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Elliot Mersie
Elliot Mersie
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What is the best time to post on instagram in 2020?

Instagram is a social network that lets you share photos and videos with the world for free.
November 12, 2020

In June Instagram had 1 billion active users

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide. According to a survey by Statista, Instagram had 1 billion active users by June 2018. These are many target groups that can be reached through Instagram. Moreover, the research showed that 41% of the users are younger than 24. Besides offering qualitative content, the moment when a message is posted is also very important for success. What is the best time to post an Instagram?

Instagram algorithm

Instagram has created an algorithm for prioritizing messages. Previously, all messages were chronologically visible to the user, the most recently posted messages were at the top. Now the order of the messages depends on the probability that the message is liked by the user. This makes it more difficult for companies to get to the top of the feed.

According to a study by Hopperhq, the Instagram algorithm does the following:

  • Evaluates how "good" the content is based on interaction;
  • Put this "good" content on top of users who are likely to take action when seeing the content.

Here's what's happening:

  • When you post a message on Instagram it is only shown to a small number of your followers, this is estimated at about 10%.
  • The algorithm then checks how quickly these followers interact with the message. So it's not only about how many likes you get but also how fast you get them.
  • The message is also compared to previous messages to see if it performs better. It is compared based on the average interaction ratio and speed.
  • When the message performs well, it is characterized as "good content" what people want to see. As a result, it will be shown to a larger percentage of your followers, it will appear higher in the timeline of other users and may even appear on the discovery page.

These points make it even more important to post a message at the best possible time. When not many users are online there will be less interaction with the message and it will take longer before there is sufficient interaction. This is negative because the message will then not be characterized as a message with "good content".

Person adding new post on instagram

Build audience and test timing

To build a large number of Instagram followers, you need to have engaging content that your audience is interested in. But if you don't publish your content at the right time, most will never see it. So how do you find out the best times and days for your audience to post? The best way to find an ideal posting time is to test the timing of your posts to see what time brings the most visits. To help you a little with that, Sprout Social, a social media management platform, did an analysis based on customer data to see which time and day their own posts on social media delivered the most engagement.

Best time to upload on Instagram

According to Sprout Social these are the best times and days to post on Instagram in general:

  • Best times: Wednesday at 15:00, Thursday at 05:00, 11:00, 15:00 and 04:00 and Friday at 05:00.
  • Best day: Thursday
  • Most consistent involvement: 9:00 to 18:00 from Tuesday to Friday
  • Worst days: Sunday and Monday

Posting at 05:00 from Tuesday to Friday generates some of the highest engagement, people usually check their phones as soon as they wake up.

Posting from 11:00 to 15:00 on weekdays also generates a lot of involvement, people often look at their phones during lunch or when their mental energy starts to run out towards the end of the working day.

If you want to post at the weekend, post around 11:00 on Saturdays when people often have a lot of free time.

Iphone laying on table with instagram dashboard

Best time to post on Instagram
for every day of the week

On average, these are the best times to post on Instagram during the week:

  • Monday: 1:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 05:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 15:00
  • Thursday: 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 05:00 a.m.
  • Saturday: 11:00 a.m.
  • Sunday: 10:00 a.m.

These times are average times and differ per target group and type of company. The exact times for your own page and target group can be found under the Instagram account of your company. When you have a company profile, it is possible to see the statistics of the page and messages. From these you can see when your followers are online and most active on Instagram and what kind of messages they find interesting.

It is often the case that the best time to post a message is very inconvenient. They are often times outside working hours, late in the evening, on weekends and sometimes even at night. The latter is when most of the target group is in a different timezone. It is therefore wise to schedule your Instagram posts. This way, you don't have to set the alarm clock to post a message late at night, but this happens automatically.

4 clocks with different times

Timing is essential

The audience of each brand is different. To build an engaged Instagram target group, you need to know who your followers are. And one of the best ways to get to know your audience and get their attention is by knowing exactly when they're active on the app. At the start, there's not much else to it than testing based on the available statistics. If all goes well, you'll soon be able to recognize a consistent trend in this. Don't hesitate to ask your followers what they like best. Ask a question in your story, under a post or think of another unique way. Your followers only appreciate that you want to take them into account.

Post Consistent Messages

It's not just the exact time that affects the number of likes. It is also important to be consistent with message posting. There are no clear guidelines on exactly how many times you should post a message on Instagram, as long as it is consistent. If your followers know that you post every day at 5:00 p.m., they will expect a message at that time every day and may also be looking forward to it.

It is wise to make a schedule of the messages you would like to put on Instagram. If you don't, and you post a lot of messages, you may find out at some point that you don't have enough different content to post at all. For example, make a schedule per month to see when you're going to post a message and what the content of that message is.

It is also important not to post too many messages in a row, shortly after each other. This can oversaturate your followers and this can prevent them from liking your posts. To be caught off-guard and it can cause them to stop liking your messages. If you have a lot of different content and you want to show this to your followers as soon as possible, make sure you don't post more than 2 messages a day. If you post messages shortly after each other your followers will see this as spam. Do you always want your followers to stay a bit curious? Then post messages once every 2 days or even once a week on a fixed day.

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