It happens once in a blue moon. And when it does, all the metaverse rejoices and you feel on top of the world.
When you post at the perfect time on TikTok. The post goes viral, gets an influencer like, earns you a boatload of followers, or a visit to the White House (it could happen?).
Now as you know, there is no one best time to post on TikTok, even for your own account, but there are definitely sweet spots to aim for that can get you the best results. And that’s what we’ll be diving into today.
Here’s your table of contents:
Unlike the best time to post on Instagram, which has been the subject of dozens of studies, there appears to be only one on TikTok at the moment. And it belongs to Influencer Marketing Hub—which analyzed engagement rates for 100,000 TikTok videos. Here’s what it found:
The best time to post on TikTok is Tuesday at 9am, Thursday at 12am, and Friday at 5am
Here is Influencer Marketing Hub’s breakdown (* indicates particularly high engagement):
In general, we can also see some broader patterns:
Here’s the chart form of the visual above:
|Day||Best time to post on TikTok|
|Monday||6am, 10am, 10pm|
|Tuesday||2am, 4am, 9am*|
|Wednesday||7am, 8am, 11pm|
|Thursday||9am, 12am*, 7pm|
|Friday||5am, 1pm, 3pm|
|Saturday||11am, 7pm, 8pm|
|Sunday||7am, 8am, 4pm|
According to Influencer Marketing Hub’s data, the worst times to post on TikTok are
For what it’s worth, here’s how these times compare to Instagram. As mentioned, there are numerous studies and findings for Instagram. For the chart below, I used Later’s data.
Interestingly enough, there isn’t much overlap!
This may be due to the demographic differences between the two platforms. Instagram’s largest age group is 18-34 while TikTok’s is 10-19—very different lifestyles (but rest assured, TikTok is not just for Zillennials. It’s also important to note that Later’s study did not include Reels, so we’re not comparing apples to apples here.
The only times that overlapped were: Monday 6am, Friday 5am, Sunday 7am
Because TikTok. Need I say more?
But seriously, why does it matter? If the dreamy intro didn’t answer this question or if you’re more of a pragmatic, here are three reasons.
Sometimes the right time can lead you to the right content.
As with any study like this, the times should only be used as a guideline. Every account is different so it’s best to find your own right time to post on TikTok. Here are some ways to do it.
This is a must in any social media marketing strategy. Make sure you have a full understanding of the lifestyle of your TikTok audience members. This means creating personas and walking through a typical day in their shoes. When are their busy times, downtimes, bored times, stressed times, social times? For example, if your target audience is kids, right after school might be a prime time while if your target audience is working professionals, it might be lunchtime or late at night. This will help you get a ballpark range as to when they’re most likely to be on TikTok, as well as what some of the themes in your content should be.
A Pro account is free! Go to your profile, tap the hamburger icon in the top right and select Privacy and settings. Tap Switch to Pro Account.
Once you’re set up, you can access analytics by tapping on that same hamburger icon, then Privacy and settings, then Analytics. These include:
I don’t know about you, but accessing any sort of analytics on a phone just doesn’t do it for me. Plus, desktop analytics gives you a bit more information to work with and you can export them.
To view analytics on desktop, hover over your profile photo in the top right and click “View Analytics.”
Brie Anderson walks through her TikTok analytics on desktop in the above video.
Here’s where that Content tab comes back into play. Rather than having to tap on each video on your device to view its individual performance metrics separately, you can export it all to a spreadsheet and see it all at once, including:
Much easier. You can then identify any patterns that will give you clues on the best time to post on TikTok and the best content as well.
Just because your followers are most active at 6pm doesn’t mean you should post at 6pm In his YouTube video on TikTok analytics, Owen Video shares that while his peak time is 6pm, he’ll post on TikTok around 1pm so the video can start collecting engagement and then peak during the peak time. Make sense?
If you’re just starting out with TikTok, you might not have enough data to work with to see your followers’ engagement patterns. In the meantime, look at the analytics of your other social media channels to see when they’re most active.
Native analytics may not tell you an ideal posting time, but you can get audience insights and clues there. Or, use a social media management platform that does tell you the best time to publish, like Hootsuite:
No two accounts are the same, but you can probably get a general idea of when to post by looking at accounts that are already popular in your target audience. These users most likely have their prime posting times nailed down, so ride on their coattails for a bit until you have your own analytics to go by.
@mikekruzich How to Spy On Your TikTok Competitors For FREE! 🤫 #tiktokgrowthhack #tiktokgrowthtips #tiktokgrowth ♬ original sound – jenn
Marketing is all about the right content at the right time. We’ve covered the right time, now let’s talk about the right content.
People are complicated. We love surprise but at the same time like familiarity too (more marketing psychology here). And TikTok seems to be the place where the two come together.
In an interview with Agility PR, creator Grace Hayes talks about the “’shareable sweetspot,’ combining relatability with something that’s never been done before. The Internet loves the unexpected.”
What makes a great headline that draws you in before you skip past it? It strikes a chord by providing just enough information to capture you but not enough—leaving you to want more and click to get it. Headlines that hook tend to be:
And since this is video, throw some music, movement, and emotion in there and you’ve got your viewers hooked.
Here are some headline examples and templates to inspire your TikTok videos:
A study by SEMrush found that while popular dance videos receive more plays than other genres, they also receive less shares and comments. In fact, 51% of viral videos featured a person speaking to the camera.
Digital communications expert Dan Slee found that the optimum TikTok video length is 15.6 seconds. He watched the top 100 TikTok videos of 2019 and found that 80% of them were 20 seconds or less, and only 2% ran the maximum length. This is the original video length allowed by the platform (it went from 15 seconds to one minute and now it’s at three minutes).
TikTok live, of course, is an exception. You can learn how to go live on TikTok here.
Save your sob stories for Facebook, people (better yet, your diary). That same study by Semrush found that 58% of viral videos were of funny and happy nature (vs 24% for surprise, 9% anger, 4% sadness, 3% fear, and less than 1% embarrassment). In the chart below, we see that humor was the top genre. I wouldn’t necessarily count humor as a genre though, as you can incorporate humor into any industry or category—especially with the relatability mentioned in the first point.
The more videos you post, the more likely you are to show up on someone’s FYP right? Yes and no. TikTok recommends posing 1-4 times per day, but don’t just post just to post. Find a format/theme, genre that people like and that you can create variations on, and then only post when you have crowd-pleasing content. You can get even more TikTok marketing tips here.
Going against the grain isn’t the name of the game on TikTok. Use viral sounds, participate in challenges, do the Duets, embrace it all. TikTok songs are like Instagram hashtags. They are portals to endless threads of videos that just may lead a viewer to yours. And use hashtags too.
At the end of the day, TikTok is a place for happiness, humor, and relatability. Forcing any one of these things has the opposite effect. Don’t stress, be yourself, and actually have fun. This will reflect in your content and resonate with viewers.
Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in SEO and copywriting and finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.
See other posts by Kristen McCormick
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