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How can I best schedule my social media posts?

We’ve recommended social media schedulers like Hootsuite and Buffer before because they essentially allow you to work smarter, not harder. Besides showing you helpful analytics from all your platforms in one place, these powerful tools can push out your content at any time…even while you sleep! 80% of 18 to 44 year-olds check their smartphone as soon as they wake up and turn on their phones. (click to tweet)

So: what are the best times to schedule your social media posts when you’re looking to maximize engagement?

The basics

Many studies have looked into the best times to post on social media. These provide a general guideline when strategizing your social media plan. Studies have show that for Facebook, optimal post times are 12:00-1:00 PM on weekends, 3:00-4:00 PM on Wednesdays, and 1:00-4:00 PM on Thursdays and Fridays. For Twitter, optimal post times are 12:00-3:00 PM on weekdays and on 5:00-6:00 PM Wednesdays. This helpful infographic helps break it down for you.

Know your audience

Getting to know your when and how your audience is listening is key. You can verify this using free online tools like Tweriod or Followerwonk. These tools link to your accounts and determine when your audience is most active. You can then schedule your messages based on these recommendations. How convenient!

The times are a’changing

It’s worth experimenting with small variations in the times you post. SocialMediaToday argues that if you pick the exact same times each day to schedule your posts, you’re always going to reach the same people. If engagement is getting stale, switch up your post times!

Around the world

Have followers from Brazil to Bangalore? Don’t forget about the time zone differences experienced by your followers and schedule posts accordingly. You can also make life simpler by changing your Hootsuite dashboard to the local timezone or configure the timezone for each of your connected social accounts on Buffer.

Now ignore everything we’ve taught you…

Well, sort of. In a recent podcast hosted by Buffer, Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner, suggested “the old mentality of ‘scheduling when people are there’ has been thrown out the window.” The culprit? Social Media Algorithms. Posts are no longer solely presented in linear order, with algorithms prioritizing posts based on multiple factors. Stelzner suggests that more focus needs to be given to high quality content. Though considering your audience and when they are present is still important, providing content that has value is what is really going to reach them.

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