Is there a better time to post on Instagram, or is this concept already too old? After all, the modern principles of the feed algorithms have eliminated the direct influence of posting time on audience reach. However, the principle works. For example, posts published during the day are more responsive than those that appeared at 5:00 in the morning.
The conclusion is next: the relevance of post publication matters. Instagram algorithms take into account when the post was downloaded. New posts – if they meet other quality criteria – are shown in the subscribers’ feeds above. We will give recommendations on this issue, but remember: you should focus only on the convenient time for your audience.
How to choose the time for posting, focusing on the target audience?
When is the best time to post to Instagram? This question is surrounded by myths. There are many recommendations, but in general they are similar: the best time is morning (about 10 a.m.) and evening (at 6 p.m.) on weekdays. But in fact, everything is much more complicated.
In 2018 this team examined 460 million publications from 580 thousand groups and accounts in seven social networks. Experts evaluated the average response to the post depending on the time of its appearance in the feed.
The first criterion is the day of the week. The greatest involvement was in publications made on the weekend, particularly on Sunday. Then followed Monday. The lowest activity rate was on Saturday. On the remaining days, the data were almost equal.
The second criterion is time. The theory of an active reaction in the morning and evening periods (when the working day ends) turned out to be true. Bursts of involvement are either from 10 to 11 a.m., or from 7 to 10 p.m. At noon, the figure is growing, but not much.
As for the night posts (from midnight to 6 a.m.), the reaction is weak. The lowest rate is at 5 in the morning.
Hootsuite and Unmetric Research
In the course of this study, nearly 300 thousand posts (specifically, 258.956 thousand) were published on 20 top US accounts representing 11 different business lines. Such conditions made the results less relevant than the previous study. But also it will not make you feel worse, if you get acquainted with them. So, the best time to post on Instagram on various topics is:
|Topic||Recommended Time||Best Days of the Week|
|Tourism, journey||9.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.||Monday, Tuesday|
|Entertainment, media content||12.00 (noon) – 3 p.m.||Tuesday, Thursday|
|Beverages, food||12.00 (noon)||Friday|
|Retail||12.00 (noon)||Tuesday, Thursday, Friday|
|Services||9.00 a.m.10.00 p.m.||Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday|
|Not commercial projects||10.00, 4.00 p.m.||Tuesday|
|E-commerce (except retail)||4.00 p.m., 9.00 p.m.||Thursday|
|Medicine & Pharmacy||09.00 a.m.||Wednesday, Saturday|
|Cosmetics||1.00 p.m., 2.00 p.m., 3.00 p.m.||Thursday, Friday|
|Technologies||2.00 p.m.,||Monday, Tuesday|
|Education||4.00 p.m., 5.00 p.m.,||Thursday|
How to determine the best time for posting?
All research data should be taken only as guidelines. Still, a lot depends on the specifics of the account and its target audience. The best way to determine the optimal time for posts is to analyze old content. Here are the available methods for analysis:
- In the Popsters service. In the search bar of this service, you need to specify the page address and the interval for analysis (for objectivity, a period of more than 3 months is recommended). In the charts “Days of the week” and “Time of the day” will be necessary for analysis numbers.
- Own Instagram statistics. The option is available only for business profiles. If you have just turned it on, you’ll have to wait about a month to collect information.
- Testing. Publish posts at different time intervals, on weekdays and weekends, and analyze the response. Collect data in a table for easy analysis in the future. For objectivity, combine these results with official statistics to understand general trends.
Simplify Instagram Promotion: TOP 3 Postponed Posting Services
If you have determined what time is best to post on Instagram, you can greatly simplify your work with the help of automated posting services. Despite the differences, the general function is next: you can preload the materials and determine the date, as well as the time interval for their appearance in the feed. Some of the best projects to do ti:
Perhaps, it is the most famous service for postponed posting. It provides 100 free publications per month. You can plan the posting of photos and videos, etc. It is suitable not only for Instagram, but also for other popular social networks. Maximum functionality is available in a paid account (unlimited posting, planning, etc.).
It is a cloud service for planning automated posting on Instagram. It supports photo, video, and massive upload. There are templates. Convenient analytical tools allow you to track the reaction and adjust posting. It is better to choose a paid tariff. The most expensive version allows you to schedule posts for 30 Instagram accounts.
The functionality is not rich, but there is the main thing: the ability to automate the posting of branded content, with the automatic addition of hashtags, watermarks and other settings. It is enough to create a template, and then the service will do everything on its own. The project supports posting in 10 social networks (including Instagram). The service is paid (there are 10 days of free access after registration).
How to Create a Content Plan for Posting?
You’ve determined at what time it’s best to post your content on Instagram. You also have chosen a service for posting automated publications. Now the question is how to organize the content for posts? A content plan is needed – a structured and orderly scheme. With the help of it, you can accurately plan the days and the time for the entertainment, advertising and other materials release. Here are a few rules:
- Choose an appropriate template. Here is one of the variants. Or make a content plan in an application synchronized with the calendar: for example, Evernote.
- Provide a place for permanent columns, additional posts (for example, contests), and urgent posts in the plan.
- Draw up the points of the plan simply and using thesis. For example: “10 a.m., April 21. Say hello to subscribers, give native product advertising. Recommended content – motivating picture and quote.”.
- Do not forget about the variety. Find the optimal ratio: for example, 70% of educational posts, 25% of advertising and PR, 5% of news and information.
- Define clear timelines and topics. Strictly follow the content plan!
- Brand the content. Follow approved styling for text and visual materials.
Protecting Your Content in Instagram
Social media plagiarism is common. Legislation protects copyright holders, but it does not make it easier: to prove your rights and achieve deleting and compensation, you need to spend a lot of effort. This is only relevant for large brands and meaningful content. In other cases, you have to put up with a theft.
Therefore, the easiest way to protect your posts from plagiarism is to brand publications. The most common type of content on Instagram is images. You can protect them with a watermark. It will perform at least two functions:
- Brand a publication.
- Protect it from copying, especially if the watermark is impossible to cut or hide under the filters.
You can apply a watermark to pictures for posting on social networks using the Logaster service. Here you can create a logo and other brand symbols, and then use them as profile pictures, headers, posts on social networks, and watermarks on images. In the latter case, just download the logo on a transparent background.
Study your audience and competitors. This will help you determine the topic of content and time intervals for posting. Develop a content plan and strictly implement it. Protect unique images before publishing. Regularly look at the results and make adjustments to improve them.
To determine the best period for posting:
- Use analytics tools regularly. Trends are changing, audience behavior is also unstable. It is important to obtain objective data.
- Do not be afraid to experiment. There is no general concept of “best time”: it is quite possible that your target audience will respond better to posts that appeared in the feed in the early morning.
- Continue to create quality content. It is the main factor on which the response of users and the general success of the account depend.
And use the services that will make your work easier: they will help to brand your content, automate publications, collect analytics.
Anna Kuznetsova is the content marketing manager at Logaster, online brand builder.