A Scientific Guide to Posting Tweets, Facebook Posts, Emails, and Blog Posts at the Best Time

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When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?We’re pretty keen on optimal timing for social media here at Buffer, and I figured it was high time I collected all the information we have about online communication into one place. I’ve collected research and stats on Twitter, Facebook, email and blogging to help you find the best time to communicate with others in each format.

The tricky thing I’ve come across is that since the web is still so new, a lot of the research available to us is conflicting. We really need more time and more studies to get definitive answers about what works best, and the fact that our audience members are constantly changing their own activity patterns makes it even harder to work out for sure. Looking at the latest social media stats seems to only confirm that.

So my suggestion would be to use this guide as just that—a guide to help you work out what to test for your own audience, so that you can see what actually works best in your specific case.

Let’s get into the stats then!

Facebook – find the best time to post your updates

When I posted about Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, one of the factors I talked about was time decay. This is simply the age of your post: how long has it been since you posted it? With the recent introduction of Story Bumping, time decay matters a lot less than how relevant your story is to the user in terms of getting into their News Feed (i.e. does it from a user or Page they interact with often, or have interacted with recently). Still, it’s good to keep time decay in mind, since it does make some difference: you won’t see posts from 3 months ago in your News Feed today.

In terms of specific days and times to post on Facebook, here are some of the stats I found:

Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays.

I love the way this was explained in Buddy Media’s study: as they put it, “the less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook!”

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

Specific industries varied slightly in which days of the week garnered the most engagement, but most of them sit around the end of the week, from Wednesday to Friday.

Another study found that engagement was 32% higher on weekends, so the end of the week is definitely a good rough guide to start experimenting with. The following infographic from KISSmetrics and Dan Zarrella describes it well:

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

The best time of day to post on Facebook is debatable, with stats ranging from 1pm to get the most shares, to 3pm to get more clicks, to the broader suggestion of anytime between 9am and 7pm. It seems that this generally points to early afternoon being a solid time to post, and anytime after dinner and before work being a long shot.

For more Facebook stats and Facebook statistics we’ve written a complete guide for you to check out.

Twitter – when is the best time to Tweet for engagement vs. clicks

Twitter is such a popular network for mobile users that it can be a bit tricky to lock down exactly when the best time to post is. Here are some suggestions from the research I’ve found:

Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends according to Dan Zarrella’s research.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

If you’re tweeting from your company account, you might want to keep this in mind, especially if engagement is what you’re looking for. Buffer can help you spread out your tweets to post at the optimal times, so you don’t even have to work weekends to take advantage of this! Click-through rates are generally highest on weekends, as well as mid-week, on Wednesdays.

On the other hand, an Argyle Social study showed that weekdays provide 14% more engagement than weekends, so this is definitely one you’ll want to test on your audience.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

When we look at the time of day, retweets have been shown to be highest around 5pm.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts? when should I post to twitter, when should I post to facebook, when should I send emails, when should I publish blogposts

For click-throughs, the best times seem to be around noon and 6pm.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

This could be due to lunch breaks and people looking for something to keep them occupied on the commute home after work.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

There are lots of Twitter users who primarily use a mobile device—rarely loading up Twitter on their desktops. Twitter did an interesting study of these users and found that they are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute.

They’re also 119% more likely to use Twitter during school or work hours.

For more details on the latest Twitter stats and Twitter statistics, check out this guide.

Email – find the best time to send for the right content

There’s been lots of research done on the best time to send emails, particularly in the case of email marketing. Some research done by Dan Zarrella from Hubspot broke down each time of day and worked out which type of emails work best for that period. Here’s what he found:

  • 10pm–6am: This is the dead zone, when hardly any emails get opened.
  • 6am–10am: Consumer-based marketing emails are best sent early in the morning.
  • 10am-noon: Most people are working, and probably won’t open your email.
  • Noon–2pm: News and magazine updates are popular during lunch breaks.
  • 2–3pm: After lunch lots of people buckle down and ignore their inbox.
  • 3–5pm: Property and financial-related offers are best sent in the early afternoon.
  • 5–7pm: Holiday promotions & B2B promotions get opened mostly in the early evening.
  • 7–10pm: Consumer promotions are popular again after dinner.

What I thought was really interesting about this breakdown is why each type of email is more popular at certain times. From 3–5pm, for instance, the reason people open financial and property-related emails is that they’re more likely to be thinking about their life situation and how to improve it. Understanding how these time blocks work can be a good start to sending your emails at just the right time.

And since 23.63% of emails are opened within an hour of being received, this is something we definitely want to get right.

