A quick Google search for “Instagram best time to post” returns 304 million results – it’s one topic that everyone is interested in, isn’t it?
Engagement is key on social media. A simple action of like, comment or share shows appreciation and recognition to the content that a user is sharing with his/ her followers. This is even more so for brands and influencers, where influencer/ sponsored marketing on social media is an important component for success.
The whole discussion about the best time to post on social media platform has been ongoing since years ago, starting with Facebook and moving on to Instagram now. Before the game-changing algorithm stepped in, our news feed shows posts from accounts we follow in chronological order. Discovering the best time to post a content to attract the most attention from followers was hence a critical factor for getting a piece of content seen and to succeed.
Then the algorithm came along.
Now on Instagram, you no longer see posts in chronological order but those that are deemed to be the most relevant to you would appear at the top. One might start questioning, does the time you post still matters? The answer is…
Replacing time of posting with relevancy, one of the key factors that the Instagram algorithm looks at to evaluate the relevancy of a content to a user is how much engagement it has been receiving.
In other words, posts with higher engagement (likes and comments) would have a higher chance of appearing top on the news feed. Here’s where best time to post comes in handy.
Posting at a peak timing will increase the chances of being seen by followers thus bringing a surge of engagement the moment the post goes live.
This would further drive engagement, giving the post momentum needed to stay relevant and top of the feed.
CURRENT RESEARCH ON BEST TIME TO POST
Reading through a couple of articles on determining the best time to post, there seems to be a couple of standard methods that have been employed across the various research or marketing companies. The most commonly suggested techniques are:
- Switch to Instagram Business profile to gain access to its analytics tool with information on followers’ time zone and active timings.
- An analysis of over 61,000 posts by Latergramme revealed that the general best time to post is 2am and 5pm, followed by specific timings for each day of the week.
- Trial and error, experimenting with various posting timings, keep a spreadsheet and determine the best performing one.
In addition to these, there are also a bunch of other sites that provide specific best/ worst timings with no explanation and one will have no idea what was the rationale behind them.
What are wrong with these methods?
The most important point of all is the fact that every Instagram account is different – with a unique mix of followers from different timezone and varying interests. In addition, there are many influencers who do not have a strong local reach meaning for example, an influencer based in Hong Kong may have 60% of her followers from the United States and only 20% from Hong Kong.
Hence, understanding the exact demographic mix and timezone of followers is the key to having the best-tailored posting times specific for an account.
BEST TIME TO POST FOR EACH INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
Instead of relying on sample research to receive the best estimates for best time to post, why not make use of technology that allows you to analyze the best timings of each and every Instagram account. This is especially true for brands, as after all, every influencer is different: what may be the best 2pm for @SelenaGomez does not mean the same for @KimKadarshian.
Popular Chips‘ software aggregates and analyzes ALL the posts for EACH individual influencer for the selected time period to understand the engagement pattern and therefore, determine the BEST day of week and time of day to post.
Here are four example of best time to post analysis on influencers from around the world:
Take, for example, influencer @Iloveruffag has
- 72.32% of followers from the Philippines
- Mainly females (67.41%)
- Millennial audience (57.04%)
- and her corresponding best time to post for 2017 is on Monday 3 pm (Philippines time)
On the other hand, influencer @Gggubgib36 has
- 80.61% of followers from Thailand
- Mainly females (63.81%)
- Millennials audience aged 18-35 (54.99%)
- and her corresponding best time to post for 2017 is on Sunday 7 pm (Thailand time)
For US based influencer @Ttlyteala who has a more international following base,
- 20.64% of followers from United States (Top Country)
- Mainly females (54.04%)
- Millennials audience aged 18-35 (57.95%)
- and her corresponding best time to post for 2017 is on Saturday 6pm (New York time)
For UK based influencer @Zoella who has a more international following base,
- 13.63% of followers from the United States
- Mainly females (56.78%)
- Millennials audience aged 18-35 (56.54%)
- and her corresponding best time to post for 2017 is on Thursday 9pm (London time)
From the above analysis, we can see that these four influencers have very different best time to post (in their local timings). Each of them has a unique follower mix, from strong local reach to diverse international audience, all these contribute to the difference in timings. This shows that a generic best time to post study and suggested timing will most likely, or rather, is definitely not representative.
BEST TIME TO POST IS NOT EVERYTHING FOR ENGAGEMENT
While having technology and insights to understand an influencers’ best time to post for engagement, it is not the ONLY factor that boosts engagement. Ultimately, it is the content that distinguishes one influencer from another. Hence, it is important for brands and influencers themselves to understand their strength and the interest of their audience – finding out what type of content resonates the best with the followers.
On Popular Chips’ platform, the content analysis allows users to understand the top performing content style for any influencer in the world. In addition, understanding the exact follower demographics (gender, age group) also helps brands to create better-tailored content suited for the intended audience group.
Dig into insights, understand the science and stay ahead in influencer marketing!