Did you know there are over 25 million brands active on social media as we speak? With this many brands promoting and engaging with consumers, keeping up with the competition can feel all but impossible.
From reaching the right audience to standing out from similar accounts in your niche, Instagram can be a full-time job in itself. But what happens when you don’t have full-time hours to invest in your Instagram marketing?
If you’re in need of a time-efficient approach that actually works, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got the tricks and tips you need for when to post on Instagram to make a larger impact online and attract more interested consumers.
Ready to learn how to market on Instagram more effectively? Follow along to discover the top 5 tips you need to know for timing and scheduling your posts.
Table of Contents
Why Post Timing Matters
Aside from making better use of your time on social media, there are actually many advantages of working your posting schedule around your audience.
Because social feeds are always changing and filling up with the latest news, it can be pretty hard to break through the noise. Of course, this is essential if you want to reach interested and engaged customers. While feeds are no longer organized by posting time, the algorithm does still strive to bring the freshest content to users.
This is because no one really wants to see posts they’ve already seen or old posts that aren’t relevant anymore.
With this in mind, posts that fall outside of prime scrolling hours will fall to the wayside and take much more time and energy from your audience to find. While it’s nice to believe that they’ll find you anyways, the fact is that this is simply not the case.
In addition to this, the algorithm determines how many accounts to promote you to based on a small ‘trial’ group. When your posts are first published, they will only reach a small percentage of your followers. The way these followers interact and engage with the post then informs if and who the post will reach.
If you’re putting your posts out when no one is online, this test group won’t have much of a chance to respond to your content and you’ll never make it to the masses.
At the end of the day, the visibility and success of your posts rely heavily on when you put them out there. If you’re posting in off-peak times, you might as well not post at all.
When to Post on Instagram for Your Brand
While it would be simple to say ‘post at x o’clock each time for the best results’, there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for post timing.
Each brand, niche, and target audience will present a different peak time for posting. While this can make it difficult to nail down the right times, it actually increases your chances of having a profound impact with this strategy. Just imagine what would happen if every brand on Instagram was fighting to upload at exactly the same time – yikes!
So, how do you discover these key pockets of time for your unique needs? Here are the top 5 tips you need to know:
Review Top-Performing Posts
The first step to tailoring your posting schedule is to discover what works for your unique audience. The best way to do this is to look back at your posts that performed well.
While the type of content you’ve shared plays a role in your success, that content wouldn’t have reached anyone if you hadn’t posted at a great time. Take note of the time and day you shared this post to begin to form your own posting schedule spreadsheet.
By writing down these key details for each top-performing post, you’ll begin to see trends for which day and time combinations work best for your brand.
To take your Instagram marketing strategy to the next level, take a look at what time your interactions took place. This will let you know when those engaged accounts are active so you can leverage the ones willing to comment and share as your ‘test’ group.
Pay Attention to Audience Behavior
In addition to the insights on each of your posts, Instagram offers some pretty valuable metrics on audience behavior. This includes a graph showing what days and times your followers are active online.
While these graphs are usually pretty consistent, you’ll likely notice a peak or two on your graph for each day. Use this as a guide for where to spend your marketing hours for both posting and engagement.
Instead of setting your schedule and moving on, make a more significant impact by logging on 30-60 minutes before your post goes live. Use this time to interact with your followers.
This simple method sends a powerful message to the Instagram algorithm about who you’d like to reach.
As you interact with your following through comments, direct messages, and even likes on their pages, Instagram assumes that you are ‘close’ with that follower. Now, because you’ve established you are friends, Instagram will ensure that follower sees your latest post.
The more you can build your meaningful engagements before posting, the higher chance you have of collecting engagements on new posts too!
Keep an Eye on Competitors
Another keen tip for smart marketing is to keep a pulse on what your competitors are doing. This is especially true if your existing audience isn’t quite the target market you’re trying to reach.
By paying attention to the times your competitors are active and engaging, you can begin to mimic their schedule to reach a similar audience. Of course, we only recommend using this approach if your competitor’s posts are actually performing well.
Before you take on their habits, take note of which posts have high engagement rates and which ones appear to have flopped. Similar to your own post analysis, you can add these insights into your spreadsheet for more informed scheduling.
Consider Trend Changes
If you’ve been paying attention to your audience activity charts, you’ve likely already noticed that peak times can be vastly different from day to day. While this insight is great to consider, the compiled information can be somewhat misleading.
Let’s say for example that last Monday was a public holiday. Because your audience wasn’t at work, there likely wasn’t as big of a peak at foreshadowed times such as a lunch break or after-work rush. While your post at an unexpected time may have performed well on this day, it doesn’t necessarily mean that time is ideal for every Monday.
This works the opposite way as well. If you know there is a big day off coming up for your consumers that might see them spending more time on their phones, you’ll need to adjust your timing to take advantage.
For brands targeting other businesses, this may mean that the majority of your efforts should be applied during the week when your audience is in the office and looking for your services. For those marketing to the public, you may find your most effective times take place on the weekends when scrolling is up and distractions are low.
The best way to handle these trend changes is to stay ahead of schedule and foreshadow peak times for your unique audience. A great way to do this is to develop a customer persona. By understanding what your ideal audience’s life is like outside of social media, you can gain a better feel of when they’ll have time to log on and interact.
Continually Monitor and Adjust
Finally, your guide for when to post on Instagram will be continually changing. As your audience grows and your brand begins to gain more visibility, the best time to post on Instagram will ebb and flow accordingly.
You may notice that one day your prime posting time simply fails to impress. To avoid these sudden drops and subsequent panic attacks, you’ll want to continually be checking and updating your peak posting guides.
This means that your analytics review will never be a one-and-done job. By keeping a pulse on this metric at all times, you’ll be able to better predict changes, respond to them, and benefit from your adjustments.
How to Post on Instagram for Success
Now that you know these 5 key tips for when to post on Instagram, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. From using provided insights for the best time to Instagram to watching and anticipating changes, we’re confident these tips and tricks will go a long way to boost your success on this platform.
Want more social media marketing advice for your business? Check out our other articles to discover everything you need to know to find success on Instagram, Google, and so much more!