If you’ve never asked yourself “What’s the best time to post on Instagram?” then you’ve never lived a full Instagrammer’s life. But, if you did trouble your mind with this Instagram enquire, find out that it doesn’t have to keep you up at night. Yep, not even if the answer is “2 a.m.”, because hey, that’s why you’ve got the automatic posting feature from Preppr. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and tackle this step by step.
First, while there are some general rules that apply to the best time to post, the exact intervals will differ from brand to brand.
Second, while you might need to discover the best time to post, there are some tricks that can help you automate this task as well (think Preppr).
Third, yes, we’re going to tell you exactly how to cover both step one and step two. Here’s exactly what to expect in this article:
- General guidelines regarding the best time to post
- How to discover the best time to post on Instagram for your brand
Ready to get your hands on the Holy Grail of Instagram?
- General guidelines
- How to discover the best time to post on Instagram for your brand
- Perfect time to post on Instagram trivia
- How to help Preppr suggest the best time
- How to schedule your posts at the best time
1. General guidelines regarding the best time to post on Instagram
Keep in mind that the general guidelines regarding the best times to post on Instagram will not offer you full accuracy, but they will offer a good starting point. Without stressing too much, you’ll be able to increase your reach and thus receive more love, love, and love. Yes, it’s the fastest and simplest way to make the most out of your efforts.
According to an infographic the notorious social media expert Neil Patel created, content shared on Instagram during off-work hours is much more likely to get higher engagement rates. Thus, posting at lunch-time or exactly after your audience gets off work are perfect frames to share your Instagram posts.
It goes without saying that you must factor time zones in the equation and consider the clock your audience is running on. Say you’re operating your business from Europe, but your target lives in the US. Then, posting at mid-day means their mid-day and definitely not yours.
When it comes to the best days to post on Instagram, apparently Monday and Thursday are the days that attract the most engagement according to a number of studies created and compiled by the guys at sproutsocial.
As you might have figured out already, the specific time slots will differ according to your target audience. This explains why more often than not research shows conflicting evidence and advice. And brings us to the next idea: instead of researching what the best times to post on Instagram are, why not research the method of discovering how to pin them down? Glad you asked, ‘cause we’re going to show you how. Buckle up!
2. How to discover the best time to post for your brand
The method we’re going to present next is fully tested by us. About 2 years ago we had a lot of fun conducting research regarding the best times to post on Instagram. While the years have passed and Instagram has changed a lot, our method is still as valid as ever, proving to actually work as a clock (time, clock, see the connection?).
Here’s what we did:
We analyzed an exact number of 554,491 posts on Instagram from 7,855 accounts by their engagement, filter, time posted, Instagram caption, Instagram tags and type of post. Yes, we like to be specific. Then, we took this enormous amount of data and plotted it to see the distribution of these posts per hour:
After that, we had a closer look at the engagement rates of each post and plotted the results in a graph that shows the sum of all engagements per hour of posting.
Then, to remove any errors and false results due to different time zones and the number of followers, we standardized engagement and voila! The result was that the best time to post on Instagram is between 4:00 and 6:00 GMT.
Okay, but this result is standardized! And we just told you that the “standard” might not apply to your particular case. Good, you were paying attention.
Here’s what you could do: use the above method to analyze your own posts, plot the graphs and discover your best time to publish:
- Gather up the following info on all your posts: likes, comments, time posted, type of post
- Analyze the data and plot it in a graph that shows days/hours distribution
- Plot another graph that correlates hours and engagement
- Draw the conclusions
Or, let Preppr do that for you because you know, it uses the same method to analyze the engagement rate on your scheduled posts and automatically suggest the best time to post. In fact, Preppr actually has a feature, called the Best Time to Post, which calculates your top 3 best posting times on Instagram according to how much engagement you receive. Talk about a way to save you from doing the math, right?
Another great and fun way to discover your brand’s optimal time to publish according to your industry is to check Riotly Social Media’s time generator tool. A couple of clicks and the golden hour of Instagram will be revealed.
3. Best time to post on Instagram trivia
The optimal times to post also depend on the day of the week. This isn’t hard to understand. See for yourself. During the weekend your own Instagram viewing behavior might be different from weekdays. The best time to post on Saturday might even be different than the best time on Sunday. It all depends on your audience’s behavior and routines.
Nice to think about the best time to post on Instagram, but can we also identify the worst time to post on Instagram? If that’s something you would like to figure out, of course, you can use the same method described earlier. Only, instead of focusing on the hours with the highest engagement, you look at the hours of posting that deliver the lowest engagement to your posts.
Would it be possible to find your best day to post on Instagram? Sure, why not? Just take the posting data for all of your historic posts and create the graph we did for our data set. It won’t be difficult to see which day of the week stands out and should be your day of the week to definitely post on Instagram. Again, it all depends on your specific follower base.
4. How to help Preppr suggest the best time to post on Instagram
While you won’t have to do any complicated math to find out the best time for your brand to post, you can do some creative experimenting. It’s even highly encouraged. That means experimenting with your posting times. Why? Because by having an initial varied schedule for your posts, Preppr will have more data points to compare and see exactly which one fits you (and actually your audience) best.
Since we know that generically speaking, the best times to post are between 4:00 and 6:00 GMT, you can schedule your posts throughout the week at 4, 5 and 6 to see which one performs best.
Also, to make sure results are accurate, try to experiment for more weeks, and change the days and hours among themselves. For example, if this week you have scheduled a post with Preppr on Monday, at 4, another Thursday at 5 and another Friday at 6, next week try to schedule a post on Monday at 6, another Thursday at 4 and another Friday at 5.
Of course, this is just as far as an example can go. You need to optimize the number of posts according to your objectives and it’s very probable that you’ll need to include more days and more weeks. If you want to also have a manual double-check on Preppr’s best time to post feature, you can track down the results in a spreadsheet and compare them afterward.
5. How to schedule your posts on the desirable day and time
With this newly found knowledge, you’re now super equipped to extend your reach and gain more engagement than ever. But what if you’re in the US and your target is in Europe? Or Asia? Or vice-versa? Or any other number of combinations that are on a totally different timezone. Will this mean that you have to wake up at night and post? Definitely not.
We’ve mentioned how Preppr can help you get your perfect time to post. But Preppr can be your sidekick also when it comes to automatically scheduling posts.
And you can choose exactly how much control to have over the publishing.
Go fully automatic by simply scheduling your posts, or choose to go semi-auto, by scheduling and then receiving a reminder when the time comes to just hit post.
Get your 10 days free trial and start experimenting to find out the best time to post. Then, schedule without worry and have a great, great Instagram life! The time is now, indeed.
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We hope we’ve sparked enough inspiration fireworks to get you planning your social media calendar. Once you get to work, remember that you’ve got a real friend in Preppr. In case you’re not a member yet, we’ve prepared a free trial gift. Happy preparing!Start your 10-day Free Trial