Instagram is the third most popular social channel, with 500 million daily active users and one billion monthly active users.
That’s a lot of targeted audience to tap into; naturally, there is no shortage of brands leveraging the social platform.
Like all social media channels, with those huge numbers of users, it’s easy to fall through the cracks. Just because you put effort into your posts doesn’t mean your posts will be seen.
It’s worth knowing that Instagram’s algorithms promote recent posts alongside interest and relationship, so determinng when your users are active is crucial.
Knowing when is the best time to post can be the difference between hundreds or thousands of engagements.
To find the best time to post on Instagram, we reviewed a range of data studies from social media tools and compared the data below.
It’s worth remembering that data like this is only a starting point and you should experiment to find what works for your audience.
The Best Time To Post On Instagram
Before you look at your specific audience, having an idea of general trends when Instagram users are posting is a useful starting point for you to experiment with.
We reviewed data studies from social media tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, HubSpot, and Later to gain insight into the best posting times.
Between them, they analyzed millions of posts to find when users are most active across different days and time zones.
What stands out is that each study and social tool shows a different day and time as the best time to post on Instagram. This highlights the importance of analyzing your niche and data to find the best times and what works for you.
Never take another study as the rule when you should post.
They are a guide only; putting in the time to experiment and analyze your data will help you get the best results.
Always be testing.
Best Time To Post On Instagram, Social Tool Data Studies Compared
|Source Study||Hootsuite||Later||Hubspot||Sprout Social|
|Time Zone||Pacific time||Local time||Local time||Local time|
|Monday||12 p.m.||5 a.m.||7 – 9 p.m.||10 a.m. – 12 p.m.|
|Tuesday||9 a.m.||7 a.m.||8 – 9 p.m.||9 a.m. – 1 p.m.|
|Wednesday||11 a.m.||3 a.m.||8 – 9 p.m.||10 a.m. – 1 p.m.|
|Thursday||11 a.m.||3 a.m.||9 p.m.|
|Friday||2 p.m.||7 a.m.||9 p.m.||9 – 11 a.m.|
|Saturday||9 a.m.||1 a.m.||6 – 11 p.m.|
|Sunday||7 p.m.||1 a.m.||4 -9 p.m.|
Sources, June 2023:
- HubSpot reviewed 110M posts across 1M Instagram users.
- Later analyzed over 11M posts.
- Hootsuite analyzed over 30,000 Instagram posts.
- Sprout Social analyzed 2B engagements across 400,000 profiles.
Best Time To Post On Instagram By Location
If you have a global audience, you should be considering and posting at the best time for their time zone and not the time where you are.
If you are working across multiple countries, you should consider staggering posting across different time zones or trying to find overlaps between countries.
Plot what time your Instagram users are most active (see below) and then adjust for local time.
|Time Zone||Time To Post|
|US Pacific Time||9 p.m. – 12 a.m.|
|US Central Time||10 p.m. – 12 a.m.|
|US Eastern Time||11 p.m. – 4 a.m.|
|South America||5 a.m.|
|UK||3 a.m. – 4 a.m.|
|Western Europe||4 a.m. – 6 a.m.|
|Eastern Europe||5 a.m. – 7 a.m.|
|Africa||2 a.m. – 3 a.m.|
|Middle East||4 a.m.|
|East & South East Asia||6 a.m. – 8 a.m.|
|Australasia||11 p.m. – 12 a.m.|
Best Day To Post On Instagram
According to Hootsuite, the worst day to post is a Sunday.
Later and Sprout agree that Wednesday is one of the best days to post on Instagram.
Later thinks Monday mornings are all about “early to rise and early to post” for the best views and engagements.
|Social Tool||Day of Week||Time To Post|
|Later||Monday||5:00 a.m. Local|
|Sprout Social||Tuesday &a.m.p; Wednesday||9/10 a.m. – p.m. Local|
|Hootsuite||Wednesday||11 a.m. PT|
Source – as above.
Best Times To Post Reels On Instagram?
There is no doubt that video-based content is on the rise across all online platforms, including social media. TikTok has created an increasing market for short-form videos.
Competitors’ response has been YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels.
If you are experimenting with Instagram Reels, then according to:
- Hootsuite, the best time to post on Instagram Reels is 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., Monday to Thursday.
- SocialPilot, the best time to post is between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. from Monday to Thursday.
As I mentioned, this can take trial and error – and depend on your industry and target market.
What Time Are Instagram Users Most Active?
