The best time to post to Instagram for you is different than for other people.

Have you scoured the web or Pinterest and tried to find articles to determine the best time to post to Instagram, only to find that you’ve gotten conflicting advice? The truth about the other blog posts that you’ve read is that they’re over-generalizing the times that users are on Instagram, and these posts haven’t taken into consideration your actual audience.  An account that has an international audience will have different optimal posting times than an account who is trying to target a local audience.

The point is your target audience may be on at different times throughout the day, so how does makeupablog.com know that your ideal time to post is at 3 pm during the week?

Here’s how to find the best time for you.

The way for you to determine the best time to post to Instagram is by looking at the analytics that are specific to your account.  You have two options: Instagram’s new built-in analytics for business accounts, and a website called Iconosquare.

Here’s how Instagram Analytics works:

If you haven’t yet switched to an Instagram business account yet, you’ll go to settings–> Switch to Business Profile –> Continue as your account on Facebook (make sure your Facebook business account is connected) –> Choose the correct page you want to link –> Make sure all your contact info is correct –> finish the setup.

Once you’re up and running, you will be able to view your account’s analytics by tapping the bar graph icon next to the settings on the top right of your screen. On the initial page, you’ll see your impressions for the week, your top posts, and your follower info.  If you further tap into the follower info, you’ll see a breakdown of your followers based on their gender, age range, and location.

I can see here that the majority of my followers are in Austin if I break it down by city, and the majority of my followers are in the US if I break it down by country.

If you further scroll down, I can see my optimal times to post on every day of the week, based on when my followers have been most active.  If I’m planning out my posts for the week, I’ll see that on Sundays the best time for me to post is at 11 am or 8 pm, so I’ll try to post at one of those two times (or both times). On Mondays, it looks like the best time for me to post is at 4 pm, followed by 3 pm or 8 pm, etc.

Iconoquare.com is the Instagram analytics website that takes your specific account into consideration, and gives you valuable information like when to post, as well as what media has performed the best, how many NET followers you’ve gained (and who has unfollowed you), who your most active followers are (make sure to give them love!), and more.  This website offers a wealth of knowledge, and for less than $30/year (depending on what plan you elect), you’ll be able to get some incredible insights when it comes to your Instagram account.  It’s maybe the best option other than the Instagram Business account, because knowing when your audience is on and most active means you’ll get more engagement with your posts, which can lead to more sales and followers!

Here’s how to check your best time to post (note, there may be several times during the day):

  1. login to Iconosquare.com using your Instagram login and password
  2. Click on “Analyze” on the top left of the page
  3. Click on “Engagement”
  4. The graph in the middle of the page is the tool you’ll use to determine your best posting times. Note this is based on the days and times that your media has had the most engagement, so Instagram’s analytics will be better in my opinion because it’s based on the activity of users on the platform.

As it describes,The darker the square, the better the engagement is. This data is updated approximately every hour.

Make sure to check this data at least once per month since people’s social media habits change, and also make sure to take a note of the dates and times so you know when to schedule your Instagram posts (I personally love to use Hootsuite).  This data is also based on interactions that you’ve had with your audience, so if you’re willing to experiment then post at all different hours within the span of two weeks (perhaps from 8 am to 8 pm) to get a better sample size.

In a nutshell, this is the best time to post to Instagram for you. Pretty simple right? This is one piece to the social media strategy puzzle, but because of the power of Instagram this bit of information can be very valuable. I’ve also created a document that lists different things that help create the most engagement, since engagement is the name of the game on Instagram. Click here to get the list.

Last but not least, if you’re looking for inspiration or ideas on how to take more appealing photos to post to Instagram, I created a free guide that will help you take your phone photos from drab to fab. Click here to claim your free Rockin iPhotos guide and start transforming your phone photography today.

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