The seemingly never-ending saga to figure out Instagram continues with the classic question, ‘when is the best time to post on Instagram?’
Some people think that since Instagram is no longer chronological, posting at certain times doesn’t even matter anymore because Instagram will just pick and choose what is seen anyways. While there is some merit to the ‘picking and choosing of Instagram’ for who your content is shown to, the fact is that WHEN you post to Instagram still matters.
Let’s see why…
Instagram may select which content you view based on how likely you are to appreciate and engage with the content. This means that accounts you engage with often will be shown to you first before accounts you engage with minimally. This is Instagram’s attempt to show you the things you most want to see to make the most of your time spent on the app.
Did you read that up there? Go read that paragraph again.
“This means that accounts you ENGAGE with often will be shown to you first..”
Engagement is the main factor in determining which posts are being shown to you when you open up your feed. The next thing Instagram does is takes posts from other accounts you follow with high engagement rates and shows them to you. This is under the premise that something posted on Instagram that is receiving high engagement when it’s first posted must be great content worth showing to those who follow the account.
So what do we do with this information?
You find the best time for you to post your on-brand and engagement-ready content.
Finding the best time to post on Instagram…
Finding the best time to post on Instagram isn’t actually rocket science (although let’s be real, it can kind of feel like it). We’ve been seeing articles come out lately where people analyzed millions of posts to find the overall BEST TIMES to post on Instagram. When you read these graphics and beautifully designed infographics, the one thing they don’t take into consideration is your unique brand and ideal client. The people that follow you are unique and you can take advantage of when they are on Instagram to post your content at a time they are most likely to see it.
Here’s our breakdown on determining the best time to post on Instagram.
Step 1 – Go to your Business Account profile page on Instagram.
This is important. If you do not have a business account you aren’t able to see the insights Instagram is providing for you. This is a crucial part of the process and we recommend that if you are a business, you have a business account.
Step 2 – Tap the 3 lines on the top right, then tap into Insights.
This is where you’ll gain access to all of the amazing tools that will help you find the right time to post for you! There are a few key areas we look to find the best times to post…
Step 3 – Grab a notebook and jot down the following insights:
Tap on Audience at the top right, then scroll down to the bottom where it says Followers. You’ll have the option to see HOURS or DAYS.
The HOURS will show you the average times your followers are on Instagram on a typical day. From the image below, you can see that on a Tuesday, 9pm, follower by noon and 6pm, then 3pm and 9am are all times our followers are active on Instagram.
If you select the DAYS, it will show you the days of the week when your followers are most active.
*pro tip: tap on the bar graph to see the actual numbers pop up!*
Jot down the DAYS of the week your followers are spending online the most, writing down the top 4. Then, under the HOURS, write down your top hours from those 4 days.
For WC, it looks like this:
Wednesday (3.6k) – 9pm, noon, 3pm
Friday (3.5k) – 3pm, noon, 6pm/9pm
Sunday (3.5k) – 3pm, 9pm, noon
Monday (3.6k) – 9pm, 6pm/3pm
Step 4 – Schedule your content for your best times to post!
That’s right, friends! We are already scheduling our content for the best times to post according to our notes from Step 3.
Determine how many posts you want to send out during the week and then schedule your posts for your times. If you were looking at your numbers, you’ll be able to clearly see if there are any dates and times that REALLY stand out to you as a key time to post at. This will be when your numbers for both the days of the week and the times were especially high.
For WellCurated, we post 7 times a week.
With this number in mind, we could divide up our posts with the following scheduled based on our insights:
Monday 3pm + 9pm
Wednesday noon + 3pm
Friday – noon + 6pm
Step 5 – Track it!
Schedule your posts for your times and see what happens! Track the insights on each post and see if you’re maximizing the times your followers are on Instagram.
One KEY POINT we want to make is this…
You can post your content when your followers are most active on Instagram, but if you aren’t posting content that is in line with your brand and speaks to your ideal client, you just might be wasting your time. When you post for times that line up with when your followers are on Instagram, you want to be sure you are posting the best content you can create! This is content that IS engaging because of the image and caption.
Learn more about how to create content that stays true to your brand while speaking to your ideal client, and how to lay it all out on Instagram to see increased engagement and growth for your business, check out our online course, The Curated Grid.
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