When is the best time to post on Instagram?
Instagram has been around since 2010, and a lot has changed since then.
When it first started out, Instagram was a simple platform to share photos with your friends and family; these photos appeared in chronological order as users posted them.
Now, with the expansion of Instagram for business and marketing purposes, things have changed. Because Instagram wanted to provide users with an experience that was tailored to their needs, Instagram changed its infamous algorithm to reflect the content that users actually wanted to see.
While no one has quite figured out how to outsmart the algorithm, it’s widely known that posts that users interact with or view frequently will appear higher up in the newsfeed. This has changed the game completely and placed Instagram engagement as the prime goal of content strategy.
If you want to get more Instagram followers and increase the reach of your content amongst them, you have to create content that encourages users to view and interact on a regular basis. After all, how disappointing would it be if you spent loads of time creating content that, ultimately, no one saw?
In order to get your content out to your target audience with the highest chance of engagement, the best thing you can do is find the optimal posting times and stick to a set content posting schedule.
Our go-to guide will help you to understand the best Instagram posting times by day, industry, your own tests, as well as how to create seamless posting schedules using two of the most prominent Instagram schedulers around.
Let’s do this!
Why Does Instagram Posting Time Matter?
Let’s imagine a scenario: you’re based in the US and your target audience is people that are mainly on either PST, CST, or EST. You post your content at 6am PST hoping for the best. Your audience may not even be on Instagram; they miss your content, they never engage, and for the most part, it goes unseen.
This is a completely avoidable scenario if you know your optimal posting times for Instagram. There are a variety of factors that go into understanding the “best” posting time on the platform, and we’ll get into that in the following sections.
What you should know, though, is that harnessing the power of Instagram posting times can get your content right into the feeds of your followers and target audience, increasing the chances that it will be engaged with right off the bat.
With high levels of engagement, you’ll be more likely to create a solid, supportive Instagram community that may even turn into customers; you’ll also increase your chances of your followers sharing your content, mentioning friends, and even getting your content onto the coveted Explore page.
Let’s get started with the best time to post on Instagram by day of the week.
Best Time to Post on Instagram by Day of the Week
Each particular Instagram account has its unique audience with followers based in different cities and located in various time zones. Understanding your best Instagram posting times is vital for your content’s success.
Even though there are unique elements that go into your account’s optimal posting times, there are some general beliefs about which times align with increased Instagram engagement.
In Later’s analysis of 12 million Instagram posts across time zones with an array of global followers, they aimed to find the best overall posting times.
The results of Later’s study led to the following conclusion about the best Instagram posting times according to the days of the week:
- Monday: 6am, 10am, and 10pm EST
- Tuesday: 2am, 4am, and 9am EST
- Wednesday: 7am, 8am, and 11pm EST
- Thursday: 9am, 12pm, and 7pm EST
- Friday: 5am, 1pm, and 3pm EST
- Saturday: 11am, 7pm, and 8pm EST
- Sunday: 7am, 8am, and 4pm EST
This can give a general overview of the best times to post on Instagram. What’s more, the most active days that can bring you Instagram results through your posts are said to be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, in general.
These can help you to gain an initial understanding of what might work for you, but it’s better to hone in on your specific account and take a look at your industry as well as personal tests.
Next, we’re going to explore the best Instagram posting times by industry.
Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry
Each specific account will still have its own best posting times, but you can narrow down those time frames by taking a look at the recommended posting times for different industries. If you want to optimize your Instagram account and get more engagement, it’s imperative that you know when to post.
Your Instagram followers may or may not be active at the same time as your competitors, so understanding these time frames and then taking a look at your own followers can help you to tailor your IG posting schedule to your particular audience.
With Instagram being the powerhouse for marketing and in-app shopping, it’s now more important than ever for retail businesses and brands to take advantage of optimal posting times. After all, 80% of Instagram users have decided whether or not to buy a product with the help of the platform.
If you want to reach an audience that will generate more revenue for your business through Instagram shopping, you should note the following advice according to retail posting times on Instagram:
- Best time: Wednesday afternoon (3pm) and Friday (11am-12pm)
- Best day: Wednesday
- Worst day: Sunday — people are typically making the most of the remaining weekend hours and not glued to their social media accounts.
- Lowest engagement: Late night and early morning— most people are sleeping at these times and aren’t active on social networks.
Many business accounts in the retail industry have concurred that you want to catch your audience when they’re relaxed and engaged on the platform since they’ll be more likely to buy something. This includes time frames in the late morning or evening, and spreads across weekdays.
You can narrow this information to work for your account by reviewing the above recommendations and doing your own tests; analyze your Instagram insights and see which posts produced results.
Always consider your target demographic and their behavior. How can you get them to check out your content and when are they likely to be online and willing to make a purchase? This knowledge will come with time.
Social media accounts that are related to professional services typically post content that helps to educate their followers through videos, blogs, tutorials, and other social media networks. The Instagram post is meant as a guide to funnel traffic to outside networks or websites.
