The best time to tweet: Our 4.8 million-tweet research studyOur key learningsWow, we learned so much looking at the awesome stats from those who use Buffer! Here were some of the takeaways we came up with. I’d love to hear what catches your eye, too!
What we love to do with specific takeaways like this is use them as the starting points for new experiments.
Over time we’ve come to learn that research studies like these are great for inspiration, not prescription. I’d pause slightly in suggesting that you change your whole Buffer schedule to align with these new Twitter times—unless your data and analysis says so!
What I’d love to suggest is that these new times perhaps give you ideas about what to test out next with your social media sharing, perhaps some counterintuitive suggestions about what to try—tweeting at non-peak times, tweeting at 2:00 a.m. for clicks, for instance.
And we’d love to hear back on how any of these tests turn out for you!
The most popular time to tweet:Noon to 1:00 p.m.We’ve taken the data from all tweets sent through Buffer to find the most popular times for posting to Twitter. Looking at all tweets sent across all major time zones, here is an overview of the most popular times to tweet.
The most popular time to tweet is also the time when there is the highest volume of tweets, perhaps making it a bit more difficult for your tweet to stand out in someone’s timeline.
What might be great to try here is tweeting at non-peak hours, the times in the early morning and late evening.
Another thought is that the most popular times to tweet could very well correlate to the times when most people are on Twitter. Perhaps it’s worth testing also to see if tweeting during a popular time is worthwhile simply for the amount of people who are online.
(One great stat to look at with this is tweet impressions, which you can find in Twitter’s free analytics.)
Here’s the chart for the most popular times worldwide, taken from an average of 10 major time zones (the times represent local time).
Here is the graph for the most popular times to tweet in each of the four major U.S. time zones.
(Note: The London (GMT) time zone used to be the default time zone for new Buffer users, so our data for GMT is not as clean as we would like it to be. We’ve omitted any takeaways for GMT from the research results here.)
It’s interesting to see how the most popular time to tweet varies across the time zones. We’ve shared Buffer’s 10 most popular time zones in the charts above. Here’s a list of each most popular hour for the 10 major time zones.
Takeaways & thoughts:
The best times to tweet to get more clicks
We were excited to dig into the specific metrics for each of these tweets, too, in hopes of coming up with some recommendations and best practices to test out for your Twitter strategy.
First up, the best time to tweet for clicks.
Looking at the data, we found the following trends for maximizing your chance to get more clicks:
What you might do with this dataWe were fascinated to see that the best time to earn the most clicks on average was the middle of the night. It’s a quite counterintuitive results!
One interpretation here is that with this being the average, there is the possibility that outliers can have a large impact on the data—for instance an tweet that gets 4,000 clicks at 2:00 a.m. would raise the average significantly.
So what I might take away from this is that tweeting at 2:00 a.m. would likely not mean that every 2:00 a.m. tweet will see really high click numbers but that every once in awhile a 2:00 a.m. tweet could really take off.
** Scroll to the bottom of the post for an updated explanation of this data (as well as some alternate views). We’re very grateful for all the helpful comments on this! **
The data in the below chart is the worldwide average, calculated for the local time in each time zone. So the peak at the 2:00 a.m. hour would hold true as the overall top time no matter which time zone you’re in—2:00 a.m. in Los Angeles, New York, Cape Town, Hong Kong, etc.
For the specifics on each of the best time to tweet for clicks in each of the major time zones in Buffer, here’s a breakdown.
Takeaways & thoughts:
The best times for overall engagement with your tweet
We define engagement as clicks plus retweets, favorites, and replies. When looking at all these interactions together, we found the following trends for maximizing your chance to get the most engagement on your tweets:
Takeaways & thoughts:
The best times for retweets and favorites on your tweets
Adding together two of the most common engagement metrics, we found some interesting trends for maximizing the retweets and favorites on your tweets, especially for those with a U.S. audience.
Looking at 1.1 million tweets from U.S. Buffer users from January through March 2015, here were some of the notable takeaways we found:
We’d love to make it easy for you to share these results with your audience, your friends, your clients—anyone you think might benefit from them.
>> Download every chart from this post (.zip) <<
The methodology for our research
We studied all tweets ever sent through Buffer—4.8 million tweets since October 2010!
Based on this sample set, we looked at the number of clicks per tweet, favorites per tweet, retweets per tweet, and replies per tweet, in accordance with the time of day that the tweet was posted to Twitter.
Further, we segmented the results according to time zones, based on the assumption that the learnings might be more actionable if they could be specific to exactly where you live and work.
We had an interesting opportunity to consider whether median or average would be the better metric to use for our insights. It turns out that so many tweets in the dataset receive minimal engagement that the median was often zero. For this reason, we chose to display the average.