You can post on Instagram at all hours of the day, but which times are likely to yield the most engagement from fans? Our social media experts are here to help you figure that out.
Because of the algorithm-based feed Instagram uses, “recency,” or most recent posts, show up in users’ feeds depending on what Instagram thinks will be most interesting to them. (See our blog, “How the Instagram Feed Works” for a more in-depth explanation.) So “newer” is still relevant on Instagram.
But popularity is another significant factor. Besides recency, the algorithm also takes “likes” into account when adjusting its feed, so if it sees a large spike in likes shortly after a post is published, it boosts it higher in the feed, generating more engagement, which in turn generates more likes, and so on. Thus you need as many likes as possible from your current fans shortly after posting to help attract new ones.
Listen to the experts?
This means your posts should be published around the time your followers are online. But how do you know what that is? One way is to check out a host of various websites that have already done the work for you and profess to know the best times for your audience. That can be confusing, however. Depending on the source, the optimal times vastly differ. In addition, generalized guidelines may not fit into the parameters of your particular business or the motivations of your specific fans. The surest method is to do the work yourself if you want to get the most out of your Instagram posts.
The way to do this is to check your Instagram analytics, which can tell you when the majority of your followers are most likely to be online.
Using this information, you can begin to do your own A/B testing. When you know a large number of your fans are active on Instagram, schedule hourly posts to run in that time slot and see which generate the most engagement. For this test to be successful, you’ll need to measure like-content against like-content. That is, don’t test a video against a blog post or a contest.
Next, test various types of postings across a range of times: contests, videos, etc.
Then use this information to analyze not only which times your fans are most likely to engage, but which types of content generate the most likes and comments. It may take a bit of time up front, but once you have this information, you’re likely to be far ahead of your competitors when it comes to gaining attention.
Finally, remember the adage that content is king. You can analyze your posts down to the minute, but if you don’t offer compelling content, you’ll soon find your followers drifting away.
If you need help pinpointing the optimal time(s) for your business we are here to help. Contact us so we can show you how to refine your Instagram posting strategy to gain the most attention on the platform.