Is there really a best time of the day to post on Instagram, so your photos and videos get more views, likes, and comments?
Actually, there isn’t. Most of the articles around the Internet tell you to post between 8:30am and 11:00am, and then after 5:00pm because that’s when people commute to/from work and browse their Instagram accounts.
But this idea overlooks those people who are in meeting rooms, get bored and scroll through Facebook and Instagram, or those who work from home (e.g. freelancers and bloggers) and don’t commute at all.
Assuming that the recommended one-size-fits-all model will work perfectly for your business might hurt your engagement rates and your personal connection with your user base.1
In March last year, Instagram changed the order in which they show photos and videos. Your news feed is now based on “the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”
Establishing the best time to post on Instagram depends on so many factors and implies the ability to aggregate your results with insights from your competitors, and requires a macro analysis of your industry.
Those who follow Ikea on Instagram are more tempted to engage with the Ikea content on Thursday or Friday because Saturday is a family Ikea day, and are less likely to engage on Monday when they are more likely to be looking for food at the office.
Key factors to consider when deciding on the best time to post on Instagram
#1. Your audience’s time zone.
Let’s say that you’re located in a city on the west coast, but most of your followers are in New York, on the east coast. Adapt your publishing hours to the most popular hours for your audience, not for you.
You could use Instagram’s native analytics tool to get the optimal posting time for your audience. The native app gives you insights for your followers’ locations, their genders, their ages, and, most importantly when they’re most active on Instagram. To access these insights don’t forget to transform your account into a business account.
#2. When your competitors are posting.
Complete your timeline research with your competitors’ actions on Instagram. Use tools like Socialinsider, which tracks every movement your competitors make on Instagram and see when your competition gets the highest engagement rate on their Instagram posts.
#3. Your industry’s behavior.
Keep track of your buyer persona or user persona behavior. Let’s say you’re selling shoes and promote your business on Instagram, and you are located in Chicago. You know that most people buy shoes late in the evening. Apply this insight to your Instagram account and measure the results over time.
#4. What you’re posting.
The timeliness of your post is one factor, but your engagement results depend on what you’re posting. Maybe on Monday people are not interested in shopping or holidays, but they are looking for gifts, books or courses. If the content you are posting is appealing to your target audience, then it will receive more likes and comments.
#5. Find your best time to post on Instagram.
Now that you have learned how your audience behaves on Instagram and what tips & tricks your competitors apply to their strategy, experiment with posting times and measure your progress.
Don’t let the rules of ‘best time’ to define your marketing strategy. Always reinventing your business. It helps you recognize opportunities that create value and to matter to your customers.
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