With over 1.4 billion monthly active users, finding the best time to post on Instagram isn’t easy.
If you’re posting products, services and other advertisements, you want the largest amount of users to see it, as fast as possible.
According to Facebook research, 83% of people discover services and products on Instagram. 81% of them use it to research brands, while 80% use it to make purchase decisions.
That’s why it’s important to post at the right time to grow your presence on Instagram.
In this article, I’ll take you through data collected by large corporations and through my own experience, to find out what the best time is to post on Instagram.
1. Why Does Finding the Best Time to Post on Instagram Matter?
In 2018, Instagram introduced improvements to ensure that users had more control over their feeds and received timely posts.
About a year later, Instagram updated their platform again with even more improvements, this creating an algorithm that shows posts according to your previous activity.
The changes to Instagram’s algorithm mean that your feed is no longer chronological, which affects the best time to post on Instagram.
Instagram now shows content based on timeliness, Instagram usage, and the accounts you engage with the most.
How can you make use of this information to determine the best time to post on Instagram?
So for brands, that means that your audience sees your posts if the algorithm has determined their interest in your brand. They also see your posts if they have interacted with your brand before.
And lastly, posting times also affect whether your audience will see your posts.
When you take these factors into consideration while posting, there’s a good chance that the right people will see and interact with your updates when you post at the best time to post on Instagram.
2. The Best Time to Post on Instagram According to Instagram
Meta, formerly Facebook, who also happens to own Instagram, have their own guidelines when it comes to posting times.
On their best practices for engagement page, they offer some insights into when the best times to post are, according to your insights.
They have a great guide on how to schedule posts on your timeline to make sure posts are published at the best times.
Your insights will mostly be based on:
Day of the Week
Studies have shown variations of engagement and activity on different days of the week. Different times have higher engagement on different days.
For instance, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday have 5 AM as the best time to post on Instagram.
Why is that?
This could be due to a high number of people checking their Instagram feeds immediately after they wake up.
People are also likely to go through their Instagram feeds and messages in the morning during weekdays rather than weekends.
The exception is Monday. Due to Monday blues or maybe due to the rush of starting the week, people don’t check their Instagram accounts early in the morning.
The research also indicates the likelihood of people checking Instagram during the lunch breaks.
Users checked their accounts during their lunch breaks on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
That means that lunchtime on weekdays is also one of the best times to post on Instagram
Similarly, people may feel lethargic post-lunch and this may shift their attention towards their Instagram accounts.
All of this research won’t help you determine the best time to post on Instagram if you don’t consider your audience.
There may be a good chance that your audience is different from the ones used in the studies.
Plenty of factors like working status, educational background, financial status, and age will create varying peak times during the day.
Take, for instance, a DIY for moms style Instagram account. You’ll have two audiences, stay-at-home moms, and working moms. Stay-at-home moms might not be active during lunchtime, since they might be making themselves and kids lunch or dinner.
A working mom, on the other hand, might find the only time to scroll through Instagram is her lunch break.
If you keep a close watch of when Rebekah Higgs posts on her Instagram, you’ll see most of her posts going online around 4-5pm PST.
That’s why it’s essential to conduct your own research using Instagram Insights or other third-party tools to determine the best time to post on Instagram.
How often should you be posting content on Instagram?
The platform itself has changed a lot, especially with different forms of engagement all available on Instagram.
For regular posts that go on your Instagram feed, you only need to post 2-3 a week, and no more than once a day.
If you feel like posting more content throughout the day, using Instagram Stories is the best way to go about it.
Stories allow you to share things that aren’t as important, but still allow you to engage with your followers in between posts.
There’s no limit to the amount of Stories you can post a day, but studies have shown that 2 a day is the sweet spot.
According to a study done by CoSchedule, the best time to post on Instagram also depends on your industry.
