Knowing when to post branded content on social media platforms is an essential part of developing a strong social media marketing strategy that reaches and engages with audiences. The problem is, there remains a debate within the industry regarding when exactly that optimal date/time is.

According to an annual report by social media analytics company Sprout Social, which details the best and worst times to post on social media platforms, midweek mornings—specifically, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and noon—are consistently the most optimal times for engaging with audiences on most social media sites.

Facebook remains the platform used most by marketers worldwide, with 90 percent of marketers claiming they use the site to connect with consumers. But public engagement on the site has shifted in recent years to match general business hours, with optimal times now being Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. and ending early afternoon (generally around 1 p.m.).

FacebookFacebook weekly global engagement times.

Instagram is the second-most popular site for marketers, with 79 percent of respondents claiming they use the photo-sharing site. The best times to post on the platform are generally Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays—with a particular emphasis on Tuesdays and Wednesdays—between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Twitter, which has always been the go-to platform for up-to-the-minute breaking news, has seen its peak engagement times shift in the last year. According to Sprout’s report, mornings during the weekdays are consistently the best times to post on the platform, particularly Tuesdays through Fridays beginning at 9 a.m. and tapering off around noon.

When it comes to LinkedIn, the best times to post on the career-focused social platform are Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and noon.

Short-form video platform TikTok bucks the trend when it comes to midweek mornings for optimal times. That newcomer platform sees far more engagement during midweek afternoons, according to the report, especially on Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from three to 5 p.m.

Visual search engine Pinterest shares some similarities with TikTok in its unorthodox ideal post times. Early afternoons (between 1 and 3 p.m.) from Wednesdays through Fridays are generally the best times to post on the content-sharing site, but especially around the 1 p.m. hour.

Sprout Social’s "2023 Best Times to Post" report was based on an analysis of nearly two billion social engagements and usage data across 400,000 social profiles among Sprout’s 34,000 customers.