With over 800 million users a month in the coveted 18 to 44 age demographic, Instagram is a social media platform that should be a part of any online marketing strategy. Posting at appropriate times can get your content more views.
Best Times and Days for Instagram Posts
There have been several marketing studies on Instagram usage that indicate there is no one "best" time above all others to post. However, it does appear users are more active at certain times. Hitting these time blocks can lead to higher viewership for your posts and more likes, shares, and posted comments.
Some of the best times to post on Instagram are:
- Weekdays between 12 and 1 pm, which market researchers believe is due to users tending to scroll through social media during their workday lunchtime.
- A review of several surveys suggest weekdays between 5 to 6 pm, and between 6 pm and 8 pm on Mondays are high traffic times so posting then can increase engagement. Again, these times may work because they relate to when people have free time to look at Instagram.
- Mondays in particular may be a great day for social media posting, and some studies also suggest Wednesday and Thursdays are also days that tend to get more engagement.
One thing to consider is time zone. If your Instagram page is reaching viewers across more than one zone, you should use the above times as a guide and focus on the zones with the highest populations. For example, if you were reaching consumers across the Eastern, Central, and Mountain time zones with a noon time frame, post when it would be noon in the most populous areas, which would be Eastern or Central.
What Is Your Best Time and Day?
While these surveys have useful data, the truth is you should review your own audience demographics to determine the absolute best time as it may differ from the usual times. For example, if you have a product with a heavy emphasis on the youth market, posting based on a schedule for people who work a regular 9 to 5 job wouldn't make sense. An office worker's typical down time periods aren't the same as that of a high school or college student. Luckily there are many online tools you can use to help you research the best Instagram posting strategy.
- Instagram has a set of analytics included with Instagram for Business accounts you can use to review your posts regularly to refine your social media plan.
- Iconosquare has a free Instagram audit tool you can run your account through to get powerful data on optimizing your post strategy.
- There are many social media posting tools with free and paid services that let you schedule posts ahead of time for multiple accounts and review metrics on your posts. Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social are some of the most widely used of these services.
- OwlMetrics is a new paid service that provides an in-depth analysis of your Instagram posts, followers, engagement, and more. Pricing is based on your number of followers and starts at $25 per month up to about $200 per month.
- Keyhole provides data on your account such as best times of day to post and other Instagram strategies like hashtag use. Data is presented in easy-to-follow visual graphics, which can make conceptualizing your account's success easier. An account starts at about $180 per month but may be more depending on your level of service needs, although there is a free trial period.
Always Review Your Analytics
When you're first getting started using a social media platform like Instagram, it's useful to look at research data on posting best practices. However, you should continue to look at your own audience demographics and behavior and regularly review your posting analytics to continue to revise and refine the posting strategy that works best for you over time.