How To Optimize Posting Times For Your Instagram

It’s all about timing…

Have you noticed lower engagement rates on your Instagram posts over the past few weeks? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are a lot of accounts suffering from the same problem and very few people have figured out why.

Instead of wasting your energy trying to understand the exact reason behind the change (it’s likely due to another modification in Instagram’s algorithm and they never release information around this sort of stuff), our time is better spent coming up with an action plan of what we can implement tomorrow to buck the downwards trend.

There are many things you can do to increase your engagement, but the one change that will likely have the most noticeable results quickly is optimizing your posting times.

Why? Instagram’s algorithm heavily favors surfacing content that gets above average engagement from your audience within the first few moments after it is posted.

If you post at random times during the day, when fewer of your followers are on Instagram, your content is less likely to be engaged-with early on, and consequently, less likely to get engagement in the future because it will be surfaced to a smaller percentage of your audience.

If you post during a time when the people who love your content are actively using the app, the likelihood that they’ll engage with your post quickly is much higher, which will then increase the likelihood of Instagram’s algorithm showing it to a larger percentage of your audience. The larger the percentage of your audience sees your content, the more engagement you’ll get.

So, to optimize your posting times, you first need to identify what time the people who love your content are on the app, and second, make sure you’re posting at those times.

1. How to identify what time the people who love your content are on Instagram:

If you’re starting from scratch, a simple and free tool that will give you a good idea of what times and days get the most engagement is Squarelovin. Their optimization analytics are much more specific than Instagram’s Insights and it’ll take you less than 5 minutes to get what you’re looking for. Here’s an example of what my engagement times look like:

Based on these insights, I should always be posting at 7 or 9pm. My most highly engaged days are Sunday and Wednesday, followed by Tuesday and Monday.

Now that you know the most highly engaged windows, you need to consistently post at those times in order to optimize your engagement.

2. How to hit your post-times consistently:

The biggest roadblock when trying to post consistently at specific times is actually doing it. Using apps to remind yourself when to post and having to stop everything you’re doing several times a day to stick to that schedule is very disruptive to your work-flow. OnlyPult makes it painless for you to stick to your daily posting times by allowing you to create and schedule your posts from your web browser ahead of time, then uploads them directly to your Instagram, so you don’t have to. To make the best use of your time, plan to schedule all of your content once a day (or even once a week) and then use their “Publish Time and Day” feature to post during your most engaged-with times.

It’s as easy as that!

Once you have your system down, continue to optimize for engagement by frequently testing new posting times every few weeks and measuring if they generate higher engagement. If they do, those are likely your new optimal times. User behaviors, and Instagram’s algorithm, will always change and the best way to adapt is through continual testing.

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