Optimal Send Times

New to Sprout Social? Learn more about our Sprout Queue, ViralPost and Optimal Send Times here.

Sprout’s Optimal Send Times in Compose helps you identify the best send times for posting content on a specific day—available on Sprout’s Professional and Advanced plans. Within the Optimal Send Times dropdown of the Compose window, you can see the top seven ideal send times for your selected profiles. You can see Optimal Send Times from both Sprout’s web and mobile apps.

Optimal Send Times eliminates the timing guesswork of posting content by offering a list of suggested times based on engagement factors, enabling you to maximize the reach of your content.

Note: If you’re not scheduling for a specific day but still want to send your posts with optimal engagement, you can add content to the Sprout Queue and schedule it with ViralPost.



Scheduling with Optimal Send Times 

Your Optimal Send Times are automatically calculated without any manual setup. To schedule with Optimal Send Times:

  1. Choose your network(s) in Compose.
  2. Click Specific Days and Times next to When to post.  
  3. Click the Use Optimal Times dropdown to see your recommended times. The number stars next to the time correlate with a time that’s likely for higher engagement (the more the better).
  4. Click the time you want to use to schedule your post.


Calculating Optimal Send Times

The listed Optimal Send Times are based on the engagement of your selected profiles and your audience’s engagement with you (e.g. comments, likes, sending PMs/DMs, etc). Sprout looks back at the audience engagement of the selected pages or profiles to identify the best times to post. Some of the considered engagement metrics include interactions with posts, comments and messaging. If your profiles don't have enough engagement to warrant useful times, Sprout defaults to global engagement trends.

Times are calculated for each profile on all of your networks. You’ll notice that the times change based on the networks you’ve selected. To fully optimize your content, you might consider scheduling your content separately if you intend to post on multiple profiles. To schedule the same content for another profile click the arrow next to Schedule >Schedule + Duplicate

To factor in global reach, recommended times are based on the time zone specified in your Personal Settings. If you’re seeing fewer than seven suggested post times, the suggested post times you’re not seeing have passed for the selected day.

Ongoing calculations

Optimal Times continue to calculate based on when your audience is active. Times can shift depending on world events and when your audience is most active, and Sprout continues to adjust your times regularly. 

If you are looking at times for the current day and you notice the times slightly shift, this is intentional. This prevents you from scheduling after a time has already passed and avoids bunching too many messages at once. While an exact optimal minute is calculated on the back end, a small window of time is recalculated to help you schedule within that time frame. Selecting times for future dates won’t have much variance.

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