What is the best time to post on Twitter in 2020?
You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that the best time to post on Twitter (or any of your social media platforms is when most of your following are online.
But it’s not quite as easy to figure out when those individuals are most likely to Tweet, comment or share your posts.
And when they engage, you can respond.
Being online at the same time as your audience also gives you a better chance to engage in conversations they may be following.
It makes sense that to find the best time to post on Twitter you need to know your audience’s lifestyle habits, location, time zone, whether or not they commute to work, how often they stay up late - the list goes on.
We’ll be focusing on the best times to post to Twitter pre-Covid-19, and post Covid-19, so we've got a better look at all angles. As we all know, coronavirus has thrown a spanner in the works of most people’s day-to-day routines, and as a result, more people are spending time on social media.
Sprout Social has gathered data on how increased screen time has changed.
Interestingly, Twitter habits haven’t changed that much. People use the channel today just as much as pre-lockdown.
The social network has also doubled up as a place where people get their news, updates on amenities opening, and safety guidelines.
The study noticed that although 9am Friday was always a popular time to post, the best time slot to post on Twitter has widened to from 7am to 9am.
Wednesday at 9am was also found to be a top time for Twitter users to post after Covid-19. However, Saturday was the worst day post on Twitter.
According to Hubspot, the best time to Tweet is from noon to 3pm or later at 5pm. This coincides with the lunchtime catch-up, afternoon slump and the time people are on the commute home.
QuickSprout advises posting from noon all the way up to 6pm, but says to avoid weekends all together.
Hootsuite research shows that the best time to post on Twitter is between 9am and 4pm on Monday and Thursday, and especially from 11am to 1pm.
Head into your ContentCal Calendar, and select the ‘Analytics’ tab in on the top menu
To see your best times to publish across all channels, select ‘All’ at the top left. Right now ContentCal supports analytics for Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Choose the time period you’d like to select for the data to be relevant.
Scroll down to the ‘Best time to post graph’ to see when you should be posting on each of your channels.
Once you’ve discovered which times are the best to post content, you’ll want to add these into ContentCal as 'preset publish times'.
Within your content calendar, you can also decide on different publish times, before you or someone on your team posts. These allow you to quickly choose from a list of optimum times when scheduling new posts, maximising reach and getting rid of any doubts about if it's the right time to be posting.
Head into ‘setup’ from within your Calendar and scroll down to the ‘preset times’ area.
Select ‘create preset time’ and enter a time of your choice.
When scheduling a post, select the dropdown beside the timepicker to generate and select from a list of your preset times.
💡 Pro tip: Regularly make use of the ‘random’ option when scheduling your content to assign a random publishing time to your post. This will allow you to continue testing other publish times that may see an unexpected pick up in engagement.
A 2020 Sprout Social study (released before the outbreak of Covid-19) noted that although between 8am and 4pm weekdays is a good time to post on social media, it does vary depending on whether you’re a B2C or B2B brand.
Posting on Twitter also changes depending on which B2B industry your company is in.
Here’s how the average day on Twitter goes:
8am - 11am: It’s busy. People are tuning in to read the day’s news. 12pm - 4pm: Pretty busy. People are taking time off from their work to quickly find out what the rest of the world is up to. 5pm - 9pm: Not so busy. People are doing other things after a day of work. 9pm onward: Pretty much dead. Apart from a few night owls, everyone’s asleep.
The reason it’s so popular in the early morning is because followers tune in for news. After 4pm, they finish work and go home to cook and relax, or go see friends - avoiding social media.
Although engagement figures aren’t as high during the week, people use Twitter at the weekend more than other channels, such as Facebook - probably because it’s so easy to tune in and out of.
A survey by CoSchedule found that:
B2C businesses get the most engagement between 8am and 10am. B2B businesses get the best engagement either early in the morning between 7am and 8am, at 11am, or later in the day, at 6pm or 9pm.
That would by Sunday at 11am. Why? Because people aren’t up to much. And because all of the B2B accounts have gone quiet for the weekend.
In fact, all weekend is a good time for B2C companies to get the attention of their Twitter audience.
Unsurprisingly, the worst day for B2C companies to get our attention is Monday. That’s because we’re all in work mode.
Like with other social media platforms, the best time to post on Twitter varies by sector and industry.
Here’s what CoSchedule reports as the best time to post per sector:
Twitter is an essential part of any journalist’s beat.
It’s where they receive tip-offs from the public, gather quotes, get news first, promote articles and spark debate.
As a rule of thumb, the best time to post news is as soon as it’s available. However, that doesn’t always match up to people’s reading habits.
The best time to post on Twitter is Wednesday at 9am and Thursday at 9am and 8pm. Though any time in the morning on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday is when your posts are likely to get the most engagements.
Key days for the media to post are Thursday and Friday. The worst day for media accounts to post on Twitter is Saturday.
