Instagram Strategy What Is The Best Time to Post on Instagram? By Gareth O'Sullivan Posted January 26, 2018 Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Twitter So many people ask: what is the best time to post on Instagram? The short answer to that question is, there isn’t a set time that is the best for everyone, it completely varies on your audience. We all have different audiences. Trying to identify the best time for YOU to post on Instagram can be a little tricky, so that’s why I’ve written this article to help make that easier. Why Posting At The Right Time Matters What Is The Best Time to Post on Instagram? Experiment with Different Posting Times I’m Not Able to Post at The Best Time, What Do I Do? How Can I Go Viral by Posting at The Right Time on Instagram? Why Posting At The Right Time Matters Timing is important. Especially for posting content on social media. In order for businesses to maximize their reach and engagement, they should ideally be posting at the right time to reach the majority of their audience. This can be tough if you aren’t 100% sure on what time your audience use Instagram, and even more so, their time-zone. Posting at the right time can result in huge success. Depending on how active your audience is, you could potentially go viral and hit the explore page, just like I did. Not only was this a one-off, it happened several times. Posting at the right time certainly will not only help your Instagram account growth but you’ll also increase website traffic depending on how eye-catching and interesting your content is. If you create stunning content with clear yet engaging Instagram bios that give your audience instructions to click the link in your profile, you’ll see a rise in traffic from Instagram. Now we’ve covered why it’s vital to post at the right time, are you ready to find out when YOU should post on Instagram? Back to Top What Is The Best Time to Post on Instagram? When it comes to posting on Instagram, there’s no set-time that every account should post at. Of course, you can read as many articles as you want about posting on Instagram and whilst a few may say you should post at X time, very few will actually tell you when to post for YOUR account. The reason being is because we all have different audiences. Retailers may share content at a different time compared to SaaS companies. The right time for posting on Instagram really comes down to your target audience and when they are active. The best way to get the correct timing is to do thorough research into your own audience. The good news about this is that it’s possible and quite easy to do. First, you’ll need to identify your audiences time-zone. You’ll then need to find out when they are most active on Instagram. These steps are incredibly easy. All you need to make sure is that your Instagram profile is switched to a business profile. Once you have done that, head on over to your profile and click the insights icon. Then click on the “followers” section to view more detailed insights about your audience. This section will give you key information about your audience such as their gender, age range, top locations – cities and countries, and when your followers are active on the platform broken down by hours and days of the week. By utilising these insights, you can identify quickly what is the best time to post on Instagram. Instagram for Business 101 Grab our ebook Instagram for Business to take your Instagram game up a notch! For example, by looking at my insights for my travel niche Instagram account where I share high-quality photos from my travels exploring the world, my audience is travel-minded consumers and photographers so they might be active on Instagram at different times than your audience. The best times for me to post on Instagram would be the following: Mondays – 6 pm Tuesdays – 3 pm and 6 pm Wednesdays – 3 pm Thursdays – 6 pm Fridays – 6 pm Saturdays – 7 pm Sundays – 6 pm It’s important to regularly check your insights as these have changed recently from when my account was much smaller. My audience was active mostly around 7-8pm and sometimes occasionally 9 pm. Some Instagram accounts that I’ve managed for businesses, their most active audiences were utilizing the platform around 5 pm, 7 pm, and 9 pm. Others had an active audience in the morning. It really all comes down to your targeted audience. Finding out what their habits are for checking their social media will allow you to be one step above your competitors for posting at the optimal time. Sometimes, the best time to post may be during the weekends, at a time when you are unable to commit to posting. This is where Sked (formerly Schedugram), or any scheduling tool, comes in handy and allows you to be worry-free about your Instagram scheduling. Back to Top Experiment with Different Posting Times After finding out the best time to post on Instagram using the insights on your business profile, don’t just go ahead and use those times to post. Those times are only telling you that your audience is most active during that specific hour. If you really want to go further, you could go more-in-depth and identify the exact time in that hour that your audience is really active on Instagram. This part can be quite time-consuming however it definitely pays off. I’ve tried this several times and when I discovered some of my audience were active at 13:30 my post went viral and hit the explore page. If I had shared at 13:00 the outcome may have been different. To successfully identify the optimal time within that hour, you should consider experimenting with your posts. What I’ve done previously which had helped identify the best time, was to write down different times within that hour. For example, let’s say the optimal time according to your Instagram business profile insights was 7pm. You may consider posting at 7:10pm, 7:20pm, 7:30pm, 7:40pm. 7:50pm. After monitoring and analysing the engagement and reach for those different posting times, you should then consider experimenting even more. You might consider posting at 7:25pm, 7:28pm and 7:33pm. Writing down the engagement and reach is vital for you to track what timing worked best. I tend to do this on Google spreadsheets and I’d recommend you do too. Back to Top I’m Not Able to Post at The Best Time, What Do I Do? The best time to post on Instagram may not be the best time for you. You might be busy, asleep, or even on vacation 😉 failing to post at the optimal time will result in less engagement and most likely less traffic and reach. However, there are various ways you can resolve that. I usually do one of two things. 