Ah, the oft-dreaded, more-oft misunderstood Instagram Algorithm. Much is written online about how to ‘crack’ this seemingly mysterious set of calculations and rules that – from the great internet beyond – enigmatically impacts the success or failure of your feed.
While there is no substitute – we repeat, no substitute – for a thoughtful, engaging content strategy, authentic brand voice, consistent posting cadence and beautiful visuals, what we’ve learned through years of experience managing dozens of our clients’ accounts is that there are definitely best practices that can boost your bottom line when it comes to engagement. Timing is one of them.
A recent analysis of 36 million Instagram feed posts has shed some new – and quite surprising insight – on the best time to post to Instagram. And it is surprisingly… early.
The best time to post turns out to be 6 a.m. on (surprise!) Saturday and Sunday, a massive shift from a year ago, when the best time was midweek during the lunch hour. During the week, posting between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. also earns your post the most engagement opportunity.
What this data tells us reinforces how we use social media as a communications, marketing and branding tool for our clients. We have to understand who is using the platform and how they are using it in order to achieve the best outcomes.
When we think about how people are using Instagram, this makes sense. It’s the early morning scroll when they first wake up (and since many users no longer have a commute, Instagram has become the new drive-time morning show).
The worst time to post? Wednesday between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (coincidentally happens to be the most productive day of the work week for most people – go figure) and late Thursday nights, between 9 p.m. -11 p.m.
The bottom line: when you post isn’t everything, but it is worth considering as part of a larger, intentional strategy behind your social media brand.
You can read a whole lot more on best (and worst) times to post here.