What’s the best time to post on Instagram

category: guide|author: Ilona Iftode|updated: 29-07-18

If you’ve never asked yourself “What’s the best time to post on Instagram?” then you’ve never lived a full Instagrammer’s life. However, if you did trouble your mind with this existential Instagram enquire, find out that it doesn’t have to keep you up at night. Yep, not even if the answer is that “the best time to post on Instagram is at 2 a.m.”, because hey, that’s why you’ve got the post automated scheduling feature from Preppr for. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and tackle this step by step.

First, while there are some general rules that apply to the best time to post on Instagram, the exact intervals will differ from brand to brand. Secondly, while you might need to discover the best time to post on Instagram, there are some tricks that can help you automate this task as well (think Preppr). Thirdly, yes, we’re going to tell you exactly how to cover both step one and step two. Here’s exactly what to expect in this article:

  1. General guidelines regarding the best time to post on Instagram
  2. How to discover the best time to post on Instagram for your brand

Ready to get your hands on the Holy Grail of Instagram?

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1. General guidelines regarding the best time to post on Instagram

Keep in mind that the general guidelines regarding the best times to post on Instagram will not offer you full accuracy, but they will offer a good starting point. Without stressing too much, you’ll be able to increase your reach and thus receive more love, love, love. Yes, it’s the fastest and simplest way to make the most out of your efforts.

According to an infographic the notorious social media expert Neil Patel created for QuickSprout , content shared on Instagram during off-work hours is much more likely to get higher engagement rates. Thus, posting at lunch-time or exactly after your audience gets off work are perfect frames to share your Instagram posts.

best time to post on Instagram according to Neil Patel for QuickSprout

It goes without saying that you must factor time zones in the equation and consider the clock your audience is running on. Say you’re operating your business from Europe, but your target lives in the US. Then, posting at mid-day means their mid-day and definitely not yours.

When it comes to the best days to post on Instagram, apparently Monday and Thursday are the days that attract the more engagement according to a number of studies created and compiled by the guys at sproutsocial.

As you might have already figured, the specific time slots will differ according to your target audience. This explains why more often than not research shows conflicting evidence and advice. And this brings us to the next idea: instead of researching what the best times to post on Instagram are, why not research the method of discovering how to pin them down? Glad you asked, ‘cause we’re going to show you how. Buckle up!

the best days to post on Instagram----

2. How to discover the best time to post on Instagram for your brand

The method we’re going to present next is fully tested by us. Yes, yes, about 2 years ago we had a lot of fun conducting a research regarding the best times to post on Instagram. While the years have passed and Instagram has changed a lot, our method is still as valid as ever, proving to actually work as a clock (time, clock, see the connection?). Here’s what we did:

We analyzed an exact number of 554,491 posts on Instagram from 7,855 accounts by their engagement, filter, time posted, caption, tags and type of post. Yes, we like to be specific. Then, we took this enormous amount of data and plotted it and see the distribution of these posts per hour:

distribution of posts per hour to find our the best time to post on Instagram

After that, we had a closer look at the engagement rates of each post and plotted the results in a graph that shows the sum of all engagements per hour of posting.

engagements per hour to find our the best time to post on Instagram

Then, to remove any errors and false results due to different time zones and number of followers, we standardized engagement and voila! The result was that the best time to post on Instagram is between 4:00 and 6:00 GMT.

distribution of standardized engagement for the best time to post on Instagramaverage standard engagement per post per hour of posting for the best time to post on Instagram

Okay, okay, but this result is standardized! And we just told you that the “standard” might not apply to your particular case. Good, you were paying attention.

Here’s what you could do: you could use the above method to analyze your own posts, plot the graphs and discover your best time to post on Instagram:

  1. Gather up the following info on all your posts: likes, comments, time posted, type of post
  2. Analyse the data and plot it in a graph that shows days/hours distribution
  3. Plot another graph that correlates hours and engagement
  4. Draw the conclusions

Or, you could let Preppr do that for you because you know, it uses the same method to analyze the engagement rate on your scheduled posts and automatically suggest the best time to post. In fact, Preppr actually has a feature, called the Best Time to Post, that calculates your top 3 best posting times on Instagram according to how much engagement you receive. Talk about a way to save you from doing math, right?

Another great and fun way to discover your brand’s best time to post on Instagram according to your industry, is to check Riotly Social Media’s time generator tool. A click here, a click there, and the golden hour of Instagram will be revealed.

best time to post on Instagram Preppr feature----

3. How to help Preppr suggest the best time to post on Instagram

While you won’t have to do any complicated math to find out the best time for your brand to post on Instagram, you can do some creative experimenting. It’s even highly encouraged. That means to experiment with your posting times. Why? Because by having an initial varied schedule for your posts, Preppr will have more data points to compare and see exactly which one fits you (and actually your audience) best.

Since we know that generically speaking, the best times to post are between 4:00 and 6:00 GMT, you can schedule your posts throughout the week at 4, 5 and 6 to see which one performs best. Also, to make sure of the accuracy of the results, try to experiment for more weeks, and change the days and hours among themselves. For example, if this week you have scheduled a post with Preppr on Monday, at 4, another Thursday at 5 and another Friday at 6, next week try to schedule a post on Monday at 6, another Thursday at 4 and another Friday at 5.

Of course, this is just as far as an example can go. You need to optimize the number of posts according to your objectives and it’s very probable that you’ll need to include more days and more weeks. If you want to also have a manual double-check on Preppr’s best time to post feature, you can track down the results in a spreadsheet and compare them afterward.

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4. How to schedule your posts at the best time

With this newly found knowledge, you’re now super equipped to extend your reach and gain more engagement than ever. But what if you’re in the US and your target is in Europe? Or Asia? Or vice-versa? Or any other number of combinations that are on a totally different timezone. Will this mean that you have to wake up at night and post? Definitely not.

We’ve mentioned how Preppr can help you get your best time to post on Instagram. But Preppr can be your sidekick also when it comes to automatically scheduling posts.

schedule post at the best time to post on Instagram with Preppr

And you can choose exactly how much control to have over the publishing. You can go full automatic by simply scheduling your posts, or you can choose to go semi-auto, by scheduling and then receiving a reminder when the time comes to just hit post.

schedule post at the best time to post on Instagram with Preppr

Get your 10 days free trial and start experimenting to find out the best time to post on Instagram. Then, schedule without worry and have a great, great Instagram life! The time is now, indeed.

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