If you’re an active social media and Instagram user, you may have wondered about the best time to share your posts for maximum visibility and engagement. Influencers know the best and worst times to post depending on your time zone, type of content, and target audience. If you’re serious about social media management, you must know when to post for higher Instagram engagement.
In this article, we’ll explore the best time to post on Instagram and provide some tips to help you optimize your posting schedule.
Why Does Timing Matter on Instagram?
Timing plays a crucial role in the success of your Instagram posts. Understanding why timing matters on Instagram can help you optimize your posting strategy and increase your chances of reaching a larger audience.
Here are some key reasons why timing is essential on the platform.
- Maximizing Visibility. Instagram’s algorithm determines the order in which posts appear on users’ feeds. When you post at the right time, you increase the likelihood of your content being shown to your followers. This means more people will see and interact with your posts.
- Capitalizing on Active Users. Timing your posts when your target audience is most active on Instagram is essential. It increases the chances of your content appearing on the feeds of your most active Instagram followers.
- Considering time zones. Understanding the time zones of your target audience is crucial, especially if you have a global or international following. By posting at peak times when your audience is most active in their respective time zones, you ensure your content reaches them when they’re more likely to be online.
- Talking into Account Your Audience Behavior Patterns. Different audiences may have distinct online behavior patterns. For example, some individuals may be more active on Instagram during their lunch breaks, while others may prefer scrolling through their feeds during the evenings.
- Discoverability and Hashtags. The timing of your posts can also impact your discoverability through hashtags. Posting when more users are actively searching for and exploring specific hashtags related to your content can increase the chances of your posts being discovered by new audiences.
- Beating the Algorithm. Instagram’s algorithm considers various factors when prioritizing content, including the engagement rate shortly after a post is published. If your post receives high engagement in the first hours, it signals to the algorithm that your content is valuable and relevant. This can increase visibility and potentially be featured on the Explore page, attracting even more users to your profile.
These are all you need to consider if you’re just getting into social media marketing and Instagram marketing in particular. Many Instagram scheduling tools can help you get higher engagement on your posts, create content calendars, and grow your Instagram account faster.
However, you’ll likely have to determine the best posting times yourself.
When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?
When you post at the right time, you have a higher chance of appearing on your followers’ feeds when they’re actively browsing the app. The best time to post on Instagram can vary depending on your specific audience, industry, and location. Analyzing your Instagram Insights will help you identify the most optimal times for your posts.
Overall, several factors can help you determine the specific times when you get the most engagement on your Instagram posts. These include your target audience, their demographics, different time zones, and their online behavior patterns.
It’s important to consider these factors when creating your social media strategy. If you don’t like using Instagram analytics, you can also use third-party analytics tools to gather information about your Instagram content performance. Alternatively, a good starting point would be to use the research from Hootsuite, Later, Influencer Marketing Hub, and Sprout Social, which regularly survey engagement metrics for millions of Instagram posts worldwide and use it to determine the best times to post content on your Instagram feed.
Overall Best Time to Post on Instagram for Likes and Comments
If you’re not a business account owner and simply want to get more likes and comments on your Instagram stories and posts, you can use the following general patterns to choose the best day of the week or time of day to post.
- Weekdays vs. Weekends. In general, weekdays tend to have higher engagement rates compared to weekends. Many users are more active on Instagram during their work week or school days, increasing online time. However, this can vary based on your audience demographics and their online behavior patterns.
- Morning Hours. Posting in the early morning, between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM (local time), has proven to be the best time for getting likes and comments. During this time, people often check their phones shortly after waking up, during their commute to work or school, or their morning break. If you manage to capture their attention during these early hours, it can lead to increased engagement.
- Lunchtime. Posting around lunch hour, between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM, is also a good idea for interacting with your Instagram audience. Many people take a break from their daily activities to scroll through their Instagram feeds while enjoying their meals.
- After-Work Hours. The period between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM tends to be a popular time for Instagram activity. As people finish their workday or school, they often relax and catch up on social media. Posting during this window can increase the chances of your content being seen by more people.
- Evening and Night. Instagram usage remains steady during the evening and nighttime hours, especially between 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM. Many users unwind and spend more time on the app during these hours. By posting fun content during this time, you can engage with users likely to interact with your posts.
You can use these suggested time slots as starting points for your Instagram marketing strategy. However, the best way is to monitor your Instagram engagement, do some tests, and find your own data instead of sticking to a fixed template of best times.
Experiment with different posting times and then see which posts get higher engagement, i.e., more likes and comments, to create your own posting schedule tailored to your audience.
The Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram
Thanks to TikTok, Instagram Reels became one of the crucial tools when it comes to growing your engagement rates on Instagram. Many researchers suggest posting one Reel per day for the best results. But what’s the best time to post that one Reel?
According to Hootsuite, the best times for posting your Reels are 9 am and 12 pm Monday through Thursday. My personal experience with Reels tells me that the times when you get the most engagement on your Reels are 8-10 pm on work days excluding Friday. However, both results are based on specific audiences and demographics.
Once again, to find out the best time to post Reels to your Instagram account, you’ll have to hold your own experiment and see what works best for you and your followers.
When Should You NOT Post on Instagram?
We’ve already discussed the best times to post on Instagram, but it’s just as important to know when is the worst times or days when your posts may get less visibility and interaction. Understanding when not to post can help you avoid potential pitfalls and ensure your content receives the attention it deserves.
One of the worst days to post on Instagram is Sunday. Many people use Sundays as a day of relaxation, spending time with family and friends, or simply taking a break from social media. As a result, user activity and engagement on Instagram are lower on Sundays. This means your posts may get buried in the feed and receive less attention compared to other days of the week.
Don’t forget to consider time zones when determining the worst times to post on Instagram. If you’re in the Pacific Standard Time (PST) zone, the early morning hours between 3 AM and 5 AM PST can be some of the worst for posting. During this time, most Instagram users in other time zones, such as the Eastern Standard Time (EST) zone, are either sleeping or have yet to start their day.
Tips for Finding Your Best Time to Post on Instagram
Here are a few tips you can use to find your ideal time to post on Instagram.
- Check Instagram Insights. Use the data in your Instagram Insights to see when your audience is most active and engaged.
- Experiment with different times. Try posting at different times of the day to determine when you get the highest engagement.
- Consider your target audience. Understand your target audience’s characteristics and time zones to adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
- Use third-party scheduling tools. Take advantage of Instagram scheduling tools that offer insights and suggest optimal posting times.
- Engage with your audience. Interact with your followers and ask for their feedback on your posting schedule.
- Stay informed. Keep up with industry trends and changes in user behavior on Instagram.
When Should You Post on Instagram?
Finding the best time to post on Instagram is an ongoing process. It requires monitoring, analyzing data, and adapting your strategy based on your audience’s behavior and preferences. What works for one account may not work for another, so it’s important to tailor your approach to your unique audience and goals.
By consistently evaluating and optimizing your posting schedule, you can ensure that your content reaches the right people at the right time, driving higher engagement and helping you achieve your Instagram goals.