Reddit is the internet giant hiding in plain sight.

Reddit – more than any news site – is the front page of the internet, the aggregator of its collective thoughts, creations, outbursts, and more. According to Alexa, Reddit is the 4th most-visited website in the US, after only Google, Youtube, and Facebook. Some dispute this ranking, and they may be right, but whatever the case, Reddit is one of the centers of online gravity for millions of people in America and around the world.

Its unique, bare-bones setup allows both original and shared content to flourish, getting upvoted and driving traffic to whichever webpage Reddit’s collective consciousness focused on that day or hour. That is the crux of the issue – you can post on Reddit wherever (on any subreddit you have access to) and whenever – at any point during the day. But there are definitely better and, statistically speaking, “best” times to submit content.

In this article, we’re going to examine what those times are, general guidelines to follow in regards to when to post, and how to determine when the best time to post is for you.

What do the Numbers Say?

Since most Reddit traffic comes from users and visitors based in the US, it’s simple enough to deduce that that best times to post on Reddit are when people living in the US are up and about. But what times specifically are the best?

Luckily for us, a Redditor who goes by the username “antirabbit” wrote a Python script, scraped the data, and crunched the numbers to come up with a definitive answer to the question. He used a random sample of 73,000 posts for the default subreddits new users are automatically subscribed to (and which are the largest subreddits by subscriber and submission count on Reddit) and took the performance of submissions posted on Monday from 8 to 10 AM US Central Time as the baseline point of reference.

In his analysis, he found that those submissions that did the best were those posted in the mornings on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. More specifically, posts submitted on Mondays between 6 and 8 AM, on Saturdays between 7 and 9 AM, and on Sundays between 8 AM and 12 PM (US Central Time) did best.

They got scores (roughly, the number of upvotes minus the number of downvotes) between 12% to even 44% higher than the “control group” of 8-to-10 AM Monday posts.

So What Are the Best Times to Post on Reddit?

It’s on the weekends that people can browse Reddit for longer, comment and upvote more and relax on their weekend by spending time browsing the internet.

So what does this mean? Counter to what many people who work with Reddit think, the working week is not, statistically, the better time to gain exposure on Reddit. Although marketers might have a “captive audience” in work-week users and visitors due to many being close to computers and other devices throughout the day, many of them have little time to participate actively by upvoting as well as browse and stay longer on the site.

It’s on the weekends that people can browse Reddit for longer, comment and upvote more and relax on their weekend by spending time browsing the internet. It’s a more widespread way of spending weekend free time than many of us would like to admit.

The morning posting hours ensure that the post has the whole day for Americans from all six US time zones and the four contiguous continental time zones to see your submissions. If they visit that specific subreddit several times throughout, they’ll be more likely to see your post several.

Early morning posts also mean that there is more time to get a discussion going, which is a sure way of attracting attention to your submission. And replying to comments and questions is a good way to promote something by linking to it, as well as ensuring that anyone searching the subreddit in the future for the topic has the chance to come across your comments and submissions.

It should all be done with openness, respect, and subtlety, of course – Redditors will be irritated if they feel that you’re posting to simply and blatantly advertise something. Even worse if they suspect it benefits you directly, you lie by denying it and are found out (it is the internet, after all – you will be found out sooner or later.)

That’s a sure way to compromise your reputation, something which is important and taken seriously on Reddit and can determine whether your submission is received well or not.

What About Specific Subreddits?

The data that the user antirabbit crunched, though, was mostly for the default subreddits. Other subreddits, however, have their own quirks and audiences. In those, the best times to submit content might not overlap with the best times to submit in regards to the default subreddits.

Even if they partly do, this might be because of the overwhelming numbers of US users of Reddit skewing the data. Fortunately, there is an easy-to-use, free online tool that analyses the top posts of any given subreddit and tells you when they were posted.

It’s called Later For Reddit and shows you on which days of the week and at what times of the day the top posts of a particular subreddit were submitted.

