When is the best time to post a photo on Instagram?

Who I am
Shane Conder
@shaneconder
Author and references

Lately I have received several emails with the usual question: what is the best time to post a photo on instagram? A while back, I was looking for the perfect time to get the full range of my posts.

There is no shortage of guides on the web Social Media Manager ready to give a clear answer after analyzing the phenomenon and drawing conclusions. Most of them recommend posting photos and videos among their 19:00 and 21:00.



As a skeptic by nature, I wasn't 100% convinced. Something was wrong and then I started looking at the problem from another point of view. The question I ask myself now is very different and goes something like this:

When is the best time to post on Instagram according to my followers?

►Read: How to advertise on Instagram◄

That's it, I told you something was missing.

An essential piece was missing. Perhaps the most important.

Each profile has a different type of follower, i.e. an audience that may have a different time zone and browsing habits that are not entirely homogeneous.

In this article I will show you how to find the best time and when to post on Instagram based on your profile followers.

Introduction to the Instagram algorithm

Before you start, you should know that a part dedicated to the Instagram algorithm is required.

Instagram displayed our followers' content in chronological order until it decided to replace it with a different algorithm.


The current one works much like Facebook, which prioritizes posts with the highest engagement rate.


If I can. The more likes, comments, views (in the case of videos) and the more there will be the possibility of get more organic coverage.

Organic reach is how many people a given post naturally reaches. Making it even easier: it's all those people who will see your post without sponsorship of any kind.

Basically the rule is:

If you can generate high engagement with your posts within a short time after their publication, Instagram will consider the quality of your content and show it to many more users.

There are several ways to increase engagement, including timing a post when your followers are most active.

Analyze your followers

As I said at the beginning of this article, there's no better time to post on Instagram.

There are different time slots and they all strictly depend on your audience (your followers). Indeed, your followers may be active at different times and even have a time zone different from yours.

Let's see together how to find the best time to post messages on your Instagram profile.

Find your followers' primary time zone

The first thing to consider is the time zone. For example, let's say you post a photo at 9pm, but for many of your followers, it's 4am.

What is going on?

By then everyone should be asleep, so the result will be: less interaction and less organic reaching out to that particular position.



That said, it's time to analyze your followers and find out what their time zone is.

but how do i do it?

You can use the analytics tool offered by Instagram itself. If you don't know where it is, follow these steps:

  1. Open Instagram
  2. Go to your profile page
  3. Click on the statistics icon (top right)
  4. Scroll down to the "Followers" section at the bottom of the list
  5. Click on «More…» to view the details

Instagram profile stats
On this screen, you can view statistics on gender, age range, location, and also graphs of hours/days of activity.

For the time zone you can rely on the data of the most popular places. You can filter by city and country to see if your followers are from Italy and discover the specific city.

Instagram followers stats
Also, in the timetable you can find out what is the best time to post a photo on instagram. There is also the possibility to filter it by the days of the week.

Don't see the stats icon?

To access the statistics you will need to convert your profile to a business profile. And to do this, you just have to follow the procedure:

  1. go to instagram
  2. Go into settings
  3. Click on «Switch to a company profile».

Don't worry, there procedure is reversible. You can request your personal profile again by going to Settings and clicking on «Back to personal profile».



The best times to post on Instagram

Once you've analyzed your followers and discovered your peak hours, you'll have everything you need to post at the best times.

However, I would like to share with you some general rules that may carry some weight when posting a photo or video on Instagram in 2020:

  • Avoid texting during office hours: you can send them during lunch (12-14) and after 18.
  • Publish your best posts during the week (avoid weekends): I would take this advice with a grain of salt, as it really depends on your followers.
  • Always experiment: whatever your audience, don't stop at statistics and rankings, go beyond. Try again with new times and analyze the results. You could make some nice discoveries. Do not you believe it? Try it.

Keeping in mind that the best times are always those relative to your follower base, you can assume general plans based on the average stats I've gathered with thousands of accounts.

This data is particularly useful for those who have a new Instagram profile or for those who do not have a business profile:

Monday

(Recommended time slots)

  • From the 9.00 11.00
  • And from 13.30 to 15.00
  • Also from 19:00 to 21:00

Tuesday

(Recommended time slots)

  • From the 9.00 11.00
  • Also from 13.30 to 15.00
  • And from 19:00 to 21:00

Wednesday

(Recommended time slots)

  • From the 9.00 11.00
  • And from 13.30 to 15.00
  • Also from 19:00 to 21:00

Thursday

(Recommended time slots)

  • From the 9.00 11.00
  • And from 13.30 to 15.00
  • Also from 19:00 to 21:00

Friday*

(Recommended time slots)

  • From the 9.00 11.00
  • Also from 13.30 to 15.00
  • And from 19:00 to 21:00

Saturday

(Recommended time slots)

  • From the 9.00 11.00
  • And from 13.30 to 15.00
  • Also from 19:00 to 21:00

Sunday

(Recommended time slots)

  • From the 9.00 11.00
  • Also from 13.30 to 15.00
  • And from 19:00 to 21:00

Note: Friday is on average the day with the most active users on Instagram. And they continue in descending order on Thursday and Wednesday.

Plan your messages with the best tools

Now that you know your followers well and when they are most active, you can move on to the last step: schedule your Instagram posts.

It's not always easy to remember to post a message, and perhaps we might be busy doing something else at the time.

What is the solution?

Schedule your posts with specific tools like HopperHQ and later.

The main advantages I have found are:

  1. Simplification of work
  2. That saves time

However, you should also know that there are two different types of tools (automatic and notification) to carry out this task, but the debate is quite large.

►You may also be interested in: How to know if you are blocked on Instagram: steps and tricks!◄

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many factors that influence when deciding when is the best time to post a photo on Instagram, however, with these tips you will have a little more clarity on that decision. We hope you enjoy our article if you think something was missing, leave your comment.


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