Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms—and for good reason!
With a massive audience and potential market, it offers an abundance of benefits for those willing to venture into that space.
And one question you might ask yourself: How can I maximize the impact of my Insta post?
Well, there’s many strategies out there, but today we’ll be focusing on one simple but powerful strategy: Getting your timing right.
Identifying the peak times for your audience and understanding their biological clocks on Instagram can help you get high engagements, and get the most out of a single post.
Ultimately, this will allow you to get better insights into your target market, develop an actionable and consistent engagement strategy, and reach more followers!
Does that sound like something you want to do?
Read on to find out what is the best time to post on Instagram, and tactics you can use to take your posts from where they are now to rockstar engagement levels!
What should I consider before I publish my Instagram post?
A recent study on social platforms showed that Instagram is the second most logged in social media site for daily usage.
Whether you’re looking to do research and collect customer insights, launch a new business/service or simply get your brand name out there, the platform offers a huge audience to cater to.
That said, you need to understand that there’s a ton of competition. Yes, you can create A-level content, craft visually high quality content like stimulating infographics, but timing is key…
(Else you’ll just get buried with the rest).
In fact, every social media platform has a window which is referred to as the ‘peak period’. This is the time slot during which large numbers of users are online, surfing through content and engaging actively.
This peak time is considered one of the best slots to post your content and get the ball rolling. If you’re looking to optimize customer satisfaction, this is the best time to interact with your audience because they’re actively seeking engagement.
So what’s the peak period?
Well that depends. But a lot of research has been conducted in this space to determine the best times to post. This can be broken down into differentiating factors such as days of the week, hours of the day or even the type of content you share.
According to studies conducted by SproutSocial, here are the statistically proven best times to engage and post your content on Instagram.
On a day-basis
The results from the studies showed that the best day to post on Instagram is Wednesday. On the contrary, the worst day is Sunday.
The work-days of the week, that is Monday through Friday, are shown to have the highest engagement with levels reducing during the weekend.
On a time-basis
When it comes to the optimum time of the day to post, Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. are said to be the optimal windows. Engagement tends to be low early in the morning (before 6 a.m.) and after 9 p.m.
However, generally speaking, Instagram has consistent levels of engagement through the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Note: All time frames are based on the Central Time Zone (CST).
On a sectoral-basis
Depending on the type of business profile you have and the audience you cater to, there are specific niche-relevant timings to consider as well.
For example, Instagram is a wonderful space for providers of online courses to interact with their prospective and existing students while creating a visual profile.
You can create snippet-sized videos using video-editing tools available to showcase student testimonials from those who successfully completed your course. In this case, the best day and time to post is Friday at 10 a.m.
How do I find the best time to post on Instagram?
To find the optimum time that suits your business profile on Instagram, there are a few things you can do by yourself to fine-tune your social media posting schedule.
Step 1: Review your Instagram insights
An amazing source of information when you’re trying to figure out your best posting time is to check out your Instagram insights.
If you haven’t already, leverage your Instagram insights, the platform’s native analytics tool that can provide information regarding your followers’ demographics. It can also provide data regarding the individual performances of your posts and even your stories.
Not only can you obtain data regarding your followers’ age, gender and location. Guess what else?
That’s right. The time they’re logged in and viewing/engaging with your content.
Depending on the results of this information, you can then structure your publishing schedule for the times that drive the most impact with your biggest followers!
Pro-tip: Instagram Insights are only accessible with Instagram business or creator profile.
Another key point to keep in mind is the time zones and global region your followers are located in. For example, if you have a large following from New York but another populous niche in London, you should consider both the EST and GMT time-zones in your posting schedule.
These are all specific factors that can affect your business model on Instagram and should be researched thoroughly before fixating on a time.
Step 2: Experiment till you get it right
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “I didn’t fail the test. I just found a hundred ways to do it wrong.”
Likewise, it’s time to get testing. Identifying your optimum time-frames to post is just one step and approach. The next is to implement and keep track of the results.
That’s right – it’s time to get experimenting!
A good way to do this is by maintaining a spreadsheet with the days and times you plan to post against the criteria you want to evaluate (think: likes, comments or both!)
For example, if you identified that your followers are most active on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; schedule posts for each of these hours on each of these days.
Then, track the number of likes/comments received against each post.
It might take some time and also multiple experiments of this nature, but by the end of it, you’ll have a clear picture of when your followers want to be engaged.
This will help you decide how these timings fit into your plan of boosting traffic, and ultimately, help elevate your sales.
Step 3: Evaluate the type of content you post
Depending on the type of content you post, that is, whether they range from engaging infographics to videos; high quality photographs to music-based stories, it’s a good time to determine an optimal time for each.
For example, if you’re posting a heavy infographic with statistical information, you might want to save that for off-work engagement hours of your followers. The last thing they might want to see while at work is a numerical-based post, after all.
But if your content is surrounding humorous videos or heart-warming stories, you can schedule them for peak-times during work hours (think: lunch breaks). This is time people tend to get on their phones and look for an escape from work stress!
The key here is not just having an understanding of what time your followers are on Instagram but also comprehending their psyche.
Put yourself in their shoes: what kind of content would you want to see at specific times if you were the end consumer?
Make your Instagram content time-sensitive
In this era of widespread digital transformation, maintaining the relevance of your Instagram profile can make a huge impact and drive your engagements.
Whether this is by regularly churning out high quality content, creating a killer call-to-action in your Instagram bio-link or even just posting once a day at the perfect time; it’s all about the constant drive to maintain your digital presence on the platform.
By planning your posts in line with what your followers want and when they wish to engage with you, not only can you achieve your marketing goals but you can simultaneously drive your business vision!
After all, it takes just one post at that right time to make all the difference.
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Mark Quadros is a freelance content marketer who helps SaaS and online-business develop content that not only drives traffic but also boosts user-engagement. In his free time, he loves traveling the world and living a minimalist life from his backpack. Learn more about Mark here.