Homer here is facing a conundrum. He has created a wonderful Instagram post worthy of the hashtag #instagood. He has the perfect image, a handful of appropriate hashtags and even a dash of humour but he cannot decide on the time to post. This is a common issue for most marketers. More often than not, poor execution threatens to ruin even the most perfect of plans.Here are few ways you can avoid it.
The word on the web is that the best times to post are weekday mornings. The reason being most people are commuting and are more likely to check their Instagram accounts. Try posting at different times and observe the resulting performance. If you feel a little lost like Homer, here are some general guidelines to get you started.
- Weekdays are generally better than weekends
- Mondays usually drive the most engagement
- Optimal posting time is usually 8 am to 5 pm
- Engagement peaks at around 12 pm
- Try to avoid posting around 3 pm though! (Seems jinxed)
While there is some wisdom behind these guidelines, what if the majority of your audience are 8 Time Zones away? Would the same advice hold?
The truth is there is no “one-size” solution. It all boils down to the demographics of your audience; who they are, where they are and the type of content you are sharing. If you are managing a sizeable account it might be worth exploring online analytics platforms for better insights. Popular Chips, for example, is able to keep track of demographics, engagement and even recommend the best times to post. Let’s check out Taylor Swift’s Instagram account, shall we?
Online Analytics Platforms
Using Popular Chip’s analytics platform, you can see that she has 101.6 million followers but did you also know only 13% of her followers are from the US. That means a majority of her followers are dispersed around the world. Suppose a sizeable percentage of her fans are in Japan, and she sends out a post to promote her new album at Los Angeles 8 am, it would have already been the next day 12 am in Tokyo. The lower engagement in Japan would, in turn, affect the overall performance of the post.
Marketers can no longer overlook the demographics of their followers. They need to plan their posts based on concrete data. An analytics platform should take into account the demographics of her entire follower base and highlight the recommended timeslots. Based on the image below the best and worst timeslots for her profiles are Sunday 11 am and Thursday 7 am Los Angeles time.
Let’s compare Taylor Swift’s account with a Singapore Influencer’s, shall we? (Can you guess who’s account this is?) The results below show us that the best time for her to post is Saturday 8 am while the worst time is Wednesday 3 pm. (Yes, ‘she’ was a clue)
Did you notice that the timeslots highlighted by the analytics platform were different from the ones in the general guidelines? There is no surprise there. The general guidelines are at best, recommendations for personal accounts that have a primarily local following. They were not designed for influencers, brands or businesses that face a more complex demographic spread of followers.
For the perfect post that has everything, timing is pretty much the only thing left to get right. Given the diverse nature of Instagram profiles and their followers, it is not easy to find that ‘perfect’ time. While smaller accounts can try posting at different times to gauge engagement, larger accounts might not enjoy the same freedom. The good thing is online analytics can provide you with that insight at a fraction of the effort.
Hope you found this helpful. Homer most certainly did!
See how your Instagram account profile stacks up here!