page followers are most active, head to your page manager. Clicking first on Insights > Posts, Facebook then provides average data from the most recent seven days and times of day as to when your followers are online most often.
Unusually for Instagram, Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 11am and Tuesday at 2pm are now seeing highly engaged posts. The shift to work hours being more popular lies with the platform being most popular with a younger audience who are now more likely to be out of school or placed on furlough, therefore now having more time on their hands. Additionally, weekend times have also expanded to 9am-5pm. With the introduction of Instagram Reels and Stories, the platform is successfully engaging a wider audience for a larger share of time.
With the lack of photo opportunities at the weekend, we’ve noticed a shift in people being active all throughout the week, regularly checking up on other people’s lives as our weekdays and weekends are blurring into one throughout the lockdown. We’ve found people are constantly checking Instagram, especially with the rollout of Reels and Instagram Stories. For Social’s Instagram account, our followers are most active around 6pm, after work – perhaps finding a form of escapism after working from home.
Head over to your profile page on the Instagram mobile app. From there, click the ‘Insights’ button to discover a wealth of metrics in relation to your account. To find specific Insights about when your audience are most active, click the ‘Audience’ tab and scroll to the bottom of the page to find a daily or hourly breakdown.
Twitter’s usage patterns have remained slightly more consistent throughout the pandemic due to the platform being constantly checked as a source of news and information. The best time to post is currently on Friday, with a peak of activity between 7–9am each day.
As shown in our personal statistics, we’ve found that the most active hours of our followers occurs between 9-11am – perhaps once people have logged on to begin their working day now that the commute is only from the bedroom to the make-shift home-office.
The third-party website ‘followerwonk’, as demonstrated above, is a useful tool to breakdown the most active hours of any accounts followers. If you require more information, it also shows other useful statistic such as followers locations, inferred gender and activeness of accounts.
With LinkedIn being a professionally-oriented network it’s not surprising that, like Twitter, behaviour has remained largely unaffected. Similarly to pre-pandemic, weekdays remain the best time to post, with maximum users actively engaging with content between 8-10 am and 11am-1 pm, fitting between beginning the workday and typical lunch break hours. Although it’s been noted that hours immediately after work have dropped off quicker, potentially due to the increase in remote workers and therefore a lack of scrolling during the home-bound commute.
Whilst there’s a higher volume of active LinkedIn users on a weekday, the weekends are actually a really good time to experiment on LinkedIn – especially now during the pandemic, where commute focused interaction has significantly decreased. In contrast to the studies, posting on a weekend means there are less users competing for newsfeed space – so your posts can actually see quite an increase in post reach. On the flipside, engaging on LinkedIn on a weekend can be really fruitful, too. Life runs at a slower pace at the weekend – which means that weekend LinkedIn users tend to have more time to respond to messages, comments etc. Weekends are perhaps your best time to strike up meaningful conversation!
Unfortunately for users, there is currently no personalised insights available as the LinkedIn algorithm is notoriously under lock and key. Experimenting is key to finding the best time to post for your own followers.
Given the fluid situation around COVID-19, coming in and out of lockdowns, and schools opening and closing, the only thing we can be certain of is that audience behaviour will continue to change over the next few weeks and months. Informing when you should post your content should always come from your own user insights where possible as these statistics are personal to you. Don’t be afraid to post at ‘off-peak’ times, as it may benefit you not losing your voice in the saturated newsfeed.
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