In the words of Gregory Nunn, “The right person, in the right place, at the right time, can steal millions”.
Time dictates every aspect of our lives, and Instagram is no exception. You can bring in thousands of followers and likes by posting your content at the right time. On the other hand, if you create magnificent creatives, post stunning photos and videos on Instagram at a time when very few people are active, your entire effort will be wasted.
Because of this, you must determine the ideal moment to post your content to Instagram. It is, therefore, time for us to explore and scientifically determine when to post on Instagram.
Best Time - What does it mean?
Content creators tailor their work to the audience they are targeting. The perfect time is therefore dependent on the behavioral pattern of these viewers. For instance, if a post is to be aimed at the office going community, it should go live after office hours when they have the leisure to look at social media. However, there are certain generalized patterns and trends across the world, following them you can maximize your reach on Instagram.
Instagram Algorithm - The Dictator of Audience Reach
The Instagram algorithm changes constantly. Thus, no one can set a definite timeline, but we can classify some of the most likely times for your reach to achieve its greatest height. The Instagram algorithm generally gives priority to recently published posts than the older ones. Therefore, the most recent post works the best. A good strategy for improving engagement should be used in conjunction with this to attract more visitors to your posts.
Let us have a detailed look at the three elements of the algorithm which prioritizes one post over another:
- Audience preferences: Instagram directs its content to audiences based on their behaviour and interest in a particular type of post. Their favourite posts will appear in their feed.
- The recentness of the posts: As discussed above, the algorithm prioritizes immediate posts over older ones
- Friends and family: As far as the algorithm is concerned, posts from close relatives like friends and family will appear at the top of the feed.
It is important to keep this in mind while posting your content on Instagram.
The Right Time to Post
As discussed earlier, the timing of posting greatly depends on the target demography and their behavioral pattern. However, according to the different surveys conducted, examinations held and experiments executed, the best time to post content on Instagram as the following:
- Monday: 6 am, 10 am, and 10 pm
- Tuesday: 2 am, 4 am, and 9 am
- Wednesday: 7 am, 8 am and 11 pm
- Thursday: 9 am, 12 pm, and 7 pm
- Friday: 5 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm
- Saturday: 11 am, 7 pm, and 8 pm
- Sunday: 7 am, 8 am, and 4 pm
If we break down these above-mentioned data indicate that the timings are before the working hours, during the afternoon (lunch hour) and in the evening.
Everyone reaches out to their phones to have a quick update immediately after waking up in the morning- thus the time period of 6 am-9 am works the best.
People often look into their phones while going to the office, during the lunch hours and in the evening while returning home.
Engagement on Instagram usually peaks at 11 am on Wednesday since it is found that the audiences on Instagram are best suited for the mid-week and mid-day content.
In the evening around 4 pm to 6 pm, students and office-goers return to their homes, making that an appropriate time for posting. 8 pm to 11 pm suggests that people relax before bedtime; which makes it more likely for them to scroll through their Instagram feeds. It will be best to post during this time.
Weekend trends show that it is best to post early in the morning or in the evening since most viewers have plans, trips, and engagements on these days. This makes Saturdays and Sundays the least favourable for posting.
Other Important Determinants
This is to re-emphasize the fact that the above timings are not the ultimate solution to maximize your reach. They are only going to work when the other factors fall in place.
- Content aimed towards home-makers might work best during the afternoon, whereas content that is aimed towards the students after school hours. Therefore, as discussed earlier, the timing depends on the target demography and their behavioral pattern.
- There are multiple time zones across the world. Some countries like Russia have more than eleven time zones. Hence, if you have audiences spread across the globe, you should try and segment your main audience and determine the timing of the post keeping in mind their time zone.
Is it better to post on Instagram at night or in the morning?
If you have read this much, it must have been quite clear to you that the posts work best outside of the working hours- either early in the morning or late in the evening. However, will keep the morning ahead by a few steps for the sole reason that- the mind stays fresh when you wake up in the morning.
As the night wears on, the mind becomes tired and fatigued. A sleepy mind lacks concentration. Just think about it- you have put a lot of effort into your content but it all goes to waste because your viewer scrolled through the entire feed without noticing any part of it.
You can take the help of a social media management tool to schedule your post. This way, posting the content at the right time will no longer be a problem for you!
Is it OK to post late at night on Instagram for likes?
It might make you wonder who will be awake on Tuesday to read your content at 2 am; this is an odd time to provide content since most people are asleep. Some things, however, may have an exceptional working system.
A lot of people stay online until late at night, so posting at night will attract these audiences since the number of posts at night is relatively low. It means that their feed is relatively clear thereby making them notice your post.
What's the worst day to post on Instagram?
As discussed earlier, Saturdays and Sundays are the worst days to post anything on Instagram. It might seem favourable to post on weekends since most people have their days off from work, but it is not the case.
These are two days when people are generally occupied with other engagements like visits to a relative’s house, amusement parks, small trips, parties or spending time for themselves. They do tend to stay away from social media most of the time during the day. Therefore it is not at all wise to post on these days.
Is posting every day on Instagram good?
It is clear from the Instagram algorithm that the most recent posts appear on the top of the feed. This can imply that you can post frequently on Instagram. The more frequency of your posts will signify that the posts are recent and new, and therefore it will be prioritized. There is no harm in posting every day.
However, one should keep in mind that posting at the right time will fetch more audience and maximize your reach. If you keep posting throughout, but half of the posts go unnoticed, then it will just be a waste of your precious efforts.
Identifying the right time may be the most difficult task. With the changing algorithm of Instagram, it is becoming tougher to land on any definite time period of finding the best time to post on Instagram. Ultimately it depends on the audiences, their cultural patterns and preferences. Demography determines the perfect time.
Geography is also a deciding factor in finding the best time to post on Instagram. If you are a resident of Canada, but most of your target audience is from Africa, then you must appropriate yourself to their time zone and post accordingly.
It is a matter of constant experimentation- you have to try and test different times to have an idea about which of your posts are working, and what is the time when the audiences are reacting the most. The time which works for you might be completely different than the ones mentioned here. So go on trying, making the best possible content and posting them at the right time; strike when the iron is hot.