The digital age has transformed the way artists connect with their audience. Instagram, a visual-driven platform, has become a haven for artists, illustrators, photographers, and creatives from all disciplines.
But as with all things digital, there’s an art to being seen. One of the primary concerns? Timing. When is the optimal time for an artist to post on Instagram to maximize visibility and engagement? Let’s discuss this topic and find out what’s behind it.
The Science Behind Instagram Algorithms
Instagram’s algorithm isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula. It’s a complex, ever-changing beast. Understanding the foundational principles can help artists adapt and strategize their posting times more effectively.
The more likes, comments, shares, and other engagement metrics a post receives, the higher its chances of being seen by a broader audience. When artists post during peak times, they’re more likely to gain initial traction, which can cascade into higher overall engagement.
Engage Early, Shine Brighter
Posting during high-traffic times means your content has a better shot at early engagement. Instagram rewards posts that gain traction quickly, pushing them further up on followers’ feeds and potentially onto the Explore page.
Quality Over Quantity
While timing is crucial, the content’s quality shouldn’t be compromised. A well-thought-out piece that resonates with the audience will naturally garner more attention, irrespective of the posting time.
Personalization and User Behavior
Instagram’s algorithm factors in personal relationships and user behavior. This means that posts from accounts a user interacts with regularly will generally appear higher in their feed.
Know Your Audience
It’s essential to understand when your audience is most active. Insights tools on Instagram can give you a breakdown of your followers’ demographics, including their active times.
Consistency is Key
Regular posting not only helps in staying top-of-mind for your followers but also signals the algorithm that you’re an active user, potentially boosting your visibility.
Prime Times – Global vs. Local
While general insights on optimal posting times can be helpful, they might not always align with an artist’s specific audience. Differentiating between global averages and local nuances is crucial.
Global Peak Times: A General Guideline
Several studies have tried to pinpoint the best times on a global scale. For instance, a study by Later suggests that the most effective times to post are between 9 am and 11 am EST.
- Weekdays Reign Supreme: Generally, weekdays see more engagement than weekends, with Wednesday often cited as the peak day for user activity.
- Avoid the Late-Night Lull: Posts made in the late evening or early morning hours tend to get less engagement. Most users are either asleep or less active during these times.
Local Insights: Tailor to Your Audience
For artists catering to a local audience or one spread across multiple time zones, it’s vital to adjust posting times accordingly.
- Utilize Instagram Insights: This tool offers a wealth of information, breaking down when your followers are most active by days and hours. This data-driven approach can be invaluable.
- Experiment and Adapt: The best way to find your sweet spot is through trial and error. Rotate your posting times, track engagement, and adjust based on the results.
Special Considerations for Artists
Artists have a unique set of challenges and opportunities when it comes to Instagram. Let’s explore some considerations that might impact their optimal posting times.
Type of Art and Content
Different art forms might resonate differently depending on the time and day. A motivational quote might gain traction on a Monday morning, while a serene landscape painting might be more apt for a weekend.
- Know Your Art: Understand the mood and emotion your art evokes. Posting content that aligns with the general mood of your audience during specific times can boost engagement.
- Seasonal Trends: Festive seasons or particular events might be an excellent time for themed content. Recognize these patterns and plan your posts accordingly.
Promotions and Collaborations
If artists are launching a new collection, collaborating with other artists, or running promotions, the rules might slightly differ.
Announce in Advance
For significant events or collaborations, it’s wise to tease the audience with announcements a few days prior. This builds anticipation and ensures a higher engagement rate when the main content drops.
Leverage Stories and IG Live
These tools can provide real-time engagement, ideal for time-sensitive content like promotions or live art sessions.
Engaging the Global Audience
For artists with a worldwide following, posting times can be a puzzle. This section sheds light on strategies to ensure the sun never sets on your Instagram engagement.
Know About Time Zones
Artists aiming to engage a global audience need to factor in multiple time zones. If a significant portion of your followers are from Europe and you’re based in the U.S., simply posting during your local peak hours might mean missing out on European engagement.
