Posting on Instagram is not just about uploading a photo or a video. If owners want the post to be successful, they need to take into account a lot of factors. For example, come up with a great caption, use the right hashtags, and so on. One of those crucial things is to post at the right time. It’s not the same to upload items in the morning than at night. That will depend on the niche, the audience, the time zone, and many other. Let’s take a deep look at those in the text below.

Table of Contents

  1. When is the Best Times to Post on Instagram?
  2. Best Time To Post On Instagram [Infographic]
  3. Does Timing Actually Matter?
  4. How to Find Your Personal Best Times to Post on Instagram
  5. How to Get the Most Out of Your Best Times
  6. What if I Have a Diverse Audience?
  7. What We Learned
  8. Best Posting Time on Instagram for Nonprofits
  9. Instagram Timing Best Practices [Infographic]
  10. 3 Tips to Have in Mind
  11. What’s the Worst Time to Post on Instagram?
  12. FAQ Section
  13. The Top Takeaway

When Is the Best Times to Post on Instagram?

Instagram is one of the social networks that drive the most engagement. Facebook comes first and Twitter trails after it. In order for a business to thrive and flourish, a marketing campaign here is imperative. The best time to post on Instagram, on average, is between 2 pm and 3 pm.



However, these hours vary depending on the day of the week. It has been found that the best space of the week to post is Thursdays at several hours of the day. These include 5 am, 11 am, 5 pm and the best one, at 3 pm.

Given that the 2-3 pm window is not graven in stone, it is important to know what the other times that generate engagement are. It is imperative then to know what the best time of the day to post on Instagram is. These periods can actually change depending on the day. They also vary with respect to other networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

This is because moods change, circumstances vary, and even daily events sometimes suffer twists. Even very small changes can cause a variation on a person’s routine.

SproutSocial Research

  1. People usually check their phones when they wake up. Instagram is included in their morning briefing. Loading content at 5 am from Tuesday to Friday generates a lot of engagement.
  2. Lunchtime and those last minutes before leaving the workplace, people will also go to their phones and check on social media. This makes the times from 11 am to 3 pm during weekdays great for loading content.
  3. Sharing photos during weekends usually generate slow interactions. But the best time to do so on Instagram is at 11 am. This is when people have brunch or get together to have fun with friends.

It might sound as a lot to remember. Keep in mind that this is based on an average and, as it shall be shown below, the level of engagement will also depend on the type of organization. Putting all the above data together and to summarize it all, the best window that will generate meaningful responses is from 9 am to 6 pm.

Best Time to Post on Instagram [Infographic]

Best Time to Post on Instagram

DaysDescription
SundaySunday is actually not a good day to post on Instagram. This is the day in which people are still winding out or recovering from the night before. The best time to publish on Sunday, however, is at 5 pm. This varies depending on the type of organization.
MondayIn general, studies have found that Monday is, in fact, one of the best days to post. Basically, at any moment of the day. The best option to post on IG on Monday is basically any time of the day, except from 3 pm to 4 pm. Posts can go from 11 am to 5 pm.
TuesdayAs stated above, Tuesdays rank as high as Monday in levels of engagement. The best fit to publish on IG on Tuesday is then from 11 am to 5 pm. Like with Mondays too, very early posts in the morning generate meaningful engagement too.
WednesdayWednesdays turn out to be great days to post on Instagram. If Monday and Tuesday rank highest in engagement (Thursday in some cases), Wednesday comes as a good second place. The best option post on Wednesday is at 5 am, 11 am, and a particularly good one is at 3 pm.
ThursdayThursdays can be thought of an exceptional day for positive engagement. This day, in particular, it seems like people are excitedly getting ready for Friday. The best fit to publish on Thursday also at 5 am during the morning routine, 11 am, around lunch break, and from 3-5 pm.
FridayThis day varies significantly depending on the type of organization. The best manner to publish on IG of Friday is at 5 am, to engage early birds and then from 9 am to 4 pm. After this hour, people usually will not go to social media.
SaturdayWeekends are usually not considered the best times to place content. But if it is necessary to do so, one has to be a bit surgical about it. The best option to post on Saturday is definitively from 11 am to noon.

Is Timing Actually Important?

It absolutely is important, and the reasons for it are completely plausible. Instagram changed its chronological algorithm to a relevance-based one. In other words, people will get feeds based on what is relevant and not what is fresh. But timing is still important. To understand this, take a look at what are the three factors that will make Instagram.