The worst times for engagement are Monday to Wednesday before 5am and after 9pm. That probably seems quite obvious, as people will be asleep.
However, you may not know that Saturday and Sunday afternoons are also a ‘dead time’, when you shouldn’t schedule the posts you want to perform best.
Overall, it’s best to post between 6am to 7am, 11am, between 7pm to 8pm, and at 10 pm.
Do you work in a school, university or other educational institution and want to maximise your audience engagement?
Then be prepared to schedule your posts at a time that’s totally different than we’ve seen for all other sectors.
Then be prepared to schedule your posts at a time that’s totally different than we’ve seen for all other sectors.
That’s because the best time to post is between 5pm and 6pm on Saturday. In fact, Saturday is the best day overall for companies in the education sector to post on Twitter.
The worst day for education organizations to post is Sunday.
The best weekday times to get engagement on education posts is between 9am and 2pm.
The best time to post on Twitter for higher education organisations such as universities is outside of working hours. 8am, 5pm, 7pm and 9pm are the golden times for getting engagement on Twitter.
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Non-profit and charity organisations tend to be big hashtag users, as it’s how they gather interest in their cause and drive membership.
Hashtags are also a great way to let members know about any upcoming events.
The best time for a non-profit to engage its audience is from Monday to Friday between 8am and 3pm.
The best time is Wednesday at 7am, and Wednesday is also the best day overall for charities to post on Twitter. The worst times to post are before 4am and after 9pm, and you should avoid posting on a Saturday all together.
For tech companies, the best time to post on Twitter is on Tuesday and Wednesday. Forget about posting on a Sunday though – that’s when you’ll get the least engagement.
Other weekdays from 8am to 1pm are also good times to get your posts noticed.
Before 6am and after 8pm are generally bad times to post for B2B companies, but this is especially the case for tech companies.
Companies working in healthcare should be Tweeting their best content between 8am and 2pm during the working week.
They are unlikely to pick up meaningful engagement at the weekends.
Twitter is a great platform to signpost followers to a particular campaign, or to share best-practice health advice.
As usual, posting before 4am and after 8 pm isn’t a good idea, because not many of your followers will be online.
Where the finance industry is concerned, the best time to post on Twitter is between 1am and 5am on Tuesday, and on Sunday at 2pm. The best day to post overall is Tuesday, and the worst is Saturday.
The finance industry stands out from other sectors on Twitter, because of the flurry of engagement seen in the mornings.
Finance companies favour the fast-paced platform for news updates – and not just those related to the stock market. This is a fast-moving industry and Twitter is perfect for it.
The worst times to post are outside of working hours, as you would expect.
Before we dive into this one, what is the recreation industry exactly?
We’re looking at Sprout Social’s study here, and they appear to mean the arts, entertainment and dining industries.
For companies in this sector, Friday is the best day to post on Twitter, probably because people are preparing for weekend matches and sports events.
People are planning their weekends, and that’s when you want them to see your post.
9am is the best time to post in general, and the effectiveness of your Tweets will lose steam after that point in time.
Unusually, the worst time to post on Twitter is at the weekends. We guess everyone’s just busy then actually doing all their recreational activities.
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Surely things move so quickly on Twitter that people wouldn’t mind if you posted repeatedly?
Well yes, there’s definitely more leeway for posting more regularly on Twitter than social media channels such as Facebook or LinkedIn, but you don’t want to overdo it – unless you want to be swiftly unfollowed.
In fact, Co-schedule recommends 15 as the optimum number of Tweets per day. Tweets should be spread throughout the day.
Global brands should post around the clock to ensure they connect with their audience in various different time zones.
We think 14 Tweets per day is a bit much. Who has that much great content to share?
You should probably Tweet about three times per day, and then more if you have enough new, original content in your content calendar.
There is no point in posting just any old thing to reach an ideal number of posts per day - otherwise, people aren’t going to see your Tweets and think "oh, interesting!", they’ll think, "boring, next".
Every company is different and there’s no one-size fits all approach to posting at the best time.
The sector-specific research is a good place to start, but once you get going, you should look at your analytics to find the best time to post.
Using a tool like FollowerWonk you can analyse the demographic make-up of your followers.
When you understand the average gender identity, location, and followers of your audience, you’re in a better position to make assumptions about the types of Tweet your audience are most likely to respond to.
Tweets go viral when your followers like and retweet your post and then their followers retweet in turn.
If enough people like and retweet you’ll find your Tweet has reached thousands of people.
But what other types of engagement on Twitter are there?
Your audience could follow you, reply and like your post. If they click on your tweet, image or embedded media then that can also be considered engagement.
We’ve done a full run-down of the different types of engagement.
A follower could also mention your brand in a tweet, giving you a chance to jump in and comment too.
Engagement matters because it lets Twitter’s algorithm know that an individual likes your company posts. He or she will then see more of your content.
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