For more general emails, open rates, click-through rates and abuse reports were all found to be highest during early mornings and on weekends.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

This probably means that most of us have more time to dedicate to our inbox during these periods, rather than during the day when we’re trying to get work done.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

 

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

In a different study by MailChimp open rates were shown to be noticeably lower on weekends.

when should you send emails? What time of day should I send emails? When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

They also found that open rates increased after 12pm, and were highest between 2pm and 5pm.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

A GetResponse study backed this up by showing that open rates drop off slightly, and click-through rates drop significantly on weekends.

GetResponse found that Thursday is the best day for both open rates and click-throughs.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

Mark Suster offers some great advice when it comes to sending emails:

Often I’ll write emails on the weekend and then send first thing Monday morning. I want to be on top of the stack, not at the bottom of the pile. Most people process email first thing in the morning (although productivity experts say not to!).

BTW, when I wrote blog posts on Sunday’s I always Tweet again Monday morning for exactly this reason.

Blog posts – what time should you hit publish on your posts?

So let’s take a look at when to publish blog posts.

Dan Zarrella has some more great stats on this topic, but he makes a good point about the pros and cons of the timing you choose. One thing Dan suggests we consider is that if we post during time of higher traffic, we’re more likely to have higher bounce rates and get lost amongst the noise of other content being published.

On the other hand, posting at times when fewer people are online will garner less traffic and engagement, but give our posts more prominence and less competition against other content.

Here are some useful stats from Dan’s research into blog timing:

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

  • 70% of users say they read blogs in the morning
  • More men read blogs at night than women
  • Mondays are the highest traffic days for an average blog
  • 11am is usually the highest traffic hour for an average blog
  • Comments are usually highest on Saturdays and around 9am on most days
  • Blogs that post more than once per day have a higher chance of inbound links and more unique views

Knowing your audience is obviously important for working out the best time to publish on your blog. If your audience is women, for instance, mornings are probably a better bet than nights.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

While Mondays are the best days to publish for traffic, Social Fresh suggests posting on a Thursday for more social shares across the web. Here are also more ideas to find the best time to publish blogposts.

When is the best time to tweet, best time to post to Facebook or the best time to send emails or best time to publish blogposts?

This study also found that most content sharing happens in the morning, which backs up Dan’s stats that mornings are the most popular time to read blogs.

With Buffer’s new custom scheduling feature, you can now publish your post whenever suits you and schedule it to be promoted on social networks at a more optimal time. Plus, you can now send and schedule posts to Google+ from Buffer!

Timing depends on the individual

Timing is difficult to get exactly right, and a big part of this is because we all have different schedules and routines for checking email or using social media. An experiment by online retailer eBags showed this point perfectly. Looking at the latest social media statistics the range of different schedules seems to only increase too.

The company thought that when users were signing up to an email list, that was probably a good time of day for them to be online, so sending emails to them at that same time of day would work best. By analyzing the behavior of each individual user, eBags sent out emails to users at the same time of day they had signed up for the email list.

This actually worked incredibly well: click-through rates rose by 20% and conversion rates rose by 65%.

Unfortunately, this is such a complicated and time-consuming process that it wasn’t sustainable. Hopefully these kind of features can be built into social media and email management tools in the future so we can all take advantage of these insights!

Since it’s still so difficult to find the optimal time for each type of online communication that will work for everyone, I’d love to hear about your personal experiences. What works best for you? You can comment below, send me an email or catch me on Twitter at @bellebethcooper.

P.S.: Oh and lastly, we’ve started to gradually roll out the new Buffer for Business to make posting at the best time to Social Media easier than ever. Take a look!

Photo-Credit: Social timing infographics from Dan Zarrella, KISSmetrics, Bit.ly and Argyle Social.

About the Author

Belle Beth Cooper

Belle is the first Content Crafter at Buffer and co-founder of Exist. She writes about social media, startups, lifehacking and science.

  • Belle Beth's Website →
  • Michaela Angemeer

    Bookmarked, thanks so much for gathering all of this awesome data!

  • http://www.johnrmeese.com/p/about-me.html John Meese

    Great research, as always. I’d still be learning all of this the hard way if it weren’t for you guys!

  • http://www.contently-managed.com/blog Craig McGill

    Beth, interesting stuff but one Q not answered: what region is this data for – US? UK or a certain collection of countries?

    • Belle

      Hi Craig,

      Most of the studies were done in the US, but the timing suggestions usually relate to your local time (assuming that the majority of your audience is in the same timezone as you). Hope that helps!

      Belle.

  • http://imeraapp.com/ imera

    Great Blog. This becomes a significant consideration in the Southern Hemisphere and tools like Buffer are really helpful in this regard.

