Whether you’re on Instagram with your finger hovering above the Post button, or on Hootsuite scheduling content, the same question is at the top of your mind. When is the right time to post to maximize engagement? When are your followers online?

Crowdbabble for Hootsuite takes the guesswork out of posting to Instagram by telling you the best time to post, based on your audience’s behaviour.

When’s the Best Time to Post?

Once you’ve logged in to Hootsuite, add Crowdbabble to your streams through the app menu. You’ll then add the Instagram account that you want to track.

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In the Now view, you will see a giant clock. Best Time to Post is indicated above the clock. The Best Time refers to the hour of the day when likes and comments were at their highest — using data from the past week. The “So, you should post in…” indicates a countdown to the best time to post in hours and minutes, so you know how long you have to wait until the Best Time. In the example below, the ideal time to post is 6 AM. @kmeyerto’s followers are clearly early birds!

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The Peak Activity clock shows you peak times for follower activity: when your followers like and comment on your content the most. The larger the green area is, the more likes and comments your content gained during that hour. Hover over the clock to drill down and see info for every hour of the day.

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To view highs and lows in engagement over 24 hours, toggle between the AM and PM views of the clock. You can find the controls directly underneath the clock interface.

Between 6 and 7 AM, the account attracted 9,652 engagements (likes and comments). Not too shabby!

Based on the information in the Now view’s Peak Activity section, when should @kmeyerto post? At 6 AM. If you want to post to Instagram via Hootsuite, navigate to the Compose Message pane just above your streams: schedule your next post at the best time to post.

When’s the Best Day to Post? 

Scheduling content for the next week or month? The Now view is based on recent data and to get a longer view of the best time to post you should use the 30 Day view. In this view, all metrics are based on historical data from the past 30 days (as you may have guessed from the 30 Day title).

You will find the same clock in the 30 Day view, along with a new metric: Best Day to Post. This is, you guessed it, the best day of the week to post based on likes and comments. This is the day of the week when your followers are the most active on Instagram and the most likely to value the content that you post.

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For long-term planning, Best Day to Post is a metric that marketers have to know. If you’re setting out your next content calendar, Best Day to Post can help you give your content the best chance of succeeding.

How does the day of the week affect your engagement on Instagram? The best day to post indicates how your followers’ weekly routines and moods align with your content. Maybe you’re a travel blogger who Instagrams beautiful locations — your best day to post might be Monday, when people returning to the office are looking for an escape. Maybe you’re a brewery, and your followers enjoy seeing your content in their feeds the most on Friday, when they’re ready to enjoy your product.

Long-Term Trends

Recent data and data from the past 30 days are helpful when figuring out what to post now and reviewing your performance. But what if you want to see longer-term trends, like the best times to post over the summer, or follower activity patterns over the past year?

In Crowdbabble’s main app at www.crowdbabble.com, you can access analytics for any Instagram account. In the Time Parting pane of your Instagram analytics for each account, you’ll be able to see engagement by hour and by day. Instead of a clock visualization, here comments are shown in a line graph so you can see 24 hours all in one view.

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You can then enter any date range to see patterns over a customized period of time. Engagement by Day and Engagement by Hour will help you select the best posting time based on a longer date range, or a specific season (best time to post during the holidays, on the weekend, etc).

By comparing the data you collect in Crowdbabble’s Hootsuite app and main app, you can compare your follower activity now to other time frames. Using the two together, you can toggle between the Best Time to Post from the Now view in Hootsuite, to peak activity by hour over the past year in the main Crowdbabble app. Comparing micro and macro sets of information about your followers’ activity levels can help you see how their behaviour is changing and predict future trends.

To Recap: When Should You Post?

Your content has the best chance of beating the algorithm on Instagram if you post at the right time. Best Time to Post tells you when your followers are the most likely to comment and like your content, pushing it higher on their feeds.

If you want to know when you have the best chance of connecting with your followers, posting at the Best Time and the Best Day is your best bet. Between the Now view and 30 Day view in Crowdbabble’s Hootsuite app, you’re set for success. Want to compare your Best Time to Post with your competitors, or set your own date range? Keeping Crowdbabble’s main app open in another tab will give you all the information you need.

Knowing the best time to post takes the guesswork and anxiety out of scheduling your Instagram content. Your followers get content when they like to see it, and your posts get higher engagement as a result. Win-win!

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When's the best time to post on Instagram? It depends on your audience. Find out when your followers are the most active with Crowdbabble, a free analytics app for Hootsuite.