- The best time to post on Instagram for B2C business is 8.00 AM, 1.00 PM (lunch break) and 9.00 PM
- The best time to post on Instagram for software services at 11.00 AM, 1.00 PM (during lunch break) and 5.00 PM (after work)
- The best time to post on Instagram for B2B from 12.00 PM to 1.00 PM (midday and lunch break), 5-6 PM (after work) and from 8-9 PM
- The best time to post on Instagram for the healthcare sector at 10 AM and 2 PM
- The best time on Instagram to post for higher education from 5-6 PM
- The best time to post on Instagram for the media sector is at 9 AM, 12 PM and 3 PM
Depending on which industry your brand mostly relates to, you should try to post according to your target audience and the industries they mostly come from.
It’s critical to post on Instagram when your audience is most active.
And if you have a wide geographical reach, you need to consider time zones as well.
Social media marketing tools can come in handy for this as you can schedule posts depending on various time zones.
Your goal with posting times should be to post on Instagram whenever the audience of each time zone is the most active.
3. The Best Time to Post on Instagram According to Industry Experts
Several organizations have conducted studies to determine the best times to post on Instagram. While they ended up with different results, some similarities stood out.
CoSchedule compared statistics and data from 25 studies. They found that the best times to post on Instagram are before work; before, during, or after lunch; and after work.
According to their study, catching people over their lunch hour break is a great idea.
You can increase your chances by setting your posting times based on when they are almost finished with their daily activities. The study also found that Friday is the best day to post on Instagram.
HubSpot found that the best time to post on Instagram is on Thursday at 5 AM, 3 PM, 11 AM, and 4 PM.
The best times for the other days of the week are as follows:
- Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 5 AM
- Monday from 11 AM to 5 PM. During this time, people are probably having lunch or starting to get exhausted with the day.
Other notable best times to post on Instagram include:
- Tuesday from 9 AM to 6 PM
- Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM
- Thursday at 11 AM, and 3 to 4 PM
- Wednesday at 11 AM and 3 PM
- Saturday at 11 AM
The best time to post on Instagram on Sunday is between 10 AM and 2 PM. Your audience is likely to hang out with friends or eat brunch during this time.
High engagement happens on Wednesday and Thursday at 3 PM, and Friday at 5 AM. In summary, the best times to post on Instagram are from Tuesday through Friday from around 9 AM to 6 PM.
While these studies are essential, it’s great to establish the best times to post on Instagram for your brand.
This way, you can have an Instagram posting strategy that caters to the specific needs of your audience.
4. The Best Time to Post on Instagram, According to Our Own Research
According to our social media team, the best time to post on Instagram is between 11am-1pm PDT.
As a digital marketing-focused account, my Instagram account has a lot of followers who either have a marketing background or are business owners.
That’s why we try to make sure to post during lunch breaks.
I still post Stories throughout the day, but main posts are published on weekdays during lunch break, preferably.
Here’s a breakdown of each working day’s best time to post:
Let’s break down what’s really going on here.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Monday
Mondays seem to start off with a bang, with people getting the week started with a lot of work, which is why we see a lull in the morning.
By the time lunch comes, eager to take a break, people seem to quickly jump on social media to get their fix. That’s why posting around 11.30am to 12.30pm is the best time to post on a Monday.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Tuesday
The reason why engagement is higher Tuesday mornings isn’t completely clear, but it might just be that people are content with the hard work they put in on Monday, that they decide to start Tuesday off a little slower.
The best time to post on a Tuesday is between 8 to 9am.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Wednesday
Wednesday is similar to Monday, with lunch break being the busiest time on social media.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Thursday
As discussed before, and my reasoning for posting social media during lunch hours, Thursday mimics Monday and Wednesday with a similar pattern.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Friday
Friday is a peculiar day, standing apart from the rest of the week. Social media engagement seems to spike as the work day comes near to the end.
The reason most likely is that as the day comes to a close, people are most likely planning their Friday evening out or weekend. They might have a look on social media about new movies, music, shows and parties going on around them.
