LinkedIn was once viewed as a platform where professionals can connect with like-minded peers, look for jobs, and follow company updates. As the years progressed, it became one of the most powerful marketing platforms for companies in the realm of B2B marketing and sales. It provides individuals and reps an opportunity to connect with industry leaders and decision-makers on a more grounded level.
In the world of millennial CEOs, cold calls are a thing of the past. No one wants to accept calls from strangers only to be sold something. Nowadays, people want connections they can assess precisely. They want to see who they are dealing with, do as much research as possible, and weigh all the options before they finalize a purchase. This practice was widespread before, but now it is easier than ever to know who is selling you something, and who that someone is.
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn start to play a crucial role at a time when people realize that connections are everything. Nowadays, three degrees of separation is everything you as a marketer need to cover to reach a broad audience. Producing high-quality, high-value, engaging content makes the job that much more comfortable, and LinkedIn allows you to share your campaigns with the world.
Becoming active on LinkedIn and sharing the content is, sadly, not enough. Marketers need to think about many things, but the most important one is reaching their audience. Therefore, there is absolutely no point in producing and sharing content if it is getting posted at the wrong time when the audience is not online to see it. So, what is the best time to post on LinkedIn?
When Is The Best Time To Post On LinkedIn?
Thursday – Friday
8 am – 2 pm
9 am – 10 am
8 am – 2 pm
There is no perfect answer to this question. However, with the help of many social media automation tools and their statistics, one can choose the optimal time of posting for their target audience. SproutSocial conducted research on ideal posting times for all social media platforms, one of which is LinkedIn. They found that Wednesday from 9 am to 10 am, and around noon are the hours when the users are most engaged.
If you are posting on a Tuesday, make sure that it is between 8 am and 2 pm. These times are ideal as the activity lessens after that because of the work tasks users have to go over. Thursday and Friday seem to be similar to Tuesdays, with the safest times to post being from 8 am to 2 pm.
Evenings are generally not the best times to post on LinkedIn, as the platform experiences a drop in engagement. This is normal since people usually tend to relax in the evenings. And if they do have to work, it is because of high-priority tasks when they have no time to browse through social media.
Focus on posting during peak engagement hours
Avoid publishing on weekends and evenings
Be wary of posting on low-engagement days
What Is The Best Day To Post On LinkedIn
As far as what day works best for posting on LinkedIn, SproutSocial and other social media automation tools that conducted their own research found that most effective and engaged posting days go as follows:
Thursday - Friday
Image source: SproutSocial
Wednesday is by far the most engaged day. Wednesday, as the middle of the workweek, is when things are in full swing work-wise. However, the pressure is also on, which makes users want to wind down and take a much-needed break from their hectic job environment. Therefore, they are most engaged on Wednesdays, right when they get to work and start getting ready for the day, and before and around lunchtime.
Since LinkedIn is used mainly by professionals during work hours, they found that the activity on the platform rises on Tuesday, after the Monday craze that people go through. Thursdays and Fridays are similar, as they are usually less anxiety-inducing, and people can generally spread their tasks evenly.
Weekends, naturally, get the lowest engagement, which is fair since people don’t want to think about work stuff on their days off. Mondays are also not popular for social media in general, especially LinkedIn, since people are just getting back to work after their time off and tackle the tasks in front of them in full swing. Therefore, they do not have time to browse LinkedIn, unless if their job is of a social media manager.
The Issue of Time Zones When Posting on LinkedIn
Since the world is not concentrated on one meridian only, time zones are a real struggle for marketers who deal with leads and customers from all over the world. It is excellent if you are focusing your attention on only one European country, which only has one time zone. However, most businesses tend to target larger chunks of the Earth and have to deal with them.
The first thing you need to figure out is your ideal target audience. For US or Canadian companies, the most sensible time zone to pick is Eastern Standard Time, as it is the one with the largest population and the highest number of businesses. But, if the target audience is in Western Europe, choose the GMT time zone as a default.
Of course, as companies grow, so do their audiences. What will likely have to happen is that you will have to adjust your posting times or create more content to post multiple times a day. In these scenarios, you can use one of the content scheduling tools to help you with automation and efficiency.
