Figuring out the best time to post on Instagram should be a top priority for every creator. Unless your posting schedule is tied with your target audience’s most active hours, you’ll never optimize your engagement rate. Think about it – why post on Instagram at times when your primary audience isn’t even online?
Why work hard on world-class Instagram stories if most of your followers are asleep when you publish them? It all sounds like simple common sense, but research suggests that most people continue to post on Instagram at entirely effective times.
Instagram insights provide access to all the data you need and so should be your go-to for information on posting times. But in terms of general activity and engagement, what is the best time to post on Instagram for the whole week?
Best Time To Post Based On Location and Time Zone
Of course, the best time for posting on Instagram depends entirely on the time zone your audience is based. There are 24 different time zones worldwide, each with different demographics online at different times. This can prove tricky, as your main target audience may be distributed across two or more regions.
It’s, therefore, a case of adjusting your posting schedule accordingly in order to ensure your most important posts reach as many active and engaged Instagram users as possible. You don’t need to get to grips with every time zone – just those in which your target audience members are located.
However, you’ll also need to factor in seasonal changes – i.e., times of the year when the clocks either go forwards or backward in some parts of the world.
Overall Best Time to Post on Instagram
For the record, all of the times presented below are in standard ET. Resulting from an analysis of more than 30,000 posts on Instagram with a total combined audience of 200,000 followers, research suggests that the overall best time to post on Instagram is:
Wednesday at 11 am: This came out as the hour each week that generates the most engagement of all and is, therefore, a good overall time to aim for. Other than that, every day of the week has its own specific high and low-engagement times for posting. If putting out content on any other day of the week, here’s when you should look at posting on Instagram.
1. Best Time To Post On Instagram On Sunday
Decent engagement from 12 midday until 8.00 pm, but the highest recorded engagement on Sunday happens around 7.00 pm.
2. Best Time To Post On Instagram On Monday
Following a morning of apparent productivity, a flurry of Instagram users hit the platform at around 12 midday on Monday. Perhaps checking their accounts during their lunch breaks or simply having lost interest in their tasks.
3. Best Time To Post On Instagram On Tuesday
Tuesday morning brings fairly consistent engagement between 8.00 am, and 10 am, but the best time to post for maximum engagement during these hours is 9.00 am.
4. Best Time To Post On Instagram On Wednesday
As mentioned above, evidence suggests that the best time of the whole week to post on Instagram is 11 am on Wednesday. Wednesday as a whole seems to bring superior engagement to any other weekday.
5. Best Time To Post On Instagram On Thursday
Thursday is similar to Monday, with a peak engagement hour that comes around 12 midday. Though Thursday generally records fairly consistent engagement from 11 am through to 2.00 pm, there’s a decent window to play with.
6. Best Time To Post On Instagram On Friday
You’d think that Friday early evening after work would be peak posting time, but no – it’s actually 2.00 pm. Though again, there’s a fair amount of flexibility on Friday, which brings decent engagement all the way from 7.00 am to 2.00 pm.
7. Best Time To Post On Instagram On Saturday
If posting on Saturdays, try to get your content out in the open around 9.00 am. After which, engagement has a tendency to decline, presumably as people get their weekend plans underway.
Best Time to Post on Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels can be pure dynamite for engagement – ideal for growing your Instagram audience at a much faster rate than sticking solely with conventional posts. In fact, research suggests that Reels can generate up to 300% more engagement than a comparable Instagram video.
As a general rule of thumb, the best times to publish Reels on Instagram are 9.00 am and 12 midday, Monday to Thursday. For reasons that aren’t exactly clear, Friday doesn’t seem to bring nearly as much engagement to Instagram Reels.
Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry
As you’d expect, there are also subtle (and not so subtle) differences in peak engagement hours from one industry to the next. Different demographics are online at different times, as are those with interests in different products, services, and sectors.
It’s there for a good idea to craft your posting schedule accordingly, based on the industry you operate in and the interests of your target audience. With this in mind, here’s a brief overview of a selection of peak Instagram posting times based on industry:
The best time to put out content on Instagram for retail businesses is 3.00 pm on Wednesday afternoons, followed by 11 am to 12 midday on Fridays. Wednesday brings the best engagement of all, while Sunday is the most inactive day for audiences within this niche.