As a starting point, consider your audience and what sort of routine and habits they might have. For example, many people check their social media as soon as they wake up and before they start work.
This can vary depending on the demographic and age, but 7 – 8 a.m. (local time) is generally a good time for a morning post.
When people wake up, they often check social media, spending a couple of minutes or more scrolling through their newsfeeds or watching Instagram Reels.
So, around 7 – 8 a.m. can be a great time to post in the morning.
Another time when people are often on their phones is when they take their lunch break. Posting around 11 – 1 p.m., when people are likely to be breaking for lunch, can help ensure your post will make it closer to the top of their feed.
People also tend to scroll through social media right after work or before bed.
Don’t forget that posting times can depend on your target audience’s age, demographic, and industry.
Understanding your audience and demographic is critical as a starting point to consider what they might be doing during the day and what time they might be active in the evening.
Best Times To NOT Post On Instagram
Weekends tend to see lower engagement levels, but don’t count them out altogether. Saturday can be a decent time to post if you post at the right time.
Brands that offer consumer goods tend to see high engagement on Sunday evenings.
But the consensus has been that Sunday is generally the worst day to post on Instagram, as people are decompressing or preparing for the week ahead.
So, typically, they will spend less time scrolling through social media.
How Often Should You Post On Instagram?
That depends on a couple of factors.
First, do you have enough product images, content, and ideas to post a couple of times per day or week? The goal here is to post consistently.
On the other hand, don’t put content out there for the sake of posting regularly. Instead, spend time conducting a thoughtful customer journey-based content strategy.
That might take more time on the front end but it will help your content strategy as the weeks go on.
That way, you can spend more time managing social media and engaging with followers and less worrying about getting enough content out there.
If you don’t have an abundance of post ideas, try posting three times a week. Then you can adjust accordingly by measuring your ongoing insights.
How To Find The Best Time For You To Post On Instagram
Studies and shared data are useful as a benchmark and a starting point for you to test with your own posts.
To find the best times to post on Instagram for you, experiment and test different times to see when you get the best response.
You will most likely find that different types of posts will get different reactions at different times, and you will also want to experiment across a range of posts relevant to your audience and brand.
As we said above, think about creating a journey, aim for posting types of messages, and try to post content consistently to encourage follower expectations.
To help inform when you should be posting, you can check the following:
- Evaluate your top-performing posts, measuring when they were posted and what you posted.
- Check when your audience is online to know where and when your audience is online and active.
- As an extension to when your audience is online, you must be aware of the different time zones your brand operates across and post at the times relevant to those time zones.
To measure most of the above, you can use Instagram Insights to get valuable data.
Using Instagram Insights
First, set up your account as a business or creator – that’s required to view Instagram Insights.
Once you have 100 followers, you can see your audience’s demographics: including the age, gender, and location of your followers.
Instagram Insights also gives you the ability to analyze high-performing posts.
When reviewing the data, ask yourself, what worked here? Was it a high-quality image? Was it the post time? Maybe it was the copy and hashtags? Or was it a mix of all of these?
Analyze and test. Analyze and test.
The only way to learn is to just keep experimenting with different ideas. It’s worth noting that some pieces of content just won’t perform well, while others do.
Don’t get hung up on creating something perfect. Just keep trying.
Other Social Media Tools
You can also use other tools like Brandwatch or Iconosquare to view analytics and schedule posts.
If you regularly post on Facebook, you can also use Meta Business Suite to schedule and analyze posts across both platforms in one place.
Check Competitors’ Content
Another thing you can do is check out your competitor’s content.
Look when your competitors are posting. For example, are their Tuesday 2 p.m. posts performing well, or was another time working better for them?
Analyzing the competition to see when they get the most engagement can be the best insight for a new brand when you don’t have history to measure.
Keep Testing And Be Consistent
Over time, the more content you have, the more accurate your Insights will be in analyzing your Instagram post strategy.
Then, you can change up your content strategy based on your systematic analysis.
Ultimately, you and the brand must determine what success looks like.
Maybe it’s more likes, comments, follows, or general brand awareness.
While posting times are a crucial part of overall engagement, you still need to select the right hashtags, visuals, and copy for your posts – and pay attention to promoted posts, as this can impact how you look at your Insights.
Ultimately, you must balance all these variables to grow your follower base and increase engagement consistently.
The important thing is to stay consistent. Post regularly and check back often to see how your posts are doing.
Featured Image: PixieMe/Shutterstock