As with any social media platform, the best time to post on Instagram is during higher activity time frames. Posting when activity is high can directly affect how many views, likes, and comments your picture or video receives. (Engagement)
If you’re a local business with local followers, this will make or break your marketing efforts.
The best time to post on Instagram Nuts & Bolts
Lets face it, you and I know the best time to post on Instagram is around the same time everyone else will be posting to the platform. But thankfully since Instagrams feed as gone algorithm this opens an opportunity to stand out.
First of all, you need to make sure you have the best content to post. If your content sucks … sorry no matter when you post it you will lose the Instagram engagement race.
Having great content is as important as knowing when the best time to post on Instagram is.
The better it is, the more attention it’s going to get. It should be a picture or video of something you know your target audience is going to be interested in and it should be the best it can possibly be. We go over this in Detail in our Instagram Growth hacking course and more tips on how to hack engagement on Instagram.
You want to get their attention with your post and keep it. So make sure your picture or video is something they want to see.
There are a ton of factors that go into if a user will engage with your post base on what you post. It’s not just about comments and likes, instagram measure views impressions and reach as well.
These metrics all go into determining if a user wants to see your next piece of content.
Instagram & Facebook also can identify the content of your post even without the captions!!
Facebook has A.I. platforms (A.K.A Segmentation Frameworks) it uses to help the blind identify what’s in an image on FB. This A.I. technology is also used to help Facebook & Instagram identify what’s in an image I.E. the content.
When you viewed that cat image and liked a few Kardashian photos and now all of a sudden your IG explore feed is filled with Cats & Kardashins.
Katdashin Effect! we call this.
The explore feed populates based on a combination of things like, Pages you follow, Images you have liked and silent factors like Images you have viewed.
To get on the IG explore page we have outlined a few simple rules for posting.
To begin with, it’s good to follow a few general rules about posting.
Don’t post during work hours, but instead before and after those hours.
The point is to get users during their down time with the ultimate goal being … Instagram Engagement.
Although, lunch hours, usually 11 am-1 pm, can be good for engagement, because users like to get a glance of their news feeds.
Since weekends can be hit or miss, it’s better to save important posts for a very active weekday, unless you know for sure that your target audience is more active on Saturday or Sunday.
If you are unsure of when your particular followers will be more active, post during Instagram peak times.
Week day evenings after 5, and more prominently between 7-9 pm, and mornings at the same time, 7-9 am. These seem to be the the best hours to post according to most surveys.
Generally, Mondays seem to have more active engagement, but there really isn’t a bad time to post.
But because every account has a different set of followers, possibly from different time zones, each business will have a different set of active hours to post on Instagram to get the most engagement.
Since Instagram changed the way you see things, using algorithms instead of chronological posting, it is even more important to post at peak times of activity.
These algorithms post what they believe you want to see by what is the most popular first, then the next popular, and so on. Some posts you see may be hours old, while you may not see a newer post at all.
More favorable pictures and videos are going to see more activity and so more people will see them because it’s getting more engagement. The more viewers to see it, the more activity it has, and so the loop goes on and on.
This is how the Instagram algorithm works.
Of course, it is still best to know what time and day your target audience is most active, so that these algorithms can work better for you. SO you should post the content that they will not only engage with but will help your account attract more followers.
Knowing the demographics of your target audience is important in learning when they are active on Instagram.
Another trait to consider when deciding the best time to post is whether your followers are from all over the world or from one particular area. If they are from a particular area, they will be in the same time zone, and will probably have about the same active times. If your followers are from all over the world, however, it will be harder to calculate when the most active time is.
You may need to verify several active times, once for each time zone you have followers in.
Also, if you’ve noticed any patterns to getting engagement when you post at different times, you should make note of them.
Lastly, Make sure you take advantage of Instagram analytics to get a basic Idea of when you followers are most active.
And if you want deeper intelligence I would suggest a platform like Iconosquare to help you dig deep into your accounts data and your competitors.
The cool features in Iconosquare help you Identify which Filters, hash tags and even tags help you get the most engagement. Additionally, the platform not only tells you when your users are online it tells you when you have received the most engagement based on when you post.
Giving you that sweet spot and best time to post on Instagram focused on when your users are most active with YOUR content vs. just online.
To help with quickly Identifying your followers on a surface level use Instagram insights in your mobile app.
It will show you where your followers live, reveal their gender and age, and most importantly, which times they are most active.
In addition to demographic data, Insights also shows you which days and times see the most activity from your followers.
Now that you know which times and days that will most likely be more active, you need to track how much interaction you receive after posting at these times. This will help you pinpoint the absolute best time and day to post to Instagram.
Start out varying your times of posting when your audience is active. Keep track of how many likes, comments, and shares each post receives.
Make sure to mark the date and time of when they were each posted.
The next week, you can change the times a bit to see if the results differ, but stay within the hours you know your followers to be active. After a few weeks, you should start to see a pattern emerge and will see which times work best for getting traffic on your posts.
Or you can just try Iconoquare for free and it will knock out this task for you.
Even though you’ve found which times get the best engagement on your posts, your job still isn’t quite finished. You can keep your post more active by responding to each like, share, and comment.
Thank followers for liking and sharing your post. Respond to a comment by answering a question, explaining or adding additional information, or just saying thank you for a compliment.
Sometimes this type of engagement can lead to acquiring new customers.
Stay on top of what’s going on in your Instagram post, don’t just set and forget.
Who knew posting to Instagram could be so involved? (Raises Hand)
The truth is Instagram is a great place for businesses to market their products and find new customers.
Unfortunately, you can’t just post any time and expect results.
But by learning to post when your followers are most active, you can boost your popularity, engage more traffic, and gain not only new followers, but also customers.
In closing, I hope you use this post to help you Identify the best time to post on Instagram for yourself and your brand. User activity is the starting point but remember engagement is key.