Posting around 3 to 4pm will get you the most engagement on a Friday.
5. How to Determine Your Best Time to Post on Instagram
Every Instagram account has a distinct set of followers with unique needs. Thus, it’s crucial to find the best time to post on Instagram based on your audience.
The best time to post on Instagram for a clothing store will differ from that of a club.
For this, you need to ask the following questions about your audience:
- What are their priorities?
- How do they interact with your posts?
- When and how do they engage with your brand?
- How do they access social media?
- At what time are they likely to be online?
To determine the best time to post on Instagram, you must also consider the numerous posts and hashtags used by users and your competitors.
There are tools out there that can make your work easier and ensure that you post at the best time to post on Instagram.
Instagram scheduling tools can help you post consistently. This can help you remain relevant to your audience, and it can engage them as well.
In addition to third-party tools, Instagram has built-in tools that you can use to analyze your demographics, activity trends, engagement, and best time to post on Instagram.
Instagram Insights gives you data on the past week’s performance of your profile. You can get information such as the number of posts created, followers lost, and followers gained.
Additionally, the insights show you the time of day when your followers were most active, which would be the best time to post on Instagram.
At the same time, it shows you the activity of your followers for each day.
The app also provides insights on follower activity, such as the reach and engagement for each post.
Use these insights to understand the content your audience likes. You can also use them to gauge the contribution of your social media influencers to your campaigns.
Google Analytics custom reports can also help you find out the best times to post on Instagram. Their insights include metrics such as the days when you get the most traffic on Instagram.
For a more in-depth look, consider tracking and measuring your Instagram post-performance using third-party tools.
These tools provide you with metrics on the reach and engagement of your posts.
These metrics can help you determine the effectiveness of your posts at different times of the day and that, in turn, can help you figure out the best time to post on Instagram.
6. How to Capitalize on the Best Time to Post on Instagram
Posting at the right time is important, but it won’t do you any good if the content you post isn’t high quality.
That’s why it’s important to make sure all content posted on your Instagram feed is done professionally, looks good, and is consistent.
Here are some tips to make sure your content is done right:
Instagram provides various filters and editing options for your posts. Some of these filters include Gingham and Clarendon. The former gives the photos a vintage edge, while the latter accentuates dark and light colors.
You should also consider using third-party apps that can give your images and videos the kick they need to look professional and appealing.
My personal favorite is the image editor PixTeller. The best part about this tool is that it’s cloud-powered.
They have a large selection of Instagram templates that you can use.
You won’t need to install additional software in your system. Plus, you can edit and reuse the cloud-housed images any number of times.
You can use Stories to tell your brand story and give your followers a behind-the-scenes look into your brand.
Stories are easy to create and work extremely well in generating engagement. After all, over 500 million people watch Stories on Instagram daily.
Videos generally get 38% more engagement than images.
Videos also autoplay on your follower’s feeds, and this can catch their attention as they scroll through their feeds.
The more time they spend watching your videos, the more they are likely to engage with your brand.
You should create both short and long-form videos to catch the attention of your followers. Long-form videos can be added to IGTV as well.
My preferred video editing tool is vidIQ. Not only can I cut slick videos using this video maker, but I can also optimize my video’s metatags, titles, and overall SEO.
Plus, it’s certified by YouTube, which means you get a 24×7 YouTube consultant at your fingertips.
Although your target is to make it big on Instagram, it won’t hurt to make your presence felt on YouTube as well.
You should explore live videos too. They may not have a bearing on the algorithm, but they can work as great tools for generating engagement.
Write Engaging Captions
Additionally, you can get your followers talking about your content using question-based captions or by tagging them.
According to the Mention study, more tags lead to a greater number of likes and comments on the posts.
If you want to write eye-catching captions that work on Instagram, tools like ProWritingAid can come in handy.
