Instagram is on fire!

With social media being the most popular content marketing strategy used by brand and 87% of businesses using images in their content strategy, Instagram is a popular platform to grow your brand.

With over 400 million Instagram users, and 1 million monthly active advertisers, Instagram is one of the best ways to connect to your users.

Not only this, but according to an estimate by Emarketer, an additional 26.9 million users will join the platform by the end of 2020.

Naturally, many users would mean better engagement.

But is this always the case? Studies have found that there is a best time to post on Instagram depending on what industry your business is in.

According to SproutSocial, you are likely to get the most engagement on Instagram when you post on Wednesday at 11 AM and Friday between 10 AM and 11 AM.

They found that overall engagement is highest from Tuesday through Friday between 10 AM and 3om. Weekends also perform great, but only until 1 PM or 2 PM.

Sunday offers the least amount of engagement, and the activity is highest on Thursday.

Later, an Instagram scheduling app also came out with similar findings. 

Here are the best time slots corresponding to each weekday:

Sunday: 7am, 8am, 4pm

Saturday: 11am, 7pm, 8pm

Friday: 5am, 1pm, 3pm

Thursday: 9am, 12pm, 7pm

Wednesday: 7 AM, 12 PM, 7 PM

Tuesday: 2 AM, 4 AM, 9 AM

Monday: 6am, 10am, 10pm

Later, through analyzing 12 million Instagram posts, the best time to update your Instagram is between 9 AM and 11 AM EST.

It is essential to mention here that the Instagram algorithm also plays a vital role in determining your engagement rate. Let’s see how.

Understanding How Instagram Ranks Contents

The algorithm behind Instagram is optimized to push content to ensure that your feed is fresh. Here are three core ranking factors that play an essential role:

  • Relationship

Instagram prioritizes content that users have responded to or interacted with. If a user has liked or shared your content, then your content will be shared on their feed.

  • Interest

If you like a specific type of content, say plush toys, you are more likely to see plushy-related content popping up on your feed.

  • Timeliness

Newer posts will be pushed before the old posts.

The key takeaway here is to know your audience. If you are pushing out the right content at the right time, you can quickly build relationships and reach more people. Add rigorous testing methods to ensure that your methodology is working.

That said, the peak popularity hours could also vary from industry to industry. Let’s have a closer look at the right timing for varied industries, as revealed by HootSuite.

The Right Timing for Different Sectors

  • Travel & Tourism

Best time to post – Friday. 9 AM to 1 PM. The next best time to post is Monday or Tuesday.

Posts related to travel and tourism tend to trend on Fridays.

People who follow these accounts are possibly trying to make weekend plans. However, the surprising outcome is that these posts are popular on Mondays or Tuesdays.

Why? The closest explanation is that people are still reminiscing the weekend getaway and trying to fight off the Monday blues with some motivational travel-related content.

The page that tends to catch the most eyes during this time slot includes Disneyland, various beaches and resorts, TripAdvisor, DisneyWorld, and the like.

It is safe to say that similar posts are unlikely to do very well on any other day of the week as people tend to focus on getting their work done.

  • Media

Best time to post – Tuesdays and Thursdays. 12 PM to 3 PM

The lunch hour is usually when people are aimlessly scrolling through the feed for some exciting content. To stay aware of the current events, know what movies or shows are coming up, what’s going on in sports.

Humor or motivational contents are aimed to help users get through the daily hustle. Even though this is the best time, Mondays and Saturdays are also pretty popular for media content.

Why? One reason for this is that no matter what day media content is posted, people are interested in the current news, entertainment, and sports events. This sector also serves the most significant user base, which means the timings get even more varied. However, the morning is not a popular time to post.

  • Food & Drinks

Best time to post–Fridays. 12 PM

This is no surprise considering that 12 PM is standard lunchtime in most companies. Fridays also are the gateway to the weekend when people are already planning for outings, dinner, or lunch reservations. Any newcomers should avoid posting outside meal timings.

  • Retail

Best time to post – Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. 12 PM

Lunch hour is not only prime time for food and beverages. Shopping trends are very engaging on the weekdays at lunchtime. If you want to post on the weekdays, try not to do it outside the lunch hour. Black Friday is the holy grail for retailers. Millions of dollars’ worth of business happen in a single day, and it was chosen by keeping in mind the trend of customers trying to catch up on holiday shopping in massive numbers on this day.

  • Professional Services

Best time to post – Friday, Tuesday, Wednesday. 9 AM to 10 AM

Professional services that have educational or informative content can post content such as videos or blogs.

The early workdays are usually when people are feeling most productive and motivated, and this is the time they would engage with this type of content more than other times. Read on about how social media trends the future of professional jobs here.

Weekends and evenings are when people go for more relaxing content, and we do not advise it professional services to push informative content on those days or times.

  • Non-profit

Best time to post – Tuesday at 4 PM or 10 AM

Thursday, Friday, and Wednesdays are also close contenders when non-profit content is concerned.

People are in the middle of the workweek and more likely to notice and respond to the request for help or donations because they are in action mode and want to be productive. They want to accomplish meaningful tasks that have a more significant impact. Motivational posts are a great way to focus away from the hustle of work.

If you want more proof, in 2018, #GivingTuesday trended with 14.2 billion social media impressions and brought in millions in donations to charities in need.

  • Personal Care

Best time to post – Friday and Thursday. 1 PM to 3 PM

Cosmetics brand contents get more popular as the weekends start to close in. Wednesday and Tuesdays are also not that far behind. It’s the same principle as travel, tourism, and dining industries; people want to go out and look good. Fridays are ideal for planning.

However, Mondays have a much lower engagement index for these brands. Who wants to wear makeup on Monday, anyway?

Healthcare performs well over the weekends. People are relaxing at home and thinking about themselves instead of work or other engagements. They want to research how to incorporate healthy ideas, eat better, maintain healthier habits, etc.

How To Know When Your Audience Is Most Likely To Like Your Content? 

Instagram provides Instagram Insights for accounts that have business credentials. This is similar to Google Analytics, which businesses use to make decisions based on their target demographic.

Instagram insights reveal a lot of information based on your content. Access the analytics from the account page. You will find the bar graph icon situated at the top of the screen. Inside, you can see how well each of the posts has performed.

Optimize your content with professional looking photographs and high-quality writings; know the time zone of your followers. Keep testing until you understand the optimum posting time for your account.

So, what are your views on this? How do you time your posts? Let us know in the comments below.

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