    • jaen

      my boyfriends mom just got an awesome 6 month old Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible by working from a laptop. see here

      w­w­w.Y­A­D­7.c­o­m

  • http://about.me/larslentz Lars Lentz

    Great information and exactly right if you ask me – I’ve had best success on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Also, time of day seems correct from my experience. I adjust for time zones to hit East and West coasts of US and Central Europe also. I am also posting the same items multiple times to hit the time zones I want, and it works for me.

  • Inspyder

    What’s the best time to leave a blog comment? ;)

    • cchausman

      Around 11am, as that’s when most blogs are being read.

      “11am is usually the highest traffic hour for an average blog”

  • http://fingercandymedia.com/ Jessica Northey

    What time zone for all this? 6aPT is 9aET, 6aET is 3aPT.
    see what I am saying…

    • Belle

      Hi Jessica, most of these studies are based around the time of day for your audience, assuming the majority of your audience is in the same timezone as you. Hope that helps!

      • :)

        So this includes European studies?

        • Biju Photography

          i believe this also excludes asia.

  • Corey Gwin

    It looks like Mailchimp’s data showing people do not open their email on the weekends was the result of the data being heavily skewed towards weekdays. I think weekends and Monday’s are great times to send newsletters or B2C content.

  • emcgillivray

    This is really interesting.

    I do think that it’s incredibly important for every business to test out and see when their audiences are most responsive. For example, at Moz, where I work, our audience rarely interacts on Facebook or Twitter with us on the weekends — unless something’s broken! — because they are mostly using our tools and our educational resources at their jobs. But we now have an East Coast person who helps out team with what’s way too early am (for us West Coasters) but business time for Europe and the East Coast.

    Have you considered doing a study broken down in industry? Or B2C vs B2B businesses?

  • gerri50

    Excellent information Beth. It’s given me a lot of food for thought on what I can try and do to increase engagement with sharing across all of the channels I manage.

  • Carla

    Right on time for me I was looking for something updated on this exact subject today Buffer Belle to the rescue. Using this as a guideline to my buffer antics will definitely help me with better engagement of my audience for my brands. Thank you :)

  • Erich Robinson

    Belle,

    Once again you guys provide some great content and helpful info. I’m new to blogging (began my blog on June 20 with this post http://resourcesforus.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/3-books-that-will-inspire-you-to-truly-live/ and I’m soaking up as much as I can from folks like you).

    You’ve given me a lot to chew on and apply. Buffer has been a great tool that I’m working on getting the hang of.

    • Belle

      Glad to hear it! Thanks for reading :) Let us know if you need a hand with anything in your Buffer account!

  • http://www.nutritiontofruition.com/ Samantha Scruggs

    This is so awesome! As a dietitian I LOVE numbers and statistics, so this really helps me. Thanks!

  • Mike TheNrgizer Davis

    This is great information to help me with the website changeufitness.com. Very detailed and useful to help us with our social reach. Thanks!

  • Dhishna Chandnani

    Great Post! Would definitely consider these times now :D
    And, great work at Hello Code too :)

    • Belle

      Thanks so much! Really appreciate the feedback Dhishna :)

  • Nicole Alarid

    Harland Clarke Digital released data regarding email engagement times and days by using multi-devices: http://hcdigital.com/dotAsset/5340ab81-e821-4f38-a945-408cd8ecc575.jpg&random=51806

  • Leah

    Thank you for this. It really helped put in context the cacophony of advice and research.

  • Devang Badrakiya

    Best one ..Research

  • Adam Patterson

    People should really focus on driving rather than tweeting…

    • Ella Rucker

      In NYC the commute isn’t necessarily by car. I know waiting for the bus is a great time for a busy mom to check her emails, tweets, etc. So I wouldn’t assume everyone is driving when they say “commute.”

  • Ella Rucker

    I just ran a campaign this Mon, Tues. Dang, if I’d only waited until Thur-Fri! Thanks :-)

  • Katy

    I wanted to Pin this on my Social Media Pinterest board, but I don’t see that option. Sigh! :-(

  • Synergy Group

    Great post Belle, with detailed pictorial explanation.

    http://www.synergygroup.co.uk

  • Michael Dino Cotugno

    Hmmm… Working in the online furniture business, I tend to agree with Mailchimp’s stats. I see a huge drop off in activity on weekends. Nobody tends to open or click through our emails on weekends.
    But great post. Informative, and I like that you clearly stated that there is no way this could be taken as a rule book for when to post. Different industries definitely get different results. My friends swear that Saturday is the best day for his email campaigns. But it just doesn’t work for me.

