When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram for Maximum Engagement?

When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram for the Maximum Engagement?

When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram for Maximum Engagement?

We all know that social media algorithms favor recent content and will see how people engage with your content after you publish it. If a lot of people engage with your content you will tend to get more impressions, and if your content is greeted by the sound of crickets. Therefore, timing is one aspect of organic social media that every marketer needs to master. This post will look more closely at Instagram and consider when is the best time to post on Instagram for maximum engagement.

Are you and your content relevant on Instagram?

When is the best time to post on Instagram is a topic that many others have tackled. Yes, there is data that might support this time or that day, even drilled down to a specific industry, but let’s face it: There are a myriad of factors that decide the success of your Instagram posts outside of your timing, such as:

  • the actual quality of your content
  • its relevance to your audience
  • what your competition (all of the other Instagram users that your followers follow) is posting when you post
  • the ever-changing Instagram algorithm.

I will touch upon some of the data that some companies have announced, but like anything else in social media – or marketing – or business – YMMV = Your Mileage Might Vary. At the end of the day, you should be using that data or my advice below as a starting point and continue to perfect your timing in PDCA fashion.

After all, let’s face it: Social media is a form of art. Purposeful, quick-witted, thought-provoking, sly, informative, and most of all, inspirational. This is what businesses need to strive to provide.

There’s an art to participating on Instagram, the billion dollar tech enterprise (now estimated to be worth 100 billion dollars) with its storyline consumer appeal. As you all know, Instagram is cool, hip, user-friendly, and today is unprecedented in how it can boost your presence as an entrepreneur, small business, corporation, or everyday user.

As a shiny, light platform whereby the youthful and savvy generations actively engage with more products and services. Because Instagram relies on content that promotes and persuades–even amongst the changing algorithms–researching your audience will help you gain more Instagram followers by understanding what time they’re online and how often. Flowing with the algorithm and how it chooses what photos and videos show up in your newsfeed is something that helps maximize engagement.

Having your words and images occur in a more chronological order are the keys to Instagram’s algorithmic success. Is what you’re posting today trendy and relevant? Are you marketing to the right crowd and at the right time? You have to keep the content fresh, which is necessary for a positive and paramount following.

Audiences rely on up-to-date information and current photos versus images from even one year ago. If you’re posting an ad or a promotional video that’s been done to death in the same market, your competition will remain fierce. Instagram requires you give it a sense of journalism and research. The strongest indicator of Instagram success can be the user-generated content of photos that fascinate, having more audience urgency.

Are you marketing to the right audience on Instagram?

For the ordinary GenXGenZGenY, or millennial user, Instagram thrives on advertising and marketing. The social media’s glory moments occur when content is driven to influence others. There’s even a population segment dubbed Influencers, a generational user who knows what they’re doing and when they’re doing it for prime audience captivation.

To gain more word of mouth, consider how simple your message is and the time of day or week you’re posting that message. Because the target audience is friendlier, more apt to engage, and can help increase business sales twofold, your highlighted Instagram fame depends on knowing your audience. Are they late night crawlers who are eager for something eclectic and creative? Are they suit-and-tie professionals who dabble on the dark side? Are your viewers conservative and nine-to-fivers? Do these same people share your posts? If you aren’t using Instagram for your business, you might be missing out on a crucial marketplace that flourishes on current behaviors and unique followers.

Know your customer, know your newsfeed, make friends with timeliness. Who are they, when are they online, and what are they responding to in business or personal relationships? Keeping everything friendly and intentional is why posting on Instagram is so important in today’s marketplace. Calculating what consumers want each day and each week is essential to building relationships by sharing valuable photos and maintaining an innovative stance with your audience.

Because Instagram provides essential filters to edit and polish up even the most mundane image, try not to overdo your photos, as some Instagram photo edits can come off as fake and appear as if you’re trying too hard. Make your message simple, clean, classy, appealing, inspiring, and relatable. That’s why Instagram has taken over the entrepreneurial side of advertising for the youth and those wanting to engage with a younger audience. They’re the population who has the most significant impact on influence and storytelling.

Timing is everything

Just as you wouldn’t want to spread the word of something celebratory or important, so too is the messaging concept for using Instagram. Since photos are the driving force behind this incredibly successful app, showing your personality at specific times of the day and week are essential to maximizing engagement.

