I can’t tell you the exact, precise time that you should be posting to Instagram each day, but I can certainly help you figure it out for yourself! Here I’m outlining several key considerations for deciding on your own, perfect posting pattern. Some of these considerations are rooted in data, and some are my opinions based on my own experiences.
Why not just post when it’s convenient for you, or as things happen? Over time, as you build a relationship with your audience, they begin to look for your posts. Posting at the same time each day subtly communicates that you are dependable and serious about your business. You are a professional!
What Works Best For You
What time of day are you physically able to get your post up on Instagram? It’s important to check in frequently in the first hour or so after posting to respond to comments and continue your conversation. Ideally you wouldn’t post at a time where you had to be offline for several hours immediately following. Is there a time of day where you almost always have some free time or at least the flexibility to pop in every so often? That’s a great place to start.
When Is Your Audience Active
Use a free Iconosquare.com account (analytics for Instagram) to analyze when your audience is on the Instagram app. Once logged in to Iconosquare with your Instagram account, there is a chart that looks like this:
The bigger the dot, the more of your audience is interacting. For me, it looks like most days, there are quite a few people on between 4 and 6 pm. Fancy that… I post at about 5pm each day.
On another note, Instagram’s traffic peaks in the evenings. Some experts will say that you should post when the people are on to get the most eyes on your post. Others will say that competition for eyeballs is to high during peak hours, so you should actually post during off-peak hours if you want to maximize your exposure.
I’m not really sure who is right, but I use my Iconosquare data to guide me, as well as these two last considerations…
Something like 80% of the population of the United States lives in the two most Eastern time zones. If you are outside of the US, or most of your audience resides outside of the US, I don’t have this data for you, but a quick Google search should provide you an answer! Whether you decide to post during peak or off-peak times, make sure you are adjusting for the time zones that your folks are in. When I post at 5pm each day (my time… left coast, best coast here), I know I’m hitting my East Coasters at 7pm, and lots of people are logging on to Instagram between 7-9pm.
However if you really, really want to make sure your posts are getting seen, keep reading!
Regardless of what time you decide to post, encouraging people to turn on their Post Notifications is one of the best ways to get your posts in front of your audience. When Post Notifications are turned on, your person/fan/follower will get a notification pushed to their phone from Instagram that says something like, “Mollymarshallmarketing just posted a photo.” Since you don’t want to sound desperate (because you’re not!) this is something you can remind your audience from time to time, not every day.
To turn ON Post Notifications:
- Navigate to the profile of the account that you want to get notifications for
- Hit the three dots in the upper right (…)
- Select “Turn on Post Notifications”
- That be it.