Instagram has a few amazing statistics behind it one of which being 88% of all users are actually outside of the US and with 4.2 billion posts liked every day, it is a platform that you need to understand to be able to fully leverage. One of the key aspects to Instagram is just your content, but it’s when you upload it. There is no point in working tirelessly to perfect your photo or video and have no one see it! Time zones and post timing plays a huge role in attracting and keeping your audience engaged with your feed.
There are 24 time zones across the globe, so when you post something in one, your target audience may well be at work or in bed. So how can you make sure that your content reaches your desired audience? If you’re a business based in the USA who’s main market is in Europe, there is little to no point in posting the content between the hours of 1am and 3am GMT, most of your target market will be in bed and may not get to see your content.
The Unwritten Rules of Timing on Instagram
If you are looking to monetise your Instagram account or engage more people for your business, there are some rules that you need to apply to when you post your content.
- Know your target market: if you are attempting to engage with professional people wait until the normal working day has finished. People won’t want to you to compete with their working hours, so make sure you don’t.
- Know your target markets location: If your market is in the USA, post when it is 5pm there, not 3am because it’s easy for you. Keep your posts within their awake and non-work hours.
- Use a post scheduler, if your audience are in a time zone that makes it difficult to work around, set up a post scheduler, you simply input when you want the content posted and let it run.
Is There a Goldilocks Time To Post?
There have been a plethora of studies conducted that attempt to evaluate the best time to post your content on Instagram. Whilst none have concluded there is a single best time to post, they have come up with very valid suggestions that you can easily apply to your post scheduling.
Most studies conclude that the best times to post in the late afternoon and evening, from around 5pm onward. Whilst it would be nice to be able to post throughout the day, most of your audience will be at work and not able to access social media as much as they want to. By keeping your posts around the time when people aren’t working, they are more likely to see and engage with them.
Research is also suggestive of the fact that for critical content posts, this should be done on Wednesdays and Thursday, as these are the days with the highest levels of engagement.
Use What You Know!
Whether you are an influencer or a large business, having a business Instagram profile will allow you to see the analytics of your feed and content. It’ll show you reach, engagement among others. It is worth using this facility as you will be able to see when your content is reaching more people.
Use these analytics to create a content posting strategy, this will help you post at the optimum time for maximum reach! These statistics can show you the age range of your audience and fundamentally, when your audience is most active. If this time is when you are in bed or unable to post, a post scheduler may be a good option for you.
Instagram: The Bad and The Good
If there are optimum posting times, there are also times to avoid posting, whilst there is no definitive answer to this as studies don’t always agree, it is wise to use your common sense and initiative. Avoid the hours of 3 until 5, most people will be finishing work or school and then making the commute home, so won’t be on social media. Think about the times that you are most actively scrolling through your feed, is it over your morning coffee or is it something that you do when your own your couch on the evening.
Older versions of Instagram also used a chronological feed, this isn’t something the app supports anymore and now the feed is based on algorithms and posts that you might like given your engagement on other posts. Because of this, posting at particular times may not actually reach your audience at the time you initially wanted due to this algorithm.
Perfecting posting time is a bit of hit and miss, we have hundreds of studies saying that have cracked the code and have found the perfect time to upload your content to your audience. The reality is, that actually we don’t really know when the prime time is, but we can use our common sense and initiative and consider things like when we are scrolling through our feeds, when a person would be busy or idle during the day and what kind of content they want to see and at what time. If the time your audience is engaging with you isn’t a good time for you, look to use a post scheduling tool to help you post content whilst you are otherwise engaged. Utilise business analytics and evaluate if you are reaching your target audience and when you are reaching them. These factors are vital for building an effective reach strategy. It is also worth noting that posting your content alone is not going to increase your audience or keep them, this strategy needs to be deployed with a clear engagement strategy. If you can apply these hands in hand, not only will you increase your audience reach and engagement, you will also grow organically.