Finding The Best Time To Post On Instagram

Instagram now has over one billion people using it every month. That makes it one of the most popular social media apps today. Both regular people and businesses use Instagram. They want to grow their followers and get more engagement on their posts. To do this, it's important to know the best time to put posts on Instagram.

When is the single best time to post on Instagram?

With so many users around the world on Instagram at all hours, when is the best time to post on Instagram? The truth is there isn't one perfect time. The best time depends on who your followers are and when they use Instagram.

By looking at your followers' age, location, lifestyle, and when they are on Instagram, you can learn when the good times to post are. Big companies also research when people use Instagram the most overall. Comparing Eugene Tsarkov followers to what those studies show can help pick times they may be on. Testing different post times yourself is important, too.

best time to post on insta

While everyone’s followers are different, some general rules help narrow down the best times. Afternoons and early evenings often get more likes and comments globally

Weekdays, especially Mondays and Thursdays, normally do better than weekends. Also, evenly spacing your posts works better than putting them all at once. Customizing your timing around what your followers do each day can also boost engagement. With testing and watching your audience patterns, you’ll get a good feel for your own best times to post.

What affects when people check Instagram  

A few key things impact when lots of people use Instagram. These lead to certain times getting more traffic and engagement:

Ages of users - Young people may check Instagram after school, while adults do more on lunch breaks or commuting times.

Locations of users - Peak times change across time zones. When it’s early morning where you live, followers in other countries may just be going to bed.  

User habits - People tend to use Instagram less on weekends and holidays when not working. Weekdays see more people browsing while taking short breaks.

Events - Major events related to your followers' interests can temporarily change usage times around when those events happen live. 

So by thinking about how old your followers are, where they live, and what they like, you can better predict when many of them will be checking Instagram. The overall best times change, but your audience’s patterns might align more with certain global trends.

Research on the best Instagram post times

Some research companies have studied millions of Instagram posts to recommend the top times to post:

Sprout Social - They looked at over 500,000 Instagram posts in 2022. Their research found that Wednesday at 11 AM, Friday at 10 AM, and Saturday at 11 AM had the most engagement worldwide.  

Later - By checking 1.5 million posts, Later saw weekdays from 1 PM to 4 PM did very well for most types of accounts. Thursday and Friday had a slight edge. Fashion and school business pages tend to do better at noon, while artists and musicians peak more around 5 PM.

hubspot

HubSpot - Their study on 4 million Instagram posts found posts got seen and engaged with most from 9 AM to 11 AM Pacific time on Wednesdays and Fridays. However, for brands selling to consumers directly, 8 PM to 11 PM daily reached more people scrolling late at night.

These studies give reasonable advice on timing. But brands still need to look more at their own followers versus just these worldwide suggestions. The research does seem to say posting once or twice on weekdays, late mornings, and afternoons can be a good starting point to try out.

Important factors about your followers’ patterns

Beyond general research on big Instagram trends, a few things specifically about your own followers should guide your timing:

Time zones of followers - Look at what time zones most of your audience is in. This shows what hours they are awake and on their phones at normal times.  

Follower daily habits - Think about the normal daily life routines and schedules of your target audience - examples could be typical working hours, school times, or commute times. These suggest when people are likely checking Instagram versus busy with other tasks. 

Your past post analytics - Review how well your old posts have done historically based on the time and day you posted them. This real data on your current followers shows what timing they best respond to.

Relevant events or holidays - Be aware of major events coming up that are especially relevant to your followers’ interests or demographics. These can offer good opportunities to connect with your audience. 

You can’t expect to know every user’s personal routine perfectly. But spotting broader patterns for your target audience and broader industry vertical will point you toward peak times when more of them are scrolling Instagram. Testing posts directly with your followers based on what these factors indicate is key.   

Tips for figuring out your best times for Instagram

In addition to studying research data and your audience patterns specifically, a few easy tips can help narrow down your ideal posting times:  

Post multiple times per day

Instead of just posting one single update per day, consider posting 2-3 times per day spread out at different times. For example, post once in the morning, once in the early afternoon, and/or once in the evening.

This increases the chances of having content hit the feeds when more followers actively check Instagram. Picking different high-traffic times avoids the risk of only posting when your followers may not be around.

Be consistent in your timing

Try to stick to posting consistently around the same times every day or on certain days of the week. For instance, always post new images on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays around 5 PM in the evening.

Instagram protect your privacy

This type of consistent scheduling over time trains your loyal followers to know generally when to expect new Instagram content from you. They learn your cadence and will return around those times looking for updates.

Don't cluster posts too closely

When publishing multiple Instagram updates spread across the day, be careful not to cluster them too closely back-to-back or overlap them. Leave at least 30-60 minutes of spacing in between posts instead.

Too many posts in a short time period can overwhelm your followers' feeds, spread out engagement too thin rather than focused on each post individually, and also results in your earlier content being blocked out by your newer content soon after.

Try post scheduling tools

Useful social media management platforms like HootsuiteBuffer, or Sprout Social make it fast and simple to schedule Instagram posts in advance and also analyze performance data around the impact of different posting times once they are live.

Take advantage of these tools’ scheduling and analytics capabilities to experiment with and narrow down the ideal times and cadences for your account.

Split test times and days

Leverage Instagram’s own built-in A/B testing features to set up multiple posts around different times and days of the week, then clearly see directly comparative results on which option delivered the highest engagement and reach with YOUR real followers currently.

Nothing beats testing directly with your audience versus relying only on broader unified rules or yesterday’s assumptions and trends. Revisit testing our timing monthly since user behaviors evolve.

General research gives reasonable starting points for when to post. But regularly testing post times directly with your real audience while monitoring performance is best to nail down your unique optimal schedule. Keeping post timing consistent also helps - your followers will grow used to expecting new content from you at certain times.

Key takeaways for determining your best Instagram post times  

While there is no one universally best Instagram posting time that meets every account’s needs perfectly, some key general insights can guide brands:

Afternoons and evenings often peak times globally - Late mornings through early evenings see the highest Instagram traffic and worldwide engagement.

Weekdays tend to outperform weekends - Monday through Friday normally get more likes and comments than Saturday and Sunday posts on average.

Look at your target followers’ activity patterns - Learn where they live, their work schedules, ages, and interests to guess when they likely check Instagram daily.  

Analayze data

Use post scheduling and analytics tools - Platforms like Hootsuite that allow timing and analyzing posts help optimize timing.

Frequently test post times - Leverage Instagram’s built-in A/B analytics capabilities to constantly monitor and compare how different post times perform with your audience in real-time. 

General benchmarks studies give reasonable guidance. However, regularly testing directly with your own target audience while checking post performance data is necessary to customize and evolve your posting approach over time as follower interests and availability shift.

Playing close attention to your audience helps ensure your content shows up on their feeds during natural Instagram browsing breaks in their daily routines when possible. Being strategic with timing ultimately drives more impressions and engagement potential with each post.

Conclusion

Finding your optimal posting time on Instagram does take some work - evaluating your audience patterns, studying platform research, testing content performance, and monitoring how your followers specifically respond. But putting in this effort pays off in higher engagement rates and more followers over time.

About the Author Peter K.

Peter K. is an experienced digital marketer with a decade of expertise in driving business growth through innovative strategies. His data-driven approach and deep understanding of SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing have propelled brands to new heights. With a client-centric mindset, Peter builds strong relationships and aligns strategies with business goals. A sought-after thought leader and speaker, his insights have helped professionals navigate the digital landscape. Trust Peter to elevate your brand and achieve success in the digital era.

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Peter K.

April 4, 2024

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Peter K.

March 26, 2024