The best times for retailers and brands to post on social media

Retailers can plan social content more effectively to reach their audiences when — and where — they’re most engaged.
Elizabeth Christenson
Editor, Retail Leader
Elizabeth Christenson profile picture

What this means: While social commerce has emerged as a new digital channel, social media still provides the industry opportunities to connect with consumers and foster relationships with brands. Understanding how end users and consumers engage on social media is critical to reach shoppers at the right place and time to optimize attention and conversion. Using social media to spur impulse purchasing is another tool retailers have within digital channels.

social media activity

While consumers may be scrolling through social media content at all hours of the day, a recent study from Sprout Social found the best times to post on social media for better engagement were weekdays before noon. In general, the best days were Tuesday and Wednesday, while Sunday ranked the worst. 

“The shift in peak times from last year’s report is indicative of how quickly platforms and consumer behaviors evolve,” Rachael Goulet, Sprout Social’s director of social media, told Retail Leader Pro. “It’s important for marketers and retailers to stay aware of these shifts in order to reach their audience in fresh ways, or even discover new segments and personas they weren’t prioritizing before. Retailers who pair this report’s data with their own social media data analysis can develop tailored insights for their brand accounts across all social networks."

While studying data for each social network individually, Sprout Social consistently noticed the highest times of engagement were generally between 9 a.m. and noon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Midweek mornings prove to be a successful time across most social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, Pinterest and TikTok saw higher engagement in the afternoons, according to Sprout Social.


With a usage range among marketers of 90%, Facebook holds the title of most used platform by marketers worldwide. Sprout Social in recent years has noticed a shift in most engagement time matching general business hours versus very early morning hours. In turn, optimal send times for Facebookare Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until early afternoon, generally 1 p.m. The only “off” hours for posting on Facebook are very early hours on Friday through Monday, generally midnight until 4 a.m.


While Facebook was the most-used platform by marketers worldwide, Instagram came in second with 79%. Unsurprisingly, Instagram is also the second-most preferred platform for customer service after Facebook for marketers and consumers. With increasing competition for short-form video between Instagram and TikTok, Reels account for 30% of time spent on the Meta-owned platform, according to Sprout Social.

The best times to post on Instagram are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., generally. Similar to Facebook, the “off” hours are the early morning hours every day of the week, from midnight until 4 a.m. Still the Instagram algorithm is unpredictable, according to Sprout Social. To be successful on the platform is a balance of consistently posting high-quality content that will engage and entertain your audiences, it said.


LinkedIn, a professional-focused social platform, has engagement times consistent with general business hours. High-engagement hours are more concentrated midday and don’t extend too far out past the workday hours, according to Sprout Social. The best times to post on LinkedIn are Tuesday and Wednesday between 10 a.m. and noon. LinkedIn engagement drops significantly during the weekend.


Pinterest users are engaging with content at nearly all hours of the day, almost every day of the week, according to Social Sprout. The best times to post on Pinterest include Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday around the 1 p.m. hour, extending either an hour before or later. Interestingly, Wednesday at 6 a.m. is also a peak time to post on Pinterest.


TikTok has grown to more than 1 billion active global userswho spend nearly 20 hours on the app every month. The best times to post on TikTokare Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Afternoons are when engagement is highest are on the platform; users are looking to fill their afternoon entertainment boost. However, generally, mid-morning through the afternoon (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) on Tuesday through Thursday saw higher engagement on the app.


Twitter peak times for engagement grew significantly compared to last year, with hours consistently at late morning to midday during weekdays. The best times to post on Twitter are Tuesday through Friday beginning at 9 a.m. and ending around noon. This could reflect an interest in developing news and updates as the day unfolds, as well as a desire for entertainment, according to Social Sprout.

What’s next: Retailers and brands can blend social media marketing with first-party data resources to best understand consumer behavior and spend in order to most effectively market in social commerce channels. Retailers know more about their consumers than ever before, and this can aid in tailoring content strategies.