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Case Study: When the Popular Accounts Usually Post? Let’s Learn From the Best! (Part 1: Instagram)

It is often a source of uncertainty among the business owners and a serious question that can make or break your social media presence.

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

When it comes to promoting your business on social media, timing is everything. Knowing when the best time to post is essential to ensure your content reaches the right people and can be seen by the greatest number of people. Luckily for us, we can analyze the behaviour of most successful content creators to find the best strategy.

This is part of series of articles that tries to figure out what is the best timing to post on different social media platforms to get the maximum reach. I start with Instagram.

We selected a list of 15 accounts with high followers. The list is diverse in different categories like fashion companies, football clubs, and content creators. The common point between them is that they all trying to increase their engagement! So, let’s see if we can learn a thing or two from their posting patterns.

There two visible trends looking at the habits of the top organizations post on social media. (Fig. 1) You can either focus on a fixed day and post at different times, or at the same time of the day but in different days. If you prefer the first one, it seems that Wednesdays are the best option. For some reason almost all the accounts that I looked at sent their highest engaged contents on Wednesdays!

The image of a figure that shows two distinct posting trends. On the Y-axis we show the day of the week, and in the X-axis the hour of the day. Top one shows that the brand posts at different times during the week, the lower one shows that the creator mostly focus on posting in different days but at 13:00 or 14:00.
Figure 1. Top figure shows the trend of either focusing on specific day at different time of the day or distributing the content throughout the week at the (relatively) same time.

On the other hand, the data reveal three time ranges that is highly used amongst them: 1) 9:00AM to 10:00AM, 2) 12:00AM to 1:00PM, and lastly, 3) 6:00PM to 7:00PM. It’s important to remember that the time zone of your target audience is not necessarily the same as yours, so you should always adjust your post timings accordingly.

Conversely, the worst hourlong period to post on social media are from 1:00AM to 8:00AM in your target audience’s time zone. This is because fewer people are likely to be active at these times, so your post won’t be seen by as many people. In terms of worst weekday*, it is Fridays and Saturdays! It seems that all the companies are almost unanimously staying away from these two days, so you better do so too.

It is also interesting to note that these massive follower accounts posts between 8 to 12 posts per week. This is likely due to the fact that they need to be active in order to keep their followers engaged. They also need to post regularly in order to stay visible in the newsfeeds of their followers. By posting multiple times per week, they can ensure that their content is seen by more people, thus increasing their chances of gaining more followers.

Final Words,

I tried to analyze popular Instagram accounts to learn from them. It is a wonderful lesson since these companies are likely to spend large sums of money to make every aspect of their pipeline perfect. Surely there is a thing or two to learn. But, keep in mind there are no blueprint to success! Even though there are patterns among the bests, you do not see the same exact schedules. Keep in mind that you need to experiment with different timings based on your target audience. The mentioned guidelines can act as a solid starting point.

by Ala, 19-Dec-2022