Another solution to this problem is focusing on creating niche groups on LinkedIn. You can invite specific individuals to your groups based on their location, and encourage them to invite their peers who live and work in the same country. Then, you can post to the groups at specific times and always have high engagement, since the group members will be in the same time zones and usually online at the same time.
Posting in your preferred time zone
Creating groups for leads in different time zones
Test to see which time zone is most engaged
When Is The Best Time To Send A LinkedIn InMail?
Marketing does not stop at a daily blog post, article, video, or another content form. Marketing continues to private messaging via sponsored or non-sponsored InMail messages. To make your InMail efforts count, make sure you're, first of all, crafting a good message. Even if you send it in the best possible time, a bad InMail will not get the job done. Therefore, many experts advise using LinkedIn InMail templates that have been tried and tested to get the best results.
According to research, the response rate to messages on LinkedIn is three times higher than with emails. This is because inboxes tend to get cluttered and littered with unwanted emails, which, depending on where you operate from, can get you in a lot of trouble.
Canada has passed the Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL for short) which states that recipients must give expressed or implied consent to receiving emails from companies or marketers. This means that cold emailing, when done wrong, can lead to bad scores with your automated email platform, a number of spam complaints, and even lawsuits if the recipient wants to take it this far.
Many countries will follow Canada’s example; therefore, marketers who are unsure of their cold emailing practices are turning to alternative channels of reaching their leads directly. So, what is the best time to send a message on LinkedIn?
Similar to posting, you want to target the times when your recipients are online, which means that the times would align with the posting times – usually from 8 am to 2 pm on weekdays. Wednesdays are still the most engaged days, so make sure to catch them early in the morning on a Wednesday, or just before lunch.
Messages sent in the evenings and weekends do not have a high response rate. However, afternoons are not as detrimental as with simple posts due to the fact that most people receive notifications when they get a new message.
The number of LinkedIn app users is rising, which means that notifications are getting more instant. LinkedIn users who choose not to install another app still receive an email notification when they have a new message. Of course, the highest response rates come from people who follow your company already or are in the same LinkedIn group as you.
Of course, never forget the power of personalization. Sending a generic message can be annoying for the recipient and make them disregard your message entirely when they see that it has nothing to do with them. They can also get frustrated when they realize they are just another name on your recipient list. Things you can do to personalize a message:
Refer to them by their name
Mention a mutual connection
Insert a blurb about their interests
Mention why they would benefit from responding, but be subtle
Make sure to spend some time crafting a perfect message that can be customized easily. Referencing a shared connection or colleague that you both had the pleasure to work with increases the chances of a response. The recipient has to see that they are talking to a real human and not a marketing bot.
Worst Time to Post on Linkedin
A message or a post is worth only if it accomplishes what it was intended to do - have people read it and react to it. Many rookie marketers make the mistake of taking themselves and their circle of friends and coworkers as a representation of the entire user base of a social media platform, in this case, LinkedIn.
Young professionals who are just starting their careers may spend hours and hours browsing LinkedIn, connecting, reacting, and reading every post they come across. However, that is not the case with seasoned professionals who have some years of experience or act as decision-makers or founders in their companies.
Therefore, marketers have to conduct research and notice the patterns in their potential audience’s behavior. Social media automation tools usually do their own research and publish the information they gathered to aid their users when it comes to ideal posting times.
According to every social media automation tool, the absolute worst days to post anything or message anyone on LinkedIn is over the weekend and on Mondays.
As far as time goes, professionals usually try to avoid social media platforms such as LinkedIn in the evenings, when they want to forget about work and get ready for the next day. Messaging someone towards the end of the workday is not a great idea either. They are either packing up to go home or speeding through tasks that need to be finished by the end of the day.
Avoid posting on low-engagement days
Do not message leads during their time off
Don’t waste good content on non-engaged days
LinkedIn Content Best Practices that Drive Growth
Finally, no amount of planning, tools, automation software or research can rise above some of the simplest things that many people overlook when it comes to LinkedIn. What are some of the best practices that can help with engagement rates of your content?
