The Best and Worst Times for Your Church to Post on Social Media
Have you ever had a social post that performed better than you expected? Or, on the flip side, have you ever put lots of time and effort into a social post—and it got no traction?
Sometimes, it's hard to understand why posts perform the way they do. As you work to create high-quality and engaging content for your audience, you may be overlooking a straightforward factor: timing.
High engagement often comes from the right content posted at the right time.
Before we dive into some industry recommendations of when to post on various platforms, a disclaimer: these are just recommendations. Social media is constantly changing (as I'm sure you know!) and doesn't lend itself to one-size-fits-all solutions.
With that said, case studies and suggestions from professionals can be helpful starting points, so let's look at some recommendations from social specialists:
The best and worst times to post on Facebook
According to HubSpot, "On average, the best times to post on Facebook are in the evening and mid-to-late afternoon, specifically between 6 and 9 p.m. and 12 p.m. - 3 p.m." The worst times to post are 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. The best days to post on Facebook are Friday and Saturday. The worst is on Sunday.
According to Hootsuite, "The best overall time to post on Facebook is between 8 a.m. and noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
According to Sprout Social, The best times to post are Monday - Thursday, from 8 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. The best days to post on Facebook are Monday through Thursday, and the worst days to post are Sunday.
Average Recommendation: Aim to schedule your Facebook posts between the morning (8 a.m.) and mid-afternoon (3 p.m.). Expect the lowest engagement on Sundays.
The best and worst times to post on Instagram
According to HubSpot, "On average, the best times to post on Instagram across industries are mid to late evening and mid to late afternoon, specifically from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., 12 p.m. - 3 p.m., and 3 p.m. - 6 p.m." The worst times to post are 6 - 9 a.m. and 9 - 12 a.m. The best day to post on Instagram is Saturdays. The worst is on Mondays.
According to Hootsuite, "The universal best time to post on Instagram is 11 a.m. on Wednesdays. We found that Instagram users are the most likely to interact with content during work hours mid-day and mid-week."
According to Sprout Social, The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9–10 a.m. to 11–1 p.m. The best days to post on Instagram are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the worst days are Sundays.
Average Recommendation: Aim to schedule your Instagram posts for mid-morning (9–10 a.m.) or mid-afternoon (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.). Expect lower engagement on Sunday and Monday.
The best and worst times to post on X (formerly Twitter)
HubSpot says, "Marketers report that the best time to post...is between 9 a.m. and noon." The worst times? Early morning, specifically 6 - 9 a.m.
Friday is the best day to post on the platform, and Wednesday tends to be just as good.
Hootsuite states, "The best time to post on Twitter is 7:00 a.m. PST on Mondays and 10:00 a.m. PST on Wednesdays… When the Hootsuite social team looked at their data, they found the most success posting on weekdays between 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. PST."
According to Sprout Social, the best times to post on Twitter are Tuesdays - Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon - 2 p.m. The best days to post on Twitter are Tuesdays - Thursdays, and the worst days are Sundays.
Average Recommendation: Aim to post on X between 9 a.m. and noon/mid-afternoon, avoiding the very early morning. Expect lower engagement on weekends and higher engagement during the work week.
Finding the best and worst times to post for your audience
Your page analytics on Facebook and Instagram allow you to find out when your people specifically are online: On Facebook, go to your Facebook Page Insights > the Post tab > When Your Fans Are Online. You can find similar data through your Instagram Insights under the "Audience" section.
After looking at your specific insights, you should have a pretty good idea of when your people are active on various social media platforms. But when are they engaging? And with what type of content? A simple way to find this out is to track it for yourself.
Creating a spreadsheet using Excel/Google Sheets to track your social posts is the easiest way to track your social media engagement. For each post, make note of the platform, type of content (text, video, photo, etc.), when it was posted (both day and time), and the performance (total impressions, engagement, etc.) I recommend tracking your posts for at least a month before drawing conclusions.
It's important to note that if you aren't producing high-quality, relevant content, it probably won't matter when you post it. So taking the time to find what connects best with your audience is worthwhile.
But if you're looking for ways to engage your community effectively with your content, posting at the right time might just be the algorithm boost you need.
Looking for more social media tips? Check out "Impactful Social Media for Church: A Comprehensive Guide for Communicators."