You can create optimized titles for your blog posts and find quotes to include in your captions.
Post Contests or Giveaways
Another way to drive engagement is through contests and giveaways. They can help increase your engagement rates, especially if the prize you’re giving away is valuable.
If you want to create giveaways that create a real buzz on Instagram, make use of Vyper. Once you have a substantial follower base who regularly participate in your contests, you can design loyalty reward programs for them using Vyper.
By rewarding your followers for participating in your giveaways and programs, you can reward them with freebies or store credit, which will foster loyalty for your brand.
In addition to selecting the best postings time, you can also use hashtags to increase your reach and engagement.
Combine community hashtags, branded hashtags, and those of your product, to increase your reach.
You can incorporate these hashtags into your posts and increase your reach and engagement.
Leverage User-Generated Content
You can also leverage user-generated content to come up with engaging posts for your Instagram account. 60% of consumers consider UGC an authentic form of content, as compared to just 20% for content created by brands.
You can encourage your followers to create content using your hashtags and give them shout-outs on your Instagram account.
Partner with Influencers
Alternatively, you can partner with influencers and brand ambassadors to secure quality user-generated content. They will create exceptional content and drive people towards your brand.
How can you find influencers for collaboration?
You can use tools like Heepsy for finding relevant influencers for your brand.
You can also conduct start-to-finish influencer marketing campaigns on the platform.
7. Post Times To Avoid
By far, the worst times to post are working hours. This can be a simple rule to use and works for any Instagram account and business.
Posting during times when people are preoccupied means when they finally do have time, your post might already have been pushed down the feed by other, more recent posts.
Posting early morning might sound counterintuitive, but research suggests posting between 2am-5am might be a good thing.
Q1. What is the best time to post on Instagram?
A. The best posting times vary by time zones, industries, and audience segments. But generally speaking, here is what different studies suggest regarding that:
– HubSpot: Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 5 AM, and Monday from 11 AM to 5 PM.
– CoSchedule: Before work; before, during, or after lunch; and after work
Q2. Is it bad to post on Instagram at night?
A. It’s not necessarily bad to post on Instagram at night. But you won't witness much engagement post 9 PM on the platform. The best posting times on Instagram are off-work hours (11 AM -1 PM) and evenings (7 PM – 9 PM).
Q3. What is the worst time to post on Instagram?
A. After work (6 PM onwards) is not a good time to post on Instagram. Also, posts published during weekends usually witness low engagement. So, save your best posts for weekdays.
Q4. Is Monday a bad time to post on Instagram?
A. Monday from 11 AM to 5 PM is one of the best time slots to post on Instagram.
Q5. Should I post everyday on Instagram?
A. It’s recommended to post at least once per day on Instagram. But, limit your posts to no more than three.a day.
Q6. Does Instagram have a post limit?
A. No, Instagram doesn’t place any limits on your post volumes. It shows the last 200 posts of your followers in your feeds.
Q7. Is it better to post on Instagram at night or in the morning?
A. It’s better to post on Instagram before 9 PM. The best time slots for posting on Instagram are off-work hours (11 AM -1 PM) and evenings (7 PM – 9 PM).
Q8. How many times to post on Instagram?
A. It’s recommended to post at least once per day on Instagram. But, limit your posts to no more than three.a day.
Q9. How to check what time you posted on Instagram?
A. Click on the post whose posting time you want to see. Then, click on the three vertical dots below the post and select “Embed Code” from the menu that appears. Then, go to a text editor and paste the copied code. You will see the posting time and date at the end of the code.
Ready to Post on Instagram at the Right Times?
Instagram is a great marketing platform. It works especially well if you know the best time to post for your industry and the type of content your audience will engage with.
Maintaining an active presence on Instagram increases your reach and engagement. By knowing when is the best time to post on Instagram, you can maximize both your reach and engagement.
What are the other things brands need to consider finding the best time to post on Instagram? Let me know in the comments.