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Does it Matter What Times You Post on TikTok & Instagram?

At this point, brands and users alike have been chasing the best time to post on social media since the dawn of the internet. We all want the best engagement and reach possible. Posting at the best time for your audience used to be considered a social media marketing best practice, but so was using quote graphics for every other Instagram post. Times are changing, and posting at a specific time of the day might not be as important– or as effective– as it once was.

In this post, we are going to figure out the best time to post on social media (if there even is one) for each of the most popular platforms.

Are Posting Times Still Relevant?

There is still a lot of debate over whether or not posting times are relevant in 2023. Some marketers believe that posting at a specific time according to audience behavior will earn you higher engagement and reach, but the general consensus is that factors like content quality and relevance are far more important for high performance across the board.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to post at the optimal time for your audience on a per-platform basis, but this should fall near the bottom of posting priorities.

Instagram

There is now a chronological feed option, so your decision on when to post will likely be impacted by how many of your followers scroll through the “Following” feed.

Instagram posts tend to perform best in the morning:

  • Monday: 5 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 5 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.
  • Thursday: 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., 11a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Friday: 7 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m.
  • Sunday: 1 a.m., 7 a.m., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m

TikTok

TikTok content has a short lifespan. Your post needs engagement right off the bat in order to get the initial algorithm boost. If you post while your typical audience is sleeping, that initial engagement may be difficult to come by.

TikTok posts perform the best in the morning most days, as well as Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings:

  • Monday: 6 AM, 10 AM, 10 PM
  • Tuesday: 2 AM, 4 AM, 9 AM
  • Wednesday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 11 PM
  • Thursday: 9 AM, 12 AM, 7 PM
  • Friday: 5 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM
  • Saturday: 11 AM, 7 PM, 8 PM
  • Sunday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 4 PM

B2B brands report Saturdays and Thursdays as the best days to post, while B2C brands prefer Saturdays and Sundays.

Pinterest and YouTube

The search engine component is more prominent on Pinterest and YouTube than on other social platforms. This means your content will continue populating in search long after you post. With that said, the time at which you post on these platforms is less important than factors like searchability and relevance.

The best time to post on Pinterest is between 3 pm and 6 pm, with 6 pm through 9 pm following close behind. 29% of marketers identify Friday as the best day, and Sunday as the worst.

The best time to post on YouTube is between 6 pm and 9 pm, 3 pm and 6 pm, and 12 pm and 3 pm. Friday and Saturday are considered the best days to post, while Tuesday is the worst.

How to Choose What Times to Post

Start by reviewing our “Best Times to Post” feature on Instagram and TikTok. If your following is small or behaves inconsistently, you’ll want to back up this recommendation with a series of tests.

Choose a content bucket/concept proven to perform well, then post at varying times throughout the week. The posts with the highest performance can point to an ideal posting time. Your test results will likely vary per platform. They may be completely sporadic, in which case the best time to post probably doesn’t matter to your audience.


You may want to repeat the test on each platform for all your content buckets, as the best time to post may be content-type-specific.

Takeaways

At the end of the day, your audience is unique. Social media success is not one-size-fits-all. The only way to truly find out if there is an optimal time to post on social media is by testing and reviewing your analytics.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that these platforms are always changing. It seems like Instagram is dropping a new algorithm update every other week. The best way to succeed on social media is to prioritize truly connecting with your audience. Sure, that might mean posting when they are online. More importantly, it means posting content that resonates and is backed by an intimate understanding of your audience’s wants and needs.

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Carrie Boswell

Carrie Boswell is the Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY. She is always finding ways to include pop culture and the Gen Z perspective into the content we create for marketers and small business owners.

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