Instagram is more than just a platform for sharing photos, reels, and other content with friends. You can use it to market your products and interact with your target audience. You can create an account on the platform and share content to help sell your products.
You can also use Instagram ads and the platform's sales functionalities to make people buy from you. If you're an influencer, small business owner, or marketer looking to grow your market through Instagram, this complete guide is for you.
You can leverage this photo-based platform for sales, engagement, and connection. With two billion people with Instagram accounts using the platform monthly, there's no limit to what a business can do with a dedicated social media management strategy.
However, more than knowing what to post is required. You must also know the best time to share content on your account. Should you post early morning, mid-day, or late at night? Knowing the specific timings allows you to maximize each post's impact on your followers. Also, knowing when your followers are most active can encourage maximum Instagram engagement.
Why does Instagram posting time matter?
Instagram is constantly tweaking the platform algorithm. This scenario only means time is of the essence when you want your posts to rank in your users' feeds and add newer features. However, if you're only concerned about basic ranking, you should look at these three main features.
- Interests: Content with a similar theme to what you liked in the past will show up on top of your feed.
- Relationship: Accounts and posts you frequently interact with will rank better and appear on your Instagram feed.
- Recency: Most recent content is prioritized, so they rank better on your Instagram feed for days.
Among these three factors, recency is the most important one. Therefore, picking the optimal time to share content becomes more critical. The more active platform users see your post, the better your engagement rate becomes.
Also, if you continue sharing recent posts, you tell your audience you’re proactive. Your customers will decide whether your brand is worthy of their business. With this social proof, you can earn their trust. After all, no one wants to do business with a dying brand.
If most of your followers see your post, your engagement rate will increase within an hour after posting. This fact determines how many feeds your post will appear to amplify your engagement long after posting it.
What does this scenario mean for your business? It only means you must be strategic when picking the time of day to share your post for saves, comments, and likes. You need to pick a time when your target audience is most active. This method can ensure the best results.
You must post frequently at peak times to maximize the recency factor and achieve great results. Doing so allows your brand to be shown more regularly in user feeds.
Posting Reels on Instagram: When is the best time for this?
Reels are the latest trend, which explains why everybody's using them. Last year's statistics revealed that 58 percent of marketers intend to use reels this year. If you have not utilized Instagram reels, now is the right time to get acquainted with its features. You'll find out how it can offer flabbergasting visibility and reach.
When you post reels on Instagram, you’re more open with your target audience. This Instagram marketing strategy can help you achieve higher engagement than mere photos. Doing so is like showing a different side of the business. With more animated content, you’re giving life to your brand. You’re also telling your audience that you’re a legitimate business.
With the rising popularity of reels comes the question of when it's best to post them on your account. The ideal posting time depends significantly on factors like audience, industry, and location. If you still need to figure it out, kickstart your reels optimization effort by following these average best posting times.
- Mondays: 3 AM and 7 PM
- Tuesdays: 12 AM, 1 AM, and 6 AM
- Wednesdays: 4 AM, 6 AM, and 9 PM
- Thursdays: 6 AM and 4 PM
- Fridays: 2 AM, 11 AM, and 1 PM
- Saturdays: 9 AM, 4 PM, and 5 PM
- Sundays: 5 AM, 8 AM, and 1 PM
Remember to use Instagram Stories, too. There's no need to worry about the time when you're just posting for leisure, without agenda. However, if you're operating a business, you'd want your audience to view your story and visit your page. In that case, time will indeed matter.
If you want to improve your engagement by 100 or 200 percent more than a regular Instagram post, post your story between 11 AM to 2 PM on weekdays. Note that all timing suggestions in this section are in Pacific Time Zone (PST).
When is the best day to post on the platform?
Of all the days of the week, the ideal day to share your post on Instagram is Monday. Also, you'll get the highest average follower engagement when you publish a post around 5 AM (local time across different time zones). If you're the first one to post every week, your content gets the best chance to be viewed by your followers.
Best Posting Time Per Day
Earlier, we discussed the best times to share your Instagram stories and reels. Now, let's discuss the ideal times to post other types of content. Again, note that these are calculated locally across various time zones.
- Mondays: The ideal time to share a post on Instagram on a Monday is around 5 AM. This day marks a new week. Your followers are often eager to see and interact with content within the first few hours of the day, specifically before they clock in for work.
- Tuesdays: It's ideal to share a post around 7 AM on a Tuesday. People are usually up early in the morning on Mondays. However, more people still lie in their beds on Tuesdays until around 7 AM.
- Wednesdays: On Wednesdays, choose to share content on Instagram around 3 AM. Aside from that, engagement levels are also more stable between 2 AM to 6 AM.
- Thursdays: It's best to share your Instagram posts between 3 AM and 5 AM on Thursday.
- Fridays: Choose to post your content around 7 AM on Fridays. Engagement levels are also consistent between 5 AM to 8 AM on this day.
