Useful Tips and Best Practices for Writing Instagram Captions
By Michaela VoglSep 22
How has consumer behavior changed in 2022, and what does this mean for brands?
A high engagement rate on Instagram is important for pushing your content higher on your audience’s feeds. So, knowing the best time and day to post on Instagram is vital for every business looking to grow their social media presence.
When is the best time to post on Instagram for likes? We dive into the data to see how you can improve your Instagram strategy.
While there is plenty of conflicting advice about the best time to post on Instagram, there are some universally accepted best times.
Our internal research found that the best time to post on Instagram is between 10AM and 11AM, as well as from 2PM to 3PM, since these are the hours when users are more likely to browse through their feed. However, these are likely not the best times for you.
Tondreanna Esquilin, Senior Social Media Manager for Brandwatch, said: “When discovering the best times to post on any social media network, this is entirely based on the audience you are trying to reach.” Instead, you should find the best time to post on Instagram for your brand. Here’s how to find that out.
While it’s important to look at Instagram’s user base as a whole, everyone’s audience is different. Depending on your location, target demographic, age, and even gender, the best time for you to post on Instagram can change.
Public holidays, weekends, events, and other occasions are just some instances where the best time to post on Instagram will vary. So, how can you determine the best time for your brand to post on Instagram?
Experimenting with posting at different times is the quickest, most reliable method for testing the best times to post on Instagram. Brandwatch Essentials can be used to track these experiments, so you can use real data to drive your posting strategy.
If you’re using social media scheduling software, make sure you’re utilizing precise time scheduling to share posts to the relevant time zones, at exactly the right time.
Who is your target audience? While it might be obvious, it’s important to start with your audience in mind when looking at when is the best time to post on Instagram.
Make a note of your key demographic. What’s their age? What’s their timezone? When are they online? Are there any other factors which might influence their Instagram usage? For example, if your target audience is 15-18 year-olds, you’ll need to consider what time they’re in school. Or if you’re targeting working professionals, avoid posting during the work day.
You might have a number of key demographics. In which case, see if there is any overlap on which times are the best to post your content.
If you’re not sure of your target audience or the audience you already have on Instagram, don’t worry. Brandwatch Essentials will give you in-depth information about your current follower base.
You can also see your audience by timezone, so you can properly optimize your content strategy for the most engagement. When speaking to our expert, Tondreanna, she noted that time is relative to where you are located, and the algorithm doesn’t necessarily prioritize a post based on being posted in the morning or afternoon – as the morning for you is the afternoon for someone else. She said: “The algorithm is capable of understanding when your current audience is most active and their interactional behaviors depending on the time of day.”
By discovering your audience’s habits, you can tailor your content and timings to suit their preferences.
Brandwatch’s Senior Social Media Manager, Tondreanna, says: “If your goal is to reach the maximum of your current audience, it makes the most sense for you to utilize the times suggested within your backend analytics.”
Instagram has a built-in way to find your best time to post to Instagram. Head to Insights, then select Audience. The app will let you know when most of your audience is online. These insights don’t provide in-depth information, but they’re a great place to start. A version of these audience insights is also available in Brandwatch Essentials.
Ideally, you want to post your content when, or just before, your audience is peaking in numbers on Instagram. For example, if your audience is mostly online between 10AM - 12PM, you’ll likely want to post your content just beforehand. If your audience looks like the graph above, aim to post even earlier, so you can catch your audience from 4 PM onwards.
Your top-performing posts are a brilliant way of monitoring which times are best to post on Instagram. After all, they’re relevant to your business and can provide insight into when your existing audience is most active.
Using social media management software, such as Brandwatch Essentials, you can access in-depth analytics on how your audience works.
As with every platform, Instagram changes frequently. If you don’t monitor your content strategy closely, you’ll likely see engagement numbers fall as your audience’s preferences change.
Every brand should regularly update its social media strategy to stay ahead of algorithm and audience changes. By monitoring your engagement rates and audience regularly, you can discover what’s working and what’s not before it’s too late. As time goes on, you’ll be able to see which content resonates with your audience the most and which content doesn’t quite hit your demographic.
We recommend conducting bi-weekly or monthly reporting for your social media strategies, so you can regularly review how to optimize your content, and discover the best times to post on Instagram for your brand.
When speaking to Tondreanna, she mentioned that you need to approach things differently if your goal is to expand beyond your current audience, or if you’re looking to target new audiences within different geographical locations.
She said: “You can use your current audience insights as a baseline. For example, if most of your audience is consistently the most active between 12PM – 4PM, this is a solid behavioral baseline to work with.”
“What you can do is schedule out content within this baseline timeframe within other timezones. For example, if your goal is to target this audience type and you're looking to expand into APAC, then schedule out posts within that 12PM – 4PM time frame for APAC's timezone.”
Of course, you need to ensure that the content is relevant to your audience, and try to use other strategic elements with your post – such as location tagging and geographical hashtags.
Of course, finding the best time to post on Instagram is not the only way to grow your presence on social media. It’s important to consider the diversity of your content, exploring new topics, implementing hashtags, encouraging community engagement, and much more as part of a wider strategy.
Generally, a good rule of thumb is to incorporate a diverse range of posting times, and analyze the outcome of each. Plus, depending on the goals of a post or campaign, you can be more selective about which time works best for your brand.