Social Media data

Published on May 20th, 2014 | by charliesaidthat


Data Driven Social Media: When Is The Best Time To Tweet?

I am fed up of reading blog posts or infographics containing the best time to tweet or send Facebook updates. Especially given that tools are widely available that offer excellent data on your audience, looking at when they are online. This also means that the ability to test the best times to post is easier than ever.

Yet these generic posts exist and continue to get good traction, even though they all contradict each other, without disclaiming you need to check your own data!

Apparently you should send tweets on Monday-Thursday between 1pm and 3pm


Tweet this fact

Apparently Wednesdays & Thursdays have the lowest engagement, whilst weekends have 17% more engagement

[Buddy Media]

– Tweet this fact

Apparently the best time for receiving retweets is sending tweets at 5pm


Tweet this fact

*rolls eyes*

Do you know what? Every audience is completely different.

Even within the same industry, audiences within social media are likely to behave completely differently.

While it is fantastic that Buffer & Hubspot have been able to put together broad stats on the most effective times, this just doesn’t work for all clients, nor does it work continually – audiences evolve (or they should). What used to work may not always work.

The point is, your data will inevitably look different from those large-scale, generic studies listed above.

Here is some “when our Twitter Followers are online” data

Here are the profiles of the times when some of our clients’ Twitter audiences are online. Looking at this allows us to be smarter. We can schedule tweets to go out when more people are online or be choosy about sending them when less people are online so a higher percentage of those people are likely to see the tweets.

This is a client we are about to start work for – currently they obviously spends a lot of time (about 40% of their last 400 tweets) tweeting between 7am and 10am, although most of their followers come online later throughout the day. Certainly there is an opportunity to move their tweets later in the day for the biggest impact to 10am-12pm.

Tools to use to find the best time to Tweet

FollowerWonk – Part of the growing Moz suite of tools. It is super powerful, and this is just one of it’s many uses. It does not currently differeniate the best days of the week though.
Social Bro – Possibly my favourite tool for Twitter list management and follower segmentation. It also analyses the best times for you to tweet.

Twitter Analytics – They’ve just added tracking for your website too. With a line of code you can see what times of day you get the most clicks – *and* when other people have shared pages from your site on Twitter.
Buffer – Buffer is a scheduling tool which syncs with both FollowerWonk & SocialBro. Be careful with automation of any kind in marketing though!

Google Analytics – will show start to give an idea of times you get the most traffic from social media and comparing that to overall traffic might show you new opportunities.

Charlie Southwell

photo credit: justgrimes via photopin cc

About the Author

Hi I’m Charlie, a digital strategist, I have an interest in social media, SEO, lead acquisition and understanding consumer behaviour to make a definitive difference to the businesses I work with. Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Linkedin | or just Email Me  

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