How to Find the Best Time to Tweet for Maximum Engagement

If you are a savvy Twitter marketer, you are always trying to improve your social media results, and there are various factors that contribute to your success. One of the factors affecting your results is the timing of your tweet for maximum exposure.

Per Wiselytics, the average half-life of a tweet is just 24 minutes. And if you tweet during busy hours, your tweets have very slim chances of getting any traction.

However, if you tweet at the right time, your tweets will result in improved engagement including retweets, likes and shares. Naturally, increasing exposure and engagement is and should be every marketer’s dream.

So, What Is the Best Time to Tweet?

Well, there is no one “right answer”. The answer depends on several factors listed below. Also, both you and I can have different answers and that could be our right answers.

The factors that affect the best time to tweet are as follows:

  1. Time Zone: If your followers are in different timezones, there will be multiple time slots that work the best for you. This is because, while your followers in the US, for example, are busy checking their Twitter feeds, your followers in Australia might be fast asleep and vice versa.
  2. Audience Demography: The kind of followers you have and the audience that you are targeting also play an important role in determining your best times to tweet. If you are targeting mostly businesses and enterprises, your best bet might be during office hours on week days. However, if promoting a night club, your best times might be around weekend and after hours.
  3. Type of content: Type of content that you are posting i.e. text, pictures, videos, links to articles, etc. also play a role in tweet engagement. If you are trying to promote a long read article or a very long video, chances are your followers will not click-through during the busiest hours.

But don’t let all these factors overwhelm you. There are definitive ways to figure out when your followers are most active on twitter, and determine the best times to tweet accordingly to make the most out of your efforts. Once you understand these methods, you will be fully equipped to determine the optimum time for your social media posts and see your engagement improve drastically.

Methods to Discover the Best Time to Tweet

There are primarily three ways of discovering to your optimal tweeting times. Each method in itself is good enough to start with so you can start with any method independently. But in order to master your social media strategy, it would be great to combine the three methods and arrive at killer tweeting scheduling.

1. Research

The good news is that various social media experts and data scientists have boiled the Twitter ocean several times to find the most effective tweeting times. Hence, instead of spending hours figuring out the same thing and reinventing the wheel, let us save some time and utilize their conclusions.

Buffer Research

Folks at Buffer analyzed 4.8 million tweets from 10,000 Twitter profiles in a quest to find the best times to tweet for engagement. Their research was very comprehensive which cut across multiple time zones and analyzed tweets for likes, retweets and overall engagement.

Here are the insights from Buffer’s research:

Overall Best Time to Tweet 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. local time
Best Time to Tweet for Most Likes and Retweets 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. local time
Most Popular (Busiest) Time 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Least Popular Time 3 p.m. to 4 p.m

Dan Zarrella

Back in 2009, the original social media scientist, Dan Zarrella, analyzed 40 million tweets over the course of 9 months to find out ways to get maximum retweets. One of the factors he analyzed  was the timing of tweet.

Here are the results from his findings:

Best Days to Tweet for ReTweets Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Best Days to Tweet for CTRs Wednesday and Weekend
Best Times to Tweet for ReTweets  Around 5 p.m.
Best Times to Tweet for CTRs 12 noon and 6 p.m.

CoSchedule

CoSchedule did an original study in 2016 specifically to highlight different times that may be appropriate for B2B and B2C marketers. It is interesting to note that if you have your buyer persona properly defined, it becomes easy to identify the best times to tweet so that you reach the audience at the right time.

Here are the results from CoSchedule study:

Best Time to Tweet 12 noon to 3 p.m.
Best Times to Maximize Retweets and CTRs 12 noon, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Best Days for B2B Tweets Weekdays
Best Days for B2C Tweets Weekends

Neil Patel

No research citing would be complete without going over Neil’s point of view at Quick Sprout. Neil too, explored the difference in timing for B2B and B2C marketers.

Here are the best times to tweet as per Neil Patel:

Best Times to Tweet for Highest Retweets 5 p.m.
Best Times to Tweet for Highest CTRs 12 noon and 6 p.m.
Best Days to Tweet for B2B Tweets Weekdays
Best Days to Tweet for B2B Marketers Wednesday to Sunday

Additionally, there are other studies that I have summed up for your reference.

