There are lots of active users in Instagram who post photos and like others’ posts. They and probably you too have a goal of getting the most possible likes and comments on the posted photos. How many likes will the post get – depends on multiple factors, including your audience location, your own actions when posting, as well as the hashtags you use. To get the most likes on your photos, it is crucial to find out the best times to post in Instagram.
It would be easy to just tell the right answer to what’s the best time to post in Instagram and end with it, wouldn’t it? Too bad it’s not that simple.
Every account has their own audience that lives in specific areas of the world. That means they have different time zones, and they’re active on different times throughout your day.
Getting to know your audience
Instagram offers insights, from which you can see what your audience is – their location, age, gender, and the times on each day of the week when they’re active the most in your page.
To get these kind of statistics, you need to switch your account to professional. You can read in my blog post How to get statistics on your Instagram account for free and follow the steps described there.
After you have acquired these statistics, you now can see which countries are your followers from the most, as well as at what times your followers do the most actions in your page. From this you can quite well gather the needed information.
Let’s break down my follower activity
My followers are active the most between 15:00 and 21:00, having the peak time at 18:00-21:00. With such statistics the best time to post in Instagram is either exactly when you have the most followers online (that would be between 18:00 and 21:00) or you can post a little bit before that, so when people open Instagram – your photo is already there.
You can also aim to post your photo when the majority of your followers end their work. For me – the most popular country my followers are from – is India. Around 15:00 in my local time is the time they are home from work. Though the next most popular country is United States, for which this doesn’t work at all, because it’s night or morning for them during this hour. The thing is that you can’t please all of your followers with your posting time.
It’s crucial that you publish your photo when there are the most of your followers online, because for your photo to do well – your goal is to get as much engagement as possible quickly after posting. But this is the story for another blog post (in my to-do list) about how Instagram algorithm works.
Find out how many Instagram followers are online right now
Did you know that you can go and see how many of your followers are actually online at this very moment? And no, you don’t need to unlock anything to see that.
Go to your story and choose “Live”. You should be able to see how many of your followers are currently using Instagram application.
But this number will be way less than your insights will show, because it’s the number for this very minute, moment. A minute later the number may increase, or a completely different set of users could be online. I would suggest to check this number at o’clock times (round hours), because I have noticed that people tend to post their photos at such times.
This indicator can also help to determine which time has the most number of your followers online.
Where to start?
If you are unsure about the time to post, you can start by experimenting.
Experimenting? Yes, that’s right. Post a photo in morning – write down how many likes your photo gets in an hour, in a couple of hours, and in 24 hours. Do the same for a mid-day time. And repeat for evening time. All in separate days of course. Then compare and make conclusions to which posting time was the most successful.
Take in mind that your followers might behave differently on different days of the week, so I would suggest you to find the best day to post the same way (if you do not post daily).
Of course, it would not be enough with just one post to say that it will always perform like that. Just like with statistics – it would be better to repeat the same test multiple times to get the average result.
You now might have an idea how to determine the best posting time for your Instagram photos. But the next question is – how often should you post in Instagram?
How often do I post?
The fact – how often you post – also determines how many likes your account will earn. This also determines how fast your account will grow. The more photos you share, the better the chance for them to be seen by people and getting featured. If you haven’t already, you can read my post about how to grow your Instagram account, which also covers this subject.
But take a note – you shouldn’t post too frequently. When you share new photo while your previous one is still getting some good and growing engagement – people would see your new post first, and your previous post might not be seen by so many people anymore, and would not get the full like potential.
Quality over quantity. In my opinion it is better to post good quality content 3-4 times a week rather than many similar and average looking photos daily.
Another reason why you shouldn’t post too often is – people would start seeing you as spammy. When your followers enter Instagram and sees multiple photos from you (even more if they’re from the same place, or of the same subject) – they just wouldn’t like all of them. People might mute you or even unfollow you just because you’re taking too much place on their home feed. Also if someone goes past your photo and does not like it – this might alert Instagram that your content isn’t as good, and your posts would appear in other people’s home feeds less frequently.
If you post often, you might be interested in my blog post about organizing your Instagram feed.
Posting too rarely also has its disadvantages – this can make your account grow slower. I stop getting big amounts of likes after ~16 hours from the posting time. That means way too few people are going to see your new photo after this time frame. This is a sign that you got to post a new photo for people to reach your account again. This, of course, applies if you have lots of new content to post, which you won’t run out of soon.
You have to get to know your followers and their habits to find the best time for posting in Instagram. I usually post my photos at 19:00 (GMT+2), because from experimenting, this is the time my posts do the best. I hope you find your best time to post too. See you in my next blog post!