When is the best time to tweet, 2012 edition

A Twitter follower asked me to update a popular past post for 2012 on the best time to tweet.

The fundamental question remains thoroughly flawed, years after it was first asked. There are times of day when people are more in a sharing mood, more in a consuming mood, more in buying mood. And here’s the rub: your audience will be different from “conventional wisdom”. If you blindly accept advice like “Sundays at 2 PM are the best time to tweet” then you’ll generate mediocre results at best and fail outright at worst.

Let me give you an example from my own Twitter audience. I notice that there tend to be more retweets and more shares of my stuff in the mornings. Now, I might just blindly assume that morning is the best time to tweet because people are morning folks, right? So I asked:

Twitter / cspenn: If you're reading this from ...

Here’s what started to come back:

(1) Twitter / Mentions

Surprise, surprise. Folks are reading “morning tweets” late at night, in mid-afternoon, in different parts of the world. When is the best time to tweet? Well, the bottom line is that in a global audience, there isn’t one. If you accept that people’s behaviors differ based on time of day, then if you’re sharing with a global audience; one person’s resharing time is another person’s buying time and is another person’s siesta.

There is no best time to tweet, now more than ever. Focus less on when you’re tweeting, and give your focus to improving what you tweet. The more value you provide, the more helpful you can be, the more people won’t care what time it is – they’ll be following your every word.


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  • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

    Short and sweet and right on Chris! I had someone ask recently if the reason People tweet after midnight was because they didn’t want people to actually see the tweet because it was not a great article but wanted the credit from the author for sharing. Ironically, that person was in the UK – yet they failed to see the global audience aspect – and frankly provided a very insulting reasoning behind why anyone would tweet in the middle of the night! The middle of the night here is someone’s morning! I check my analytics and have a surprisingly large share of readership and activity from Europe – you’ve offered great advice! Thanks for making the point clear. Unless your audience and content is geared only to a local audience – then you *better* tweet in the time zones you hope to reach- everyone loves a great post :) thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/C_Pappas Christina Pappas

    Same goes for email. The whole ‘Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the afternoons’ are the best time to send is bogus. The introduction of new devices and ways to consume information outside of sitting at your desktop has changed this. Sundays are actually a good time to post blog content and email prospects. Why? Because people have time to consume content on Sundays. They are reading on their tablets and smartphones in bed or in front of the tv. We can look at our audience data, but the whole ‘best practices’ notion is out the window.

  • http://twitter.com/MackCollier Mack Collier

    “Focus less on when you’re tweeting, and give your focus to improving what you tweet. The more value you provide, the more helpful you can be, the more people won’t care what time it is – they’ll be following your every word.”

    Bingo! I think it makes far more sense to focus first on creating compelling content versus trying to figure out when to deliver that content.

    As for much of life (and especially social media) remember that ‘your mileage may vary’ ;)

  • http://www.sm4good.com/ Timoluege

    Totally agree. And when you are a big international non-profit organization it becomes even more difficult since your audience would be widely distributed. One solution can be to occasionally repeat six or eight hours after the original message.

    As for what is the best time for *your* audience, there are by now so many services out there that offer to calculate this for you, that everybody can easily analyze that this themselves.

  • http://www.buzzfarmers.com/ @Amaaanda

    Agreed. And every time someone says when the best time to tweet is, everyone starts scheduling tweets at that time and it officially becomes the WORST time to tweet because of the competition.