The Best Time to Post on Instagram: Have you ever spent hours and hours creating the best piece of content ever built for the eyes of our human species?
A piece of content SO good, that you just KNEW everybody was going to absolutely LOVE it.
And because of this, you thought that you’d have an avalanche of engagement and new followers just sliding in…
But when you actually post your content, life slaps you across the face with a big fat L sign.
You’re hurt, your soul is ripped into shreds, and your ego is deflated (like Tom Brady’s Super Bowl deflategate)
In all seriousness, engagement (or lack of) all comes down to understanding the best times to post on Instagram.
Who’s online when you post your content is so critical because:
immediate engagement signals to Instagram that, hey… this is content people actually want to see.
It’s a big ranking factor when it comes to prioritizing your content in the newsfeed.
And when you look into this at a deeper level, you start to realize that you need to know the best time to post for your specific Instagram account category, AKA niche.
You want your content to come out at a moment like that, when your target audience has its full attention on Instagram, not when people are working, resting, spending time with friends and family, or offline.
View this post on Instagram
And while we can all agree that Cristiano can post whenever he damn well pleases and still yield mind-boggling amounts of engagement…
I can promise you that he still sticks to a time he KNOWS he’ll get the most amount of eyeballs on his content.
It’s true that your content will be seen eventually (if the algorithm permits)
But in order to get optimal engagement and ensure that the maximum amount of exposure is achieved, knowing the best time to post on Instagram can be extremely beneficial.
It also helps you to keep things organized and create a plan that you can actually stick to!
At this point, you’re probably like, “damn, when is the best time for ME to post…“
Well, if you search online, you can clearly see that there are about a million and a half different answers. After all, there are many factors that could play into it.
To make things a little easier for you, we’re going to discuss a wide range of answers to this question.
Helping you to have a more complete understanding of of the best time to post on Instagram and why there are so many different answers in the first place.
Opinions are like a$(ho$)s — everybody has one.
We can give you exact details and specific timeframes all day long, but the TLDR version of this is one simple fact:
TEST A RANGE OF DIFFERENT TIMES AND DATES WHILE KEEPING TABS ON YOUR RESULTS
But keep reading to understand:
Let’s get moving!
Asking about the best time to post on Instagram is like asking how much you need to put aside for your Instagram marketing budget— there are just too many factors that impact the final answer!
There are many things that can affect when is the best time to post on Instagram, including:
There definitely is a best time to post on Instagram, but that time will vary depending on each account. That said, the data that is available out there can help you to identify a favorable starting point and get you moving in the right direction.
After doing all of the dirty work online, we’ve identified that there are two primary sources out there of optimal Instagram posting times: Later, and Sprout Social.
We will dive into their up-to-date findings as well as discuss further on in this post why they also believe that it’s vital to identify your own best time to post on Instagram.
Image — need to be created
Ready to get into the details? We’re going to look at the best time to post by day of the week, US region, industry, and even more. Brace yourself, because here it all comes!
All of the information we have in this section is related to different online sources that have looked into the issue of the best time to post on Instagram. You’ll notice that many of them are third-party services that help you with your Instagram management and workflow.
The sources you’ll find included below are Later, SproutSocial, ExpertVoice, and Hootsuite. We’ll also offer some information from Statusbrew, Planoly, and Influencer Marketing Hub.
Hootsuite is one of the most respected information sources when it comes to all things Instagram, but their data was surprisingly limited or out of date when it came to the best time to post on Instagram. The same could be said for Buffer and Coschedule, which was quite surprising.
Later’s August 2021 report offers some extremely valuable information about the best time to post on Instagram, with a study of some 35 million posts (not including Reels and IGTV, boo).
Here’s what they found:
Wow, so has anyone else sprinted off to set their alarm? These times are so early! How is that possible?
The whole idea from Later is that businesses need to post when their audience is the most active on Instagram, which is generally between 9am-1pm. The problem with this is that there is so much competition at that time, it’s harder to get noticed.
By posting earlier, you’re more likely to be seen by your followers when they open the app, leading to more engagement and a favorable performance against the algorithm that will give you higher ranking.
It’s a great idea— posting a bit earlier will ensure that you didn’t miss out on anything and that users see your content during one of their first scrolls of the day on IG!
Sprout Social offers their take on the best time to post on Instagram through their study of more than 20k of their users’ IG accounts. They have a different strategy than later and abide by the notion that you should post exactly during the window of activity from your followers.
One interesting thing we can see from Sprout Social is that as we move through the weekend, engagement is lower in the evening as opposed to weeknights, when it’s some of the strongest between 6-9pm.
Also, engagement begins the earliest on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!
The information on the best time to post on Instagram from ExpertVoice has a bit of its own flow, but aligns more with Later’s data and strategy than Sprout Social.
There isn’t a clear source of where ExpertVoice got their information, and the only image with a source is from Latergramme, which turned into Later around 2016. For that reason, we are not sure exactly how up-to-date or accurate this information is.
As you can see, the best time of day that they have listed is also very general— it would be tough to nail down a true best time to post on Instagram from that information.
Here is a day-by-day breakdown for the best time to post on Instagram from ExpertVoice:
Although Hootsuite is one of the leaders when it comes to providing the best info on all things Instagram, there wasn’t any accessible recent information rooted in data. There is, however, some general information on the matter.
Hootsuite says that overall, Wednesday is the best time to post on Instagram, at around 11am. They align more closely to Sprout Social’s stance that you should be posting when there are the most users online and engagement is at its peak.
In addition, it shows times that are best for their particular Instagram audience:
This is more or less the peak times of wakeup and lunch/leaving work of those on the west coast and east coast.
The industry that you find yourself in can also affect your best time to post on Instagram. The user behavior and priorities of each niche can vary, so it’s important to take a look at some data for your own niche.
