Trying to get more views on your Instagram profile, but don’t know how to reach a bigger audience? There is no perfect, universal answer to the question – what is the best time to post on Instagram – definitely not one on which Instagram users around the world would agree. Why? Because the answer depends on you and the audience you are targeting for your posts. Hence, the answer is different for each user according to the time zone they’re in and the audience they cater to. But, that’s not all you have to think about when hitting the “post” button on Instagram; you have to consider various other factors as well, and use a multitude of tricks to increase your audience. Some of them have been discussed right here.
Know Your Content & Audience
The first thing you need to know when trying to understand your audience is the content you want to promote; only then will you be able to do market research and find the suitable audience for your product. For example, if you are promoting a brand which would attract a younger population then you have try to make the post look more attractive and eye-catching. How? By using vibrant colors in the post or using bright Instagram filters.
Then, you should also capitalize on the trend of using hashtags to promote your posts. Again, you have to know your content well enough to come up with the hashtags that best describe it. By using appropriate hashtags, the targeted audience can be easier to reach. For instance, if someone searches for something in the “tags” option of the search bar, and the search term is similar to your hashtag, your post will automatically come up in the search results. However, this is only helpful if your Instagram account is set to “Public”.
Decide the Best Time According to Audience
If we continue our discussion while keeping in mind the “audience” factor, it is inevitable to not include “time” in it. Although, time is another individual factor which we will later discuss again, time in relation to the audience is a very important topic, especially when it comes to Instagram. After you use Instagram for like a week or so, perhaps less if you use it religiously, you will start to learn when your target market is mostly using Instagram. This can be found out if you press the “Follow” button on their account, which would allow you to follow them as soon as you press it. If, however, their account is set to “Private”, then you will be able to follow them once they accept your Follow Request.
So, the best time to post on Instagram would be when your target audience is using Instagram at the same time as you. Now, how to make sure that you post when they might be closer to the time of using Instagram too? Once you follow them, as mentioned above, you can see their activity on your news feed and be able to see what they’ve liked recently. The posts they have liked will be displayed as hours or minutes or seconds ago, even days ago, once you hit the Heart Icon on your account and switch from the “YOU” screen to the “FOLLOWING” screen.
Know Your Audience Demographic
As mentioned above, the best time for you to post and draw the target audience’s attention is when they are using Instagram or are likely to use it soon after you’ve posted. In order to find that out, you have to know your audience’s demographic. For example, if you aim to promote a new video game or a bicycle then you most probably would be targeting students. Then, the best time to post on Instagram would be between 7 to 9 PM. How did we decide on that time? It’s common sense; students mostly come home around 2-3 PM, depending on when they get off from their schools, and are likely to rest or complete their homework before using Instagram.
Experiment with Your Posts
When starting out, you should never fear experimenting with your posts and timings. Once you gain a handful of followers, post at various hours of the day (avoid posting at midnight and around 5 PM as you are likely to receive less views at these hours) and see the response rates. One can never completely be sure of when one can use Instagram; for example, some people have insomnia or just sleep late because they want to or make it a habit of sleeping late. Sometimes during college or university examination days, students tend to stay awake late at night to study. So, if for example you aim to promote an energy bar or an energy drink, your best time to post on Instagram would be after midnight or during the late-night hours.
Know the Time Zones & Culture
As we all know, in most countries Saturday and Sunday are seen as weekends, but in some countries, they may still be working days. So, you should know in which time zones most of your targeted audience is located. This will allow you to upload posts according to their time rather than your own country’s time. Secondly, you should have done enough research on your targeted audience to know whether they like to stay in or go out on weekends. You can find this out by observing your news feed on Instagram for two or three weekends. Once those weekends start, try experimenting by posting on your account and seeing the response rate. Observe the hours of the response rate, or you can simply wait for the first weekend to end and see if they make any posts about what they did over the weekend. This way you will be able to plan for the week and weekend ahead.
Take Advantage of the Instagram Story
In the past year, Instagram has allowed users to post stories along with uploading the regular posts on their accounts; the story disappears within 24 hours. Recently, Instagram added a new feature to its app. You can start a poll in your Instagram story which will have two options; for example, if the poll says “Do I look better in black or red clothes?” the user will have to pick either “black” or “red”. So, you can put up a story about the brand or product you want to promote and ask the targeted audience to vote. For example, if you are promoting a sports shoe, you can give two options on the color of the shoe and by the response rate and time you can find out when the targeted audience is most active on Instagram. This also helps you to engage personally with your targeted audience and have an insight about the wants and needs of your followers.
Follow Similar Accounts
Instagram helps you find new people to follow; it basically recommends accounts of people who might be interested in the same things as you. For example, if you like posts about nature, Instagram will recommend you to follow accounts containing posts made of photos and videos about nature and different places. You can like posts related to the products which you want to promote on your account and by liking such posts, Instagram will soon recommend similar accounts to follow you or recommend you to follow similar accounts. This way, you will reach a larger audience which might be already searching for an account like yours, meaning when they are actively using Instagram, that will be your best time to post on Instagram.
Use Your Bio
One thing you can do in terms of your profile is go into “Edit Profile” and update your “Bio” to mention what your Instagram account is about. You can also mention your website if you have one; this will allow the target audience to reach you more easily. It will also help you gain followers who are already willing to buy your products or are waiting for your posts. This way, you won’t even need to exactly wait for the “best time to post on Instagram” because you would already have your targeted audience eagerly waiting for you to upload your new post. Hence, every time would be the best time to post on Instagram!
So you see, there is no optimal answer to the question, “when is the best time to post on Instagram”. You can try out all these various tips to get a better and clearer understanding of when to post on Instagram to have maximum views and to run a successful account. The best time to post on Instagram is when you have done enough market research, gained at least a satisfying number of followers (including most of the target audience), you have observed enough to know what time is a hit amongst your followers and when you are most able to respond to your followers; especially when it comes to the questions about your products and brand.