Instagram may seem like a digital grid that holds a record of everybody’s lives and portrays all the fun, the skill, and the madness that comes with a glamorous life. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that there’s a method to this madness. There are algorithms and parameters that are constantly at work, supporting the social platform and ensuring that despite all this chaos, there’s an internal order that’s never disturbed. So, if you run a public Instagram account and you’re interested in achieving optimal levels of engagement with your followers, there are certain aspects you’ll need to master before you continue posting your pictures online. One of these is figuring out the best time to post on Instagram. A lot of social media influencers aren’t aware that this parameter is vital to determining your social account’s success. Consequently, they suffer from the disappointment of delayed or decreased responses, and dwindling follower strength.
Fortunately, with a few little tips and tricks, you can determine what the best time to post on Instagram is. And once you’ve covered this milestone, you can get to work on other aspects like curating your posts to cater to your followers’ interests. But, first things first. Let’s understand how to determine the best time to post on Instagram.
EXPERIMENT WITH POST TIMINGS TO UNDERSTAND THE BEST TIME TO POST ON INSTAGRAM
To understand what works perfectly for you, there’s no better method than getting to work and keeping at it for a considerable period. Experiment with different schedules of posting and keep a log of how each schedule fares. This technique can be especially useful if your Instagram account is new, or if you haven’t built up a considerable count of followers. If you’re planning to perform this trial-and-error method, then here are some tips to keep in mind before you begin your experiment to determine the best time to post on Instagram.
CHART OUT A CLEAR PLAN
Make sure you know what the basis of your schedule is. Some accounts choose to experiment by comparing the results of posting during the weekends with the effects of posting during the working days of the week. Another way to go about this trial method is to post during different times of the day to identify the hours when the engagement of your followers is at its optimal level. Once you’ve decided the plan you intend to follow, remember to keep it unchanged during the trial run.
KEEP AT IT FOR A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD
Ideally, you need to keep your experiment up and running for at least 30 days if you want to see results that can be interpreted clearly. Anything shorter may be inconsequential while anything longer may be unprofitable. So, choose the foundation of your experiment and stick with it for the entire period that the trial run lasts. Deviating from the schedule will only have the effect of tampering with the results, making it difficult to arrive at the best time to post.
MAKE USE OF APPLICATIONS AND TOOLS
If you’ve chosen to experiment with night posts, it may become impracticable for you to stay up all night to upload your posts at the set times. Here’s where technology plays a substantially beneficial role. There are several applications, websites, and online tools that allow you to schedule your posts at the times you desire to upload them. These apps then take over and complete the upload at the scheduled times without manual intervention. How cool is that!
RESEARCH THE TOP TIME ZONES YOUR FOLLOWERS BELONG TO
Ultimately, the goal of most public or business Instagram accounts is to engage their followers and interact with them. This is what results in increased likes, comments, and shares, ultimately allowing you to enjoy a growing follower count. But if most of your posts do not correspond with the timelines of a majority of your followers, it becomes detrimental to the popularity of your account, simply because your best posts are uploaded when your followers are not active online. Here are some tips to work around this roadblock.
KNOW WHAT COUNTRIES YOUR FOLLOWERS ARE SPREAD ACROSS
It’s imperative to know where your followers are located. Luckily, this data can be easily obtained using Instagram Insights, which is, as we hear, free! Of course, you’ll need to be operating a business account as opposed to a personal one if you want to avail this free tool. Using the native analytics on the Instagram app, you can get an idea of what time zones a majority of your followers belong to by looking into the countries and cities of the people who follow your account.
POST FOR YOUR TOP TIME ZONES–IT’S ONE OF THE BEST TIMES TO POST ON INSTAGRAM
Once you’ve identified the top time zones, your followers belong to, your next step toward making optimal use of this data is to schedule your posts so that they correspond to these time zones. For instance, if you’re located in New York, but a significant percentage of your followers are based in London, you’ll need to ensure that your posts are optimized and scheduled to be uploaded at the times when people in London are most active on their Instagram accounts.
REMEMBER THE OTHER TIME ZONES AS WELL
While it is important to cater to the followers who are located in the top time zones, it’s also necessary to remember to post for the followers in other time zones as well. To achieve an optimal balance, you could divide the posts such that around 75 percent of them are uploaded in the times when people in the top time zones are most active, and the remaining 25 percent are uploaded at times that are convenient for followers in other time zones.
OBSERVE OTHER INSTAGRAMMERS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WORKS
One of the best ways to figure out the best time to post on Instagram is to observe and learn from the best in the field. Follow some accounts that post photos of subjects that are similar to your theme. For instance, if you are a food blogger, you could also follow other food bloggers to understand what works for them and what doesn’t. More specifically, here is how you can use the knowledge obtained from other successful Instagrammers to your advantage and come up with a schedule that includes the best time to post.
ANALYZE THE ENGAGEMENT ON THEIR POSTS
Check out the times of the day or the week when other successful Instagrammers post their photos and analyze the kind of engagement they receive. There are always some posts that receive less engagement than others. Observe to see if you can figure out a pattern of certain times of the day that are more popular than others. That’s one way to identify the best time to post on Instagram. If you’re able to pinpoint certain time frames that are ideal, you could emulate that strategy.
IDENTIFY THE TIME SLOTS THAT DON’T WORK
Just as there are some time slots that are the ideal windows for uploading photos on Instagram, there are others that aren’t that great. If you know what these periods are, you can avoid making the error of posting during those times. Track the reception of different photos uploaded by Instagrammers with themes similar to yours and try to discern the time frames that receive least audience interaction. Identifying these time slots helps you eliminate them from your schedule.
REACH OUT TO YOUR PEERS FOR ADVICE
There’s no shame in asking, and in this day and age, interaction is possible with the click of a button. Naturally, it only makes sense that you reach out to an Instagrammer whose work you admire to clarify any queries you may have about determining the best time to post on Instagram. Of course, you’ll need to keep in mind that what works for them may or may not work for you. But getting a general idea of how to go about identifying the best time to post is always a good thing to do.
So, now that you’ve read up on some useful tips to determine the best time to post on Instagram, all that’s left is for you to implement these strategies and see if they offer the results you desire. An important thing to keep in mind is that even if you manage to successfully identify the ideal time to upload your posts, you’ll need to keep revisiting these strategies at regular intervals to check if your results are still valid.
The demographics of your followers may change as well as the patterns in which they are active on social media could alter. Instagram’s analytics could also change, making it imperative to always stay updated about the latest practices and procedures in the platform. This way, you can remain at the top of your game irrespective of external factors. After all, the only way forward is to remain adaptable.