When you post an update is equally crucial as what you’re posting and who’s reading. The best time to post on Instagram can be broken down into segments, those time frames where you have to factor in your west coast audience versus your east coast users, and all the other midwestern states in between. If your plan is to go global, that’s a whole different animal. One share from a happy customer and you might land yourself in the middle of the European and Asian markets, to name a few. Needless to say that this advice is based on my being based in the United States

If you build your Instagram presence from scratch, there’s always an audience waiting just for you! Wanting an empire? Ready to launch a new brand? Running a mom-and-pop shop and need to get the word out? Is your e-commerce business competitive and pulling in sales? Each of these questions are considerable reasons to begin an Instagram account and be the master of your domain. It’s never too late to sign up and hop on the bandwagon.

So when IS the best time to post on Instagram for maximum engagement?

Following are noteworthy reasons for being timely with your Instagram posting. Broken down into hourly slots of the day and week, based on popularity, and whether your audience is tuned into your post. Think algorithms as well.

  1. 8:00 a.m. – The early hour. Typically, users of this nature tend to ruminate on their post and sharing capabilities throughout the night. Heck, you might even lose some sleep over what you’re about to put out into the world. Chances are, this “coffee crowd” is ready, on their phones, at their laptops, and cannot wait to view the latest greatest update.
  2. 11:00 a.m. – Whether you’re on PST or EST or CST in the United States, these users have already done their yoga, had their breakfast, and are knee deep into work. Right before the lunch hour is a good time to snag your audience, as they haven’t gotten to the ‘out to lunch’ phase of their day. Overseas, this hour tends to work the opposite and appeal to the night crawlers.
  3. 3:00 p.m. – It’s not exactly cocktail hour, yet the afternoon crowd is poised to hang out on their phones before the end of the workday hour. It’s a break time of sorts, one where people stretch out, catch up, and are glued to social media.
  4. 8:30 p.m. – You’re not quite ready to call it a day yet. The pistons are firing and imagination runs wild when nighttime sets in. After a healthy walk under the stars, there’s nothing more inspiring than sitting at your computer or viewing your recently charged-up phone to capture the late ‘after dinner’ audience. Again, this could appeal to a global mindset as well. When you wake up in the morning you might be surprised to see that your post gathered about 1000 more followers and likes than before you had that extra glass of wine or cold beer.
  5. Midnight – When the artists come out to play, midnight postings and shares are vampire-worthy. They have depth, truth, and sometimes, shock appeal. You’d be surprised how many Instagram users are burning the midnight oil in the hopes of gaining more traction in business and online presence. This group of users might sleep in late, however they’ll be pleasantly surprised when their status has soared to greater heights with one thought-provoking image and message.
  6. Weekends – Saturdays are meant for lighter fair versus heavy duty images. Go for playful and sincere. Take Sundays off. Build suspense until the morning hour of Monday.

Your strategy is your greatest asset with Instagram. Building an audience that falls in love with your content is the main priority, and exactly the time frame you’re sharing videos and relevant images can make or break your business and brand.

If you fine tune your profile, adding a trendy profile picture, your up-to-date bio information, and a clickable URL to your website, not only will users feel compelled to click onto your business page, but they’ll share it if the Instagram promotion is classy. Ensuring that all details of your Instagram account and links to your other websites or portfolios are in order is a surefire step towards success on this social media platform.

Standing out from the crowd is priority. If it seems as if you’re struggling to gain attention and followers, re-evaluate your “why” and go from there. The latest cliche for Instagram users is how to build a tribe. Your tribe are those who get your message, support your “why” factor, and are eager to hang out on social media with you.

Outlook and Overview

Master your voice. Hone your research on generational trends. Pick and choose the times that have the most effect and publish goal-driven content. If you’re using hashtags as a search function, tap into your target audience.

Now, make our eyes pop!

On a final note, don’t forget to analyze how your posts determine at different times at continue kaizen optimization, but remember that timing is only one element that determines the success of your post in the Instagram feed.

Do you agree with this advice on when is the best time to post on Instagram for maximum engagement?

For another look at the best times to post on Instagram, check out this awesome infographic from CoSchedule.

For another look at the best times to post on Instagram, check out this awesome infographic.

Learn why timing on Instagram matters, and more specifically advice on when is the best time to post on Instagram to ensure engagement from your followers.

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.
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One comment

  1. Sarcasm Everywhere
    Sarcasm Everywhere

    I’ve newly created a page on Instagram to help grow my business and I was looking for an article that is related to when is the best time to post on Instagram and how can I get the maximum engagement. I’ve read this article carefully I’ll improve my content and post according to the time that you’ve suggested. Thank you for this informative article.

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