One strategy is to rotate your posting schedule to cater to various key time zones over a week. For instance, Monday posts could target U.S. peak times, while Thursdays could cater to European hours.
Use Scheduling Tools
Cultural Calendars and Events
Different countries and cultures have distinct festivals, holidays, and events. Recognizing and integrating these into your posting schedule can offer fresh engagement opportunities.
- Holiday Posts: If a significant chunk of your audience celebrates a particular holiday, crafting content around that theme can resonate more deeply with them.
- Event Timings: Posting during or just before significant global events – like the World Cup, Oscars, or a major music festival – can sometimes drive higher engagement, especially if the content is thematically aligned.
The Role of Stories and IGTV
While feed posts require precision in timing, Instagram’s other features, like Stories and IGTV, offer a bit more flexibility and can complement your main feed’s strategy.
Instagram Stories: The 24-hour Window
Stories stay live for 24 hours, which means they can catch audiences multiple times. Their ephemeral nature also sparks urgency, making users more likely to view them before they vanish.
- Wave Good Morning: A story posted in the morning can catch both late-night scrollers in one part of the world and early birds in another.
- Polls and Questions: Engaging features like polls or Q&A sessions within Stories can further boost interactions, making timing less critical.
IGTV: Long-form Engagement
IGTV allows for longer content, which can be both a boon and a challenge. While there’s no strict “best” time to post, there are ways to optimize.
- Tease on the Feed: Posting a short clip or teaser of your IGTV video on the main feed during peak times can drive traffic to the full video.
- Promote Across Platforms: If you’ve crafted a detailed art tutorial or an insightful interview, promote it not just on Instagram but across all your platforms, maximizing its reach.
Can Using Instagram’s Auto-Suggest Feature for Posting Times Benefit Artists?
Yes, Instagram’s auto-suggest feature for posting times can be beneficial. The platform uses its algorithm to suggest times based on when your followers are most active.
However, while it’s a good starting point, artists should still experiment with various times and monitor engagement to find what works best for their unique audience.
Is There a Difference in Posting Times Between a Personal and A Business Artist Account?
Generally, both personal and business artist accounts should aim for peak engagement times. However, business accounts have the added advantage of accessing Instagram Insights, which provides detailed data on follower activity.
This makes it easier for business accounts to fine-tune their posting times based on empirical evidence.
How Do Instagram’s Algorithm Updates Affect the Optimal Posting Time?
Instagram’s algorithm updates can occasionally shift the dynamics of post visibility. For instance, if a new update prioritizes recency, posting during peak times becomes even more critical.
Artists should stay updated with any major algorithm changes and be prepared to adjust their posting strategies accordingly.
Can Engagement from Stories or IGTV Influence the Visibility of Main Feed Posts?
While Stories and IGTV operate differently from main feed posts, high engagement on these platforms can indirectly boost your overall profile visibility.
If followers frequently engage with your Stories or IGTV, they’re likely to also see and engage with your main feed content, thanks to Instagram’s user behavior-focused algorithm.
Does the Frequency of Posting Impact the Best Times to Post?
Yes, the frequency can influence optimal posting times. If an artist posts multiple times a day, they might spread out their posts to cover different peak periods.
However, if posting less frequently, like once a week, it’s crucial to choose a time that historically gets the best engagement for that specific profile.
Are There Specific Months or Seasons Where the Best Posting Times Might Vary?
Seasonal variations, holidays, or even significant global events can influence user activity on Instagram. For instance, during summer vacations or winter holidays, user behavior might differ from the usual patterns.
It’s a good practice for artists to observe these seasonal trends and adjust their posting times if they notice shifts in engagement.
The perfect posting time can be elusive, but with research, experimentation, and a dash of intuition, artists can find their sweet spot on Instagram.
Remember, while timing is essential, it should work hand in hand with high-quality content that truly resonates with the audience. After all, it’s the art that’s at the heart of it all.
We’ve also recently written about the finest art galleries in LA, so make sure to check our article out!