Social Media Tips : When is the best time to post on Instagram (and how to find it in 2021)

What time do you post on Instagram?

Did your best friend's ex boyfriend who works in marketing for a Superannuation fund tell you once that you should post at 11am and 7pm and you've been doing that religiously ever since?
Or are you more of a spray and pray kind of poster? Finish your work for the day and upload some sneak peeks for clients straight away because if you don't do it then, you won't do it at all? (this version was me for sure during my newborn photography days)
There really is absolutely NO perfect answer. I'm sorry. But that doesn't mean that we can't do some research and work it out together. There are most definitely better times of the day to post depending on your industry and today I'll be talking to those of you who work with the cutest little people of the world.

BABIES!

Whether it's photography, clothes, books, food - it doesn't matter. It all works the same.
One of my cute little clients from back in my photography days. Hi Emma!

WHAT IS YOUR AUDIENCE'S BEHAVIOUR?

This isn't rocket science guys. In fact, if your market is new or expectant parents, you've got it easy! Because most people with babies operate according to a pretty predictable routine. My kids are 8 and 10 and I still do! It's the only way we can survive parenthood right? Get those kids to bed by 7:30pm, put the dishwasher on and throw ourselves on the couch in front of our phones.
An oldie but a goodie. She'll be on the couch looking at this photo on her phone later tonight when he's asleep for sure!

I'll show you some data soon but parents of little people are most often online at the following times.

1 -6:30pm - 9pm. Dinner is done. Kids are out of the bath. It's that magical hour when they can pretend they are 20 again and have no responsibilities in life before they start getting sleepy at 8:30pm and realise, oh yes, of course, I'm actually in my 30's and I'm wrecked.
2 - 5:30am and 7:30am. When all is quiet. Walk slowly down the hallway Mama and don't creak the floorboards or it is all over. In fact, staying in bed is the better option. Hands up if you're an early morning scroller?
3 - 2:30pm - 3pm. Oh yes, the school pickup line. That half an hour in no man's land that most parents, particularly mothers, have to endure on a daily basis waiting for the little darlings to come running out of the school gate screaming for afternoon tea. If you're not busy chatting with the other mums at the gate, you're in your car scrolling social media. For sure. FYI - I only post at this time of day once or twice a week because it is such a short window of time.

LOOK AT YOUR ANALYTICS

It's not that scary, I promise!

Analysing audience behaviour is a great start, but the proof is in the pudding. If you've been using social media for a while, it's so easy to have a quick look at your analytics and see when your followers are ACTUALLY online.
I'm a huge fan of scheduling social media posts (articles about how and why to come soon!) and the Later platform that I use provides some seriously pretty graphs that make it so easy.
Here's some data from some anonymous friends of mine who work in the baby industry. I've popped some pink boxes around the times that are generally working better for these busy business people but you get the drift! Mornings and nights. Mornings and nights.

DON'T USE SCHEDULING SOFTWARE?

You can still get this kind of data from Instagram directly if you are using a business account. It's not quite as informative but still helps! 
The how-to instructions change regularly but in 2021, this is where you can find the data you'll need.
1 - Go to your Instagram account page
2 - Click on the little white rectangle button that says Insights (it's usually just under your web address)
3 - Not far from the top it says "Total Followers" and you'll see a little grey arrow pointing to the right. Click there!
4 - You'll land on the FOLLOWER BREAKDOWN page. You can take a look through lots of interesting info here but to get to the times data, scroll right to the bottom.
5 - You can toggle between the HOURS and DAYS options to see the data. Don't forgot to change your date range at the top of the page from Last 7 Days to Last 30 Days for more accurate info.
 

WHAT ABOUT WEEKENDS?

The short answer is YES! Some people I have worked with in recent months were under the impression that weekends were a waste of time but I disagree. Just take a look at our analytics charts earlier in the post. For some people, Saturday nights were their busiest times!
When you're working with the parents of young children, weekends are just like any other day of the week. The routines are mostly the same. I don't know about you but dinners out with the girls and late nights at the movies became a thing of the past as soon as I had children. If new parents are your target market, you'll still find most of them flat out on the couch watching Netflix on a Saturday night, staring at their phones. 
Ha Ha! Me (the ghost on the left) circa 2001 before children when Saturday nights in Surfers Paradise were life with my bestie Bianca.

SHOULD I POST AT 8PM ON THE DOT?

I've looked into this a lot in the last year as I've been scheduling the Instagram posts of a number of baby photographers and other brands. The short version is, yes, and no. Scheduling right on the dot is fine. But don't do it every day or Instagram will think you're a robot! Try 7:55pm one night. 6:30pm the next. 8:02pm another. Keep it real and you'll be rewarded.

IS IT THE SAME FOR FACEBOOK?

Well, that's an article for another day that I'll come back and link here when I'm done. But yes, the theories are the same. Your audience behaviour doesn't change. And you can still find the evidence you need in your Facebook analytics too. Check back in soon for details how to do it.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

 

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