Search “best time to post on Instagram” and you’ll find countless articles telling you when to post according to studies of a few million Instagram posts.
We have written such articles ourselves. For a long time, we thought that’s the way to grow our reach and engagement on social media.
But that is no longer the best approach.
There are many reasons for the change. Most importantly, you now have much more data about your own posts and followers. The best time to post is when your followers are online and engaging with your posts.
How do you know when to post?
Well, you can now get recommendations for when to post on Instagram to maximize your reach, with Analyze. Curious to find out more? Read on.
Analytics as your assistant
Analytics is often simply numbers and graphs. It’s easy to understand why some people are intimidated by analytics. But that doesn’t have to be the way. Analytics can be joyful and fun. It should help you take away the tedious work of dissecting graphs and calculating numbers. Analytics should feel like your assistant.
With Analyze, you don’t just get charts. You’ll also see three recommended times to post on Instagram. They are times when your predicted reach is among the highest during the week.
Most people would find the three recommendations sufficient but if you want more, you can then dive into the charts.
How does it work?
Your brand’s best time to post is unique to your own brand. That’s because your Instagram followers behave differently from the followers of other brands. So your best time to post should be dependent on your followers’ behavior.
Here’s how Analyze predicts your reach:
First, it looks at how your previous Instagram posts have performed and when they were posted. Do posts at certain times of the day or the week get more reach? Second, to make the predictions more accurate, it also looks at when your Instagram followers are online.
Using these two pieces of information, Analyze predicts your reach on Instagram for each hour of the week. For each hour, Analyze also informs you how the predicted reach compares with the average hourly reach for the whole week.
Then, it recommends three times to try.
You’ll notice that the three times aren’t necessarily the three times with the highest predicted reach. That is intentional. The top times are often next to each other (e.g. Wednesday at 1pm and Wednesday at 2pm). Unless you are posting about a live event, it doesn’t help your reach by publishing multiple posts around the same time. By spreading out your posts throughout the week, you can maximize your reach for the week.
Grow your reach more efficiently
Once you know your best times to post, you can go to Publish to update your posting schedule.
First, go to your Instagram account in Publish and click “Settings” then “Posting Schedule”.
Here, you can add new posting times or adjust your existing posting times to your best times to post.
The times are saved automatically, and you are ready to publish at your best times! Simply add new posts to your queue to schedule them at those times.
It’s worth noting your best times to post can change over time. While your followers’ behavior shouldn’t change drastically, every new post gives Analyze additional data to work with. With that, it might find new best times to post. I would recommend checking your best times to post every few months, especially if you have recently tried new posting times.
Insights delivered to you
We should all be spending less time figuring out our data and more time optimizing our campaigns. With the recommendations in Analyze, you can save some time analyzing your data or reading “best time to post” articles so that you can focus on what’s more important — creating great content.
This new feature is available on all Analyze plans. Give it a go, and take some time back from analyzing your data.
In this video we’re breaking down the real way to grow your Instagram followers even with the algorithm. If you want to grow your Instagram following fast then use THIS Instagram growth strategy to gain followers organically in 2020.
Call it what you want: organic Instagram hacks, Instagram growth tactics – there is one real way to gain Instagram followers organically in 2019 and likely will be the same way to grow on Instagram in 2020.
None of this follow/unfollow method nonsense, no fake instagram followers, no Instagram pods, no buying instagram likes, no bots, just pure organic growth methods to get real followers.
If you’re looking to grow organically on Instagram without spending money, then watch this video all the way to the end!
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Founded in 2014, High Season Co. is a Social Media Agency designed to help you discover your community, create authentic connections and deliver transformational experiences. We were raised by the internet, we are rooted in diversity, and we are immersed in the culture – this is our competitive edge. Driven by passion, knowledge and entrepreneurship, we anticipate where attention is going and seek to break the algorithm in the pursuit of it.