- Saturdays: This day has the lowest engagement level of all weekdays. Since this day is officially the start of the weekend, people might be enjoying some time offline. However, if you still want to post on Saturdays, do this around 1 AM.
- Sundays: Saturdays are different from Sundays regarding engagement levels. You can still see significant engagement levels on this day. Consider posting around 1 AM. Also, you can see some engagement until 7 AM. The said engagement drops after this and leaps back again around 11 PM.
Posting by Location: When is the best time to do it?
Location is also a significant factor in determining the best time to share content on Instagram. Audiences from different regions show varying behaviors heavily influenced by overlapping time zones. Consider the following locations and best times to share Instagram content.
- Africa: 2 AM to 3 AM
- Australasia: 11 PM to 12 AM
- Canada Central: 10 PM to 12 AM
- Canada East Coast: 11 PM to 4 AM
- East and Southeast Asia: 6 AM to 8 AM
- Eastern Europe: 5 AM to 7 AM
- Middle East: 4 AM
- South America: 5 AM
- UK: 3 AM to 4 AM
- US and Canada West Coast: 9 PM to 12 AM
- Western Europe: 4 AM to 6 AM
These local times are excellent references if you're still starting. However, if you want to maximize the engagement potential of your posts, it's best to figure out your personalized time zone. Keep a content calendar and try out reliable analytics tools. Also, utilize Instagram insights. After which, you can just let the Instagram algorithm work for you.
How To Find the Best Posting Time on Instagram
Every brand has a different best time to post on Instagram. This posting schedule depends on the unique behavior of each brand's target market. However, social media marketers can still follow some best practices to get good results overall.
Here are two of these proven and tested methods.
Instagram Analytics via SocialPilot
Three factors affect the best Instagram posting time: timezone, days of the week, and audience. SocialPilot's analytics features can help users figure out all these factors in a single dashboard.
Here's how. The "Time Range" functionality allows users to pick the exact time frame of insights within the analytics section. The good news is you can download, view, and even email your account's analytics report. You can download reports from as far back as three months ago.
Aside from the said filter, you can also utilize the tool's heat map. This functionality allows users to calculate the average active follower numbers per hour and every day of the week. Doing this gives you a bespoke ideal time to post your Instagram content. Additionally, you can figure out who your followers are, their age, gender, and other significant insights.
SocialPilot's Reels analytics allows you to check your video plays, likes, interactions, and reach. You can utilize these insights to review your account's growth and gauge the kind of content appealing to your target audience.
Instagram Creator Studio or Insights
Apart from SocialPilot, you can explore Instagram's native analytics functionality to figure out the best time to share a post on Instagram. There are two different ways of doing this: through your mobile app or Instagram Creator Studio.
The mobile app is convenient for finding essential insights like follower demographics. Knowing your market’s location, age, gender, and time when they're active on the platform can give you a competitive advantage. You can do this by accessing your business account.
Remember to build a creator's profile first. You can use the platform's Creator Studio when you have a creator's profile.
Like the platform's native insights functionality, Creators Studio allows you access to various audience insights to figure out the ideal time to share on Instagram. The only shortcoming of the native insights is they only provide your followers' online information for the last seven days.
Best Practices in Finding the Best Time to Post on Instagram
If you need help figuring out where to start and how to post on Instagram, learn from these proven and tested social media strategies.
Look at your most successful posts
Before anything else, you must know your objectives. Are you posting to increase engagement or improve brand awareness? Your Instagram posting approach could significantly change based on these goals. You can start assessing your plan by answering the following questions:
- Which among your past Instagram posts earned the strongest impressions and maximum engagement?
- When did you post the said content?
- What Instagram captions did you add?
- Is this post similar or different from other posts getting likes?
- What does the number of likes say about your most engaging content?
Your Instagram analytics and insights are the best sources of truth in this case. However, not all tools function equally. The good news is some tools and apps can spare you from the tough job of data crunching. These tools include Hootsuite, Later, SocialPilot, Sprout Social, and more. Check these tools out and pick the best one.
See when your target market is most active on Instagram
After establishing your goals and objectives, check your analytics results to determine when your followers are most active on the platform. Marketers must know their target audience. For example, you're eyeing college sports fans scrolling through their Instagram feed. In that case, their active hours may differ from tech executives who wake up at dawn.
Tools that help you figure out the best time to post on Instagram can break down these pieces of information and form a heatmap. It would also be best to experiment with predicting time slots when your Instagram followers are most active online. Suppose you want to try new tactics. In that case, it's good to choose new time slots. Choose those you haven't used within the past month.
When experimenting with time slots, it’s best to use scheduling tools. These tools can automate content for you. You can also pair other tools to help your social media posts get the most engagement on a workday or weekend.
Study the posting times of your competitors
Your competitors may also experiment with their posting schedules depending on the industry. Social comparative analysis or social listening allows you to keep track of the strategies that work for your competitors.
Note that most brands post on Instagram at the hour mark. If you want to beat the competition with high engagement, post your content a few minutes after or before the next hour.
