Want to post content on Twitter? Make sure you’re choosing the best time to tweet to your audience. Here’s how to find when that is.
Every time you post on Twitter, you have a brief window to capture attention and make your tweet worthwhile.
To get the value you want from every tweet, make sure you’re posting content at the right times. When is that exactly?
Let’s look at the best time to tweet and why it’s essential to find your brand’s optimal timing.
Twitter moves quickly, which means it’s a great platform for fast-paced and timely conversations—as long as you get the timing right.
On other social media platforms, the half-life of content (or the amount of time that passes before the content has generated 50% of its total engagement) is hours, days, or even months long.
On Twitter, the half-life of your content is 20 minutes. If you accidentally tweet at a bad time, your post could get very little engagement over the next 20 minutes. That doesn’t bode well for your profile’s engagement rate. (You can grab some ideas for strong Twitter content in our free social media content calendar.)
By default, users’ timelines show the tweets that Twitter thinks they want to see. In many cases, these top tweets include accounts that users frequently engage with.
That means the more engagement you generate, the more likely your content is to appear on users’ timelines.
On other social media channels, users log in dozens of times a day (WhatsApp) or stay for nearly half an hour (YouTube).
In contrast, the average Twitter session is just over three and a half minutes long.
To get your audience’s attention during that short window, you have to rank as high as possible in the algorithm.
When you optimize the timing for your Twitter posts, it’s about much more than just vanity metrics.
Whether your tweet encourages followers to comment, click a link, or complete another action, you want to make sure your content does its job. Ultimately, tweeting at the right time helps your brand generate more value and better return on investment (ROI).
First things first: There’s no magical best time to tweet.
After reviewing a variety of research and doing some of my own tests, I can confirm that no single time is right for every profile or audience. It’s so important to find the perfect time for your brand’s audience.
Instead, a third-party tool like Agorapulse has the analytics you need to build your brand on Twitter.
First, check the Global Content tab of your Twitter account’s Agorapulse reports. Scroll down, and you’ll see a color-coded chart showing the best day and time to publish content on Twitter.
For example, my agency’s optimal time to post is around noon on Wednesdays. Thursdays around 11 a.m. EST and Wednesdays around 2 p.m. are also good times to tweet. This data is super-helpful for timing my content for my audience.
Agorapulse bases this chart on past engagement with your posts, which is great. But sometimes it’s not enough.
What if your posts aren’t getting much engagement and you need to know a better time to post?
In that case, check the Audience tab of your Agorapulse reports. You’ll see another color-coded chart showing when users most often mention or DM you.
Although my post and user engagement patterns are similar, this chart presents a lot more timeslots to consider.
If I wanted to add more content to my calendar, Thursday and Friday evenings would be smart choices. Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons could also be good times.
Your brand’s best times to tweet are likely to evolve as your audience grows and your content generates more engagement. While these reports are best for pinpointing optimal times, you can also draw insights from reviewing your past tweets.
Navigate to the Content Performance tab of your Agorapulse reports. Then sort by likes, retweets, or total engagement. When did you tweet the content that generated the most engagement? Consider tweeting more at the same time to improve engagement.
If you already have lots of Twitter data to leverage, then Agorapulse reports tell you what you need to know. But what if you’re starting a new Twitter account or you want to consider a larger dataset?
In that case, it’s helpful to check a more general breakdown of the best times to post on social media. These recommendations can offer a basic guide for your publishing schedule. But they shouldn’t replace the audience-specific data you’ve collected.
As a rule, weekdays are the best times to post and Saturdays are the worst day to tweet.
Here are some more detailed breakdowns from recent tests:
Overall, weekends tend to be less optimal times to tweet, and Saturdays have the lowest engagement levels.
Maybe you want to tweet at least once a day or at high-engagement times throughout the day.
So what’s the best time to tweet on Sunday—or any other day of the week?
In general, late morning to early afternoon is best. If you want to get more specific, you have a few options to consider.
Here are the results from some recent social media studies:
Those studies don’t exactly agree on an optimal time to tweet. However, they do confirm that the worst times to post are from 10 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Since this time frame essentially spans overnight hours, it makes sense that engagement would be low. But if you have a night owl audience or if your followers are from regions around the world, these off-hours might not apply.
Instead, consider experimenting with different timing to see what resonates with your audience.
It happens to every social media marketer eventually. Maybe you accidentally posted a tweet instead of scheduling it. Perhaps you tweeted an embarrassing typo or a broken link. Either way, you need to remove it from your timeline stat.
The best time to delete this tweet is always immediately.
Don’t wait for a certain time or until you think most of your audience has logged off. Once you decide to delete a tweet, do it right away to minimize its reach and impact.
With these Twitter best practices in hand, you can time your tweets better and generate more value every time you post. But don’t set and forget your publishing schedule. Test out different times, track results with your social media tool, and optimize your Twitter schedule as you go.
Get started on saving time and energy on your own social media management! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts.