There’s more to Twitter marketing than writing engaging Tweets. (Trust us, we wish it was that simple). All the pieces of the puzzle need to fit together, and knowing the best time to post on Twitter is a big one.
So how do you know when to post on Twitter to increase your reach and drive more engagement?
In this post, we’re going to look at everything you need to know about peak posting times for Twitter, including:
why publication time matters
why brands have unique peak posting times
how to find your own best time to post on Twitter
universal best times to post on Twitter
Is there actually a best time to post on Twitter?
Most social media platforms today don’t have entirely time-based time feeds, and that includes Twitter.
Twitter’s algorithm takes several factors into consideration when compiling each user’s personal feed, prioritizing the following:
Content that’s similar to what the user has interacted with
Content from profiles that the user frequently interacts with
Tweets that have already gotten a high number of Retweets, responses, or shares
Timeliness, with more recent content given a competitive edge
Timeliness is, of course, the part that we’re going to focus on here. While it’s not the only factor that impacts where your content appears in a users’ feed, it is a factor.
If you’re able to post close to when your audience will be online and active, your Tweet has a better chance of gaining early visibility, which can, in turn, lead to higher engagement. And higher engagement can result in wider reach and more impact.
What are the universal best times to post on Twitter?
While every brand will have its own unique peak posting times (we’ll discuss this in a minute), there are some general good practices that apply across the board.
If you want to test out posting at new times, are looking to expand your reach to new audiences, or have a relatively young account without a lot of data, starting with general Schedule your tweets.
While this will shift over time based on changes in user behavior, we know that currently, the best time to post on Twitter is 8:00 AM on Mondays and Thursdays.
The Hootsuite social team experimented with different posting times and found slightly broader results: for their account, the peak posting times were weekdays at 6-9 AM PST.
This is when Twitter users start their day, and since Twitter is a news-based platform, it makes sense that users would sign in in the morning to see what’s new, check for notifications, and potentially even engage with Tweets on their daily commute or over morning coffee.
That being said, it may be a good idea to sprinkle content throughout the day even if you’re posting most heavily during the morning hours.
Why every brand’s best time to post on Twitter is different
Every brand’ has a unique “best posting time” on Twitter because different audiences have unique online behavior patterns.
Here are a few examples:
Businesses targeting college students may find that they’re most actively engaging in the late evening after plenty of younger and older users have gone to bed.
Brands that are targeting nurses for products like scrubs might notice erratic online behavior centered around the breaks in a nurse’s 12 hour overnight shifts.
Organizations trying to target teenagers would likely be most successful after school hours are over but before 10pm since many high schoolers have to wake up early the next day.
This doesn’t even account for businesses trying to reach audiences across different time zones (or even continents). Of course 4pm EST on Tuesdays might be a great time to reach a high school student in Florida but a terrible time to reach them in California when they’re still in school.
It’s important, therefore, to know how to find the best times to post on Twitter for your brand and your audience.
How to find your best posting times for Twitter
Want to find the best times to post on Twitter for your audience right now?
There are a few ways to do this.
One option is to go to Twitter’s native analytics platform, which is available to all accounts. You can view past Tweet performance, and look for trends linking the times posted with higher activity levels. This requires a lot of work and may not always be the most accurate right off the bat, but it can provide strong insights over time — and it’s free.
Twitter’s analytics to find the best time to post on Twitter
Another option is to use Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish tool, which shows you personalized recommendations for when your brand should be posting on Twitter. The heatmap analyzes the performance of your past posts and suggests optimal posting times for different goals: engagement and awareness.
Best time to post on Twitter illustrated as a heat map grid of days of the week and times of the day
For more actionable insights, use Hootsuite’s detailed analytics to see which of your existing Tweets outperformed others in terms of engagement.
So, when should you post on Twitter?
Once you have information about when your audience is most active online and engages with your content, the next step is to start testing. You most likely already A/B test every part of your social media marketing efforts, and this is just an extension of that. (If you don’t, check out our comprehensive guide to split testing.)
Be intentional about testing peak posting times. Write down a list of different times you want to assess, and share similar content across different times and days of the week.
Hootsuite’s social media scheduling tool makes this easier. You can create Tweets (complete with media files and links) in advance and schedule them to go live at any time of the day (or night). You can even schedule duplicate posts to go up at different times weeks apart to increase the accuracy of the test.
Hootsuite post scheduler
Make sure to keep an eye on your analytics. See which posting times drive the most reach, likes, responses, clicks, and retweets. This can help you determine the best times to post different types of content for your unique audience over time.
When finding peak posting times, remember to do the following:
Consider unique audience segments
You might realize that you’re consistently reaching brand new moms who are up at all hours of the evening with posts that go live first thing in the morning, but not moms of toddlers who have their hands full from 6 to 9 AM.
You might notice this by seeing an uptick in users clicking on newborn-related content, but not toddler-related content. Adjust accordingly, testing the toddler content at different times to see if you’re able to reach that segment of your target audience.
Account for different time zones
Plenty of countries span multiple time zones. Canada and the United States are made up of six different time zones each.
If you’re trying to reach an entire nation with your content (or even multiple countries across different continents), you must account for different time zones. Consider this in your testing phase to see when you can capture most of your audience.
Monitor and adapt as needed
Over time, user behavior patterns change. Algorithms change, too. And new platforms emerge in the market. Each individual factor can change a brand’s best times to post on Twitter.
This can be downright frustrating when you’ve put all that work into finding the peak posting times that work only to have them change six months or a year later.
This is, however, part of the social media marketing game, frustrating as it is. Staying on top of your content and re-assessing your posting strategy every six months (or when there’s a known change) is a good call. Tools like Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature can save you tons of time and manual research, and provide you with accurate information when you need it.
While so many different factors go into getting results on Twitter, and exceptional content should be the core of any Twitter strategy, knowing the best time to Tweet can substantially increase your account’s performance over time.
It does take time to find your individual best posting times, but the right tools, best practices, and testing patterns will help you build a Twitter posting strategy that will drive the best results.
Want to get immediate and actionable insight into the best times to post on Twitter for your brand right now? Check out Hootsuite’s analytics tools here.
What do you think? How do you find your brand’s best times to post on Twitter? Which tools were most helpful to you? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!