  • Norma

    Belle Beth, thanks so much. My blog is still quite young and I’m trying to build an audience, so this comes at the perfect time. And so well laid out – simple to understand. I didn’t see you address Entertainment blogs per se (which mine is about) but I definitely learned enough to know I’ll be making some minor adjustments to when I do my MailChimp email blasts, as well as posting and tweeting my new posts. Thank you so so much!

    • Belle

      Thanks for reading, Norma. I hope you get some useful tips out of this!

  • http://miro.hibler.me/ Miroslav Hibler

    Thank you Belle, very informative and educational post. Any chance of something based on this going into Buffer scheduling, ie. offer me the best times for my posts? Thank you!

  • azumbrunnen

    Hmm the problem with all these studies are timezones. I’m blogging to an international audience. No study actually shows what the best time is to reach people on a global scale on Twitter

    • http://colleenhofmann.com/ Colleen Hofmann

      I think this is a great point. I also work with an international audience (B2B, no less). I find recycling posts helps a lot. And by this I mean sharing the same link multiple times throughout the day and even sharing posts again months later. I just make sure to diversify the timing in order to reach my entire audience. Then it’s a matter of figuring out what times and posts received the most clicks overall and what works best for you.

      • Anika Jaffara

        Perfect, Colleen!
        I think you’re spot on!

        Your approach complements Belle’s info nicely. You could just schedule the same collection of content and communications to target time zones based on the scope of your audience. Well executed, this’ll extend post promotions.

        Seems like it’ll only element that won’t conform is publishing posts. You could avoid favoring a zone, and start your schedule with different zones,, based on whatever contingencies might apply.

        This is very useful info!

        Thanks,

        • http://colleenhofmann.com/ Colleen Hofmann

          Glad you found my thoughts useful, Anika!

  • http://www.SelfEmployedKing.com/ Mike Kawula

    This is awesome when you don’t have your own data yet. Loved this. Cheers

  • Aron Frenz

    Love your posting and very informative, and at the same time interesting with all the info graphics. Having a degree in Product Design and now working in social media and marketing the same rule applies in understanding who your end user is and how they use the social media platforms is very true.

  • Martijn van Dooren

    And again another great research, thanks so much! We publish most of the times our newsletters on Thursdays in the afternoon, and according those studies we should proceed doing that :)

  • Tom Lawreszuk

    Great insights!!! Thank you so much.

  • V

    Here’s what I don’t understand: I get that all the data and research surrounds ET and that is fine but if we are marketing from PT and to a PT zone audience, are we to use the same time frames for optimal reception or are we to convert the time? Meaning, If the optimal time to post is 1pm-4pmET – should I be posting at 1pm-4pm PT or 10am-1pmPT?

    Thanks for the curated data though, great article!

  • http://www.digitalinsights.in/ Digital Insights

    This is a great article and very informative.

  • http://www.terametric.com Taariq Lewis

    How does this analysis account for the different ways that Facebook’s feed algorithm treats the exposure/visibility of automated/syndicated posts vs. manual entry posts? Is there a control for various exceptions to syndicated content? Automated tweets vs. manual tweets, etc?

    • Drewman

      Also, the whole world is not on the same hour. You’re pretty much just local if you follow this theory too strictly.

  • lindsay

    Thank you for providing this research. I found it very helpful!

  • Laura H

    Great Post. It was very interesting and informative, however, I cannot help but think that the time of releasing content on social media platforms plays a small role in how receptive the audience will be to the content. I think that the make or break factor is knowing the target audiences lifestyles. Knowing the audiences interest, types of social media that they use, and their purpose for using it is incredible crucial. In my opinion, the professionalism and consistence of the posts also play larger role in audience interaction than the timing of day. Social media is a tool that that should be used to brand oneself. knowing the audience and appropriately branding the content will have a much larger impact than the timing of each post.

  • Tom Willis

    Really, really, really helpful. Thank you very much!

  • Svetozar Žarković

    Hello i’m using system ManageFB ( http://www.managefb.com ) for scheduling my post on Facebook business page , and find interesting time for posting on my page … Best time for posting is 8h in morning …. What is you thinking about this time

  • Nikki Johnson

    Holy cow, this is great data! Thanks so much for putting it altogether, Belle. It’s always incredibly interesting to see the differences between how things play out best for various types of media, and to think through the reasoning behind those subtle variations from a logical standpoint. The email schedule that you’ve included here from Dan Zarrella at HubSpot is particularly helpful. Well-done!

    • Belle

      Thanks Nikki, so glad you found this useful!

  • RobPrice

    very informative. thank you.