Source Findings
Huffington Post Best Time to Tweet: 12 noon to 5 p.m.
Best Days to Tweet for B2B Tweets: Monday to Friday
Marketing Profs/TrackMaven  Best Time to Tweet: 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Best Day to Tweet: Sunday
Forbes/TruConversion Best Time to Tweet for Retweets: 3 p.m.
Best Time to Tweet Overall: 5 p.m.
Best Days to Tweet for B2B Tweets: Monday to Thursday
Best Days to Tweet for B2C Tweets: Wednesday & Weekends
HootSuite Best Time to Tweet: 3 p.m.
Best Day to Tweet: Monday to Friday

Key Takeaway

There are several research out there advising on best time to tweet. You can try implementing some common recommendations to see if they work for you. As explained earlier, multiple factors determine the best time to tweet and so don’t lose heart if you don’t see any improvements after implementing these recommendations. There are other ways too, to find out your optimal tweeting time.

2.Tools

Apart from the above research, there are two interesting tools available for free (freemium actually) which can give you indicative data on what might be your ideal times to tweet.

Tweriod

Tweriod is a standalone tool that just one thing – analyze the best time to tweet for your profile. No wonder it is so good at what it does. Once you signup for Tweriod with your Twitter profile, they’ll start processing your personalized report and DM you on Twitter once the report is ready. It’s really that simple.

Tweriod has three basic reports that tell you what you need to know:

i) General Stats

General stats gives you all the information you need to know about what are the best times to tweet and when your followers are generally online. General Stats is further divided in two sections:

Most exposure when tweeted

This section gives you the precise time for weekdays, weekend, and the busiest days for your twitter followers. Tweriod doesn’t break down the time suggestion further to indicate what is the best time to tweet for retweets or what is the best time to improve CTRs, but instead it provides just the best timeslots overall for particular days, weekdays or weekends.

Remember: this time is the best time for the profile you selected and it is not generalized suggestion. Since this is customized for your profile, this is as accurate as it gets.

Most followers are online between

This section on the main dashboard gives you information about the times when your followers are online the most. Like the previous suggestion, this report is broken down for weekends, weekdays, and the busiest days.

ii) Hourly Graphs

Hourly graphs tell you the number of your followers that are online for each hour on weekdays, weekends, and your busiest days.

iii) @replies

Similar to hourly graphs,@replies graphs tell you about the replies that you would have received over weekdays, weekends, and your busiest days. There’s a limit on the number of replies that Tweriod processes, but the sample size is large enough to be accurate.

How does Tweriod get this data?

Behind the scenes, Tweriod fetches the list of your followers and analyzes their last 200 tweets to figure out their online activities. If you have more than 1000 followers, Tweriod will analyze data of your last 1000 followers. Premium plans analyze data for as many as 50,000 followers.

Followerwonk

Followerwonk is a pretty useful tool developed by Moz that connects your Twitter profile to generate detailed analysis of your followers, discover influencers, analyze content that increases engagement, and follow/unfollow new profiles.

The feature that helps us discover the best time to post is figuring out when our followers are online.

Since finding the best time to tweet is not it’s sole purpose, followerwonk gives pretty limited information on when our users are online. The above chart is standard and does not break down information by weekdays, weekend or the busiest days.

Key Takeaway

Tools like Tweriod and followerwonk can certainly give you better insights in the activities of your followers and hence can suggest the best times to tweet that are relevant to your audience and your profile.

3. Experiments & A/B Testing

 If you are not satisfied with the above research, data and the tools, you can also launch your own personalized experiments, and that too without spending a lot of time or money.

The tools that you can use to launch your personal experiments are SocialPilot, HootSuite and Buffer. All these tools are social media scheduling tools that help you to share tweets on autopilot mode.

You can connect your Twitter account with one of the tools and pick a schedule that you think works the best, based on a combination of your experience, above research, and tools. For a week or 10 days, you can publish the tweets using these tools and measure results through their analytics feature. For the next week, you can pick another schedule and run the same test. After running 3-4 tests and measuring results, you will get an idea as to which schedule works the best for your audience and your content.

Conclusion

There is a lot of research out there to help you find the best time to tweet. Tools like Tweroid and Followerwork can also be pretty useful in analyzing your followers. If you are looking for the best schedule customized for your audience and your content, tools like SocialPilot and Hootsuite can be extremely helpful.

So take action today and find out the best time to tweet to improve engagement and increase followers. Let me know how it goes for you.

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