Great Summary. When people scroll through LinkedIn and find a post that sparks their interest, they usually check who posted it as well. Whether you are posting as a person or a company, having an excellent summary or a clear About section is essential when it comes to getting to know the human behind the post.
Use keywords that reflect your industry and profession.
Share your passion.
Good photo. Make sure you are using a professional photo that is not underlit, overexposed, or inappropriate.
Clear profile. There is nothing worse than a messy profile for a marketer. If you are not able to make your online persona organized and clear, how can you market a solution to a potential customer?
Link-free posts. LinkedIn wants to keep users on their platform, and as a result of that, they boost the reach of posts that do not contain external links. External links take their users away from their website, which can make your post invisible to a considerable portion of your connections or followers. This strategy is similar to what Facebook is doing right now with their Pages. In this case, you can utilize the LinkedIn Articles and post your content directly on the platform.
Use Automation Tools on the Best Day to Publish on LinkedIn
Successful marketers and social media managers know the value the automation tools provide. They help in both the short and long run since they offer a place where content can be distributed appropriately, planned, and posted with just a few clicks.
Automation can free up their time and save energy on a daily basis. It allows them to focus more on creating and curating valuable content that can generate leads, sales, and engagement from the audience. Some of the most popular automation tools on the market today are:
Buffer is one of the OG automation platforms popularized by Instagram and Twitter users and then expanded to other social media such as LinkedIn. With their Publish product, you can plan and publish content on a multitude of platforms all at once. As far as LinkedIn goes, you can punch in the exact times when you want your posts to go live. You can create and preview them before they are posted, and the platform allows you to schedule a month or more worth of content in just a few hours.
Hootsuite is also one of the oldest automation platforms that allow users to schedule posts in advance and have it all done in one day. Hootsuite Auto Scheduling can choose the optimal posting time for maximum engagement. You can import hundreds of posts in a CSV format and save a lot of time with this method. You can also utilize their content calendar to plan your posts so they make sense in the long run.
CoSchedule and its Social Organizer allow marketers to streamline their social media posts by mapping out their content in a calendar. They can also build campaigns and schedule them at the same time. They have a feature called Best Time Scheduling, which shows the ideal posting times for each social media platform the posts are to be published on. With the Conversations Inbox, marketers can reply to comments, answer questions, and provide support to the commenters who engage with their posts. Of course, just like with every other platform, they can access the analytics of their posts and see which ones got the most engagement.
SocialPilot is a marketing automation tool that allows users to cross-post on multiple platforms and schedule their content months in advance. Marketers can customize each post, mention pages, and profiles, as well as schedule carousel posts with multiple images on platforms that allow it. They also offer a content calendar for more straightforward navigation, as well as curated content for days when you do not have anything planned.
Sprout Social, and its Publishing product offers users an easy way to organize, plan, and publish their campaigns and content pieces across the social media sphere. Marketers can specify the dates and times of posts going live, utilize the power of images with the simple image editing feature, and organize everything into a coherent whole. They also offer optimal post times so users can focus more on the content, and not when the content goes live.
Agorapulse offers a simple scheduling feature that lets users organize their content quickly and have it ready for publishing. They have an option of resharing evergreen content, organizing it into queue categories, importing the bulk of the material in a CSV file, and tracking the traffic through bitly integration.
Why does time matter?
In the world of social media, timing is everything. Not only is it important to post content at times when it will make the most impact, but it is also essential to think about the timing of said content.
Social media automation tools are great, but they pose a considerable risk of being inappropriate in times of hardships and scandals that seem to happen regularly nowadays. Nothing can kill a brand’s public image than being insensitive to the world’s climate when it comes to events, tragedies, or burning issues that go on.
Therefore, marketers need to be ready to react and do not take automation lightly. It is a great way to save time and not worry about little things such as the time of day when the post needs to go up. However, it is only a software algorithm that cannot know how the real world works.
During natural disasters, after a devastating attack, or in the midst of an influencer scandal, brands need to carefully curate and adjust their content so it can provide value, commentary, or support during the dire times.
And this is something only a human can do, and something that trumps all ideal posting times, automation tools, and carefully crafted content pieces and messages that need to go out. Humanizing the brand is the most crucial ingredient for success.