When is the best time to post on social to encourage eCommerce sales?

Ruth Peters
August 20, 2022

While there are multiple steps to purchase, social media is where many customers will discover your brand, your products, and the experience you give to your customers. 

It’s essential, then, to ensure that your social strategy is airtight. This means posting the right things, on the right platform, at the right time.

In our latest post, we’ve explored the best time to post on social to encourage eCommerce sales.

When is the best time to post on social to encourage eCommerce sales?

We’re in the era of social shopping. As of January 2022, there are 4.62 billion social media users globally –– a 10.1% YOY growth. Social platforms have evolved from a place to keep in touch with family and friends, into a landscape dominated by brands and businesses.

And it’s an influential space: nearly nine in ten online shoppers use social media while making shopping decisions. The online shopping funnel has changed, and customers are now starting their sales journey at “the edge” –– frequently on social media. 

And yet, despite Meta and TikTok’s push for in-app social shopping, an overwhelming majority of customers don't want to shop on social. SimplicityDX’s State of Social Commerce report found that 71% of shoppers prefer to checkout on a brand website, as opposed to only 13% who are happy to check out on social media. 

This means that brands have to

  1. Have a strong enough social strategy to entice new customers and encourage repeat purchases and,
  2. Ensure that their brand site provides the best possible customer journey, with no friction points that could deter a sale. 

While there are multiple steps to purchase, social media is where many customers will discover your brand, your products, and the experience you give to your customers. It’s essential, then, to ensure that your social strategy is airtight. This means posting the right things, on the right platform, at the right time.

So what is the best time of day to post on social media to encourage eCommerce sales?

There are two peak hours for online shopping — the morning peak, 10 am to 11 am, and a second peak at 8 pm and 9 pm. These peaks follow consumer behavior patterns and will change with your audience. If you’re a lifestyle brand targeting women aged 35-50, you may benefit from the ‘Chardonnay effect’ — an increase in conversion rates on weekday evenings, as users scroll, glass in hand. 

As well as daily patterns, consider weekly patterns, and monthly patterns. In 2020, Wednesday and Thursday were found to be the busiest retail days for online sales with a notable drop off at the weekend, Saturday being the worst. As to be expected, monthly sales patterns are influenced by pay dates, with the peak days for sales coming at the beginning and end of each month, after all the bills have been paid. 

For retailers, knowing the busiest times of each day, week, month, or time of year can help to inform your social commerce strategy and get the most out of your efforts. 

When is the best time to post on each platform?

While you can use shopping behavior to inform your social commerce strategy, each platform has its own individual benchmarks.

Social media algorithms dictate when (and which) users will see your content — if users aren’t being served your content on their chosen platform, it won’t matter that they are primed to purchase. 

Each platform algorithm will intricately balance recency, engagement, relationships, and frequency (among others) to choose who to serve your posts to. Miss the mark, and you’ll do yourself a disservice. 

Facebook

While you’d think most people are on social media in the evenings, the best time to post on Facebook is in the morning. 

Most analyses found that sharing posts between 6 am and midday on weekdays tends to lead to the best engagement. People are scrolling through their phones first thing in the morning, while in line for coffee, or taking a mid-morning work break. Interestingly, data suggests posting at 1 pm got you the most shares, while publishing at 3 pm can give you the most clicks.

Instagram

On average, the best time to post on Instagram is morning- to late- afternoon. Tuesday and Saturdays tend to be the best for engagement, while Sunday is a no-go as users are less likely to engage with brand posts at this time. 

Instagram stories benefit from consistent engagement Monday through Friday across the working day. 

person using glossier beauty cream
Glossier, a global beauty brand, posts every weekday at 11am EST. 

TikTok

One of the best things about TikTok is that, in your Analytics section, you can pinpoint the exact times and days that your audience is most active.