Over in the technology sector, daily and weekly peaks differ in accordance with the specific sub-niche you’re targeting. In general, however, the best time to generate engagement with technology-related posts is between 6.00 am, and 9.00 am on Wednesdays.
Wednesday, in general, is a good day for posting throughout the Morning, as are early Friday and Saturday mornings before 10 am.
3. Media And Entertainment
You’d think that the weekend would be the best time for media and entertainment publishers to post, but Saturday and Sunday typically bring the lowest engagement of the week. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during office hours are much better, while the best time of the whole week to post is around 9.00 am on Friday mornings.
Educators and students tend to be more active on Instagram during afternoons and evenings, but the peak engagement hour of the whole week comes at 10 am on Fridays. Other than this, 10 am to 8 pm Wednesday to Saturday is fairly consistent, with the worst day of the week for engagement being Sunday.
5. Healthcare Industry
Healthcare businesses and providers don’t tend to prioritize social media but can still reach huge global audiences with their output on Instagram. For those who publish regularly, 8.00 am on Tuesday mornings is the best overall time to post, while engagement remains fairly consistent between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm most weekdays.
6. Food Industry
Foodies flock to Instagram to both share pictures of their latest dishes and to stare longingly at the latest uploads from food bloggers. Consequently, engagement remains pretty high from Wednesday through to Saturday, with peaks in the activity being noted around lunchtime. Friday evening also has a tendency to bring a significant spike in engagement.
Last up, businesses operating within the travel sector should schedule their most important posts for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – ideally between 9.00 am and 11 am. Weekends can also bring a decent level of engagement, but not nearly on the same level as the rest of the week.
Useful Tips to Find the Best Time to Post on Instagram
Each of the above represents a basic guideline only, as it is up to every Instagram publisher to pinpoint the perfect times to upload new content. A few tips on how you can further narrow things down to the peak times for your output:
1. Research Your Top Performing Posts
First up, use Instagram Insights to keep track of your top-performing posts, taking note of exactly when you published them. Over time, you will begin to see patterns emerging with regard to peak posting hours and audience engagement.
2. Know When Your Audience is Active
Figuring out when your audience is most active begins with taking their time zone into account, followed by their interests and the type of content you are presenting them with. Again, you can use Instagram insights to find out when your Instagram audience is most receptive to your posts and time your future output accordingly.
3. See When Your Competitors Are Posting
Take a look at the Instagram accounts of some of your closest competitors and see when they are posting. If their posts consistently generate engagement on a high level, chances are they’ve nailed the perfect posting times. After which, you can follow their examples accordingly.
4. Adopt a Trial and Error Approach
If unsure, there’s always the option of testing a variety of different posting times and tracking their performance. Keep a close eye on the engagement your posts generate when published at different times during the week, gradually building towards an optimized posting schedule.
5. Post Frequently
Last up, posting frequently holds the key to generating maximum engagement – irrespective of when you publish. Consistency counts for a lot on platforms like Instagram, where all audiences expect to be provided with a steady stream of high-quality content from those they follow.
Publishing quality content when your target audience is inactive is a waste of time. Putting together an effective and efficient publishing schedule should therefore be a priority, or you risk your best content going to waste.
Use the above guidelines as a basis for your posting schedule, but also take the time to study the habits of your target audience using Instagram insights. Try posting at different times, monitor the performance of your output, and create your own unique blueprint for generating maximum engagement with your Instagram content.
Frequently Asked Questions
1)How Many Times Should I Post on Instagram?
Striking the right balance between posting regularly and not posting too often is essential. Two posts a day is a good basic target to aim for, but it depends entirely on the type of content you publish and who you are targeting with it.
2)What is the Worst Time to Post on Instagram?
The overall worst time to post on Instagram (in terms of engagement) is Saturday or Sunday from 2.00 pm onwards. This tends to be when most people are busy doing other things rather than sitting glued to their Instagram accounts.
3)When is the Best Day to Post on Instagram?
Wednesday at 11 am the best time of the whole week to post on Instagram, but Tuesday tends to deliver the most consistent engagement throughout the day in general. Weekends and Mondays are typically best avoided due to their associations with low engagement.
4)Is it Better to Post on Instagram at Night or in the Morning?
Mornings tend to bring much more engagement than afternoons or evenings – peaks falling between 6.00 am, and 9.00 am. Comparatively, few major Instagram audiences are active late at night or during the early hours of the Morning.