As founders who are entrepreneurs themselves, hosts Tiffany and Craig have extensive experience building their own companies alongside the brands of their select clients. Today, High Season is composed of a diverse team of business-savvy, marketing experts entrenched in popular culture, uniquely positioning them as an asset to any brand.
The COVID-19 outbreak is having a significant impact on daily business and consumer behavior, and as a result, these are times when small business owners and advertisers need to find opportunities that will help them build personalized and lasting relationships with their audiences from a safe distance. Unprecedented times call for adjustments to your online advertising, and we can help.
We’ve compiled six strategies for running Facebook and Instagram ads effectively during the pandemic:
Stay consistent and extend your high-performing ads
Build brand awareness with your online audience
Find new leads and build your email marketing list with lead ads
Focus on remarketing campaigns
Test new ad creative and audiences
Try Facebook and Instagram Live
1. Stay consistent and extend your high-performing ads
Facebook recently warned advertisers that due to recent staffing changes there will likely be some delays and errors as they increase their reliance on automated systems to review new ads and commerce listings. This means that when new ads are submitted or edited (e.g., changing copy, headlines, images, audience targeting), it will cause the ad to undergo a new review policy. To avoid disruption to your ad, Facebook’s Director of Product Managemet Rob Leathern, recommends that brands extend the delivery period of their best performing ads, as new campaigns will be subject to a new review:
2. Build brand awareness with your online audience
With more consumers at home, we’ll likely see more consumers browsing online to pass the time. In fact, this effect is already taking place, as Verizon recently reported a 20% week over week increase in web traffic. With more impressions and shifts in competition, your CPM is likely to decrease—which presents a good opportunity to capture more reach from your budget on Facebook and Instagram. So far, we’ve seen a 12.7% drop in CPM month over month in our in-house Facebook account—and we’re watching it daily to see how it evolves.
If you’re able to, plan out your ads in advance—this is the time when people will be looking for content to consume. Content should revolve around the value your product or service provides, and how it will benefit them when they’re ready to purchase and/or want to plan for the future.
Be sure to also keep your audiences engaged with the latest news about your business and highlight how they can help you during these times with business activities like:
Shopping online during a promotional sale.
Purchasing gift cards.
Writing positive reviews online.
Shopping online and/or via phone.
Ordering delivery/curbside pickup if available.
For small and local businesses, especially, this is key.
3. Find new leads and build your email marketing list with Facebook lead ads
If your business is a service-based, online, and/or local based business, chances are you send emails to keep your audiences engaged and up to date via newsletters. If your business is slow or closed right now, this could be a great time to shift your strategy to collecting new leads and emails in place of promoting sales.
Increase leads and signups for email newsletter campaigns.
Create an audience to remarket to at a future date.
For example: If you’re in the fitness industry, this could be a good opportunity for you to promote a 30-day challenge that your audience could subscribe to. Or, if you sell products, you could have your audience subscribe to be the first to know whenever there are any upcoming promotions, new product launches, and any other important business updates.
A few things to note:
When creating your lead gen form, less is more. Consumers are more likely to opt out with the more information you ask from them. General best practice rule is to leave it no more than two fields, such as name and email address.
Integrate with your CRM provider and set up your welcome newsletter to ensure that you immediately follow up with them with content related to your advertising campaign.
4. Focus on remarketing campaigns
According to Barilliance, over 75% of shoppers will abandon your site without completing their purchase. With increased browsing, now is a good time to re-engage with previous website visitors and get them back to your site with an incentive like ‘free shipping,’ and special promos.
This is especially true for businesses experiencing increased traffic right now, like the at-home fitness and healthy delivery options.
In addition to website visitors, you can also drive new potential leads and sales by testing engagement custom audiences, which allow you to target users who have engaged with your content across Facebook and Instagram.
This includes remarketing to those who have liked, commented on, shared, or interacted with your Facebook and Instagram business page, watched your videos, or viewed/filled out a lead form. Remember, the more relevant you can get, the better engagement you will see, so segment your audience as much as possible.
