It’s not enough to just post your content on social media. These days it’s important to consider when you’re posting, to ensure your content gets seen by the most people. But when exactly is the best time to be posting on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn if you're trying to reach students and employers?
There’s not actually a simple answer. There are so many different factors which can impact your social media post interaction, including:
- The platform you’re using
- The age of your audience
- How your audience interacts with your profile on the platform
- What you’re looking for (e.g. clicks to your website, views or shares)
- How your audience uses the platform, and on what device
Watch for trends
As technology continues to develop and grow, so does your social media brand. With social media, there are many ways to track how your users interact with your accounts and site. The times below are generally considered to be the best times to post to your social media accounts for career centres (and when our target audiences are the most active on these accounts), but it’s important to watch your own accounts for trends.
Content posted at 12:30pm on Wednesday gets more clicks and shares than content posted at 5pm on Friday? Think about what your audience’s habits might be like. Is your audience mostly students? Posting at 7:30am on a weekday morning would most likely be unsuccessful, than if your audience is made up of office workers.
So, what’s the best time to post?
As a general rule, the best times for careers services to post on social media is in the evening and during timetabled breaks in the university day. Testing by The Careers Group, found our online audience interacted more with posts made between 12:30pm and 7:30pm.
Best time to post on Facebook
The worst time to post on Facebook, according to SurePayroll, is before 8am and after 8pm on weekends. The Careers Group found that posts published when daily university breaks start perform the best. During peak tutorial times, designated social hours (i.e. Wednesday afternoons) and on Fridays, posts tend to have poor performance.
Platforms: Desktop and mobile are the most popular
Best time to post on Facebook: 12pm on Wednesdays, around 6pm weekday evenings (for students). Generally, engagement is 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays and usage spikes by about 10% as people look forward to the weekend. Make sure you match their happiness with the type of posts you publish and what topics are trending (Neil Patel). A post could be:
Option 1: At this moment, millions of people are celebrating. From being pleased about an essay grade or finally arranging that night out to landing your first job. What's making you happy?
Option 2: A record number of positions are ready to be filled!
'Like' if you're excited to get a summer internship or 'share' if you're on the hunt for a graduate job.
Best time to post on Twitter
Like Facebook, audiences use Twitter on both mobile devices and desktop computers but mobile supercedes desktop with students. Students and recent graduates often treat it like an RSS feed, to share useful content and something to read during down times like commutes and breaks.
If it's employers you're trying to reach, the best days to post are Mondays through Fridays during business hours where content performs 16% better (CoSchedule), and clickthrough rate is highest on Wednesdays. For students and graduates, the best days to post are Wednesdays and the weekends, when clickthrough rate is highest (around 17% more).
Platforms: Mobile is most popular
Best times to post on Twitter: 12pm-3pm and 5pm on weekdays.
Best time to post on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is mainly used by professionals but the use by prospective students using it to compare universities and by students and recent graduates is rapidly increasing. We have found that employers and students tend to use it during the work week, during working hours, just before the workday starts, and just after it ends. The audiences we target on LinkedIn are searching for substantial content to improve their career prospects which could explain why the audience for The Careers Group is not as localised in terms of geographical region as opposed to Facebook and LinkedIn.
Tuesdays tend to see the most clicks and shares. Mondays and Fridays have a lower engagement rates than the rest of the work week as they could be getting ready for the weekend or preparing for the week at work!
Platforms: Desktop during the day and mobile first thing or last thing.
Best times to post on LinkedIn: Generally midweek including 10am-11am on Tuesdays and 12pm, 5pm-6pm for the rest of the week. You can add 8am-8:30am for employers.
Last words of advice
Obviously, this research shouldn't be taken as gospel as each career centre is different. Test, test, test is the answer here as well as ensuring the quality of your posts are up to scratch. Remember, you're posting on social networks where the audience has chosen to follow you so post engaging content which is going to help them progress - not just sales pitches.