People who are looking for professional services have been shown to be most active in the early morning, but you may still gain traction throughout the day such as during lunch breaks or even in the evening.
- Best Time: Any day between 9am and 10 pm
- Best Day: Weekdays, specifically Tuesday, Wednesday, and Fridays.
- Lowest Engagement: Saturdays and Sundays— many people are relaxing on the weekends and leave productive tasks for the weekdays.
Because many professional services include businesses that are related to law, banking, health, etc., their target audience is likely to be more active during the week. One great strategy to build a stronger relationship with your followers is to feature the people behind your business.
Instagram content that features people gets higher engagement, so if you show the people who help make your services possible, your followers can create a bond with them and will be more likely to engage with your posts, trust your brand, and also potentially choose your services over others.
Instagram for tech can be a difficult industry because it’s a global industry and peak times can vary greatly. If you want to gain consistent and impactful engagement on your Instagram posts for tech, you should focus on the following time frames and days.
- Best Time: Wednesday morning at 6am or 9am
- Best Day: Wednesday mid-morning, Friday morning from 7-10am, Saturday morning from 7-11am
- Worst Day: Sunday — most people aren’t as active on social media on Sunday in this industry.
It’s important that you do your own content testing and understand who your target audience is so that you can adjust your posting times accordingly; check out the Instagram insights audience section to understand more about them and when they’re on Instagram for best results.
Media & Entertainment
It’s virtually impossible to imagine the media and entertainment industry without social media. News outlets, blogs, musicians, artists, actors, and so many more entertainers are using the platform to get their content discovered and build a huge fan base.
Creating a solid content strategy that helps to promote your creative endeavor is of utmost importance, but if you don’t get this content seen by anyone, it’d be quite difficult to gain more followers, supporters, and fans.
Using the best Instagram posting times for media and entertainment can get your content seen by people in your target audience and appear in their feed regularly.
- Best Time/Day: Friday (9am EST)
- Best Engagement: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (8-5pm EST)
- Lowest Engagement: Saturday and Sunday — most people aren’t focused on their social media during the weekend and may find less interest in entertainment posts because they are out and about in the real world. They may see your post, but may not interact with it.
One of the best things you can do for your entertainment or media Instagram account is to do A/B testing with similar content types and see when it performs best. You can also engage your users via Instagram stories to see what type of content they want to see more of and get them actively interested in your content and posts.
Take risks and always use Instagram consistently to showcase who you are and what your entertainment value is.
Many healthcare providers or practices use Instagram to help build their reputation and attract new clients. It’s important to establish a solid presence so that in the event people are looking for services in their area or want to check out your reputation, you have strong visibility on Instagram.
If you’re in healthcare, here are some of the best Instagram posting times that have been recorded:
- Best Time and day: Tuesday at 8am
- Best Engagement: Weekdays from 9am-3pm
- Lowest Engagement: Saturdays and Sundays
Keep in mind the busy schedules of people looking for healthcare services and also the busy schedules of those working in healthcare. A good idea is to post very actively and frequently so that you can establish a very perpetual presence and get seen by many different people no matter when they’re browsing Instagram.
There are many possibilities for those in education to use Instagram. Teachers and educational resource creators can promote their businesses or share methods, colleges and schools can promote an active community and also attract new students, and districts or large-scale organizations can keep people posted on news and important events.
Because people involved with education often have busy schedules, here are some ideas for the best posting times on Instagram for education:
- Best Time/Day: Friday mornings at 10am
- Consistent Engagement: Wednesday through Saturday from 10am to 8pm
- Highest Engagement: Wednesday / Friday mid-morning and Saturday nights between 6-8pm
- Worst day: Sunday — people in this field are usually relaxing and/or preparing for the week to come.
Having informational and fun content is really important in education. Make sure that you get people excited and make them feel like a part of the community— always show enthusiasm for building relationships and encourage people to share content with friends and have conversations through comments on your posts.
Food and Beverage
The food and beverage industry is a big one on Instagram— people can’t get enough of delicious food posts and restaurant features that call their name. Instagrammers also use the platform to discover new places to eat in their area or in places they travel to, so having a strong and active presence is important.
People are likely to engage with food and beverage posts around mealtimes; professionals take lunch breaks in the middle of the day, so engagement or traffic can increase during this period. Here are some suggested best posting times for food/beverage:
- Best Days: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
- Best Hours: Noon- many people are checking their phone on their lunch breaks; this can ultimately extend even to 3pm depending on who your audience is.
- Best Engagement: Friday is a great day for engagement due to the beginning of the weekend and users looking for great food and drink over the weekend.
- Lowest Engagement: Saturday nights and Sunday mornings
For the food and beverage industry, having extremely high-quality shots that truly feature your location and gastronomy is important if you want to gain traction in the industry. You want to keep your content as authentic and organic as possible as well.
Nonprofits need to continue to build support for their endeavors, so using Instagram to ramp up your cause is definitely recommended. Facebook can help you to promote any relevant events and Instagram can simultaneously give people insight into your projects and any other issues that relate to your cause.
