Trying to figure out the best time to post on Instagram can puzzle even the most social media savvy among us.
There are so many factors to consider such as the daily habits of your followers, when they use Instagram and where they are – timezones matter.
There’s a lot to cover here, but before we jump into our thinking and research, here are what we’ve found to be the best times to post on Instagram. Of course, you can also use the Plann app to find your perfect times (local, based on research in PST :
6:00am – 7:00am
2:00pm – 3:00pm
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Here’s why it’s important to know when to post on Instagram.
When To Post On Instagram: How to Use Testing and Research to Find Your Best Times
1. Stick to it for 30 days to gather enough data
2. Investigate Your Audience
It’s time to make some assumptions and put yourself in your follower’s shoes – are they working professionals scrolling on the commute home at 6.30pm? Fit young things up and out for their morning workout at 7am? Or mums of young kids collapsing on the couch after the kids are asleep at 8.30pm?
Check the analytics
You can head to Instagram’s native analytics to see when they are active also – just head hit the ‘Insights’ icon from your profile, then scroll down to the ‘Followers’ section, then toggle through the days to see the average times your peeps are most active on a typical day.
Check that Location!
Another thing to consider is time zones – where in the world are your community located? Maybe you know from your Facebook page, or your website stats, where most of your traffic comes from. Not sure? Again, you can jump into Instagram’s Insights to see. Just head back to the Followers section, then press ‘See more’ and scroll down to see your Top Locations, by cities and countries.
3. Look at the research
The more closely you look at your own audience and their behaviour, the more tailored your testing plan can be to your account. However, it might also help to consider some of the more general research that’s out there to see if anything seems relevant to you, or helps guide you if you feel totally lost!
– Try posting outside of work hours (like in the early morning or in the evenings) or when people are taking their lunch break- Test weekends v. weekdays to see when your audience are most active, and keep your more important posts (e.g. announcements or promotions) to those peak engagement times- Hubspot released an infographic in 2016 that found the best time to post on Instagram was any time from Monday-Thursday except between 3-4pm.
4. Start Planning and Scheduling
Now comes the fun part! Use Plann to visually design your month’s worth of content. Drag and drop your images, write your captions, sort your hashtags and schedule your posts so you can sit back and relax.
For example, for each of the four Thursdays of the month, make sure you schedule your posts at different times to test it out. Say, 8am, 5pm, 8pm and 10pm. If you accidentally post at 8pm every Thursday for a whole month, you won’t have anything to compare it with!
5. Check Your Performance Metrics and See What Worked
The final reveal!
After a month of daily posting and testing different times for each day of the week, check back in to see what your best times were!
These results will be super personalised, which is perfect for figuring out when to post on Instagram – the time that’s right just for you!
Try posting at these times for a few weeks and see if you notice an increase in engagement.
6. Rinse and Repeat
It’s important to also consider things like daylight savings and seasonal changes, as these can have a massive impact on our daily patterns.
7. Look at When Others Post
Is there someone in your network who shares the same target audience as you?
They may not be a direct competitor, but someone who you know would regularly speak to the same people?
You could always turn on your post notifications to see when they post on Instagram and add those times to your testing matrix!