Contributing valuable content is your top priority when engaging a Reddit community. The value of your post will largely determine how your post is received by the community, however, there are other factors to consider. One of the most important factors is the timing of your submission. A valuable post submitted at the right time can spend an entire day at the top of a subreddit. That same post, submitted at the wrong time, might not get any attention.
In this article we discuss the key factors that determine when a post should be submitted and how you can objectively determine the best time to submit your post to a subreddit.
The best days to submit
When it comes to general traffic patterns, there is no reason to think that Reddit is any different from the rest of the internet. In most cases, you should submit your posts to Reddit between Monday and Thursday. These are the biggest traffic days because people are near a computer either at home or work. Of course, there are numerous exceptions but this is your general rule of thumb.
The best time to submit
Reddit is based in the US and largely driven by US traffic, so the best time to submit largely depends on US timezones and general routines of the US population. Based on Randal Olson’s work, it seems obvious that redditors jump on the site in the morning when they wake up. It is also likely that traffic surges happen at lunch time and when the work day ends. By submitting your post at a time that takes advantage of these traffic patterns, you can maximize your post’s chances of reaching the top of a subreddit.
Randal Olson suggests that the optimal time to submit is 9am Eastern Time. This makes sense as it is early enough to catch the Central timezone before they go to work and the Pacific timezone as when they wake up. It is also late enough so that the post does not start falling down the page before the Eastern timezone goes on their lunch break. If your post is near the top of a subreddit by 1pm Eastern Time and all of the posts above it are older than it, there is a good chance it will reach the top of the subreddit and stay there the rest of the day.
Based on the data we see using the RedditLater analysis tool, the optimal submission window for most subreddits is 8:30am to 10:30am Eastern Time.
Each subreddit is a unique community and therefore might have its own tendencies when it comes to traffic patterns. To analyze a specific subreddit, use the RedditLater analysis tool, which will show you the days and times that the top posts were submitted to a given subreddit.
Above are the top posts by hour of the day for /r/AskReddit and /r/NoSleep. You can see how these patterns differ. /r/AskReddit is a general subreddit that follows the traffic patterns of the average internet user. /r/NoSleep is a subreddit for late-night redditors and therefore follows a different pattern of internet usage.
Before you submit to a subreddit, consider whether or not it might follow an abnormal pattern of internet usage and double check when other top posts are being submitted to it with the RedditLater analysis tool.
Only so many posts can be at the top of a subreddit on a given day, so competition from other content is an important factor to consider before submitting.
For example, a recycling company wants to engage /r/Environment to get feedback on a new marketing campaign. On a normal day the company’s post should do well, however, on an election day their post would not rise out of obscurity as the entire community is focused on discussing the ballot issues and the candidates that support environmental causes.
Before submitting, make sure you understand the context of the community and any relevant events that are happening. Also, check the subreddit to see if there is already a lot of great content at the top that day. Unless you are posting something that is time sensitive, it is better to wait until the next day when the competition for the top of the subreddit is not so tough.
Most of all, know your subreddit
Nothing is more important than knowing the subreddit you are submitting to on a deep level. By reading a subreddit and participating in the comments on a regular basis, you will get a feel for what types of content they will find valuable and redditors will upvote valuable content no matter what time of day it is submitted. That being said, understanding the basic traffic patterns of Reddit and using tools like RedditLater will help increase your chances of submitting a popular post.