Sprout Social has got you covered here, with a range of best posting times on Insta across 8 different industries.
You can conclude from the variation in this table that you need to dive deeper into the foundations of your business as well as your audience to truly understand when the best time to post on Instagram is.
Taking the information in this article and evaluating it in terms of your own account will no doubt help you to find the best route.
Here we’re going to get into some info provided by Planoly. They compiled data from their app users, including likes, comments, saves, and follows in order to identify the best time to post on Instagram according to time zone.
The key takeaway here is that depending on the region, you’ll find a different lifestyle and routine. Well, we find this to be pretty logical! Considering where your target audience is located will also have an impact on your strategy for best posting times.
Keep in mind that in-feed content isn’t the only kind that users consume, and knowing the best time to post on Instagram for other formats including IGTV and Live is vital. We looked into what Statusbrew had to say, and we got some gems.
Even though their overall data was just recycled from Sprout Social, they did include the best times to post to IGTV and Instagram live, which does help you in discovering more about your overall posting times and potential content strategy.
Based on their information, the best time to run an Instagram Live is from Monday through Friday, at either 12pm or between 7 and 9pm. Having a lot of viewers on Instagram live is of the utmost importance, so be sure to plan as effectively as possible.
Instagram reels is a relatively new feature on the block, so it might be tough to find info on when to post reels. The good news is that Influencer Marketing Hub offers the best time to post Instagram Reels based on over 100k global Instagram posts and engagement rates. Thanks, IMH!
Now that we’ve got a lot of different ideas about when the best time to post on Instagram may be, we should explore our final notion: it’s actually you who needs to decide your best time to post on Instagram!
You don’t (and shouldn’t) do this by just guessing— use the above information and consider the below actions to help analyze your own profile’s performance. That way, you’ll be able to know exactly when your posts perform the best and when you need to be posting them for best results in terms of engagement and post success.
Instagram insights is one of your best friends when you need to determine the best time to post on Instagram. Perhaps you’d like to target your audience during their lunch break. First step— where is that lunch break?
Boston? California? London? You can decide where your audience is coming from by using Instagram Insights to discover:
You’ll also be able to then pinpoint the time zone of your audience and post based on that (see Planoly’s data on time zone activity). Instagram lets you know when your followers are most active, so you may want to incorporate that in some way as well.
No, not your own personal ones! Buyers and consumers have their own personas, and these fictional characters of sorts represent customers as human beings (which they are). It takes into account lifestyles, occupations, hobbies, family, education level, interests, and much more.
This is a great tool to identify the best time to post on Instagram! You can use all of that information to build a profile of your audience and understand them better. Ask yourself the following questions:
This will help you with not only the best posting times but also potential content ideas.
Third-party tools can make your life so much easier when it comes to your Instagram workflow. Social media management platforms are available to offer you not only insights, but also post schedulers, auto-posters, information on user-generated content, hashtags, and, you guessed it— best posting times.
Hootsuite is one of the tools that can offer that for you, as seen below:
Some of the most popular tools include Later, Buffer, Sprout Social, Planoly, Loomly, HubSpot, Tailwind, among others.
The Instagram algorithm, love it or hate it, will dictate a lot of what happens to your posts in terms of who sees it and who engages with it. Since Instagram released an explanation of the algorithm in June of 2021, we have a bit more insight.
Here are the top ranking signals that the Instagram algorithm uses:
If you want to have a strong performance against the Instagram algorithm, it’s essential that you pay attention to these signals and do everything you can to get your followers engaging with you. The more engagement your content gets, the more that the algorithm will prioritize it in your followers’ feeds.
Engagement and relationship is the most important factor when it comes to the Instagram algorithm. This brings us to our fifth and final tip!
It’s clear that knowing the best time to post on Instagram can help you, but how exactly does it help? Well, the main goal is engagement, of course!
This is because when you post at the optimal time, your content is likely to get more exposure which hopefully leads to engagement. Thus, the time is important, but perhaps even more important is the quality of the content you produce.
You need to create content that draws your audience in and entices them to engage. This is the secret to success on Instagram and will help you to get the most out of the algorithm.
You can get more engagement on Instagram if you can get your users to:
Using the above tips in conjunction with the best time to post on Instagram will definitely help your content to soar to new heights. All in all, if you’re going to be more concerned about one or the other, you should undoubtedly focus on producing the best content possible.
After all, posting the wrong content at the right time won’t get you very far. It’s much more desirable to post the right content at the “wrong” time, although there’s not really a wrong time, just a less-optimal one.
Here are our last tips to make sure you’re nothing but successful:
When you’ve created content that is relatable, useful, attractive, and engaging for your target audience! Once you have content that aligns with your target audience’s lifestyle, value, pain points, and goals, you’re on the road to success.
It’s then that you can create the best time to post on Instagram for you, keeping in mind information we’ve included in this post as well as your own research from Instagram Insights and your content’s performance.
Truly, the key to success is to create content that will resonate with your followers and keep them coming back for more— the Instagram algorithm will reward that, regardless of when you post your content.
In addition, we think that Later’s strategy of posting a bit earlier than your audience’s most active time is a great way to get ahead! After all, the early bird gets the worm, right?
When do you like to post on Instagram? How did you decide? Let us know in the comments!
The Best Time to Post on Instagram: Have you ever spent hours and hours creating the best piece of c ...
How Does The Instagram Algorithm Work: Do you want to know how the Instagram algorithm works to incr ...
What Is A Good Engagement Rate On Instagram: Instagram is an effective strategy to use for business ...
How to Get Verified on Instagram: If you’re one of the lucky few out of the 1.93 billion activ ...
How to Turn off Read Receipts on Instagram: Do you love Instagram messenger, but wondering how to tu ...