  • http://www.crispopp.com/ Cris Popp

    Hi Belle, What about Linked In – do you have any data on the best time to post to LI?

    • Belle

      Unfortunately not, Cris. Not much research has been done on the LinkedIn front yet, so it’s hard to get a good idea of what works best. I’ll keep my eyes open for anything that might be useful here, though.

      • http://www.crispopp.com/ Cris Popp

        rock on – thank you :-)

        Cheers

        Cris Popp

        0438 545 607 cris@crispopp.com

  • Whisk Warrior

    Great info gives a good start. I find watching tweets and conversation helps with times. You want to be part of the conversations. I use the stats in the app to find what people like most. No one these days runs on a strict schedule on social media. If you want people to engage quality content will always win as people will look for you if you keep a schedule :)

  • SocialScatterer

    Indeed a good initiative and well sought research but I just wonder in the era of smartphone & advancements in technology where almost all the business activities and work is carried out online how really does it matter whatever the posts or updates are put on different social platforms are dependent on particular timing. As per my experience many of us work for 9 hours in a day which is totally internet based work. So once we log on to the system we continue to check for e-mails, tweets or other updates periodically until we are working and respond to it accordingly. Of course it varies from person to person and the job responsibilities but still many people don’t consider particular time to post updates. They just do it whenever they have spare time or free from work. But still would like to know more about it based on sample size.

  • mikeb

    Always something new to learn with this everchanging industr

  • Julia Reynolds

    Great data, thanks for putting this together I will definitely test this out. I notice you got healthy social share stats this must be because you posted on a Thursday as per Social Fresh results!

  • Kris Jolls

    Thanks for the info. Used it to create my Social Media Calendar.

  • Larry M

    This is one of the most useful articles I’ve read in a long time. Well Done.

  • Carrie Starling

    Hi Belle, I do not according with you because you do not publish proof copy, and also i share that facebook does not work for marketing instantly.

  • www.wordhelper.com

    If you have a Facebook business page, you can click on View Insights>Posts to see the days and times when your followers are online for a week at a time. If you collect this data over several weeks, you can see if the pattern of peaks persists from week to week. If it does, wouldn’t it make the most sense to post on Facebook about half an hour before the peaks?

  • http://bcmoney-mobiletv.com/ BCmoney
  • http://www.kreutzberger.com/ Sebastian Kreutzberger

    We are having a global audience which makes it hard to find the best posting time. In the end we release buffered posts on FB, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin at 1PM UTC and as 2nd buffer at 8PM UTC. In that way we still cover the Europeans and reach the Americans in the morning. Just Asia is always hard to cover.

    • http://www.TravelShepherd.com/ Michael

      Thanks for this tip. My audience is slightly weighted to North America followed by U.K. and Ireland then continental Europe so these times should work well for me as well. Cheers

  • bijaybd

    well that is really true. without even a good timing you can’t just post or tweet about your staffs on Facebook because people need free time to checkout your staff so u need to put it some time when everything is free – http://www.tipsglobe.com

  • asdasd

    i optimize everything

    mattschween1@hotmail.com

  • hwyspy

    I can definitely confirm the most reach and engagement on Facebook posts that go out on Thursdays and Fridays. Nice write up.

  • Robin Hood Revival

    Thank you so much for this amazing piece of work! It will help us immensely!
    Love and blessings, Robin Hood Revival
    http://robinhoodrevival.com/

  • Michelle Black

    Incredibly thorough. I always wonder if recycling the same post within a day will be annoying to some users? Also, what kinds of blogs succeed in posting more than once per day? Is it possible to submit too much content, even if it is informative? Do you think an extensive library of posts is equally important as post times for bloggers, since many users will click around to assess the categories and overall feel of a blog / site?

  • Jola Maczkiewicz

    What time of day/day of the week is best for creating a student council campiagn facebook page?

  • http://up2datenews.net/ Ansh Sharma
  • Abhinav

    It is so amazing the way you have detailed it out. Many thanks for the information, it is really really helpful.

  • Stacy Ennis

    Great post. Very informative. Thanks!

  • http://socioblend.com/ Rhea Dutt

    I found this as very useful being a social media marketer. But, i have used few services in twitter, like buying retweets in bulk for celeb tweets and found them quite cheap as well. Here is the link from whom i purchased. can you guys please ping me if you find it not useful so i can change my seller. http://www.fiverr.com/tweetretweet/add-10100-retweets-and-favorites-to-your-tweet-to-optimize-your-twitter-and-seo

  • Tiffany C

    Is there an updated version of this material for 2014? It’d be great to see if things have changed since this was posted in Aug. 2013.

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