To maximize your reach and generate higher engagement, find that sweet spot for clicking “post now.”

With over 2.5 billion global users across platforms like Twitter and Facebook — not to mention the obvious benefits of free brand exposure and endless opportunities for conversion — social media has become the holy grail of digital marketing.

For marketers, maximizing your reach is a major goal of any social media marketing campaign. But audiences surge and wane across platforms and time zones — so how can marketers ensure their posts receive the most views, “likes,” and “shares” possible? Assembled from recent Sprout Social data on user activity spikes across social media, these platform-specific guidelines can help you to share your content more strategically.

Facebook

Facebook has nearly 1.5 billion active daily users, making it a top choice for companies looking to advertise their products or services, build strong customer relationships, increase traffic to their site, and build brand recognition. It’s no wonder 93% of marketers use the platform on a regular basis.

Social Sprout’s data indicates that the best days to post on Facebook are Wednesday and Thursday, and the time frame that sees the highest user engagement on the platform is on Thursday from 1-2pm*. The platform sees the lowest rates of engagement on Saturday — and during the week, users are less likely to be scrolling in the early morning or in the evening.

Twitter

With 350,000 tweets sent every minute, trying to get noticed on Twitter can feel kind of like this:

However, Twitter has one of the highest interaction rates of any social media platform, and companies can build especially meaningful brand experiences — and therefore, strong customer relationships — by answering questions in real time and sharing user-generated content.

Posting between 10 am and noon on any day is a reasonably good bet, but brands are likely to receive the highest exposure by tweeting between 9-10am on Friday. Users are least likely to tweet or scroll on Sunday mornings.

Instagram

Today, over 70% of businesses utilize Instagram, and it’s easy to see why: 60% of Instagram users visit the site on a daily basis, and Instagram has a 2.2% per-follower interaction rate, which towers above that of other platforms like Facebook, whose rate is a mere 0.22%. So when are users most likely to see your posts and double-tap?

Thursday is the best day to post on Instagram (#tbt!)— and posts see the highest engagement on Thursdays at 5am, 11am, and between 3-4pm. However, engagement is also extremely high on Wednesday around 3pm and Friday around 5am. On Sunday, everyone is sleeping in, so it’s better to save that perfectly filtered pic for a weekday.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social platform particularly well-suited for B2B brands. In fact, some 80% of B2B leads originate from LinkedIn, and nearly 95% of B2B marketers publish content on the business networking platform. LinkedIn features advanced targeting capabilities to help brands reach their target audiences and drive conversion.

However, without tailoring your posting schedule to the platform, your marketing campaign could flop. Wednesday is the best day to post content on LinkedIn, and traffic is highest on Wednesday from 3-5pm. Engagement fluctuates significantly, but in general, Tuesday through Thursday are the best days to publish on LinkedIn, while Friday through Monday see relatively low user engagement.

*Disclaimer from Sprout Social: All time frames are recorded in Central Time Zone (CST). Number of engagements represents total engagements a brand received on the specific channel during that hour time frame.

Author Kendra Clark

A current graduate student in creative writing at the University of Cambridge, Kendra writes for a broad array of L&T's clients in industries ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. She has consulted for tech startups in California and Washington, D.C. on editorial and brand strategy development. With a degree in philosophy and literature from Santa Clara University, she is a lover of poetry, vegan Thai food, documentary films, and arguing about Nietzsche.

More posts by Kendra Clark