1. Utilize Sked’s Instagram scheduler This option is by far the easiest and allows me to get on with other stuff and not worry about my Instagram scheduling. I simply upload my content, or in some cases, may create it within Sked using the Canva integration, add it to my Sked queue which has set times for the posting at the best moment. How to Queue Your Content in Sked To set up a queue for your Sked account, open the app and click on the ‘Setup Queue’ button or ‘Queue Settings’ in the sidebar menu. Next, turn on the ‘Enable queue’ switch (see green arrow below) and select the time zone you want to use (red arrow). Then, click the ‘add’ button on the days you want to publish your content and enter the best times for your audience. And boom! You’re done. Now, whenever you queue a post, it will be added to the bottom of your queued content list. Then, when one of the publishing times you set comes around, the app will automatically grab the top post from your queue and publish it for you at the correct time. And if you want to check your publishing schedule, you can do it in a glance using the social media calendar (see below). If you want to make changes to one of your queued posts, open the calendar, find your post, then drag it to a different date/time or click on the edit icon to alter the caption, hashtags, image etc. You can also click on the preview icon (eye symbol) to see what your post will look like once it’s published in your feed. Sometimes I’ll even log-in to the mobile app to check out my upcoming posts which is an extremely handy app. 2. Create draft posts on Instagram The other option that I sometimes do, but not too often is utilize Instagram’s saved drafts feature. I’ll create my posts using that and save them as drafts then when the time is right, I’ll share them and copy my set of hashtags from my notes app and place them in the comment. Whilst this option is great, it’s much more time-consuming and requires you to be constantly on the app at the right time to post. That’s why Sked is the best option for scheduling content ahead of time. Back to Top How Can I Go Viral by Posting at The Right Time on Instagram? Let me first put this out there. Going viral on Instagram isn’t just about posting at the right time. It comes down to your content, captions and most of all, your hashtags. You need to have a good set of well-researched hashtags that will allow you to stand out and get noticed. There’s honestly no point in using hashtags with over 100,000,000 posts. Your content needs to be very eye-catching and make your audience interested to find out more and maybe leave a comment. Having a clear caption with a strong call-to-action will help with more comments. From my own experience and research, I’ve found that comments are more valuable than likes on Instagram. However, not just any random comments. Those that are four or more words in a comment that also include some emojis help with the ranking of your post. Of course, your content also needs to be very eye-catching and make your audience interested to find out more and maybe leave a comment. Keeping Your Hashtags Organised Using Sked’s Hashtag Manager Once you’ve done the hard work finding a great set of hashtags, you can use Sked’s hashtag manager to store and organize them. It lets you separate your hashtags into groups, and then add them to your posts in bulk with just a couple of clicks. Instagram for Business: The Definitive Guide for Brands and Agencies Download our Ebook to learn everything you need to know about leveraging Instagram! Not only do you need to gather a lot of comments, but they need to be within a very short time-period of posting. This will result in your post potentially going viral as the Instagram algorithms will notice that this specific post is of interest to people and they find it engaging. Instagram want people to share engaging content so therefore they will display your content to even more of your audience, which then will result in more people engaging with it. The followers of those that engage with your content may then also engage with it as they will see the engagements in their “Following” tab. This tab displays the activity of the people you follow. And then those followers might also engage. So on and so on… This will only happen if you post at the best time on Instagram, so like I mentioned earlier in this post, timing is vital. PRO TIP: You can increase engagement by almost 30% when you tag people, products, and locations in your posts. Sked fully supports tagging. To find out how to enable it for your account, follow the instructions in this article. Back to Top Best Time to Post Instagram Stories The best time to post on your Instagram Stories will be similar if not maybe the same time. Like with finding when the best time to post on Instagram, you will need to do some research and experiment with your Instagram stories. Whilst it’s limited with regards to insights, you may need to regularly check and write down the total number of views at each stage you check. It would also be worth noting how many taps, swipes right, swipes up and other important insights you may find. This will allow you to identify what content works best and when might be the best time to post on Instagram Stories. Just like with posting content on Instagram normally, it can be a little tough if you are busy. That’s where another feature of Sked comes in handy here. Once you have identified your optimal time for posting on Instagram Stories it’s now time to look at efficient ways to share content directly to it. One method is using Sked’s Instagram Story scheduling. Again, this is completely safe as the stories just like other posts are all uploaded via real phones. And if you have an Instagram business account that lets you use links in your stories, you can add them using Sked and then track how many clicks they get with the app’s own analytics. Over to You! So now you know how you can identify the best times to post on Instagram, you should consider experimenting even more. Post two or more pieces of content a day on the platform and you will have a bigger reach. You may also receive more engagement, especially if you are very active on the platform. What this also means is you will have a higher chance of going viral as you are posting more than just once. Again this will come down to the type of content and how quickly you can rack up engagement on your content. Below are some important points that will help your content perform well, especially if posted at the optimal time. –> Clear Call-To-Actions in captions –> Great set of researched hashtags. Ideally 25-30. –> High-quality content –> Adding location tags –> Tagging relevant accounts in your content To learn how to better utilize Instagram to grow your business today, click here. If you have any questions feel free to tweet me or drop a comment below. I’d love to know what times you usually post on Instagram and the results you get! If you’re looking to carve out hours in your social media workflow, sign up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week.