Here are the best times to post on Instagram for nonprofits:
- Best Time/Day: Wednesday at 2pm
- Best Engagement: Wednesday between 1pm to 4 pm
- Lowest Engagement: Saturdays and Sundays
It’s important to build your credibility and authority through your nonprofit’s Instagram presence. That way, when people see your content, they trust you to give them correct and valuable information and will be more likely to participate in or support what you are working for.
Travel and Tourism
Another wildly successful niche on Instagram is travel and tourism. People flock to the platform to find out about different sites, hotels, tours, and more; they also use it to satisfy their wanderlust when they’re not able to travel.
For this reason, there’s a lot of demand for travel and tourism content, but there are still certain times when this particular target audience is more likely to engage. The following are the best times for travel and tourism:
- Best Days: Fridays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays
- Most Engagement: Between 11am-1pm and 9am-10am
You should consider where the majority of your Instagram audience is located; it may be especially tough because you might have quite a bit of international followers. Decide based on the majority of your audience.
Evenings are generally thought to be a good time if you have a lot of people based around the globe; it’s one of the times where a large amount of people around the globe are likely to be online.
In order to give your travel content a boost, make sure to use targeted hashtags. You can use hashtags that are directly related to the location or place that you are posting about; you can also use a tool such as Task Ant to search for the most popular and effective hashtags in your niche and save them in sets for easy posting.
How to Find the Best Time to Post on Instagram Through Testing and Analytics
Now that we’ve seen some general guidelines about best Instagram posting times by day as well as by industry, there’s one final thing we need to discuss about the best posting times— there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.
You have to use your tools to see how your content is performing and adjust accordingly. Your Instagram strategy will never be one and done: it’s constantly evolving.
Instagram knows how important its platform is for brands and businesses, which is why they introduced the professional account type and offered their invaluable Instagram insights to all of those accounts.
Having a professional account on Instagram costs you nothing and can give you access to additional tools to help your profile thrive. You’ll be able to see many different data points about your followers, when they’re active on Instagram, and their overall demographics.
Studying these analytics can help you to have even more clarity about when you should be posting on Instagram to maximize reach and engagement. Not only that, when you understand your platform and your target audience, you can gain even better results when you use Growthoid’s Instagram growth service.
Growthoid works to engage with your target audience, so if your content is coming out at the right time and with extremely high quality, you’ll no doubt get better results through our natural engagement methods.
That said, if you don’t have a professional Instagram account, you can get one by navigating to Settings and then scrolling all the way to the bottom to tap Switch to Professional Account. Follow the prompts and you’re good to go.
In addition to regularly monitoring your Instagram insights, you should be setting up A/B testing with similar content types. Once you gain a general idea of when you think your posting times will be best, you can then set up a variety of tests to see which times deliver the best results.
Do this for a few weeks so you can ensure that your data is valid and it’s not just based on a one-off result.
How to Schedule Instagram posts Using the Most Popular Scheduling Tools
Understanding your optimal posting times on Instagram is completely necessary, but sticking to your posting schedule is another big part of your Instagram workflow. You have to ensure you can get your content out at the right time without fail.
If you want to streamline your workflow and make sure you never miss a post, consider using one of the following Instagram scheduling tools. You can save time and keep your content coming out on time so your followers aren’t left high and dry wondering what happened to you.
Later is one of the best Instagram schedulers out there with an intuitive user interface unlike any others out there. With Later, you’ll get access to:
- Visual planner
- Drag-and-drop calendar
- Grid preview
- Hashtag tools
- Personalized insights
- Best time to post
- Linkin.bio support
- Mentions and tags scheduling
- Photo editing and captioning
- And more
Later will allow you to create the perfect Instagram aesthetic and get all of your content ready to go all at once— simply set aside a block of your time to plot out your Instagram content on a weekly or monthly basis and you’re all set!
It’s a powerful tool that you should definitely take advantage of; you can then weave in spontaneous content such as Instagram stories, IGTVs, or Instagram lives to keep things fresh.
Later has a free plan and also offers other paid options that bring you more benefits.
Sprout Social also shares some of the same features as Later and is widely regarded as one of the best Instagram schedule planners on the market. Not only that, they’re dedicated to giving you usable data that helps you to transform your Instagram performance.
You can use Sprout to find out the best posting times for your Instagram and then schedule all of your posts in advance so your content comes out just as you want it and right on time.
Final Thoughts: Best Time to Post on Instagram
At the end of the day, your content quality is going to be the deciding factor in whether or not people engage with your content or whether or not they follow you on Instagram. Even still, it’s important that you know the best times to help your content get maximum visibility.
Keep innovating your Instagram content formats, offer your followers diverse types of content and impactful captions that tell stories and enhance your brand, and create a consistent brand aesthetic on your Instagram profile.
If you’re able to work these elements into your Instagram strategy, you’ll no doubt be able to get more engagement, followers, and ultimately make money on Instagram through your engaged group of supporters and followers.