Instagram is a great place to market your business and boost your visual identity among dozens of prospects. It also helps you generate plenty of leads that can convert visitors into active customers for your business.
But the truth is, establishing a strong authority and growing a loyal following on Instagram, require time consciousness.
That is why, you must identify the best time to share your content. This refers to the time you can reach a larger audience, get many likes, comments and shares to boost the engagement of your posts.
So, when is the best time to post on Instagram?
The thing is, there's no one-size-fits-all best time to post on Instagram.
Instead, it all depends on your business and your audience. That is their time zone and when your audience is mostly online.
Also, optimal posting time is highly individual and demands in-depth research. Now, how will you know when to post on Instagram?
This post will walk you through the whole process. But first, it’s important to understand why timeliness is a big deal when marketing on Instagram.
Why Timely Posting Matters On Instagram
You'll Target Your Audience When They're Online For Increased Engagement
Consider this for a minute. Isn't it much easier to engage the audience by posting right when they are online? This is a lot easier, especially if you consider tons of other posts on the audience's Instagram feed.
Therefore, timely posting can trigger instant engagement, providing the information to the right audience.
Instagram Focuses On Recent Content
The best chance you'll ever get to boost engagement on Instagram is immediately after posting your content.
Instagram has an algorithm that favors recent and relevant posts, which means that publishing audience-focused content at the right time exposes your posts to a larger audience for enhanced visibility.
That said, here's a closer look at studies showing the ideal moments to post on Instagram.
The Best Day and Time to Post on Instagram (Research-backed)
To paint a clearer picture, let's look at several studies by different companies about Instagram posting. That is, Mavrck, Later, Hubspot and Fortune 500 companies.
Research by Mavrck on 1.3 million Instagram posts revealed that marketers could boost engagement if they post content between 6 AM and 12 PM (your local time).
The reason is that there are less competition from other marketers in that period. Plus, prospects are most likely to keep checking their feeds during those hours. Next, we'll look at the results from Later.
A study by Later on 12 million Instagram posts shows that the perfect time to target your audience on Instagram is between 9 AM, and 11 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST). The company also had the following conclusions:
- The best time to post on Instagram on Sunday: 7 AM, 8 AM, and 4 PM (EST).
- The best time to post on Instagram on Friday: 5 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM (EST).
But those are findings from Later Company. Let's find out more from Hubspot.
According to the Hubspot infographic, people use Instagram all the time because it's a mobile-based platform. And for that reason, you can post any time on Monday through Thursday except for the one hour between 3 and 4 PM.
More interestingly, an info graphic from Fortune 500 proves that off-work hours are still efficient despite many companies posting heavily during business hours.
During work hours, Fortune 500 companies posted videos on Instagram, and an average of 22.5 % of 1000 followers interacted with the video. On the other end, 33.5 % of 1000 followers were engaged during off-work hours.
What Happens If You’re Targeting A Global Audience?
Generally, all the above facts bring one thing to light. The mentioned "best hours to post on Instagram" are not one hundred percent sure. They assume that you are specifically targeting a local audience within your time zone.
But what if you're targeting a global audience? For instance, your business may be located in the U.S, and your goal is to reach out to prospects overseas in China, United Kingdom, or Australia.
How do you overcome the time zone barrier and target your audience (both locally and internationally) at the right time?
Well, start by ignoring the generalized information about when to post on Instagram and develop ways to personalize your posting times based on your unique audience. To do that, here's what you should know.
How To Personalize Your Posting Time For Your Unique Audience
#1. When is Your Audience Online On Instagram?
To answer this question, you need to do thorough research to identify when you’re likely to have more success. And, with providing your posts when prospects are online, you’re going to increase your reach and higher engagement.
So, how do you go about it?
On your Instagram business profile, navigate to: Insights –> Audience; to access the statistics on the days of the week and the time your audience is most active. Even better, the insights provide additional details like location, gender and age.
Insight button on business account: Buffer
With such critical information, you can tailor your posts to target a more specific audience for outrageous results. Also, it's the best way to learn your audience's online habits in different time zones.
What's more, you can employ analytics if you like to have a more detailed hour-by-hour breakdown.
#2. Know How To Experiment With Posting Times
It takes a series of experiments before identifying the perfect and the most productive time to market on Instagram. However, it’s not easy. You'll have some poor results before identifying the ideal time to target your audience successfully.
But that shouldn't deter you, because once you know your specific peak hours to post, you can build a strong presence on Instagram.
Therefore, experiment heavily on your posting times. If you post between 4 PM and 9 PM today, try another range of time the next day. Do this for a couple of weeks and gather the insights from the experiments.
After that, weigh the results of the experiments by looking closely at the number of likes, comments, and shares for specific dates and time. This way, you'll identify the hours with the highest engagement, which will suit you the best for posting on Instagram.
