Instagram Hack: Best Times to Post According to Analytics

May 13, 2020 Liezel Stephanie Lawagan
instagram color scheme

If you’re looking for an answer to the question, “what is the best time to post on Instagram?” I’m telling you now, you won’t find it here. We can’t give you a concrete hour or concrete day. Why? It’s because only you can answer that question for yourself.

Instagram’s algorithm has changed over the last few years. Now, the app prioritizes posts by a user’s friends and family. Businesses are being pushed down. Before, a lot of people thought these “best times to post on Instagram” can beat the algorithm. And it may have worked for some time. But, that is not the best approach anymore especially when it comes to growing your reach and engagement. Simply put, the best time to post on Instagram is when your followers are online and engaging with your content. And only you can determine that perfect time.

There are many factors to consider to nail that perfect time. And there are also many considerations to make. It’s a little tough to juggle. But, let us help you simplify it all and nail the best time to post on Instagram.

The Single Best Time To Post On Instagram 2020

Many studies over the years have strived to point out one single hour of when it’s best to post on Instagram. And although these studies have found their hours, they don’t always agree with each other. Here’s a list compiled by Influencer Marketing Hub to show you the different optimal posting times of various organizations. (Times in bold are considered the best times):

  1. Hubspot
  • Sunday: 10 am to 2 pm CDT
  • Monday: 11 am to 5 pm CDT
  • Tuesday: 5 am, 9 am to 6 pm CDT
  • Wednesday: 5 am, 11 am, 3 pm CDT
  • Thursday: 5 am, 11 am, 3 to 4 pm CDT
  • Friday: 5 am, 9 am to 4 pm CDT
  • Saturday: 11 am CDT
  1. Sprout Social
  • Wednesday: 11 am 
  • Tuesday to Friday: 10 am to 3 pm
  1. Later
  • Monday: 6 am, 10 am, 10 pm EST
  • Tuesday: 2 am, 4 am, 9 am EST
  • Wednesday: 7 am, 8 am, 9 am EST
  • Thursday: 7 am, 8 am, 11 pm EST
  • Friday: 5 am, 1 pm, 3 pm EST
  • Saturday: 11 am, 7 pm, 8 pm EST
  • Sunday: 7 am, 8 am, 4 pm EST

Each study varies not only in time but also in the time zone used. There is no single best time to post on Instagram. However, you can use this data to help you find your sweet spot. 

Analytics is Your Best Friend

It can be intimidating to look at analytics with all the graphs and numbers. But once you take the time and patience to understand it, it can be pretty useful. It should get rid of all the tedious and painstaking work of dissecting graphs and calculating numbers all on your own. 

Analytics is the key to understanding your audience’s behavior. You can find out what times they are most active and the kind of posts they like most. You can also find out what’s working for your competitors and what’s not so you can avoid the same mistakes. Now, Instagram has its own analytics tool in its Insights.

You can also get more detailed data from other social media analytics tools like Buffer’s Analyze. These can give you more accurate predictions and comparisons of how well your posts are doing on the hours you do post on each day of the week.

Engagement Is The Top Priority

While looking for your best time to post on Instagram, don’t lose sight of your top priorities—engagement and reach.

Traditional Instagram engagement included likes and comments. But, now, there are also views, shares, direct messages, and interaction on Instagram stories and IGTV. Also, remember that engagement in these times now goes beyond just the numbers. If you want to succeed on Instagram, your engagement should be meaningful both for you and your audience. This builds trust, loyalty, and the possibility of converting a simple audience into paying customers. 

That leads us to good content. You can’t have a meaningful engagement or any engagement at all without it. But remember, there is a difference between content and compelling content. Content made just for the sake of having content is scarcely worth the effort of creating it and also noticing it.

How many times have you seen a ‘meh’ kind of content, tapped it twice, and moved on without a second thought? Compelling content, on the other hand, can perform wonderfully and generate superb engagement rates. Then again, you’d need to post it during the right time for it to get noticed. Otherwise, it’d just be lost and buried overnight. 

Key Considerations When Looking for the Best Time to Post on Instagram

Aside from what your Insights tell you, you should also take into consideration other factors that affect consumer behavior. Here are a few of them:

1. Day of the Week

If you look at your own day to day social media habits, you’ll probably notice a pattern. For example, you might notice that you use social media longer on Friday nights or Saturday mornings. You may also notice that you use it less on Monday mornings when you’re just starting the week and rushing off to work. Your audience will have patterns like these too. These create the variations in Instagram engagements on the same hours at different days of the week. 

2. Workday Breaks

Another little pattern you might notice is that people start browsing and are probably more active on their work breaks. Lunchtime, in particular, is a big hit. That little coffee break when people’s attention starts wandering to Instagram is also a window. 

3. Time Zone Difference

If your audience has a wider geographical spread, you might be a little luckier. Posting times would be less critical. However, if you’re targetting audiences in a few specific locations, make sure that you optimize your posting times for their time zones. There are plenty of tools you can use to automatically upload a post even when you’re in bed getting some snoozes in. 

4. Different Sectors Have Different Time Preferences

Your optimal posting time can also vary depending on what industry sector you’re operating in. As proven by certain organizations, different sectors also have different engagement height hours. For instance, according to HubSpot, it’s best to post for technology companies on Wednesdays at 10 am while it’s best to post for educational organizations on Mondays at 8 am. 

5. Follow Your Specific Audience

You can try following all these recommended best posting times. But, in the end, it all depends on your audience. If you want to succeed on Instagram, you follow where they are. Go to the Followers section of your Insights and there you’ll find when your audience is most active. Structure your posting practices around this and the right people will see your posts at the right time. 

It might take some trial and error before you get to know what your sweet hour is. But, with a little patience and the right use of tools, you’ll find it. Don’t forget that your audience’s behavior can change anytime. So, don’t get too relaxed. Always be on your toes and don’t let them leave you behind.

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