It's well known in the marketing world that there are better & worse times of the day to run ads. The same is true for marketing niches, such as email marketing - and not surprisingly, there are peak times for maximum social engagement as well.
Let's take a look at what the statistics tell us about the best times to post on the top social media networks:
Facebook: The best days to post on Facebook are Saturdays and Sundays (both register 32% users) and Tuesdays and Fridays (both register 18% users.) The best times to post on Facebook are 9AM, 1PM (the most shares) and 3PM (the most clicks). The worst time to post during the week on Facebook is 8AM and the worst time during the weekend is after 8PM.
Twitter: Optimal times to post on Twitter are 12 – 3PM with a peak at 5PM. Niche markets such as real estate have larger Twitter users on the weekends. Wednesdays at noon and 5-6 PM are very good and Monday – Friday are good days between noon and 3 PM and again at 5 PM. You might want to experiment with 2-3 AM, 6-7 AM and 9-10 PM time slots.
To increase your re-tweets and click throughs, focus in on noon, 5-6 PM and 3 PM time slots. B2B Twitter use is higher during the workweek (M-F) and B2C Twitter use is higher on the weekends because people have more time to interact with it.
Instagram: This gets attention seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Mondays and Thursdays are a bit better but the difference is marginal. The best times to post on Instagram are 8-9 AM, 2 AM, 5 PM.
Pinterest: gets most of its action on Saturdays between 8-11 PM and Fridays at 3 PM. The best times to Pin are 8-11 PM with a 9 PM peak, 2-4 AM, 2-4 PM and 1-3PM
LinkedIn: Midweek postings are optimal from 5-6PM. The most LI click throughs happen at 5-6 PM, noon and 7-8 AM. Forget about anything here from 10 PM – 6 AM.
Now, it's important to keep in mind that there's a 3-hour time lag between Eastern & Pacific Time, so if you're posting nationally, you may want to offset your posts a bit to work for both timezones.