Instagram Strategy: 5 Tips on Choosing the Right Time for Your Instagram Posts

Instagram Strategy 5 Tips on Choosing the Right Time for Your Instagram Posts

While the term ‘content marketing’ implies a strategic focus on high-quality content, the right word must be spoken at the right time in order to reach the target followers. 

There is nothing worse than carefully designing your marketing materials and posting schedule only to realise that no one has actually seen them. To prevent this undesired outcome, we have collected the five most powerful tips on choosing the right time for you Instagram posts.

Instagram Strategy: 5 Tips on Choosing the Right Time for Your Instagram Posts Share on X

  1. Choose the Optimal Time…

A recent study by SproutSocial has revealed that the majority of Instagram users were checking their accounts at 5 AM on Thursdays and Fridays, 11 AM on Thursdays and 3 PM on Wednesdays and Thursdays. These ‘windows of opportunity’ were linked with the periods when people usually read morning news, have brunch or seek a distraction in the afternoon at the end of their working day. Contrary to the popular idea, publishing posts on Saturdays and Sundays was generally inefficient as people were spending quality time with their friends and families without using their smartphones. Some globally recognised social marketing experts note that Instagram posts have the longer life expectancy than Twitter and Facebook posts with 75% of the comments being added between 6 hours and 48 hours after the initial publication. Due to this reason, they also suggest including the 2 AM time into your publication schedule to capitalise on the ‘night owls’ audience browsing their news feeds from the comfort of their beds before falling asleep. Another interesting idea is to develop unique schedules for winter holidays and other celebration dates. There is a very slim chance that your posts will be more engaging than the spree of gift-shopping, home decoration and family gatherings.

Instagram Global Engagement

Source: Sprout Social 

  1. … for Your Customer Segment

While the dream of every Instagram influencer is to become the ‘voice of the world’, the reality is that you usually have a primary ‘focus group’ that is interested in your posts more than other users. The problem known to every marketer is that different customer segments have different behaviours and preferences regarding Instagram use. This depends on working hours, the capability to use smartphones during various periods of the day and the perceived relevance of following favourite brands and authors on social media. Hence, the optimal times for Instagram posts of healthcare, educational and technological organisations may vary radically as students check their news feeds differently from busy professionals or stay-at-home moms. Depending on your positioning, you may choose to target several segments in a standardised manner or diversify your posts time-wise to appeal to each one individually. However, it may be a good idea to select your ‘favourite’ segment and seek to schedule your posts to maximise its engagement and satisfaction.

Related articles: Instagram Marketing: 10 Reasons to Have Your Business on Instagram

  1. Think about Time Zones

Even though this might not seem obvious for many marketers, the followers of popular profiles and communities may be spread between multiple time zones. Within the scope of the optimal publishing time discussed earlier, this will mean that a pre-lunch post published for European audiences may be missed by US followers. This is especially significant within the scope of the new feed algorithm suggesting more recent publications more frequently than older ones. Overall, marketers have two main choices in this dimension. On the one hand, it is possible to focus on one or several closely located time zones and publish posts for them. This instagram strategy may be highly convenient in the case of the US where the Central and Eastern segments account for the total of 81% of all potential audience. Another choice is the development of different posts for each time zone, which may be better suited for global positioning. You can apply such instruments as Instagram Insights to identify the relevance of each geographical segment and make informed decisions regarding your marketing focus afterwards.

Population Time Zone

Source: Neil Patel Blog 

  1. Measure Your Results

The proof of any marketing campaign is in its reach. Even elaborate and well-designed plans fail from time to time because no marketer can control all factors influencing the followers’ engagement. Hence, measuring the effectiveness of each new instrument after its implementation is the only way to reliably determine what really works for your company. That said, you need to clearly realise what you want to measure and how you want to measure it. If your goal is the growth of your reach, you may wish to look into the change of follower numbers. However, some companies decide that this dimension is better characterised by such metrics as conversion results, engagement levels, the development of the positive electronic word-of-mouth or the creation of user-generated content. While unexpected positive results may be pleasing, remember to always measure your results by the selected indicators and not additional side effects. Another concern is ensuring the measurement quality or the ‘how’ component. Again, the key is maintaining a strong sense of focus. Making five changes to your schedule and measuring the outcomes is as effective as taking a wild guess. Change one thing at a time and build your scheduling policy gradually by studying the impact of each component.

Related articles: 2018 Social Media Marketing Trends Infographic

  1. Experiment

Regardless of the fact that the earlier discussed findings may have suggested some good ideas for testing the most popular ‘windows of opportunity’, there is no one-size-fits-all approach in Instagram marketing. Potential brand followers differ from late-nighters reading fashion bloggers on their homebound taxi drive from an afterparty to office workers browsing through interesting communities on their morning commute. Identifying the most optimal times for you Instagram posts may require some experimenting to identify what works best for your audiences. Besides using specialised instruments such as Instagram Insights, it may also be a good idea to ask your followers directly. You can write several direct messages to the most active and loyal fans or organise a small community survey to learn more about your audiences. This can also be viewed as a sign of appreciation and increase their loyalty. It is also important to realise that your audiences may change over time. Hence, experimenting with new publication schedules may be a good idea if you feel that your engagement and conversion rates are not increasing.

Choosing the right time for contacting your followers is both a skill and an art. We hope that these 5 tips provided some inspiration for you as a marketer for revising your social media practices and ensuring that your high-quality content is utilised to its maximal potential. However, we would also recommend maintaining a steady course grounded in reliable analytics and being open to emerging opportunities. Many advertising success stories began as a combination of well-developed analytical skills and a highly effective timing bound to unexpected market trends.

Instagram Strategy: 5 Tips on Choosing the Right Time for Your Instagram Posts

Therefore, it may be valuable to keep in mind that being flexible and using major news events, trends, viral posts and other sources of disruption for leveraging your exposure may be more valuable than always adhering to a clearly defined schedule. You may also choose to publish some materials or share some personal insights with your followers at odd times to demonstrate your openness and the desire to let them be a part of your life and your brand. Remember that content marketing is also about your vision and your own timing.


Anna Clarke

Anna Clarke is the owner of online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in both freelancing and academic writing industries, specialising in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing and Management.