What's the Best Time of Day to Post (Tweet) on Twitter?

New Twitter Study Suggests When You Should Be Able to Maximize Results

Photo © Thanasak Wanichpan / Getty Images

If you run a Twitter account for a website, a business, or for anything else other than for personal reasons, it's important to know whether your followers are actually seeing and engaging with you. Knowing the best time of day to tweet is essential if you want to make the most out of your social media presence and maximize engagement.

Buffer, a popular social media management tool, published its findings for the best time of day to tweet, based on extensive Twitter research using data collected over the past five years from almost five million tweets across 10,000 profiles.

All time zones were taken into consideration, looking at the most popular time to tweet, the best time to get clicks, the best time for favs and RTs and the best time for overall engagement.

If You Just Want to Tweet When Everyone Else Is Doing It

According to the study, the most popular time to tweet, regardless of where you are in the world, is between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. in your time zone. Tweets start really piling up around 11:00 a.m., peaking sometime after noon but before 1:00 p.m. hits. Volume is at its lowest for the hour in the early morning between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.

If You Want to Maximize Clicks

Tweets that include links receive more clicks on average if they're tweeted out in the very early morning hours in your local time zone -- between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Interestingly enough, the least amount of clicks you can expect to receive is between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., or when volume is highest.

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If You Want to Maximize Engagement

Accounts that don't tweet as many links might be more interested in getting more retweets and favs than clicks. In the study, Buffer looked at just over one million tweets coming from US-based accounts to study fav and RT engagement. The highest humber of favs and RTs per tweet on average occur between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m in the US, peaking sometime between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

If You Want More Clicks Plus More Engagement

On average, you can expect to receive the most clicks and engagement (RTs, favs and replies) by tweeting again between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. The highest amount of engagement occurs in the middle of the night, between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. -- coinciding with when volume is low. Clicks plus engagement per tweet is at its lowest during traditional work hours between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

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An Important Note Regarding the Study

If you were surprised to find out that the best time get clicks and more overall engagement was so early in the morning according to this study, you're not alone. Keep in mind that these numbers have been averaged out.

Buffer added a note at the end pointing out that the number of followers of a particular account can largely influence clicks and engagement, and looking at the median rather than the average may have turned up more accurate results if so many tweets included in the dataset didn't have such little engagement. Types of content, the day of the week, and even messaging also play important roles here. These were not accounted for in the study.

In addition, accounts with large followings that are active late at night unsurprisingly see significantly more clicks and engagement -- possibly having greater influence on how it all averaged out to reveal the time between 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. to be the best for maximizing clicks and engagement.

So, should you set up your tweets to be scheduled to go out so early in the morning? Maybe, but possibly not. Remember that your results will vary depending on the content you put out, who your followers are, their demographics, their jobs, where they're located, your relationship with them and so on.

If most of your followers are 9-to-5 workers living in the Eastern Standard Time Zone, tweeting at 2:00 a.m. EST on a weekday may not work out so great for you. On the other hand, if you're targeting college kids on Twitter, tweeting very late or very early in the morning may bring up better results.

Keep these findings from this study in mind, and use them to experiment with your own Twitter strategy. And be sure to check out the full study on Buffer for all the graphs, time zone-specific findings, and other nitty gritty details.

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