Prioritize Content:

  • Relevance. People will be shown content based on their interest in posts from the past.
  • Relationship. Those who interact with a brand will see more posts from this brand.
  • Recency. More recent posts will still be prioritized, especially if they are performing well.

That last one is what makes timing actually important.

First, a post uploaded during peak periods could get a good edge. This can work to the advantage of the brand.

Publishing during peak hours could give a post a big momentum if it begins performing well. This will, in turn, increase the popularity of a post, making it live well throughout the day.

One way to try this is to post when people are less likely to interact. Say, at 2 am. It will probably not live that much, even if the content is super engaging. Try the same or a similar post at a peak time, and the difference will mostly be evident.

Finding the Best Personal Time to Post on IG

To ensure interaction with posts, it is a good idea to follow these guidelines. However, it is best to tailor the best personal time. Keep in mind that this will depend on the organization or type of brand. All that is needed to reach this point is to do some serious study on how people respond to a particular post. But IG has provided a shortcut to this.

First, a business account should be set to business. This opens Instagram’s amazing features for business. These include information on how well each post performed and what are the times in which followers are online.

#3-personal-time

It sounds as a pot with golden eggs! That is because it is! Go to the “followers” section of Instagram Insights. Tapping or clicking on “more information” pulls up invaluable information about followers.

The information includes very intuitive graphs about gender, age, and top locations of followers. Scrolling past that will lead to a visual graph displaying when followers are most active. This graph shows which are the peak times. That is the period at which most followers are active on the site.

If you see a trend on peak moments, then those are the ones in which a post is more likely to get likes, comments, and shares. Here is something to test. Identify the peak hours per day. Post minutes before those times and watch how engagement drives itself. Some tweaking might be necessary occasionally as it is not an exact science.

Getting the Most Out of The Best Personal Time

These peak times mentioned above will not necessarily always come at ideal ones. A window of opportunity might be missed, and this could be an issue. There are two ways to go around this. They both have to do with automation. So, it takes away the pressure out of the way.

The first option is to use post-scheduling apps like HootSuite and Buffer. Once the best options to post have been identified, schedule posting at such hours. This is especially useful for brands that have fans overseas. Uploading at other time zones’ peak hours is not naturally possible. But if posts are scheduled, there’s no need even to be online to ensure that they get uploaded.

Another strategy to use applies when the best personal times have been nailed has to do with using money wisely. Tailor Instagram ads in such a way that they only run during those peak hours. This is especially useful for those running on a low budget.

It is important to keep in mind that if these ads run during peak periods, this may actually increase its CPC. But this should not discourage. If done properly, it will give a good return on investment.

Dealing With a Diverse Audience

The issue with audiences located in diverse time zones or even other continents is that the interaction there will not look as dynamic as more local audiences.

#4-diverse-audience

This makes it tricky since the bar graph will probably show pretty much the same amount of interaction. How can one then tell what the peak hours were during sleeping times? Here are some strategies that can be put into place:

Post on Times Where Both Audiences Could be Online

For instance, if a good hour for posting is 10 am locally, and there are reasons to believe that 8 pm in another time zone at the same time there might be some interaction, pick that one. Or posts can be done at different periods trying to match both demographics. Post original content always or even overlap strategies.

Target The Most Valuable Audience

There probably is a portion of followers that are most likely to interact. This is shown in their activity. Try sharing on those times in order to get post gain momentum quickly.

Focus on The Most Engaged Audiences

To increase the lifespan of your posts, it is important to post at times where audiences are more engaged. This happens during a certain moment of the day. The focus must be there. Distinguish between engagement and impressions. The latter is good, but engagement is also essential. Make sure to post on hours where a sweet combination of both can be achieved.

What Has Been Learned So Far

Interestingly, it has been shown that most IG users start the day there before hitting the grind. So, 5 am posts can be engaging. This works especially on Thursday and Friday. Another great hour during weekdays that get engagement is at noon. There is a small window of opportunity at noon when people are usually having lunch.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Nonprofits

Scores have shown that the best time for nonprofits to post is around 4 pm during weekdays. At least, the 20 most successful nonprofits do so. Last year, these organizations saw significant engagement at 10 am. Around these times seem to be optimal for nonprofits.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Nonprofits
 
The most engagement was achieved on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays trailing back really close. In summary, these are the times that nonprofits are most likely to get positive results. From their posts:
 

  1. The best periods were found to be Tuesdays at 3 pm, and 9 pm, Wednesdays at 3 pm and 4 pm, Thursdays at 2 pm and 3 pm, and Fridays at 10 am and 2 pm.
  2. The positive engagement was most consistent during Wednesdays from noon to 5 pm.
  3. The absolute best day to post is Tuesdays.
  4. Nonprofits should steer clear off Saturdays, as there is little to no interaction that day.