Consider your target market's time zone
If your audience is global or in a different time zone, your best time to post may be at 3 AM. Instead of waking up at odd hours, try using an Instagram scheduler to automate your posts. This way, your posts can go up at the right time every day without you having to post them manually.
Track, tweak, and adjust
Optimizing your posts would take a lot of work, and it's more than just looking for the right filter. However, reviewing the numbers is, in fact, one of the best methods of improving your market reach. Look at your top-performing or most engaging posts per week and check for insights that can help you reassess and rework your posting cadence and marketing strategy.
The pandemic significantly changed the way people work and spend their time. More people spend less time taking traditional lunch breaks and commuting to work. This trend gave your audience more time to scroll through their phones. As a result, they also have more time throughout their day to scroll through social media accounts.
As the world changes, so do audience habits. To keep up, schedule a reminder to reevaluate your analytics, insights, and other results.
It's a great practice to systematically post content to social media platforms to reap the rewards. You may not immediately see jaw-dropping bumps in engagement after posting once within a prescribed time slot. However, the timing of your posts matters. You'll soon see the needle move if you remain consistent with your schedule.
If your target market falls into the habit of seeing your content pop up on their Instagram feed, they'll enjoy what you share. Soon, they'll naturally engage with it. Keeping your Instagram presence consistent can help your brand build trust, credibility, and meaningful audience relationships.
The platform's algorithm will notice when you establish a solid and authentic audience connection. If you do the heavy lifting by building that connection, your bottom line will follow suit.
Brands That Are Crushing It on Instagram
If you're looking for inspiration, check out these companies that are killing it on Instagram. Since their social media presence is on point, they've seen unprecedented growth in engagement and sales in a short period. Learn from them and watch your following, engagement, and sales grow by leaps and bounds.
Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
This restaurant utilizes a straightforward marketing strategy to improve brand credibility and increase followers. They're just posting as many mouth-watering food photos as they can. It allowed its menu to stand and defend itself. Aside from that, they also share fun Instagram stories at the right time. With this strategy, they're building a solid online presence.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
NASA has been successful on Instagram by utilizing stories to engage with its followers in a fun and easy-to-understand way. Instead of sharing complex space news, they use stunning visuals to attract people of all ages. They've also consistently posted recent content that keeps them relevant and engaging. These practices put NASA on top of their target user’s feeds.
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen is doing well on Instagram by using polls. In one poll, they asked visitors if they like crispy or non-crispy bacon. This kind of strategy made people engaged as they wanted their answers included. They also have their username to get more followers. They use yummy food pictures in their polls and other posts to get more clicks.
Apart from all these activities, the brand has also consistently posted recent content at a specific time to keep its followers engaged. They understand they must go the extra mile to keep their followers interested.
Tentsile, an outdoor tools and gear retailer, makes Instagram users excited by showing beautiful locations in their product pictures. They want users to share these experiences by sharing user-submitted photos on their page so visitors feel more connected and know the company does not stage the images.
Like the other brands on the list, Tentsile also makes an effort to post content at a time when its followers are most active. They appear on people's feeds because of the recent and relevant content they share.
GoPro uses awesome pictures to advertise its products on Instagram. They show you the photos you can take with their cameras and share special sales in their posts. Surprisingly, with the different gadgets coming out in the market, GoPro remains relevant. This success is primarily because of the way they engage with their audience.
Aside from the fantastic photos they share, they also involve their followers in their posts. They share recent content that always appeals to their followers.
Pro Tip: People who see your brand on their Instagram feed more often will like and interact with your content. Being on Instagram regularly makes your audience trust you more. This consistent positive online image can help you forge a better relationship with them.
Upgrade Your Brand and Social Media Presence With Archive
Instagram is a powerful tool for marketers and businesses. With billions of users actively using the platform, any brand can make it big. With the right tools and strategies executed at the right time, any brand can improve its online presence, increase engagement, and boost its conversion rate.
Explore tools to help you figure out the best posting time on the platform. Aside from these tools, use Archive to help you seamlessly and strategically repurpose your content.
Discover even more valuable insights and effective strategies for maximizing your business's presence on Instagram by exploring our website today.
Improving your online presence is essential in building your brand. If you want to be where your target audience is, post when they're most active. Do this and more with Archive. Get in touch with us today!
FAQs on Best Times To Post on Instagram
Is it better to post twice daily on Instagram?
The ideal Instagram posting frequency is only once a day. This frequency can already help you achieve a decent reach level. You can post on the platform twice daily but never go beyond that. The platform might tag your content as spammy if you go overboard. This move will surely defeat the purpose of posting.
What is the worst day and time to post on Instagram?
Posting on a weekend, especially on a Saturday, is not a good idea. Your target market might be offline since it's the start of the weekend. The worst time to post is too late at night or early in the morning when your followers are still asleep.
When is the platform most active?
If you want your post to get the highest engagement, post mid-morning on Wednesdays and Fridays. If you wish to have consistent engagement, post from Wednesdays to Saturdays. Do it from 10 AM to 8 PM.