How to judge the best time to post on Instagram?
This is a pretty common question, and marketers have been trying to answer for years through algorithms and research.
You’ve worked hard to build up a following on social media, and you’ve created an impressive campaign but do you know how many people engage with that content? Learning the best times to post on Instagram could be vital to your brand.
The best times to post are not the same across all social media platforms, they all have different demographics, and people use them in very different ways. Posting on Instagram at the right time is as important as the quality of the posts, but not every brand will have the same right time.
Posting at the best time for your company can help you reach more followers, which will lead to a higher engagement rate. The first 15-20 minutes of a post is the most important because Instagram’s algorithm favors the posts that have an initial spike of likes and comments. Getting quick engagement tells Instagram that the post is good quality and pushes it up the feed so more people see it.
As a Business
A high amount of businesses around the world use Instagram, with the number rising every year. It’s a great platform to post engaging pictures and unique video content. Research indicates that Generation X and Millennials are far more likely to purchase from a brand they follow on social media.
The issue businesses are having is it can be difficult to organically appear on user’s feeds due to Ever changing algorithms on the social media site. Here is how to beat that and get your business noticed on Instagram.
The best time to post is on Wednesday at 3 pm, Thursday at 5 am and 11 am and 3-5pm on Fridays. Overall Thursday is the best day as statically that is when there are the most likes and follows. Tuesday is the second best day and Friday the third. Generally, there is less Instagram engagement on the weekend with Sunday having the least active users on the site.
5 am is a busy period because around this time people are waking up and checking their phones for updated content. The midday lull between 11 am, and 2 pm is also popular with users under 25, they will check their phones during their lunch break or bored during studies.
Some professional brands found that their Instagram posts do well between 8 am and 9 am because people scroll on their phones during their morning commute. If you post videos, you are best scheduling them for between 7 pm and 11 pm because people aren’t going to pay attention to them during office hours.
Some general rules to follow
• Post for your demographics’ time zone, this might not be the same as your own, but it is important to pay attention to.
• Post more during off-work hours, for example, lunchtime and in the evening.
• Post important content during the week, rather than at weekends. Wednesdays and Thursdays drive the most engagement so post your important updates on those days.
• Keep Sunday’s as your quiet day as a large demographic of people switch social media off on this day.
Why is it Important?
When you post a picture or video to Instagram it will only appear on a small percentage of follower’s feeds, in some cases, only 10% of your followers will see it.
Instagram’s algorithm will track how quickly those selected followers will engage in it, and this is not only about how many likes your post get but about how quickly your content is liked. The algorithm will then evaluate your post against the rest of the content on a user’s feed, basing it on average engagement rate and speed. Instagram will then judge, based on these merits, if the content posted is right and then will feature it higher up on user’s feeds.
For a Diverse Audience
A significant number of businesses are no longer restricted to local audiences who live in the same city as them. Thanks to online shopping and social media, a brand’s follower count can be scattered all across the world, spanning multiple time zones and continents. This makes choosing a peak posting time a little harder.
Diverse audiences may muddle analytics but there are still ways to reaching your followers. Stagger your posts out throughout the day, this will hopefully reach a diverse amount of people. Post some content early in the morning and other late night. Make sure you are not double posting content, this will make your profile look lazy and unprofessional, but you can overlap concepts and ideas. For example, use the same caption for a different photo or a different angle of the original photo. Track this engagement and see what works for you, if you notice a time slot where there is next to no engagement it’s best to skip that time in the future.
It is important you get as much engagement on your posts as you can, the more people engage with the content the longer the lifespan of your post will be. It doesn’t matter if they are your highly value audience it just matters that a lot of them care about your content.
No one is expecting you to be online during all hours so invest in scheduling software so you never miss the golden window of opportunity. These programs will allow you to queue up posts in advance and schedule them for the desired time without having to be online.
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How Can You Judge What’s the Right Time for You?
The best way for you to find out what time is the best for you to post on Instagram is to test it. Trial and error will also be the most effective way to judge when is the best time to post on Instagram.
All businesses should have their Instagram profiles set up as a business account. By doing this you will have access to Instagram’s useful Insights service that offers an analysis of your account. These Insights give you information like which posts are doing well, your account trends and an overview of the demographics of your followers including what times they are online.
Go to the Followers section of Instagram Insights and click on ‘learn more’ to see an anonymous yet full page of information about your followers. This includes their genre, age, location and a graphic indicating which times their accounts are the most active.
Look at when they are the most active and post content right before it, letting the initial surge carry through the posts. This is a trial and error system, pay attention to your posts and fine-tune your posting schedule around it.
There are so techniques that can help you gather those quick likes. Comment on other people’s content right after you’ve published your own, this will drive more people to your profile and might garner more likes. Use popular hashtags like #love #instagood #tbt and #photooftheday to get your content noticed.
Although you have the ability to use 30 tags per post avoid doing this as it may be picked up as spam. On average choose around 5 tags per post for optimum engagement. Avoid using the same hashtags in every post as the algorithm may flag you are being a spambot, causing your post to have a small reach.
Do not edit your post’s caption or location tag for 24 hours as this will lower your chances of the post being seen, for the same reason deleting and reposting your content later can work against you.
Posting less can be beneficial to getting users to engage with you, find the key times to post and do it minimally. This way your content has more time to circulate, remembering that because of the algorism
Instagram’s follower’s feeds are not in chronological order.
Geotagging will also show your post to more followers, especially if the geotag is a popular location like New York, London or Rome.
Use the new Instagram features, this will allow the company to see your interest in the app and will reward you by showing more content to your followers. Use the new aps like story polls, Highlights or IGTV to get on Instagram’s good side. Try and make these aesthetically pleasing, well titled and flow well to grab follower’s interest.
However, it is still important to post during targeted times of the day or all this hard work might be in vain. If no one is online to like it no amount of hacks and techniques will gain you the likes and comments.
Judging the best times to post on Instagram can help you see a dramatic growth in your Instagram engagement and your follower count. Whilst recent changes to the algorithm has changed the priority order that posts appear on users feeds, uploading during peak periods can help your post getting high engagement.