Note: You can create a spreadsheet to track the experiment performance. Alternatively, you can use analytics to compare different posts and identify the most successful content.
Even then, the posting experiments will help you test the performance of different content and identify those that reach out with more power and clarity.
For example, you'll be able to test whether videos are more appropriate than a combination of text and images.
Also, it's a way of finding out the best language or tone to use when approaching your unique audience.
Best Practices When Looking for the Right Time to Post on Instagram
Schedule Your Posts
As a business, scheduling your Instagram posts is a critical necessity for several reasons. Firstly, it enables direct posting, which is time-saving and eliminates forgetfulness.
Secondly, it enables consistent posting that can help build a solid authority and a loyal following on Instagram.
With those two (consistency and direct posting), you can overcome the time zone barrier easily. Think of it this way. If your business is operating in the U.S. and your audience is in Europe, you're in different time zones.
This means your posting times must align with the local time of your audience. Thus you can avoid missing the opportunity to reach non-local prospects and boost engagement.
Posting time - Later
And that's when scheduling your posts comes in handy. You have to set the time for auto-publishing, which ensures the time zone barrier isn't an issue anymore. After all, being asleep while your audience is awake is the last thing you want.
So, how do you schedule your marketing posts on Instagram? Easy. You can use plenty of scheduling tools like Optimal Scheduling tool by Buffer or Instagram Scheduler by Iconosquare.
The best part is, it's easier to use the scheduling tools. You only need to connect your account and schedule your posts with either auto-publishing or push notification options. It's up to you.
After that, you'll be able to create an Instagram content queue to be posted when your targeted prospects are mostly online.
Post For Your Most Active Time Zones
It’s important that you concentrate mainly on time zones that yield desirable results on your Instagram posts. That way, you'll avoid time wastage on leads that are less likely to convert.
For example, let's say you're targeting Instagram prospects in two time zones: Pacific Standard Time (PST) and Eastern Standard Time (EST).
If prospects in the EST time zone generate 90% engagement on your posts while those in PST 10%, it's sensible to focus on the EST time zone and concentrate less on the PST.
Post More On Weekdays (For B2B Companies)
As a B2B company, identifying the perfect time to post on Instagram is during weekdays. The thing is other businesses (your audience) are most likely to look for solutions for their pain points when at work (weekdays), right?
That means you can get more engagement during the week than on weekends. Therefore, leverage the opportunity to improve the effectiveness of your B2B Instagram posts.
But what about B2C companies?
For B2C companies, their audiences are most likely to engage best on weekends when there's plenty of free time.
Offer Top-quality posts
Finding and posting your content at the perfect time isn't enough to guarantee maximum reach and improved engagement. Content quality matters too.
Similar to users in other social media platforms, low-quality posts are a turned-off to Instagrammers. None of them are interested in boring content that is not giving them value in return. Such content is entirely ignored, making it difficult to find the best time to post on Instagram.
So, what should you do to avoid this?
Design your Instagram posts so that they carry audience-focused information that is entirely relevant to the audience. Show your prospects what's in for them and witness the magic – more likes, dozens of positive comments, and plenty of shares.
However, your content might score highly on the relevance part but fail miserably to grab attention and engage more.
And the solution for this is the use of persuasive language to draw them into reading through your content from top to bottom.
If, for instance, it's an infographic you're sharing, ensure of it's high quality such that all figures are visible and the words used are eye-catching.
For the case of video and text posts, ensure the intro is powerful enough and with clarity beyond doubt. If you're sharing images, make them clear, and the colors should appeal more to the audience.
Generally, the secret behind top-quality Instagram posts is understanding your audience perfectly. Know what is relevant to them, the type of content that appeals more to them, and the best voice or language to approach them with.
Remember, top-quality posts engage the audience quickly, and therefore, it's easier to find the ideal hours to publish your content.
How You Can Use Instagram To Grow Your Brand Online Presence
With over 1 billion users, Instagram is the go-to platform to grow your online authority for more lead generation. But timeliness is key. You must be strategic to identify an ideal personalized time to post on Instagram.
That calls for in-depth and data-driven research include:
- Finding your audience's time zone and targeting them right when they are online;
- Experimenting with different posting times. After that, opt for the hours with the largest reach and increased engagement.
Apart from that, there are several best practices to help you identify the peak posting hours:
- Scheduling your posts;
- Posting for your most active time zones;
- Posting on specific days of the week depending on whether you're a B2B or B2C;
- Top-quality content tailored for a specific audience.
Finding the ideal hours to post on Instagram takes time. So, do your research and make sure you only offer quality content. In doing so, the rewards you'll get at the end is worth the effort.