Compared to other social media platforms, TikTok can feel like there’s some magic at work.
A cool dance, a funny phrase, a new song—any of these can turn from obscure to mega-viral overnight, in ways that are hard to predict but delightful to watch. However, if you’re a creator or a business, hoping for a little luck and magic isn’t a very good place to build a social media strategy from. There is, in fact, some science and data to what can seem like viral chaos.
A TikTok strategy—especially one for a brand, not a celebrity—takes legwork. Finding the best time to post is one piece of that strategy, and one of the simpler aspects to figure out.
Let’s dive in.
What the data says about the best time to post on TikTok
If we’re looking at TikTok as a whole, research has been done to find what the best times to post are, and they vary by day of the week.
Influencer Marketing Hub analyzed more than 100,000 TikTok posts to look for engagement trends and determined these are the best times to post every day, all in Eastern time:
- Monday at 6 a.m., 10 a.m., and 10 p.m.
- Tuesday at 2 a.m., 4 a.m., and 9 a.m.
- Wednesday at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 11 p.m.
- Thursday at 9 a.m., 12 a.m., and 7 p.m.
- Friday at 5 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
- Saturday at 11 a.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.
- Sunday at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 4 p.m.
In this study, the highest engagements overall were at Tuesday at 9 a.m., Thursday at 12 a.m., and Friday at 5 a.m.
The huge caveat here is that, to make these numbers useful for you, you need to consider your own time zone and location of your viewers.
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This data is certainly interesting and not a bad place to start when first crafting your TikTok strategy. However, it won’t be long before you can get personalized analytics, and that’s when you’ll find out what’s truly the best time to post on TikTok for your specific account.
How to find the best time to post on TikTok for your business
There’s a method right in the TikTok app for finding when your audience is the most active, and we’ll walk you through the steps to get there.
Step one: Make a business account
First, you need to make sure you have a Pro or Business account on the app. It’s free and simple to switch. Just go to Settings and Privacy, then Manage Account, and tap Switch to Business Account. This will give you access to analytics, as well as other features.
Step two: Open your analytics dashboard
Next, you’ll want to find your account’s analytics. You can get there by clicking the menu at the top right of your profile screen, clicking Creator Tools, then Analytics.
That opens TikTok’s analytics dashboard, which offers all kinds of insight into your account and your followers.
Step three: Find your follower activity
If we’re looking to find the best time to post on TikTok, you’ll want to find the Followers tab at the top. From there, scroll down and you’ll see a pane called “Follower activity.”
This is what it looks like on mobile.
This pane will show when your personal followers are most active.
As you can see above, the data shows that the activity of the followers of this account ramp up through the day and peak at 10 p.m. UTC. TikTok always displays these times in UTC, so you’ll need to convert to your local time zone. For this account, for example, 10 p.m. UTC converts to 5 p.m. ET. From that, we can determine that this account should aim to post around that time for the best chance of high engagement.
You can also find this information on a desktop at www.tiktok.com/analytics. This gives a more detailed view, like below. You can also download your data from the desktop dashboard.
This is invaluable information because it shows not just when users are generally active on TikTok, but when your own followers are active.
This matters because your followers and your customers may have different peak activity times compared to others. If your target audience and customer base is parents, for example, their activity might peak in the evening when they have more free time. If your target is students, their activity might peak after school hours.
This is the method Shopify’s TikTok team uses to determine the best time to post. Our community of entrepreneurs are most active in the late afternoon but, again, this might be different for you.
The dashboard will also show where your followers are located. If, for example, you’re based in the US but notice you have a lot of followers in the UK, you may want to split your posts to target different time zones.
Step four: Crosscheck your activity on individual TikTok posts
Seeing when your followers are most active gives you a good idea of when they’re most likely to engage with your content in the form of likes, comments, and watch time. To drill down further, navigate to the Content tab in your analytics dashboard.
From here, you can see data on individual posts from the last seven days, including total play time, average watch time, how many people were reached, and whether they found the video via your profile or the For You page.
This also includes information on the exact time and date you posted your video. By combining your follower analytics with this data, you can figure out if your strategy for when you post on TikTok is working. You may even find that certain content does best at a particular time of day compared to others. Again, it’s all highly individual, so digging into your personal dashboard is key.
Your first priority is just to start posting
As you can see, the analytics dashboard is much more personal and specific than the Influencer Marketing Hub study and can offer great guidance for your TikTok strategy.
The downside here is that this information doesn’t start to get detailed until you’ve reached 100 followers and, of course, you have to have posted content to get any analytics at all. You’ll start off with some insight, but building your audience is key for the best analytics.
That means if you’re just starting a TikTok account for your business, the most important thing is simply to start posting.
TikTok recommends that businesses post one to four times per day and focus on authentic, engaging content. You can check out our guide on TikTok marketing for tips on how to create the best content for TikTok.
The more you post, the more data, feedback, and followers you’ll gain, and the more you’ll be able to pinpoint the best time to post on TikTok.
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