As with any other organization, a tailored schedule after making a sensitive study is important. It is noted, though, that nonprofits get a rather wider window on Wednesdays.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Professional Services

Professional social media services usually post educational content in the form of links to videos and blog post. People seem to prefer consuming this type of content early in the morning.

This Is How Pro Services Should Take Advantage of That:

  • The best options to post for professional services is between 9 am, and 10 am.
  • Weekdays are good, but the best interactions are achieved on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • The worst days are the weekend. It appears like audiences do not wish to get educated during weekends.

Professional services should take advantage of this small window. People wish to consume the type of content they provide but only a bit later into the morning.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Travel and Tourism

Audiences are more likely to interact with travel and tourism content as they plan for their weekend. Not that everyone will be traveling, but the desire is there. According to studies, the most engagement with this sector happened between 11 am and 1 pm. There is also some engagement between 9 am, and 10 am.

Here’s How Travel & Tourism Agencies Do When It Comes to IG Posting:

  • Posts between 11 am & 1 pm especially got engagement. There is some chance of engagement at 9 am & 10 am.
  • Friday was the best performing day.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday trailed closely behind Friday.

Monday and Tuesdays seem to be days in which people are reminiscing on the activities of the weekend. This will give a good opportunity to create positive content.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Consumer Goods

Businesses selling products directly to clients also have a specified moment in which they generate the most feedback with customers. It has been seen that lunch hours seem to be a good period to post for this sector. It seems as lunch is when people will take advantage of to make a little shopping here and there.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Consumer Goods
 

In Summary, This Is What Publishing on Instagram Looks like for Consumer Goods Brands:

  • The best time to post on Instagram for these brands is Saturdays at 11 am and 1 pm.
  • Every day from 10 am to 3 pm consumer goods companies see consistent engagement.
  • The day that saw more interaction was Wednesday.
  • Monday saw very little engagement with this sector.

People love shopping for stuff. But even they have a specific hour in which they will click that “Shop Now” banner. An exhaustive study on what works best will definitely generate positive results.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Food & Beverage

It is perhaps easy to see that the best time for this industry is around lunch. It is a no-brainer that this is thanks to the fact that people are looking for their food and beverages. Whether they are looking for a restaurant to visit or just trying to find inspiration against their sad desk lunch, this is where an engagement takes place.

Check out How Food & Beverage Will Get the Most Engagement:

  • The most engaging day of the week for restaurants are Fridays. This is where all weekend plans start.
  • Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday revealed to be the next best days to post on Instagram for this industry.
  • The best hours to post and get engagement is around noon.

Food and beverage industries should always share quality photos to ensure that engagement. For the most part, people love food, and a high-quality photo will probably inspire them.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Non-Retail E-commerce

Most success for non-retail e-commerce companies comes from posting at night and later in the evening. It seems like people want to interact with entertaining content but until work is over.

The Following Are the Pointers to Be Followed by the Non-Retail E-Commerce Industry:

  • Definitively late in the evening and at night drives the most engaged audience for this business.
  • The most successful day Thursday, still during the evening.
  • Another great option is at 4 pm.
  • Any other time might prove to have very little effect when it comes to publishing to Instagram for this business.

This line of the industry really has some of the narrowest windows. This means that quality posts should be sought in order to get the best engagement.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Tech

People are usually crazy about technology. This is one of the industries that is always at the forefront of people’s likes and interactions. But even such a mind-ingrained industry like technology must have the wits at the right hours.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Tech
 

The Following Is a Summary of the Best Options for the Tech to Post on Instagram:

  • Studies found the most engagement taking place on Wednesday at 10 am. It is important to note that this window is rather narrow. This means that perhaps this time should be taken more as a starting point.
  • Wednesday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm offered the most consistent engagement.
  • The best day for Tech companies to post is Thursday.
  • Apparently, not many people want to hear about tech on Sundays. The worst engagement was found there.

The best variants for the tech to post on Instagram are actually kind of wide. A thorough study is needed to find the personal best times.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Media and Entertainment

Studies reveal that people like to engage with their media news while they are enjoying their lunch. The after lunch is ideal to find some inspiration or a little chuckle here and there.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Media
 

Here’s a Summary for the Best Periods for Media and Entertainment to Have the Best Engagement:

  • The best choice for Media and Entertainment occur at 2 pm and 3 pm.
  • Right after that, people were eager to hear about these businesses at noon and 1 pm.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to post. Mondays and Saturdays are strong too.

