Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in existence today. Now owned by Facebook, Instagram is known for its visual storytelling capabilities, giving marketers not just a place to post their pictures, but to communicate with rich, compelling content.
Excelling at Instagram involves more than just signing up and posting pictures. There’s an art and science to using Instagram as an effective part of your business’s social media strategy. But if you can get the fundamentals down, you can reach an audience numbering over one billion active monthly users.
Here are proven tips for making the most of your Instagram account, including the best times to post on Instagram.
When Should You Post?
Unfortunately, there’s no one “best time” to post on Instagram. The best times are whenever your audience is online and ready to engage, and that can vary depending on who you’re trying to reach.
You can find out the best posting times for your brand by looking at metrics and engagement rates and seeing when more people respond. You can also run a test by taking the same post and posting it at different times during the day, and different days during the week, to see when it gets the most engagement.
Fortunately, there are companies out there that have done the research. Sprout Social compiled data from roughly 24,000 customers on Instagram and concluded that the best day to post is Thursday - and that the worst days are Sunday and Monday. (This brings another meaning to the Monday blues.)
The best times to post include (all times in Central Standard Time):
3pm on Wednesday
5am on Thursday
11am on Thursday
3pm on Thursday
5am on Friday
Why do morning times work so well? Because people often check their phones when they wake up. The 11am hour works well because that’s a natural time for people to check their phones before taking a lunch break, and the 3pm hour is a common time for people to step away from the desk or take a mental break, since it’s roughly halfway between lunch and the end of the work day. (Most schools also get out around 3pm, if you’re going after school-age consumers).
Getting More Reach
The best way to get more reach on Instagram is not to do anything technical, but to do something creative: tell great stories.
Instagram has a few different ways to put together stories, which can consist of individual posts or a series of posts put together. They include:
Instagram Stories (the platform’s answer to Snapchat)
Instagram albums (which lets users scroll through multiple images within the same post)
Hashtags are great because they pull in every post with that hashtag when you click on them. You can go after popular hashtags, which gives you access to a broader audience, or you can reach a more targeted audience by using more specific hashtags.
If you use hashtags, and do other best practices like commenting on other peoples’ posts, engaging with your followers and viewers, and telling stories, you’ll do a better job of reaching more people - which generates more engagement and more “points” for your brand.
Your business probably has a plethora of great stories to tell. Your customers are full of life-experience, and are a great source for heart-warming or encouraging real-life stories. Tapping into this resource is a must.
Instagram is a wildly popular platform that can be a powerful addition to your social media arsenal. Experiment with different types of images and posts to see which works best for you; there’s no one magic answer for everyone.
Above all, share things that interest people. People want to engage with content, and just seeing promotional material over and over again doesn’t cut it.
TotalCom is a full-service marketing and advertising agency that believes in getting great results from telling great stories. Contact us for more information and see what stories we can tell for you.