Are you looking to grow your social media following? Have you been posting a ton of pictures to Instagram only to see little to no activity? Believe it or not, finding the best time to post on Instagram can significantly influence the number of likes, follows, and shares you get.
So, what is the best time to post on Instagram? Well, that depends on a few different factors. Keep reading below to learn the ins and outs of gaining Instagram success.
Does Timing Actually Matter?
Does timing actually matter? We get this question all the time. The timing for social media accounts is as important as location is for real estate. With the amount of media clutter gunking up feeds, ad space, and more it can’t be hard to imagine your post getting easily buried. The reality of the situation is, your posts are most likely getting buried and beaten by your competition.
On average most, active, users on Instagram follow around 100 to 200 accounts. That means, if each of these accounts is posting daily, the individual has a lot of content to scroll through. If you do not post at the right time it may not even be worth it to post at all. Timing can even be more effective than the content itself in some cases.
When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?
Now that you know that timing actually does matter for Instagram posts you can start to learn your individual timing. While there are general statistics you can use, performing your own tests and gathering your own data will be much more effective. Keep reading below to learn just how to figure out what the best time to post on Instagram is for your individual account.
Analyze Your Audience
When trying to figure out the best time to post on Instagram you have to consider your content and the audience it brings. Think about it this way, if you have an account that attracts a foreign audience, you will need to cater to their time zone to achieve the best engagement. Put yourself in your audience's shoes; why are they interested in your account? Would you stop scrolling to like this picture? What makes you think your audience will engage with this post?
Thinking about your audience and the lives they live can not only help you post at lucrative times, but it can also help you to create better content. If you do not have enough of an audience to analyze, there are some general statistics you can begin to work off of. Here’s what we found to be most successful for the Central Time Zone:
Staying on Top
Another reason why choosing the best time to post on Instagram is so important is because recency matters. The more recent a post the higher up on someone’s timeline or newsfeed it is going to be. However, if you gain a lot of traction on a post for the day it can be placed above more recent posts. This is because Instagram wants to provide users with the most up-to-date and relevant content possible. If Instagram sees you have a post today with a lot of engagement you are likely to outshine your competition in ranking just due to recency and relevancy.
Should I Avoid Weekends?
In general, specialists claim that the worst days for engagement are Sunday and Monday. If you absolutely want to try posting on the weekends, we recommend that you avoid Sunday. Try posting on Saturdays around 11:00 AM CDT as you may catch people scrolling at brunch or before they head out of the day. Saturday at 11:00 AM CDT is also an ideal time for those who sleep after a late Friday night and reach for their phones first thing.
How to Figure Out the Best Time to Post on Instagram
Step One: Instagram Business Account
One of the first things you will want to do to figure out the best time to post on Instagram is to set up your account as a business account. An Instagram business account will give you access to a goldmine of usable data. Instagram’s business account allows you a sneak peek into your audience. You can find out the following information from insights through Instagram’s business account:
Once you have gained insight into your followers, you can start catering to their activity. This is one of the best ways to engage your current audience. However, in order to switch your account over to a business account, you will need to connect with Facebook account.
Step Two: Keep Spreadsheets
Keeping spreadsheets sounds like homework, but it is one of the most effective ways to gain consistent data. Make yourself a quick document where you can keep track of what you posted, at what time, and the amount of engagement it garnered in a 24 hour period. Taking a look at your numbers at the end of the week will allow you to tweak timing, content, hashtags, and more for a more effective post.
Step Three: Schedule Posts
If you have looked up the best time to post on Instagram, you may want to invest in a social media scheduler. Do not worry, you do not have to wake up at 5:00 AM to post something quick. These programs allow you to break down what you want to be posted each day and at what time. The best part is, is that these programs will schedule the post and post it for you when it’s time. That allows you to sit back, relax, and watch your engagement roll in.
If you are not sure which program to use to schedule your posts we recommend checking out Later’s Quick Schedule tool. Later is a visual planner as well as a scheduler tool that allows you to plan out posts weeks in advance. The app is free for everyone but does feature different tiers of accounts that offer more and more features.
Step Four: Stick to It
One of the most common things to happen to people trying to grow their Instagram account is getting disappointed and quitting too early. Growing your Instagram account and getting better engagement with your followers takes time, energy, and data. In order for you to give your account the best shot, it has at growing you’ll want to stick to a schedule and consistently record your data for at least 30 days.
Testing your postings for 30 days gives your data the best, most accurate, chance at providing value for you. Anything under 30 days is not considered a true or fair enough test to truly gain insight from your audience and the data. Do your best to stick to it and try not to get too discouraged. After all, we can’t all be one hit viral sensations that gain thousands of followers overnight.
Step Five: Watch Others
One of the best possible things you could do to grow your Instagram account is to follow accounts that you like in similar industries or interests. For example, if you want to post food-related content, take a look at some of the most successful accounts about food. There is nothing wrong with taking a look at your competition and figuring out what makes them tick.
If you notice that an account you like and are looking to emulate posts at a certain time each day, try that! Aside from re-posting exact images or captions, mimicking schedules and ideas is the best form of flattery. Not to mention, tagging an account where you’ve tried to recreate a picture, project, or idea, is a great way to encourage more traffic through cross-linking.
Step Six: Be Consistent
One of the biggest things to remember once you have a formula down is to be consistent. Consistency is key to not only gaining an audience but retaining one. Engaging your current audience shows other potential followers how to interact with your account. If they follow you and see you post every Thursday, they will be expecting content from you on Thursday’s.
As simple as it sounds when a person follows your account they are hoping to see regular content from you. If you shy away from your schedule or stop gathering data your posts are likely to become buried in all of the advertising clutter. Being consistent not only keeps you on top but it ensures you keep your current audience while pushing for new followers.
Finding the best time to post on Instagram can be easy as long as you are willing to put in consistent work. Although there are shortcuts you can take by hiring companies to gather data for you but doing it yourself is free, easy, and much more personal. Sticking to a schedule and being consistent is sure to steadily grow your followers and engagement.
Featured Image Source: Pixabay