People want to get their good fix of entertainment pretty much any period of the day. Possibly, it is a matter of capturing a community of loyal fans.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Education

Educational institutions find a great opportunity to post about their events, inspirational quotes, and promotions about their schools, among other stuff. But the right time also works wonders for educational institutions.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Education
 

Here Is a Brief Summary of the Best Times for Educational Institutions to Post:

  • Mondays at 8 pm generated the most engagement when publishing on Instagram.
  • Weekdays from 11 am to 4 pm have the most consistent interactions.
  • When it comes to education, people are more eager to hear about it on Mondays.
  • Sunday is the worst day for educational institutions.

To have their community interact with them, schools and higher ed institutions must look for the right timing. This will avoid important information to rest in oblivion.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Healthcare

Healthcare is a very important industry. They should thrive on posting at hours where the most public will listen. Mornings and a little past noon seem to be the best options to post and get the public’s attention and interaction.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Healthcare
 

Here’s What the Best Times for Healthcare Look Like:

  • Weekdays at 9 am seems to be where audiences interact with health posts.
  • The best time and day found in one study revealed Tuesdays at 1 pm.
  • Tuesdays to Fridays from 9 am to 4 pm found the most positive engagement.
  • The best day to post is Tuesday.
  • The worst days for this industry to post are Saturday and Sunday.

Audiences need a break from their tech news during the weekends. If posts are needed up those days, it is necessary to make studies to determine personal best periods.

Best Posting Time on Instagram for Personal Care

Companies concerned with cosmetics find the greatest engagement when posting earlier in the afternoon near the end of the work week. Grooming and beauty are strong services that customers will always be looking for. But this search does not last all day long. This is why knowing the best hours for this is important.

The Best Days:

  • The best day and times on Instagram for the personal care industry is Friday and Thursday at 1,2 and 3 pm.
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays are good options as well.

Saving those times will generate consistent participation of followe

Instagram Timing Best Practices [Infographic]

Instagram Timing Best Practices Infographic

Following what has been exposed above increases chances of getting dynamic interactions with customers and leads. But there are some timing best practices that help boost a post without having to pay for it.

1. Know What The Audience is About

Knowing the location, habits, routines, etc., of the audience is critical to successful Instagram campaigns. Instagram analytics is a powerful tool that reveals crucial information about when they are using the app more often, and what type of content do they like best.

Most importantly, this analytics will tell what the timezone of your most engaged audience is. This must be considered at the moment of having to post something online.

2. Find Top Time Zones and Know When Followers Are Online

As stated earlier, Instagram insight is a powerful tool that helps decide when is the best time to publish content. This information provides key points on the time zones of the most active crowds and everything else there is to know about an audience.

Keep in mind that this analytics are only available for business accounts. Uploading during the best hours must then consider time zones. So, go ahead to the app’s native analytics tool and search for the zones at which more engagement is achieved. There is another equally valuable information provided on Instagram Insights, including age, gender, location, and other demographics. Keep in mind that these analytical tools are only available for business accounts.

These tools can be used to discover when are the most active followers connecting to content and at what time zone. In this way, the strategy will be more targeted toward audiences that will respond to a post.

3. Know The Location of Followers

This information will provide better insights on when to post. If a business has followers in several time zones, it is important to try and reach them as well

#1-location-followers

For example, a business publishing only at appropriate local times will miss the opportunity to reach followers from France, for instance, if posts are made at difficult periods for them. Hence, post-scheduling should be put in place to try and reach as many people as possible.

4. Use The Proper Hashtags

People can now follow hashtags that interest them. Therefore, they can do wonders for a business. Use a hashtag that is trending at the moment. This will drive some of the attention to your brand. Also, use relevant hashtags.

5. Practice Techniques to Build Engagement

Encourage followers to voice their opinions. Respond to comments and questions. This will give the impression of an active account and will help a post stay at the top of the feed.

6. Enhance Content

Instagram success is not only about timing. There are other factors that come into place. There also needs to be photos that look professional, memorable captions, and proper hashtags.

To take it a step further, Instagram shopping is a good idea. With this idea in mind, create an effective landing page for customers to browse the products.

7. Focus on Times When People Are Off Work

While people are spending time at work during the 9-to-5, they are very unlikely to check their phone and go into social media. It is when they get that lunch break or after the 5 that they are more likely to interact. From 7 pm to 9 pm is also a prime time to post.

