What’s the best time to post on LinkedIn?

The moments in the week that are hotspots for driving engagement

July 13, 2016

You’ve identified the most relevant target audience, you’ve generated or curated content to match the issues they’re interested in, you’ve translated this into a forward-looking content calendar that ensures you always have something relevant to say – but there’s something missing from the plan. When’s the best time to post your content on LinkedIn to ensure that it gets the engagement it deserves?

The best content marketers know that, when it comes to driving impact and engagement, timing is a big part of the equation. Your aim is to deliver content at a moment when your particular target audience is likely to notice it – and has time to engage with and act on it. This timing ‘sweet spot’ naturally varies depending on the particular platform on which you’re engaging your target audience. Each social channel has a different role in the lives of its audiences – and those roles often play out at different times of the day.

That’s why a new Infographic pulled together by HubSpot is so useful for any marketer planning a campaign across different social platforms, including LinkedIn. HubSpot pulled together data and evidence from a wide variety of different sources to build a comprehensive guide to the best times to post on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

According to their findings, the best days to post content on LinkedIn are between Tuesday and Thursday, either early in the morning, lunchtime or early evening, with an additional, bonus sweet spot between 10am and 11am on Tuesday.

What does it all mean?

This makes a lot of intuitive sense. After all, LinkedIn engages audiences when they occupy a professional mindset (hence the importance of the working week) – and professionals are pretty busy people. They make time to catch up on LinkedIn when they can pay attention to the content they are engaging with – consuming their feed in the style of a newspaper to start the day, and then catching up again at lunchtime and in the early evenings when things quieten down. It makes sense too that absolute engagement numbers would be lower on a Monday (when the working day is dominated by catch-up meetings) and Friday (when some people finish early).

What about that 10am-11am Tuesday sweet spot? Could it be that this is the moment when many professionals switch from catch-up to proactive planning mode? Actively seeking out content on LinkedIn would obviously make sense in this context.

Why all sweet spots aren’t the same

It has to be remembered, though, that even within a platform like LinkedIn, there’s no hard and fast rule on timing that applies to every campaign and every piece of content. We’ve worked with clients who’ve found that 8pm is the absolute most effective moment for reaching the very senior C-suite decision-makers they were after – but that doesn’t mean that 8pm is the right time slot for other brands and other campaigns (it depends on the moment when your particular target audience has most time available to consume content in their feed).

It’s worth bearing in mind too that the HubSpot infographic isn’t the result of one single piece of research. It pulls together a lot of different studies and expert recommendations, which themselves found slightly different ‘hot spots’ for LinkedIn engagement. Some of its recommendations are the result of data analysis (for example, the 10am – 11am sweet spot on Tuesdays), others are more the result of expert recommendations (the benefits of posting content between Tuesday and Thursday, for example). Some look at the number of shares that posts generate; others are more interested in how many people read and engage with them. It’s not a definitive study – but it is a great starting point for thinking about the best times to post.

In our own experience, we’ve found that there’s no substitute for testing when it comes to finding the sweet spot that best suits you and your audience. Just as it’s worth testing different content elements such as the headlines, copy and images of Sponsored Content –  it’s also well worth testing the timing of when you release different types of content.

There are good reasons for targeting Fridays and Mondays

This is especially true when you’re aiming to vary the mix of content that you share, in order to drive ongoing engagement throughout the week. Fridays, for example, may not deliver the highest absolute engagement numbers – but they are still a great time slot for releasing light-hearted, inspirational or accessible ‘chocolate cake’ content that can engage people as they power down or relax over the weekend. Likewise, the Monday morning mindset, when people are focused on tackling challenges for the week ahead, could be a great time to release content that helps them solve particular problems.

Timing matters – on LinkedIn as on any other social platform. That’s why the HubSpot Infographic is such a handy guide to have – but it’s also why it’s worth testing intelligently to find the timing that works best for your audience.

You’ll find more quick, practical insights on building a LinkedIn content strategy, including how frequently to post your different types of content, in our LinkedIn Content Marketing Tactical Plan.