An analysis of the “Sweden” subreddit, for example, shows that the best days of the week to post at are 5 to 7 AM US Central Time (11 AM to 1 PM GMT, 12 PM to 2 PM Swedish time) on a Thursday or Friday. If you want to promote something to a Swedish audience, however, you’ll want to publish your posts even earlier, at a time when people in Sweden are waking up and starting their day by checking the various social media they use. This is because US users are the overwhelming majority of Reddit users that the “Sweden” subreddit will receive lots of visitors from the US at US-centric times.

That isn’t to say that all subreddits have such a catch, though – it’s something to keep in mind mostly when posting to place-specific (local, regional, national) subreddits. And nothing should replace your own testing and analysis.

There may be post popularity factors that can’t be easily be picked up on through numbers. You should think carefully and adapt your posting times to subreddits that follow TV shows, sports, games or other niches that have a specific rhythm of activity.

What About Paid Advertising on Reddit?

Paying for advertising on Reddit is one way to bypass the whole question of “when is the best time to post on Reddit?”

With paid advertising, your posts will appear at the top of the front page of Reddit or a subreddit that your target audience is visiting. You can target specific subreddits, users with certain interests, platforms, locations, as well as being able to specify the time of day when you want your ads to appear.

It’s based on the CPM, or cost per 1,000 impressions, that you are ready to bid – that is, the maximum price you’re willing to pay for 1,000 impressions.

The accepted values range from $0.20 to $100 per 1,000 impressions, and you can set your daily and lifetime budgets, too.

Recently (as of September 2017), Reddit has changed its advertising system and targeting algorithm. Now your ads will not appear solely on the subreddits you target, as was the case before. Now, in line with behavioral targeting, users who once visited the subreddit you are targeting may see ads related to it on other subreddits as well as the front page.

As Jamie Quint, Group PM for Monetization and Growth at Reddit put it, “We made this change in response to advertiser feedback that they would like to see an increase in targeted inventory, the idea being that if you’re interested in jerky when you’re on /r/jerky you’re also interested in jerky when you’re not on /r/jerky.”

As one YCombinator user put it in the thread where Quint’s comment appeared, “Reddit is merely stepping into the big leagues.” He went on to explain, drawing upon his experience as a digital advertising agency media buyer, that behavioral targeting allows you to target individuals in a much more specific way than Reddit’s old targeting system, which was “contextual category”-based. That is, it targeted websites, or in this case subreddits, and not the users themselves.

The takeaway from this is that Reddit advertising has changed fundamentally in terms of targeting, but also that the average CPM has, logically, shot up – no longer would people see your ads only if they visited a specific subreddit, but they might be seeing them on other subreddits, too, as long as they had visited one of your target subreddits in the past.

Those 1,000 impressions are reached much faster this way, but the question is whether it is cost-effective and whether people are interested in what you’re offering when they’re not browsing your targeted subreddits. That’s just something to keep in mind when considering whether to invest in advertising on Reddit.

FINALLY

If you decide to implement a free promotion strategy on Reddit, you can consider the best times to post on Reddit to be in the early morning (in the US time zones) on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.

This is because people have more time and opportunities to browse Reddit, either because they have days off or because their working week is just starting. But each subreddit is its own community and will have its own quirks.

In the South Park subreddit, for example, it’s clearly best to post soon after a new episode comes out, right before a season premiere or right after a season finale. On a subreddit for a specific game, it might be best to post after a regular event (such as a weekly update) or a special event, such as the release of new downloadable content.

The general trend still holds true – early morning on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays is the best time to submit your posts to Reddit.

Do your promotion efforts a favor and save yourself a headache – use the tools and data available freely to figure out the best time for your Reddit marketing efforts.

You don’t need to go in blind, and a simple analysis can offer information that will save you a lot of time and effort. Provide good content, build your reputation on the subreddits relevant to you, and you’ll find that the “best time to post” windows get larger and your posts perform better.

It’s one thing to post something decent but promotional every few weeks. Being an active member of the community whose input is valued and who can get away with more due to a trustworthy account “brand” is something else – it’s the next level, one that you should strive to reach. Good luck!

Reddit is a tough nut to crack, but the potential return is great and can lead to warm leads and loyal customers. They don’t call it the front page of the internet for nothing!

TL;DR

If you decide to implement a free promotion strategy on Reddit, you can consider the best times to post on Reddit to be in the early morning (in the US time zones) on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.