We all want people to notice, read and retweet our tweets—whether they are from our personal accounts or that of a brand.
The purpose of this article is to tell you what research says about the best time to tweet, and show you how to tailor your tweets to your followers' habits.
Time of day
According to the "Twitter vs. time infographic" by Lemon.ly, most traffic on Twitter occurs between 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. EST. According to Dan Zarrella's research, the best time to tweet is 5 p.m. EST.
The takeaway: Tweet throughout the day, with an emphasis toward later in the day.
Pulling data from Zarrella, the "Science of social timing infographic" shows the breakdown of tweets in the United States. Forty-eight percent of tweets are from the Eastern time zone, 33 percent are from the Central time zone, and 14 percent are from the Western time zone.
It is important to remember that nearly 80 percent of the general U.S. population lives in the Central and Eastern time zones.
The takeaway: Consider the Eastern time zone when you tweet.
Day of the week
According to Zarrella's "How to get more clicks on Twitter" infographic, people are more likely to click on Twitter links at the end of the week and on weekends, specifically Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Personally, I've had success on Sunday evenings.
The takeaway: Don't forget the weekends.
Be sure to optimize your daily tweeting habits to effectively reach followers. I found 13 tools that can help you maximize the timing of your tweets.
1. WhenToTweet: This paid tool will help you figure out when most of your followers are online.
2. TweetWhen: This free tool shows you the best times to tweet based on your past 1,000 tweets.
3. Tweriod: This free tool looks at your tweets and those of your Twitter followers to suggest when you should tweet.
4. TweetStats: This free tool shows you a detailed analysis of your best tweeting time.
5. Timely: This free tool analyzes your past 199 tweets and figures out the best times for you to tweet.
6. Tweue: This free tool is basically a Twitter queue that will evenly space up to 10 tweets from 15 minutes to eight hours apart.
7. TweetReports: This free tool gathers statistics from your top 25 influential followers and analyzes the times they talk about certain keywords the most. This will identify conversations you may want to participate in.
8. Hootsuite: This free, Web-based social media dashboard allows you to queue and post updates in a timely fashion.
9. Buffer: This free app allows you to upload articles, photos and videos any time of day, which it will automatically share throughout the day.
10. TweetDeck: This free tool allows you to schedule tweets, and can help you manage your social media platforms.
11. Lookacross: This paid tool (30-day free trial) finds the best time to reach people.
12. 14Blocks: This paid tool ($5-$49 per month) analyzes your followers' activities to find the best times to tweet each day of the week.
13. Socialflow: This paid tool ($1 for first month) publishes your content when it will resonate most with your Twitter followers.
Conclusion: success lies in frequency not timing
Success on Twitter doesn't depend on when you tweet, but how frequently you tweet. Don't tweet too much or too little. If you post at least five times a day, spaced evenly throughout, your tweets will likely achieve maximum impact.
Matthew Royse is a marketing communications manager at Forsythe Technology. He blogs at Knowledge Enthusiast, where a version of this article originally appeared.