When will you get the most action on Twitter?
Timing is important, says Jakob Nielsen, “the king of usability”: “Once [tweets] scroll off the first screen, they’re essentially 6 feet under.”
Nielsen’s preferred tweeting time is 9:01 a.m. Pacific, because that encompasses working hours from California to the United Kingdom, where most of his audience members live. He posts a minute after the hour so his tweet will show up above those of people who set their software to post at the top of the hour.
Here’s when to tweet for engagement, click throughs and retweets:
When to tweet: Day of week
Which days offer the best ROI on your Twitter efforts?
Tweet on Tuesdays. Tuesday is by far the most popular day for Twitter activity, accounting for 15.7% of all tweets, according to a report on Twitter usage by social media analytics provider Sysomos.
Next most popular: Wednesday (15.6%) and Friday (14.5%).
Learn more “Stunning (And Useful) Stats About Twitter.”
Make that Fridays. People tweet most often on Tuesdays. But they retweet more often on Friday — than at any other day, according to viral marketing scientist Dan Zarrella.
Looking to get retweets? Friday afternoon may be the best time to tweet, Zarrella says.
Make that weekends and afternoons. Thursday and Sunday, followed by Saturday, are the best days for getting clickthroughs on your tweets, according to Zarrella, in 2009 research. Zarella attributes this to “link fatigue” during the week, when more links are posted.
Plus, Twitter engagement rates for brands are 17% higher on Saturday and Sunday compared to weekdays, according to a 2012 study by SalesForce (PDF). However, just 19% of brands tweet on the weekend — which gives you a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
When to tweet: Time of day
What time of day delivers the best results for your tweets?
8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tweets during these “busy hours” got 30% higher engagement rates than tweets posted after hours, according to the SalesForce study.
2 p.m. That’s the best time for click-through rates, according Zarrella’s research.
4 p.m. People retweet more often at 4 p.m. on Friday than at any other day or time, according to Zarrella.
So when should you tweet? That depends on what you want to accomplish.