8. Schedule Posts

Use scheduling posts like Hootsuite to schedule posts. This is especially useful when an audience from overseas can be engaged at difficult local hours. Some of these scheduling sites also offer suggested uploading times based on the level of activity of followers.

9. Tell More Stories

Stories have the advantage of being a tool to create content without spamming followers with posts. There is less competition in stories, so take advantage of it. As long as users are watching stories, the post will show up.

#2-tell-me-more

10. Keep Testing

Times change with the seasons. This is why it is important always to keep testing different hours. The algorithm to measures users’ activity is updated. Followers’ behavior changes. Demographics are in constant motion. There is nothing static in social media.

11. Don’t Lose Track of Analytics

The principle here is rather simple. Instagram Analytics provides insights into what worked better (pretty much like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics). This drives to do that same thing as it is working. It is great to use this information to keep doing more of what is working.

Keep These 3 Useful Tips in Mind

Nothing is hard-set in social media. Audiences vary with time. But there are some general rules that can even help through changing times:

Deliver Content to The Most Active Timezones

This one pretty much explains by itself. Check what the most active timezones are. All the periods scheduled for posting, do them during that time and not the local one.

Post Important Content on Weekdays

Throughout all this content, one thing to highlight and is common to all sectors is that weekends are not too effective in generating engagement. The differences are actually slight, though, but they can produce very different results. Of course, there are exceptions for this and changes occur even within the same organization.

Post More During Off-Work Times

As stated earlier, people are not likely to open their phones while they are at their work. So, the best times to post on Instagram are usually lunchtime and evenings. If these hours are difficult, users can schedule these post through the appropriate tools.

The Worst Time to Post on Instagram

Several things have been established throughout this piece. But primarily, it must come the understanding of all companies that weekends are not the best days to post on Instagram. This basically comes from studies and example. People do not want to go to social media during the precious weekend during which they are just winding out.

Just as there is the best period for sharing, there is also the worst part. Do not fall into the trap of believing that more people interact with a brand during the weekend. That is a long cry from the truth.

Studies have shown over and over again that weekends should be steered from. During weekdays the time between 3 am and 5 pm, is a good play. But once again, this schedule will more likely depend on a personal study.


FAQ Section

Can You Schedule Posts on Instagram Business?

Absolutely. But only through a third-party app. There are plenty of tools out there that will help post especially for different timezones. Tools such as Hootsuite and HubSpot allow users to schedule posts and have them posted automatically. Luckily, Instagram’s API allows these applications to post on behalf of businesses.

Scheduling is very easy. All that is needed is an account with one of these tools. The user provides the Instagram account, and a dashboard for scheduling is provided. Once again, note that in order for these apps to post, the IG account must not be private.

How Many Times a Day Should You Post on Instagram?

In order for an account to look alive and well, the periodic posting must be done. This is how engagement is generated, and interactions come flowing. The question here is how often this encouragement should take place? The idea here is to be active but without spamming followers in such a way that they run away.

Now, most successful brands post 1.5 times a day. If you follow suit, you will see success as well. However, it is important that this uploading is consistent.

How Many Posts Can You Have on Instagram?

After testing all the possible limits on Instagram, none was found to the number of posts an account may have. There are limits to the number of posts that can be posted per day. That number is 100 posts per day.

But the number of posts on Instagram should not be as important as publishing content that really matters. Being this app one that rests on looks, businesses should look for quality posts that contribute to the aesthetics of the brand.

Why Can’t I Follow More Than 7500 on Instagram?

If one person is detected by Instagram to be on a following spree, it will send them a message warning them that their activity is considered unwanted.

Now, to help reduce spam, Instagram limited the number of people being followed to 7,500. Some businesses usually randomly pick people to follow to grab their attention towards their products. Since that behavior can be considered annoying by some users, Instagram does not allow more than the number mentioned. If a person tries to follow more than that, they will get an error message. Those who have more than 7,500 followings did it before the rule was made.


The Top Takeaway

Timing is definitively a decisive factor to whether a post is successful or not. All the times suggested above are precisely that, a suggestion. It is to be understood that the best timing is the one that results from a thorough personal study.

One characteristic of all this is its flexibility. Times change and so do demographics and people’s way of thinking. A good campaign knows this and makes changes accordingly.

Published: May 07, 2019 | Updated: September 26, 2019
rating: 5 vote[s]: 1
Matt Robinson

Matt Robinson

Matt is an experienced technical writer and translator skilled in writing targeted texts for a variety of audiences. He has a diversified background, including social media management of various products. He is a data-driven strategist and a passionate story-teller. He posts about all social innovations and delivers high-quality research and content to our readers.

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