When Is The Best Time To Post On Instagram?
On the surface, being an Instagram influencer doesn't seem to require much technical knowledge. That's because users only see what's in front of them - the content, the captions, and how you reach them.
Your average Instagram user may not realize how creators constantly monitor analytics, experiment with different posting schedules, and continuously test new ways to engage their audiences better.
Posting at the right time is an incredibly important part of being an Instagram creator. The right timing goes a long way in encouraging Instagram engagement, helping you grow your following, and ending up on Instagram Explore.
But is there a single, universal, 'best time' to post? Not exactly - but you can get close enough to see results.
What is the best time of day to post on Instagram?
There is no single 'best' time of the day to post on Instagram because the ideal posting time depends on factors such as:
- The day of the week (you might also find some select days of the week to be the best days to post)
- Where your specific audience is located
- If your audience is from multiple regions
- Demographic information (their age, interests, etc.)
In general, it's a good practice to design your initial posting schedule according to the average best posting times for your region and experiment a bit. Then, you can use analytics to gradually zero in on posting times that bring in the most engagement and adjust your schedule accordingly.
The scientifically-proven best times to post on social media
These optimal times for posting are scientifically proven because they were obtained by analyzing large bodies of data and insights from various sources including HubSpot, Later, and other influencer marketing software companies.
Note that the times below are listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Monday posting slot
The best time to post on Instagram on Monday is between 11 am and 2 pm.
Tuesday posting slot
The best time to post on Instagram on Tuesday is between 10 am and 3 pm, or later at 7 pm. The 7 pm slot was found to offer some of the highest engagement levels!
Wednesday posting slot
The best time to post on Instagram on Wednesday is between 7 am and 4 pm. That's a reasonably broad window, and the peak times for engagement are observed at 11 am and 2 pm.
Thursday posting slot
The best time to post on Instagram on Thursday is between 10 am and 2 pm, or later at 6-7 pm.
Friday posting slot
The best time to post on Instagram on Friday is between 9 am and 2 pm, although the 9 am slot offers higher engagement.
Saturday posting slot
The best time to post on Instagram on Saturday is in the morning between 9 am, and 11 am.
Sunday posting slot
Sunday is the worst day to post on Instagram, so the engagement is relatively low in general. However, the best time to post on Instagram on Sunday is between 8 am and 2 pm.
Frequently asked questions
There are lots of questions about the best times to post on Instagram. To make it easier on you, we’ve compiled the common questions and answers below:
Is it better to post at night or in the morning?
In general, posting in the morning and early afternoon was found to offer higher engagement. However, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 pm presents a good posting opportunity.
What's the worst time to share content?
The worst time to post on Instagram for different sectors, including technology, B2C, non-profits, education, and healthcare is Sunday.
Sunday is statistically the worst day to post for healthcare companies, technology companies, non-profit organizations, and B2C brands in general.
The message is clear - people like their lazy days. It's also worth noting that Saturday also came in as one of the worst days for posting, alongside Sunday for the healthcare sector.
When should you post if you're in Australia?
Later analyzed more than 35 million feeds to determine the best posting times for different locations. For Australia, they found 11 pm - 2 am to be the best time to post on Instagram.
When should you post if you're in the UK?
Later's same study found 4 am - 6 am as the best time to post on Instagram in the UK.
Why are the times and days you post on Instagram important?
The times and days you post are essential because they influence your content's visibility. If you aren't posting at the right time, then a good portion of your audience might not see your content - it'll get drowned out by more recent posts in their feed.
Getting your content in front of your audience is essential to...
Grow your follower count
This goes without saying, but it’s important to emphasize - if your audience isn't seeing your content, then you're invisible to them. Putting your content up at the right time increases the chances of your followers engaging with it. This translates to likes, post sharing via DMs, and tags in comments, encouraging new users to follow your page. So if you're wondering how to make money on Instagram, follow these tips to grow your audience.
Get better engagement (comments, likes, views, shares)
Engagement metrics are huge success indicators - if your audience is idle, B2C companies see it as a red flag and are unlikely to reach out for sponsorships. Plus, Instagram's algorithm works against you if you have low post engagement, even if your follower count is high. The algorithm favors recency, so high engagement within an hour of the post being published is a good sign that the post will drive engagement.
Posting at the right time puts your content at the top of your followers' feed and allows them to engage. So if you're wondering whether to post that meme during Monday's lunch break, go ahead - odds are your followers are looking for a laugh around then.
Getting better engagement also helps you show up on the Instagram Explore page, the goldmine of organic reach. Hitting the explore page translates to even more visibility and engagement.
Drive more sales for sponsored posts
How much you get paid for sponsored Instagram posts depends on what you negotiate. If you're taking a commission, then driving sales is important. So, figuring out the best time to post for engagement and sales helps secure revenue for sponsored products.
Did you know that consumers spend more on weekends? You might be able to pinpoint a slot on Saturday to drive optimal sales and use that in your sales pitch to brands.