5. Test new ad creative and audiences
Have you been wanting to test new ad creative to see if your audience engages better with specific imagery and messaging? If your business has slowed down or closed, now might be the time to test out a new creative on a variety of audiences to gather information that will make your future campaigns more effective.
When testing new audiences, consider creating a new ad set rather than updating an existing one so that you can better understand the true impact. For new ad creative, you’ll want to test against an already high-performing ad. This way you can compare the results directly to an ad that you know performs well for your specific business, saving you time when analyzing results.
Pro Tip: You’ll only want to test out one element at a time for a more accurate analysis. For example, if you want to test new imagery, don’t make any changes to the headlines or copy. Give it a couple days and monitor performance.
Here are a few things you can try testing.
Audience targeting, demographic, interest-based, or custom audiences.
Ad copy, including headlines and CTAs.
Landing pages, including copy, design, and messaging.
Ad creative, like images vs. videos.
And other media strategies bring me to #6…
6. Try Facebook and Instagram Live
For local businesses who are hurting more than ever before, we suggest that you think about how you can shift your business strategy to offer your products and/or services online to adjust to these unprecedented times. If that’s not possible, getting online and in touch with your customers and prospects on Facebook and Instagram Live can still help.
With live video, you can connect with your audience in a more direct and genuine way. Plus, we know that effective video marketing can result in higher conversions: Facebook and Instagram Live videos receive 3x higher engagement than pre-recorded videos. So grab your phone and start streaming to engage with your customers.
People who are self-isolating or practicing social distancing will be seeking opportunities to connect with more people face to face. While this isn’t in direct contact, it is a current solution offering the interaction and online experience your audience is craving. Try answering questions in real-time, offer online check-ins, webinars, online demos, and more to keep your audiences up to date with the latest your business has to offer.
To execute a successful live event, make sure that your broadcast is as clear and high-resolution as possible. Try a practice round beforehand, but don’t stress too much. The point of live stream is to provide a real, genuine reflection of your brand.
Overall, there’s a positive and empathetic angle your business can take to become creative in a world of social distancing, so use this opportunity to get creative, and explore new ways of expanding your reach via Facebook and Instagram.
More resources for online advertising and COVID-19:
In this video I go over some tips for growing on Instagram going into 2020. Instagram has changed a lot over this last year and there are now things you have to watch out for and do in order to grow. I talk about the follow for follow strategy, story view bots, recent engagement drops, and also reveal a brand new hashtag strategy that you can start using to grow! How To Grow On Instagram in 2020 (New Updates)
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✅ Foundr is a media and education company that produces content for entrepreneurs, and interviews world-class founders like Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Mark Cuban, Jack Dorsey and many more for its magazine, podcast, and online courses.
In our 11th annual social media study (46 pages, 60+ charts) of 4800+ marketers, you’ll discover which social networks marketers most plan on using, organic social activities, paid social media plans, and much more! Get this free report and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner.
And at Buffer, Stories has been a major focus in 2019 as well. Within the Buffer product, we debuted Stories scheduling to help you plan and manage your Stories content, and we released advanced Stories analytics to help you know what’s working.
So when it comes to picking some of the best Stories campaigns of 2019, we really have a lot of options. And it’s hard to choose.
The Best Instagram Stories of 2019
We’ll run through a list of our favorites. If there are any favorites of yours that we missed, please do let us know by using #bufferpodcast on any social media channel.
Let’s get right to it then.
Some of the best Instagram content is food content. And Stories is no exception! Especially the folks at Tastemade.
Tastemade is a community of food, travel, and design lovers. Their website is chock full of beautiful food videos and shows. They do a great job translating it to their Instagram Stories.
In particular, their “tap fast” format has been so fun to watch.
That’s right. Many of the stories on the @tastemadeuk handle use “tap fast.” These Stories piece together dozens of photos in stop-motion fashion — each photo just a slight movement ahead of the previous. And then you are the one who animates all the images into a moving picture by tapping quickly from one Story to the next.
