Search “best time to post on Instagram” and you’ll find countless articles telling you when to post according to studies of a few million Instagram posts.
We have written such articles ourselves. For a long time, we thought that’s the way to grow our reach and engagement on social media.
But that is no longer the best approach.
There are many reasons for the change. Most importantly, you now have much more data about your own posts and followers. The best time to post is when your followers are online and engaging with your posts.
How do you know when to post?
Well, you can now get recommendations for when to post on Instagram to maximize your reach, with Analyze. Curious to find out more? Read on.
Analytics as your assistant
Analytics is often simply numbers and graphs. It’s easy to understand why some people are intimidated by analytics. But that doesn’t have to be the way. Analytics can be joyful and fun. It should help you take away the tedious work of dissecting graphs and calculating numbers. Analytics should feel like your assistant.
With Analyze, you don’t just get charts. You’ll also see three recommended times to post on Instagram. They are times when your predicted reach is among the highest during the week.
Most people would find the three recommendations sufficient but if you want more, you can then dive into the charts.
How does it work?
Your brand’s best time to post is unique to your own brand. That’s because your Instagram followers behave differently from the followers of other brands. So your best time to post should be dependent on your followers’ behavior.
Here’s how Analyze predicts your reach:
First, it looks at how your previous Instagram posts have performed and when they were posted. Do posts at certain times of the day or the week get more reach? Second, to make the predictions more accurate, it also looks at when your Instagram followers are online.
Using these two pieces of information, Analyze predicts your reach on Instagram for each hour of the week. For each hour, Analyze also informs you how the predicted reach compares with the average hourly reach for the whole week.
Then, it recommends three times to try.
You’ll notice that the three times aren’t necessarily the three times with the highest predicted reach. That is intentional. The top times are often next to each other (e.g. Wednesday at 1pm and Wednesday at 2pm). Unless you are posting about a live event, it doesn’t help your reach by publishing multiple posts around the same time. By spreading out your posts throughout the week, you can maximize your reach for the week.
Grow your reach more efficiently
Once you know your best times to post, you can go to Publish to update your posting schedule.
First, go to your Instagram account in Publish and click “Settings” then “Posting Schedule”.
Here, you can add new posting times or adjust your existing posting times to your best times to post.
The times are saved automatically, and you are ready to publish at your best times! Simply add new posts to your queue to schedule them at those times.
It’s worth noting your best times to post can change over time. While your followers’ behavior shouldn’t change drastically, every new post gives Analyze additional data to work with. With that, it might find new best times to post. I would recommend checking your best times to post every few months, especially if you have recently tried new posting times.
Insights delivered to you
We should all be spending less time figuring out our data and more time optimizing our campaigns. With the recommendations in Analyze, you can save some time analyzing your data or reading “best time to post” articles so that you can focus on what’s more important — creating great content.
This new feature is available on all Analyze plans. Give it a go, and take some time back from analyzing your data.
P.S. In the future, you can expect Analyze to surface more insights to you, rather than you searching for them yourself.
Originally written Mar 11, 2020. Last updated Mar 11, 2020