Have you started posting to Instagram only to find yourself frustrated that you’re not getting likes or followers? Even if you have the best images and videos, if you don’t post to Instagram at the best times, you’ll miss out on potential views and followers. Let’s break down how Instagram works and determine the best times to post on Instagram.
The Instagram Algorithm
Instagram’s algorithm isn’t a singular AI program. Instead, it is a cluster of programs that monitor content to deliver posts to users’ pages. These programs look at who users interact with, what type of content they interact with, and when users are active on the platform. Based on these parameters, the algorithm looks at a post and determines if a given user will,
- Spend time reading the post or watching the reel
- If they will be likely to like the post
- If they will be likely to comment on the post
- If they are likely to save the post
- If they are likely to tap on the poster’s profile
If a person is more likely to take these actions on your post, it’s more likely your post will show up in their feed. Remember, Instagram wants engagement, so it looks for posts that users will engage with based on their interests and history. Because content is important to the algorithm, at Media Components, we focus on creating posts that encourage engagement and offer something insightful and interesting to users.
Timing Your Instagram Posts
Knowing how the Instagram algorithm works and having the kind of content people want to engage with is only part of the battle. In addition to the parameters and user behaviors we discussed above, Instagram also favors the most recently uploaded posts. That means that even your best, most direct posts will fail if you don’t post at the right time. So, when should you post?
Your ideal time for posting will depend in part on your specific industry and demographic. Breaking that down would be a blog in and of itself – not a blog post, but the entirety of a blog site. However, you can determine your industry-favored times by looking at when your competition is posting and how your own posts perform once you start posting within the universal timeframes.
What Are the Universal Timeframes for Instagram Posting?
When we talk about ideal Instagram posting time, we’re really looking at the average timeframe during which the maximum number of people are using the Instagram platform. These aren’t necessarily absolute times. They are, however, the times you’re most likely to find your target audience.
Universal Times (Tuesday – Friday)
- Mornings 7am – 8am
- Midday 11am – 1pm
- Afternoon 4pm – 6pm
- Evening 9pm – 11pm
Where are Saturday, Sunday, and Monday? Generally, the weekend is a bad time to post as Instagram sees lower engagement on Saturdays and Sundays. The exception to this is consumer goods posts tend to do well on Sunday evenings between 6 pm and 8 pm. Meanwhile, Monday sees low engagement because people are caught up at the start of their work week. Consequently, the best time to post with the highest chance to reach Instagram users is Wednesday, 11 am PST (midday and midweek).
How to Use Universal Times to Find Your Ideal Time
Now that you have the universal times, now what? Now, experiment. Decide how often you want to post each week (this should be based on how much time you have to devote to creating content and how much content you can reasonably create). Look at when your competitors post and compare those times to these universal times.
- Choose the days you want to post Tuesday – Friday (unless you sell consumer goods, then it is Tuesday – Friday and Sunday evening)
- Select your period of the day (Morning, midday, afternoon, or evening)
- Choose a time within the universal timeframe
Schedule your first two weeks of posts, then look at how those posts perform. Did you receive views and likes? Did you pick up followers? If so, then you’ve chosen well. Continue posting during those times and see if your views, likes, and followers grow. If not, you may have a good day but need a better time, an hour earlier or later, or a good time but a better day. Experiment until you see the engagement and follower growth that you’re looking for.
Media Components Have the Social Media Tools to Help You Succeed
Media Components has what you need to succeed on Instagram and other social media platforms. Our experts can help you create winning content and find the right times for your business. Contact us today to see how we can use our expertise to help your business succeed.
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