Apart from that, aim to post in the afternoon and evening, as this is when the majority of people have the time to scroll through their For You Pages. For B2C brands, weekends are the best time to post. Save your best content for Saturdays and Sundays, and avoid posting anything important on Mondays and Tuesdays. One of the best things about TikTok is that, in your Analytics section, you can pinpoint the exact times and days that your audience is most active.

Pinterest

Evening's reign supreme for Pinterest, with the majority of users only active after work. 

Aim to post between 6 pm and 9 pm –– Sundays tend to be the most successful day of the week for brands aiming to make sales. 

Twitter

Though it seems like people are on Twitter a lot in the early morning to read the headlines and find out what’s trending for the day, for brands it’s best to focus on posting in the afternoon so you’re not drowned out by the noise. 

Avoid posting before 3 pm, and focus your energy on Thursdays and Fridays. 

Just remember that Twitter’s algorithm is more time sensitive than other social platforms, and many users have their timelines filtered to only see the newest posts. If you have a global audience, consider what timezones you’re targeting with your tweets. 

So when is the best time to post on social media?

  • Early afternoon and evenings are key. This is when you should be sharing your most engaging, eye-catching content with the intent to drive traffic to your site. 
  • Use mornings and weekends for content that will drive brand awareness.
  • On weekends, focus mainly on Pinterest and TikTok –– the engagement on other platforms isn’t great on Saturdays and Sundays. 

But, don’t forget: we need to consider the human element of social media marketing

We can’t just rely on analytics and algorithms to make decisions. Your customers are humans, and these numbers offer guidance based on a large data set. While we can use the above guidelines to inform our social strategy, take a moment to think about your audience. 

New York is three hours ahead of California — but accounts based in New York will likely still have followers spread across both regions. Then you’ve got to consider global audiences too. How can you optimize your posting schedule for users in Europe and Australia, too?

Finding the best time to post on social media for your brand

Unfortunately, there’s no clear answer. Every brand is unique, and finding the perfect time to post will involve trial and error. As algorithms change, so will your social commerce strategy.

It’s important to also determine why you’re posting on social. Yes, we want to encourage eCommerce sales, but only a tiny proportion of social media users make an online purchase immediately after discovering a product. It’s best to think about most online buyer behavior as a sequence of interactions over time that lead to a purchase. Social media is a place for discovery —  thereafter, nurture the relationship and optimize the customer journey, making it easier to reach them when they are ready to purchase.

To learn more about taking control of your social commerce journeys, visit the SimplicityDX blog for more insights.

SimplicityDX makes social commerce work. Its SimplicityDX Edge Experience Platform enables brands to optimize social commerce experiences by simplifying the buying process between journeys started at the edge and the brand’s eCommerce e- site. Founded by a team of industry veterans in May 2021 and privately funded, SimplicityDX operates in the U.S. and U.K. markets.

FAQ: When is the best time to post on social?

What is the best time of day to post on social media?

For most social platforms, it’s best to schedule your content in the afternoon or the evening. This is when people are most active on the platform, scrolling through their phones to kill time at work or catching up on their feed in the evenings. 

What is the best time to post on Instagram?

Instagram’s algorithm is time-reactive, so you want to post when your audience is most active. For the majority of brands, this will be in the afternoon and evening. Users tend to be more likely to engage with posts on weekdays, particularly Wednesday through Friday. Avoid weekends, apart from Sunday nights after 6 pm.

What is the best time to post on Facebook?

If users engage with your post in the few hours after it’s shared, it’s far more likely to be favored by the algorithm. The optimal time to post on Facebook is between 6 am and midday. 

Learn more about how to optimize your social commerce strategy.

The Truth about Meta's Social Commerce Market Share

Impulse Buying in Social Commerce: Fact or Fiction?

Key Considerations for your Social Commerce Strategy

Should All Brands Sell on Social Media

Shopping at The Edge – The New eCommerce Reality

Social Commerce for Retail?

Promotions at the edge: how promotions cause eCommerce shopping experiences to break

Watch the Webinar - Social Commerce is Broken: How to Fix it

SimplicityDX Publishes 2022 State of Social Commerce Impact Study

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