Determine what types of posts work best (Posts, Stories, Reels, IGTV)
Different types of posts offer various benefits, and for each post, you should monitor which type performs the best. For example, 70% of Instagram's users view stories every day, making them a great option for brands to share the most important content. Learn how to add a link to Instagram Story to increase clicks and user engagement.
Reels are an excellent medium for sponsored posts. They're the most attractive feature for finding new trends. According to Instagram's Business Team, Reels were explicitly designed to boost your discoverability. The social media platform's Chief Operator Officer, Justin Osofsky, said:
“We see Reels as a great way for people to discover new content on Instagram, and so ads are a natural fit. Brands of all sizes can take advantage of this new creative format in an environment where people are already being entertained.”
Reels are great because of their longer lifespan - Instagram's algorithm can pick them up at any point. But first you need to learn how to make Reels on Instagram. IGTV videos, on the other hand, are ideal for educational content, thanks to their 60-minute duration.
How to determine the best time to post to your IG account
Every Instagram account is unique. Just because one influencer has success on Monday mornings doesn’t mean the same is true for your account.
Here are some suggestions on how you can find the best time to post:
Schedule your posts at different times of the day to see what works
Figuring out what the best time to post on Instagram is for you requires some trial and error. Start by scheduling posts at different times of the day, and monitor their engagement metrics. After you zero in on the best posting times, you can adjust your post scheduling accordingly.
Generally, you can expect to find different peak times for posting on different days. You might find that early mornings on weekdays are better for engagement or that late-night weekend posts drive more engagement. Keep experimenting and schedule your posts for the following week to see what works and what doesn't.
Try to hold off on sharing posts from other accounts
Every once in a while, curating content and sharing something important is great. However, it's best not to frequent this practice for two main reasons:
- It directs your traffic to other sources. As a creator/influencer, it's important to build and cultivate your own following. A big part of this involves making your audience engage with you, so don't lose focus.
- It can be bad for business. Look at it this way - if you're sharing lots of content for free, you're cheapening the value of sponsorship deals. Brands might not be happy about paying you for sponsored posts if you're driving traffic to other Instagram pages for free.
Post reels and IGTV videos to see how they affect engagement
We've mainly discussed posts that appear on a user's feed. But, the same principles apply to reels and IGTV videos. Did you know that 74% of businesses cited videos as the content which receives the most engagement on their social media platforms?
So it's worth experimenting with video content and figuring out peak times to post it, to optimize your posting schedule.
Things to keep in mind as a creator
Finding the best times to post is important for your social media marketing strategy. Here are some things to keep in mind when you're diving into the technical stuff.
Day of the week
Instagram user engagement varies depending on the day - users might be more active early Friday and favor a later start on Mondays, for example. So, observe different posting times for each day and don't limit yourself to a single 'best time' across the board.
Breaks during traditional working hours
9-5s come with much-needed lunchtime breaks and similar short breaks from working hours. So, if you have a large working audience, experiment with posting during work breaks and see how many of your followers are checking Instagram.
The time zones of yourself and your audience
If you're sitting in, say, Australia, but the bulk of your audience is from the US, then accounting for time zones is vital. Otherwise, if you post at a time that's 4 am on a Tuesday for your audience, then you might end up with low engagement. So make sure the timing of your posts isn't off and your schedule caters to different time zones.
How frequently you post
Settling on a good frequency to post from your Instagram account is a delicate balance. You need to post enough to keep your audience engaged and keep Instagram's algorithm happy, but overposting might just annoy your followers, which is detrimental for engagement.
How to use analytics
While you can manually try to determine the best time to post with a spreadsheet, the process is long, tedious, and you might not end up with accurate results. Fortunately, you can use Instagram analytics instead to reliably determine the best time to post, just like you would for Facebook.
Note that you do need an Instagram Business Account to get access to Instagram's analytics feature. You can then access Instagram analytics through Instagram insights, which are available to every Instagram business profile.
Observing demographic information helps determine the best time to post. Where is your audience located? What age group do they fall under? What's their gender? These are some key metrics to look for, to help identify peak posting times. You can view this information in Instagram Insights, under the 'Audience' tab.
Track content performance and engagement
Instagram Insights also gives business profiles access to key engagement and content performance metrics. With the insights tool, you can:
- View the engagement each post receives to calculate your engagement rates,
- See how many users followed your page after viewing a piece of content,
- Monitor the impressions, including those from hashtags
- Determine the number of profile visits your post generated
- View how many users followed your page after interacting with your content
- And more!
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Influencers should experiment
Who knew that finding the best time to post was so much work, right? Fortunately, working through analytics and experimenting with different posting schedules is quite fun. It's a stretch to call the practice an applied science, but hey, it's data-driven and follows the scientific method.
When finding the best posting time, don't be discouraged if it takes you a while. The more diverse your audience is, the harder it can be to pinpoint a standard timeframe for growing your Instagram account. However, if you keep at it and experiment a bit, you'll get there.
And if you're looking to grow your Instagram account faster, try Beacons out now for free.