- 28 Abril, 2022

The Best (and Worst) Times for Sports Brands to Post on Social Media

Madison Busick
Madison Busick
Senior Marketing Associate
Comscore

For brands in the sports industry, or those wanting to partner with sports brands, it is essential to understand not only what content performs well, but when that content is most likely to be successful.  

The sports industry has unique patterns for the times of day that see the most engagement in comparison to other industries, so content teams within sports need tailored insights to make the most of their social strategy. Read on for our guide on the ideal times for sports brands to publish their content for maximum engagement. 

Note, this data is in Eastern Time, but the general trends translate across the U.S. 

What is the best time to post on Facebook? 

On average, sports posts published between 12pm and 10pm ET had the highest engagement, with peaks at 4pm and 8pm. The difference in engagement between different publication times is distinct – for example, 8pm posts had over 3.3 times more engagement than 8am posts.  

The biggest days for engagement on Facebook within sports are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, which averaged 35% more engagement than the days with the least engagement, Mondays and Fridays.  

The engagement for sports is much more scattered timewise than U.S. brands overall and tends to skew later in the day. This could be because while fans are watching games and sporting events on TV in the evening, they are also scrolling on smaller screens for the latest social updates, and sports content will resonate with them most then. There was one steep drop on Friday evenings between 5pm and 8pm, which had 67% fewer engagements than the average for that period across the week.  

Sunday evenings for sports brands were the top performing time of the week, with Sunday at 7pm seeing engagement 80% higher than the overall 7pm average.  

Note: the 6 AM outlier here came from the FIFA World Cup account, which had one extremely popular early morning post. As the page reaches a global audience, there is more time zone flexibility.  

US Sports & Recreation Brands: 

Heatmap of Actions for posts on Facebook for US Sports and Rec

Source: Shareablee Insight Studio, US* Sports & Recreation, Total Facebook Actions, March 2022 

 

All US Brands: 

Heatmap of Actions for posts on Facebook for US Brands

Source: Shareablee Insight Studio, US* All, Total Facebook Actions, March 2022 

 

What is the best time to post on Instagram? 

Sports content on Instagram that was posted between 8pm and 10pm performed best every day of the week. For comparison, posts published at 8pm saw 5 times more engagement than posts published at 8am.  While there are some smaller peaks of engagement in the early afternoon for sports content, it is not as consistent as the block we see for overall U.S. brands and does not cover as many days. 

Posts on Instagram performed best on average on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  

Like Facebook users mentioned above, Instagram users are looking for and most engaged with content in the evenings, which fits with the timing of most televised sporting events. Sports brands should focus on getting content out there in the evenings to capture the attention of their fans. 

US Sports & Recreation Brands: 

Heatmap of Actions for posts on Instagram for US Sports and Rec

Source: Shareablee Insight Studio, U.S. Sports & Recreation, Total Instagram Actions, March 2022 

 

All US Brands: 

Heatmap of Actions for posts on Instagram for US Brands

Source: Shareablee Insight Studio, US* All, Total Instagram Actions, March 2022 

 
What is the best time to post on Twitter? 

Sports content on Twitter performs best in the evenings every day of the week, with peaks from 7pm to 9pm on average. Posts at 8pm had 4 times more engagement than posts at 8am. This contrasts with US brands overall that see the most engagement from 11am to 3pm and a much smaller spike on Sundays than sports brands.  

Twitter was the only platform where we saw sports brands have a higher average engagement on the weekends than during the week, with Saturdays and Sundays seeing 16% higher average engagement than the weekdays. U.S. brands overall still had their best days on Tuesday through Thursday, while sports brands’ best days were Saturday and Sunday.  

Sports brands should focus on the evenings and weekends and avoid mornings, especially during the week, to capture the most engagement on Twitter.  

US Sports & Recreation Brands: 

Heatmap of Actions for posts on Twitter for US Sports and Rec

Source: Shareablee Insight Studio, U.S. Sports & Recreation, Total Twitter Actions, March 2022 

 

All US Brands: 

Heatmap of Actions for posts on Twitter for US Brands

Source: Shareablee Insight Studio, US* All, Total Twitter Actions, March 2022 

 

What is the best time to post on YouTube? 

YouTube views are more scattered throughout the day than engagement on the other platforms we have looked at so far. With peaks in views for videos posted at 8am, 2pm, and 10pm to midnight, viewership on sports content varies. What may be more important in this case is when the lowest levels of views are: generally, around 5-8pm. 

As YouTube is a video platform, it makes sense that it would not serve as well as a companion to television viewership as other platforms, which could explain the primetime drop. Instead, YouTube is a place people go to get their sports fix when live events might not be on as prevalently, like earlier in the morning and late at night.  

While U.S. brands overall see the most views on videos posted from Tuesday through Thursday, following trends of the other platforms, sports content on YouTube does the best on Fridays. In fact, videos published by sports brands on Fridays had 53% more views than videos posted on Saturday, the worst day for views.  

Sports brands should stagger their YouTube content so it does not overlap with important television broadcasts, and instead post during the day or later at night to capture the audience looking for more sports to watch on their computer or phone once the television is off. This is a good opportunity for replays and recaps immediately after or the morning after a broadcast. 

US Sports & Recreation Brands: 

Heatmap of Actions for posts on YouTube for US Sports and Rec

Source: Shareablee Insight Studio, U.S. Sports & Recreation, Total YouTube Views, March 2022 

 

All US Brands: 

Heatmap of Actions for posts on YouTube for US Brands

Source: Shareablee Insight Studio, U.S. Sports & Recreation, Total YouTube Views, March 2022

 
Key Takeaways 

As we have seen in this analysis, every industry and platform has distinct times in which content performs the best. It is essential to have data to support a social media strategy that takes this into consideration to avoid generalizations that may not apply to a specific industry or social platform. And it is also important for content teams to understand the ways that their audiences behave and tailor their content to create the biggest impact 

If you would like to learn more or see an engagement heatmap for your brand or industry, get in touch with us here

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