Collectively, it makes a self-propelled stop-motion video of a biscuit baking or a cooking dunking. It’s awesome. And it’s good for your Stories stats, too. There’s a ton of incentive to tap all the way through to see how the Story ends up.
Another way that brands have taken advantage of this is sharing playlists through Instagram Stories.
Brooklinen, for instance, has a great series of playlists. They’ve even branded them with their own name: Brooklinen Beats. Each time Brooklinen shares a a playlist on Stories, they add a swipe up link that sends people to Spotify to listen. Brooklinen debuted a new playlist every week at the start of 2019, and they’ve saved all their playlists to their Stories highlights for people to check out anytime.
Next up, one of the most creative Stories we saw this year came from the furniture brand Burrow.
They basically created a coloring page for their audience to fill in.
Yeah, the set of Stories was called Dream Sofa. Burrow asked its followers to describe their dream sofa — it could be as wild and imaginative as they liked. Then Burrow provided the sofa template. Burrow shared a drawing of a couch — just the outline in black, on a white background. They posted this to the Burrow Stories, along with instructions on how their community could download the picture and add to it. Then people grabbed the template, added their own stickers and colors, and shared to their personal accounts. Burrow was able to re-share the Dream Sofa Stories back to the Burrow account.Talk about great community engagement and incredible user-generated content!
For our next top Instagram Story, we’re going back to the world of food. Cookware brand Potluck had a great campaign based on one of the neatest — albeit underutilized — features of Instagram Stories: custom AR filters.
Potluck created its very own Instagram Stories filter called Yes Chef. The filter adds a chef hat and mustache to any faces in the photo.
Many people in their community ended up using the filter on their photos and tagging Potluck in the Stories. The Potluck team was then able to reshare and collect these photos into their own Stories collection, which remains on their profile in their Stories highlights.
Each time Potluck shares a new Yes Chef pic, they give a shout out and an @mention to the person who originally made the photo, another great way to build community support for the brand.
Cookware brands really had some awesome Stories this year. Our next pick is from another cookware brand, or rather, from its parent company.
Pattern Brands, which release Equal Parts cookware products this year, had a fantastic series of Stories content that told a really compelling brand story.
(Pattern is the brand featured in our new podcast series that follows the introduction of Pattern, going from nothing to a new product over the course of a few months. You can listen to this series by searching for Breaking Brand wherever you listen to podcasts.)
Pattern’s Instagram Stories campaign is quite simple in concept. They created wallpapers that their audience could download and use as phone backgrounds. We’ll share a couple examples in our show notes. They’re beautiful.
And what’s particularly compelling about how they approached this is that they told a larger story: the backgrounds are watercolors in a soft, calming palette, designed to promote a sense of peace when you’re spending time on your phone. This is right in line with the brand story that Pattern is telling.
This strategy is such a wonderful display of customer service and value. Allbirds takes these FAQ Stories and adds them to their Stories Highlights so the FAQ is always visible from their Instagram profile. This gives potential customers the chance to find answers to their questions quickly and easily, right from the profile page, without having to wait any time at all to hear back from an Allbirds person.
7. Monica + Andy
Speaking of making great use of Stories highlights, Another Stories campaign we love is the way that brands have built out almost an entire library of content within their Stories.
What’s particularly great is that each Story shoutout follows a similar template. There’s a photo of the podcast guest plus some nice typography and titles. What Monica + Andy do then is take these Stories and put them all into a Stories Highlights. When you tap on the Highlights, you can thumb through the entire podcast archive, one after the other, and all the images look great and on-brand.
It’s a ton of great content, packaged perfectly for Instagram. Each story is its own slide, designed with a unique background and with strong headline copy. You swipe up to go to the Its Nice That website to read more. They’ll share about five to ten articles each week this way — the top content and news from the past few days in a very digestible format.
The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode. It’s our hope that you’ll join our 27,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!