Are you using Instagram to promote your blog right now? Are you wondering, when is the best time to post on Instagram for maximum exposure and engagement? Well, firstly, while there isn't a magic formula, this post will hopefully help you figure out the best time to share content with your followers.
Instagram is an excellent place to promote your brand or cause using interesting and engaging visual content. Before we get started, check out these interesting Instagram marketing stats -
So, with that out of the way - You know you're doing the right thing by harnessing this platform for your blog promotion and increasing awareness about your brand. But, how do you find out the best time to post on Instagram?
Well, as I mentioned in the intro, there is no magic formula -
You have to look at some critical factors, at least to begin with, since each Instagram account will have its own unique audience. Moreover, your followers could be anywhere in the world, so not all of them will be logged on simultaneously or when you are ready to post something.
I wish it did work that way, I really do.
Let's start by evaluating your present Instagram profile.
Take some time to do this because you need to find out who your followers are, what content they're interacting with the most, and when they are interacting. Who, what, and when.
Hopefully, your followers are the right kind of peeps. In other words, real targeted followers that are interested in your stuff and not fake followers that you've purchased somewhere. If you have fake followers, that's going to hurt your brand and engagement badly. In which case, you haven't got a hope in... Well, you know.
So, aside from that, sadly, you cannot just post content on any day and hope by miracle, your engagement rate will increase, or your followers will grow. You have to put in a little bit of planning and work if you want to get the most from this platform.
For promoting your blog, you will want to post content on your Instagram account once or twice per day. Yes, this is where it gets a little challenging.
To get a real understanding of what works best for your audience, you'll have to post several pieces of content daily before you can begin measuring engagement accurately.
Don't panic! Posting daily is not actually that hard to do, but it does take a bit of planning, as I said. You have to be bothered.
I'm going to use my live Instagram profile @vanmarciano for demonstration purposes. First, let me give you a bit of background.
I've had my Instagram account since 2011. I have around 800 followers, so not a big deal.
I use my Instagram account to promote my blog, personal brand business and share my journey as a coffee addict, freelance web designer, and front-end developer, as well as what goes on behind the scenes of my solopreneur business! For the last year, I've been posting every other day.
Based on the data that I have collected over the last few years, the best time to post on my Instagram account is on a Sunday, between 5pm and 8pm. The best message type for me to post is images, although this is inconclusive because I haven't posted enough videos over the last year.
Where am I pulling this data from and how accurate is it?
I'm using the analytical tools in CoSchedule. I've connected each of my primary social networks to the web app; it then pulls analytical data straight from my social accounts. CoSchedule then presents that data in a way that I can make sense of it and use it. So, in my opinion, the data is pretty accurate.
I'm now going to go through some steps on how you can use CoSchedule to figure out the best time to post on your Instagram account for maximum exposure and engagement.
I know what you're thinking; What is this CoSchedule all about? If you've never heard of it or used it before, it's only fair I give you a quick overview.
CoSchedule is a marketing calendar platform for bloggers and digital marketers. The company provides you with a single platform in which you can connect your social accounts, your WordPress blog, even your email marketing service provider so that you can do all of your marketing in one place.
CoSchedule can be integrated with various third-party apps and services, such as cloud storage apps (Dropbox, Google Drive) and project management apps (Asana, Trello, HubSpot).
CoSchedule also boasts a great social analytics dashboard that lets you analyze the most important data about your followers, subscribers, and more. Click here to learn more about CoSchedule.
OK, so let's get started.
The first thing you need to do is create a nice portfolio of content ideas to post on Instagram. I can't begin to tell you how important this is. For one, it will help you to stay consistent with posting.
Secondly, not just any old content will do; you need a portfolio of visually interesting, relevant, and engaging content.
Creating content for your Instagram will take some time, of course, so I recommend you spend a few days crafting around 90 pieces of content for your portfolio!
Woa... Are you serious? I hear you ask.
Yes, because you will need 1 piece to post daily for the next 90 days!
This might sound like a lot, but you're doing this so that you can gather decent enough data about engagement on your account. You'll then get a better understanding of what you should post and when it's a good time to post.
Over the course of 90-days, you will have posted roughly 13 posts per day... Roughly.
You can create content using your smartphone, by taking simple images and recording short videos.
Check out this post by Jessica Worb for tips on taking great Instagram pictures using your Smartphone.
You can also outsource images online from free stock image websites like Pexels or Unsplash; however, I recommend editing and personalizing those images before posting them.
For the best result, I strongly recommend that you create some videos as well as images. I know creating videos can be quite tedious, but they don't have to be professional.
You can use video to tell stories, inform your audience about a new blog post, share some behind-the-scenes stuff, or announce special events, and more.
Once you have your content ready, place it all into a nice folder and save it on your computer. Name the folder 'Instagram posts for the next 90 days.'
OK, so here are some tools and resources that I use and recommend for creating your Instagram content.
Remember, don't solely rely on outsourced content, create your own too, that's very important.
The next step is to schedule your content on Instagram. Now, the good news is that you don't have to spend all day, every day on Instagram to make this work.
I use and recommend a tool called CoSchedule which I mentioned earlier.
CoSchedule is not the only platform you can use. You can also check out Missinglettr, which will also let you schedule Instagram posts and give you access to social analytics tools.
Schedule a post for every day for 90 days. For each weekday, change the time you schedule. For example, on the first Monday of the first week, schedule your post for 9am. The Monday of the second week, schedule for 10am, the third week, schedule for 11am, and so on...
You should also alternate from image post to video post. Mix it up a little bit. Don't forget that you can take more images if you need to so that you can include them in a carousel post. Carousel posts can create longer engagement.
Posting more content doesn't necessarily mean increased engagement. It all depends on who your followers are, what they're interested in seeing, and when they are actually on Instagram.
OK, so you've posted all ninety pieces of your content over the course of 90 days. Awesome!
By now, you should have some interesting stats to look at regarding engagement, the best day and time to post on Instagram.
Here are a few snap shots of my data for the last 90-days, keeping in mind that I now only post every few days.
Interestingly, for my profile, through this data I can now see -
With your test over, you can continue creating the right kind of engaging content to post on your Instagram account. You have a decent idea of the best times to post too.
That being said, I would recommend that you continue posting frequently and keep testing. As you experiment with different visuals and post types, you can keep an eye on your social engagement and make any adjustments to your strategy when needed.
There you have it, a simple way to find out what you should post and when it's a good time to post on your Instagram account. I've shared with you my strategy, the tools I use, and my methodology. I hope it helps you out.
If you followed along with this simple strategy, I'd love to know what result you received. Feel free to share your experiences and findings with me below in the comment section. If the comment section is closed, I'd love to connect on social media and learn about your result there. In the meantime, best of luck!