17 May The Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2018
We wish we could just look into a magic crystal ball and tell you the best time to post, but unfortunately there is no magic number. The best time to post is widely debated, and depends on your audience. But don’t worry, because we are here to help you find the best time to post on Instagram!
One thing that everyone seems to agree on is that weekdays are generally better than weekends to post. However, if you are looking to grow your account, we recommend you aiming to post once per day. In this case, we wouldn’t recommend skipping out on weekend posts.
Effect of Posting Time on Organic Reach
It’s been no secret in the marketing community that Instagram’s reach is not what it used to be. While you used to be able to reach 100% percent of your followers with every post, today that number is reduced as Instagram (and Facebook) has begun to place a greater emphasis on their paid advertising services. Despite these changes, accounts with high engagement rates and a loyal following can still reach a large percentage of their audience and grow organically today.
While the entire algorithm isn’t public, one major factor Instagram uses when determining the quality and organic reach of the post is the engagement and response it gets when it is viewed soon after launch. The velocity in which the post gets positive engagement is a huge indicator that Instagram uses when determining if it’s high quality and should be spread across other feeds.
This makes it important for you to know your audience and what days and times they are most likely to be on Instagram and engage with the post.
Here are some general rules to follow about the best time to post on Instagram:
- Know Your Audience’s Time Zone: If you are a local business you likely know the timezone of your audience based on your location. An exception to this guideline is if you are located in Las Vegas or operate a business related to tourism that is mostly supported by travelers.
- Understand Your Audience’s Schedule: If your audience is still in school or works a standard 9am-5pm workday than you may want to post around lunchtime (11am – 1pm) or 5pm – 7pm when most people are getting off of work and driving/taking public transportation.
- Weekdays vs. Weekends: Studies have shown that engagement is slightly higher on weekdays as people are in their daily routines and use social media during downtime and long commutes. Based on our experience with clients of SocialBuddy, we see weekday afternoons as the optimal time to plan posts to maximize engagement and reach.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Small Businesses
Typically for most local businesses the best time to post on Instagram is during the midday and early evenings. Some specific businesses may benefit from focusing on days near the end of the week (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) like bars, restaurants, and nightclubs when people may be thinking about making their weekend plans.
If you want to get more specific times to post based on your followers:
We suggest upgrading your Instagram account to a business profile. With a business profile, Instagram provides you with specific insights about your page, your posts and your followers. It will provide you with the top cities and states where your followers are located out of, and the days and hours in each day when your followers are on Instagram the most.
To find this information on your business account:
- Go to your profile
- Click on the insights icon at the top right
- Click on “audience”
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see “top locations,” (where you can see the cities or countries where you have the most followers) and “followers” (where you can see the hours and days when your followers are on the app most often).
Once you have access to these insights that are personalized for your specific account, you can simply choose to post at those peak hours given.