A college student snacks on Cheetos and Mountain Dew while browsing their social media networks into the wee hours of the morning. This is the kind of imagery that you might see in the movies. It may even exist in the real world to some extent. However, that college student playing around on the Internet while gorging on junk food is not your typical Internet user. The Internet operates in much the same sleep cycle as the average person in any given time zone. That is to say, it is busiest during those hours when people would naturally be expected to be awake in a given area. However, it goes so much deeper than that. We want to help you explore when the best time to post on Instagram is based on your specific objectives.
The Champion of Times to Post on Instagram
Reviewing bulk amounts of posts on Instagram will help determine the best time of day to make a post. The trends that appear in the data are a key indicator of how much engagement a particular post gets. Later.com examined a grand total of 12 million Instagram posts. They found that the best time to make a post was between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. EST. However, that does not necessarily translate to this being the ideal time to post for every business or business objective.
Obviously, the best time to post on Instagram is whenever a post will garner the most attention. But that attention should come from the kind of followers and influencers that you want to have as your customers. That differs depending on a whole host of factors about the personality and background of your target audience. There are also significant differences based on the day of the week that the post goes up. Let’s take a look at what Later.com found about each of the days of the week:
- Best time to post on Instagram on Sunday: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 4 p.m. EST
- Best time to post on Instagram on Monday: 6 a.m., 10 a.m., and 10 p.m. EST
- Best time to post on Instagram on Tuesday: 2 a.m., 4 a.m., and 9 a.m. EST
- Best time to post on Instagram on Wednesday: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 11 p.m. EST
- Best time to post on Instagram on Thursday: 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 7 p.m. EST
- Best time to post on Instagram on Friday: 5 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. EST
- Best time to post on Instagram on Saturday: 11 a.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. EST
Why Are These the Best Times to Post on Instagram?
There are major shifts in the best time to post based on the day of the week, as you can see. Some timing of this may seem obvious and apparent, but other times are a little more complicated. Instagram has continued to update its algorithm over the years to ensure that it prioritizes newer content. So, timing content to land on Instagram when the greatest number of people are on the app scrolling through it is essential.
Take a look at how the best times to post on a Saturday compared to a Friday. On Friday, we see that 5 a.m. is the opener here, which may seem a little unexpected. A lot of the reason why this time slot is preferred has to do with two factors. The first is that there is a lot less competition for content on Instagram early morning on a Friday. Also, European viewers are primed to view that material when it is still relatively early in the United States.
The 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. slots on Friday have a lot to do with office workers slacking off a little towards the end of the day and sneaking a peek at their Instagram while they are at work. This can be a great time to capture the attention of a potential customer. They already have their mind on the weekend, and they might have some extra money in their account (assuming they are paid on a Friday).
Saturdays are a little different in that the best times are late morning and then again in the evening. Late morning is excellent because many people like to sleep in after they have been out on a Friday night. They may have stayed out late — let them get their sleep in before hitting them with ads on a Saturday. Later in the evening can be a good
Time Zone Considerations
The best time to post on Instagram is always going to connect with the time zones of most of your customer base. There is simply no getting around this fact. You have to reach people where they are at times that are optimal for them in particular. This may mean checking out the best times to post your material based on what time it is in different locations.
When focused on the best time to post on Instagram, don’t forget that you may have fans beyond your domestic market. Some companies think about the best time to post on Instagram based on the time that it is somewhere completely different in the world. Imagine specializing in a product that is wildly popular in Japan, as an example. That would require you to reset the whole notion of when you should post your Instagram material.
How to Calculate the Best Posting Times for Your Business
To get this down pat, Later.com recommends that you consider manually testing certain times of the day to see how well your posts do. They put it this way:
“If you’d rather crunch the numbers yourself, you can create a spreadsheet to track how much engagement you receive when you post at different times on different days.
“Start by picking five different times throughout the week.
“For example, if you notice that your followers are most active between 5 and 9 p.m. EST, schedule your posts to appear at 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 p.m.”
This will give you a good idea of how live and real posts do at various times. Before testing things out like this, you are operating only on theory. You have to see for yourself how your real posts do at different times. After all, there are slight variations in the style of posts from company to company. Some may not work as well as others at certain times, even if the math suggests that it would.
How Different Industries Can Have Different Results Based on Their Instagram Post Timing
You go to your ad maker and ask him or her about the best time to post on Instagram. You want a straightforward answer from that person, and you might even expect that they should immediately know. But they should tell you that the best time to post on Instagram will depend somewhat on what kind of industry you operate in. The best time to post on Instagram varies by industry, mainly because different industries target different kinds of customers.
Sunday is typically the worst time for businesses to post on Instagram, regardless of the industry. But that isn’t necessarily true for non-profits or charitable organizations. Sunday is the day when much of the population in the United States attends a religious service. This can put some people into a more generous state of mind than they otherwise would be. Thus, the best time to post on Instagram for some charitable organizations could be around the time when religious services let out on a Sunday, which is usually in the late morning. Then, you reach people in a generous state of mind. (Also, they’ve been separated from their smartphones for an hour or more while they were in the service.)
The Proper Time to Use Video in Instagram Posts
Hiring a promo video maker to work on marketing videos for all social media channels is an idea being explored by an increasing number of companies. They see this as a way to leverage the power of video to tell a compelling story about their company and their products. Video is one of the stronger mediums to convey a certain message to a large audience.
But the best time to post on Instagram varies a little when using video compared to using simple images. Companies posting videos on Instagram have to consider the fact that they need their viewer to have the time to review the video in full. Your video may be just thirty seconds long. But attention spans are not what they once were. The best time to post on Instagram with a video is when the viewers have time for it.
Looking for ideal times during the week to post videos can be put on the shoulders of someone hired to do this job specifically. Your Instagram video editor will also be able to tell you when your specific target customers are primed to look at a video. They can test the market for some of those videos to see what works best.
Keep Content Flowing, But Put the Best Stuff Out at Prime Times
Knowing the best time to post on Instagram does not mean that you can completely neglect the other times. Active accounts on Instagram receive priority over other accounts as Instagram has a vested interest in keeping all users active and engaged. Your job is to keep a steady flow of content posted on Instagram throughout the week.
You should time your very best and most important posts for the times you have identified as the top choices for when to post. This HubSpot blog puts it perfectly:
“The differences are slight, but average Instagram engagement does shift depending on the day.
“For example, B2B companies may get more engagement during the week while their audience is at work, whereas bloggers may get more engagement on the weekends when their audience is more likely to have time to read their posts.”
It is so important that the most profitable posts for you go up at the optimal times. But don’t let that allow you to slide into the complacency of thinking that you don’t have to post at other times. You need to do it all. Pyxis Social Tool offers a whole range of tools that can prove useful to your ability to maximize user outreach. The tool can help you create posts, animate videos, schedule your posts, and even directly post them onto your social media accounts for you. On top of that, it’ll be easier than ever to review all the metrics that your advertising produces. This makes the process of reviewing your engagement rates that much easier. Please contact us to begin the process of transforming how you do business today.