What is the Best Time of Day to Tweet

Once you have gotten past the hurdle of getting followers on Twitter, chances are good that you will want to know what is the best time to push out your content-marketing tweets or commercially-oriented tweets. I recently came across a tool that analyzes your Twitter followers and tries to give you some statistics to help you find the best time to send out those tweets.

The key is to find a way to balance being on Twitter, being involved in your community, sharing links, and meeting your content marketing goals…

Before I dig into this topic, I want to address any concerns from the social media unicorns and rainbows crowd. Just because you know when your tweets are going to reach the highest audience doesn’t mean that’s the only time you should be on Twitter. This is social media, and it requires you to be social at some point. There are exceptions: big brands and news accounts can operate in broadcast only mode but, for most accounts, community interaction is required if you want to get the greatest value out of Twitter. That’s not to say that you should spend all day on Twitter. That’s rarely cost effective. The key is to find a way to balance being on Twitter, being involved in your community, sharing links, and meeting your content marketing goals.

If you visit the website Tweriod.com, it will ask you to authenticate your account (pretty standard at this point). Then it will analyze your last 5,000 followers and come up with information about when they are online. It gives you quite a bit of data, but I’ll highlight the most important bit in this graph.

Online Follower Graph from Tweriod.com

There are two important points I want to bring up. First, it’s only analyzing my last 5,000 followers. Since I’m just shy of 15K followers at the time this post was written, that means 2/3 of my networked isn’t being analyzed. Second, the oldest 1/3 of the people following me is probably the section of my followers I interact with the most. This may or may not be something you need to take into consideration for your account.

To be honest I don’t know what causes that spike on Monday nights, so I’m going to say it’s a data anomaly and ignore it since it’s not my peak time anyway. It doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me that the people who follow me are at their peak from 11-6 EST. I’ve been involved in Internet marketing for a long time, and people have been shopping/browsing/interacting while they are supposed to have been working for as long as I can remember.

The two high points of 11am and 4pm did surprise me a little, as I typically get more conversation around 1-2pm, but it’s not out of left field. Now, if I were going to use this data to push out a commercial message, I would use a Twitter scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Bufferapp and schedule my tweets for 11-ish AM and 4-ish PM the same day or subsequent day depending on the tweet’s importance. Social media experts tend to look down at repeating tweets, but it works.

I don’t recommend that you blindly follow one source of data though. Bufferapp and Hootsuite also come with reporting tools to let you know how many clicks and retweets you got. However, if you really want to get more reliable data, I would suggest adding hashtags to your url before shortening it. Using hashtags gives you a much more accurate result. Use hashtags, not querystring parameters, and make sure you have the canonical tag in place to lessen the chance that a search engine will screw something up. For more info on using hashtags, read this post on URLs, social media and campaign tracking from Joost de Valk.

So what are the takeaways on this post on Choosing the Best Time of Day to Tweet

  • Use tools like Tweriod to analyze your followers and find the times for peak visibility.
  • Be aware of the 5,000 follower limit and any other data that doesn’t make sense.
  • Look for the intra-day high points and repeat your tweet on the same or following days.
  • Use hashtags to create unique URL’s for maximum tracking before using URL shorteners.
  • Based on the data you get, experiment with variations, but don’t make judgements on just one set of data.

photo credit: Photospin

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