How and when to post on Instagram

While it is very simple and intuitive to make a post on Instagram, there are ways to optimize your posting strategies and timing.

This is chapter four of a seven-part series on how to dominate your Instagram marketing.

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When to post on Instagram

Before you post to Instagram, you need to find out when will be the most effective time to post.

Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no end-all definitive time to post on Instagram. My number one suggestion is to test, test, and test to find a posting schedule that works best for you. Another thing to consider is you will also have to be able to keep up content-wise with the posting schedule. So if you find out that posting 3 times a day 7 days a week leads to the highest level of engagement, that means you need to be able to create 21 posts a week. If that sounds daunting then you will have to adjust to a more realistic schedule.

But don’t be discouraged with the endless posting time and frequency options. It is all a spectrum. On the low end, you should aim for 1 post a day every other day. And on the high end, 3 posts a day 7 days a week.

Think about how much content you will be able to produce and then you will need to develop a posting schedule.

Here is what I recommend to develop a posting and when to post to instagram

  1. Post in the morning, between 7:00 AM and 10:00 AM. Throughout the week move the posting time around during that time block and at the end of the week analyze which post performed the best. Then that becomes your morning post time. Do this again for the following time blocks
  2. Post midday, between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.
  3. Post evening, between 4:00 PM and 11:00 PM. The evening time block is the largest and will probably see the most amount of engagement fluctuations. It depends on a lot of factors being, your audience’s commuting time, dinner time, and bedtime. But still, play around with the time to see if you can discern the best posting time.

Now that you have the three best posting times, you just fit how much content you can produce into those above times.

You might be thinking, “Great! Now I know exactly when to post and I will never have to change it.” But that isn’t the case. As you grow your following, the optimal times to post might change, so it is very important to keep refining and testing as time goes on.

How to schedule posts on Instagram

Alright, so you have your posting schedule and frequency all figured out. Now how do you stay consistent with your posting schedule?

I have found using Buffer to schedule Instagram reminders to be the easiest method to stay consistent with your posting. And yes, they do have a free option. Yay!

Here’s the process:

  • Find or create, edit, and upload a beautiful picture to Buffer. Add a caption with hashtags, @-mentions, and emoji. Schedule for the ideal time according to your posting schedule.
  • You will then receive a push notification from the Buffer mobile app at the scheduled time.
  • Open the notification, select Open in Instagram. This loads the photo into Instagram, with the caption saved to the phone’s clipboard, ready to be pasted.
  • Make any final edits (filters, geolocation) and share them from the Instagram app.
Pro Tip: Do all your hashtag research first and have that added as the caption.  When you are on Instagram, paste the whole caption that is in your clipboard, then cut out the hashtags to add right after you post it into the first comment. This way your caption will be nice and clean without any hashtags messing it up.

Instagram doesn’t allow directly for scheduling, so Buffer has made it possible to plan by adding a post through the Buffer dashboard on the web or mobile and having a reminder pop up on a user’s phone when it’s time to send it out.

While it isn’t completely automated, it does simplify the whole posting process and keeps you consistent with your posting schedule.

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