Finding out the best time to post on Instagram is the same as finding the best time to do anything – it depends on several things. Many factors determine when the best time for you to post is, and we’re here to help you figure it out.
We’ll give you some general tips, and then we’ll get into the nitty gritty of when to post based on your specific account and followers. Keep reading to learn when the best time to post on Instagram is for YOU.
First, we’ve compiled research by Later, Hootsuite, and SearchEngineJournal to give you an idea of what times per day get the most engagement.
For context, Later’s research is based on 35 million global Instagram posts, while SEJ’s recommendations are for EST. Meanwhile, Hootsuite’s results are recorded in US Pacific Time.
Seeing all this research, you’ll notice some similarities. All studies show that mornings, lunchtime, and after-work hours get the most engagement. These are good sections to start on.
This is the first question you need to answer when determining the best time to post on Instagram. If most of your followers are in a different timezone than you, you’ll need to adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
For example, if you live on the United States East Coast but have many West Coast followers, you might want to consider posting an hour or two later than usual. On the other hand, if you have international followers, you’ll need to be even more mindful of time differences.
The best way to figure out what timezone your followers are in is to take a look at the analytics of your past posts. When do you get the most engagement? That’s probably when most of your followers are online.
This is another important question to consider when figuring out the best time to post on Instagram.
If you’re someone who posts multiple times a day, you might want to space out your postings so that they’re more spread out throughout the day. This way, your followers will have a chance to see all of your content and won’t get overwhelmed by a ton of notifications from you.
However, if you only post once or twice a week, you may want to post all of your content simultaneously. This way, your followers will know when to expect new content from you and can plan accordingly.
Although this differs from person to person, there are some general time periods when Instagram users are more active.
First, think about how a regular person would use the app. They’re probably going to check it when they wake up in the morning, during their lunch break, and before they go to bed at night. That means that mornings (6 AM to 8 AM), noons (11 AM to 1 PM), and evenings (6 to 8 PM) are usually good times to post.
Of course, this isn’t always the case. Some people are more active on social media during work hours because they have more free time then. If that’s the case for your followers, you can adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
While there are general times to look at when it comes to posting, you also have to consider your specific audience.
If you’re targeting working professionals, they will probably be most active during lunch breaks and after work. But if you are talking to stay-at-home parents, you might want to reach them during the day while their kids are in school.
Your analytics will be able to tell you more. Take a look at when your past posts have gotten the most engagement and try to post at similar times in the future.
It's hard to determine the best time for posting without considering the nature of the content you'll be sharing. After all, a meme does not have the same goal as a promotional post! With that in mind, here are some content types and examples for when to post them:
1. Product Posts: If you're promoting a product, you'll want to post during typical "buying times." This means posting during lunchtime or right after work.
2. Memes: Memes are meant to be funny, so it’s ideal to post them when people are most likely to be scrolling and laughing. This means evenings and weekends.
3. Inspirational Quotes: These perform best in the morning when people start their day and look for a little inspiration.
4. Behind-the-Scenes Photos: People love seeing what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite brands. If you have some fun photos to share, post them on a Monday or Tuesday to give your followers something to look forward to during their work week.
5. User-Generated Content: If you're sharing content that was created by one of your followers, it's best to post it in the evening. This way, more people will see it as they're winding down from their day and scrolling through Instagram.
To level up your Instagram posts, take a look at our tips on how to create cool Instagram photos.
The type of content you plan to post also plays a role in engagement. While the static feed has been the king for the longest time, the introduction of Reels changed the game. Nowadays, it seems like Instagram is pushing for more Reels content, and feed posts are taking a backseat.
If you want to reach new audiences and see a significantly better engagement for your Instagram, try formulating a Reels strategy instead.
There are a few time periods that are generally accepted as being the worst times to post on Instagram.
The first is between 3 PM and 4 PM. This is considered the “dead zone” because people are usually finishing up work or school and haven’t had a chance to check their social media yet. Avoid this time if you can help it.
The second time to avoid is around 8 PM onwards. This is when people are winding down for the night and getting ready for bed. They’re not likely to be scrolling through their feed at this time.
Finally, avoid posting late at night or very early in the morning. These are called the “graveyard hours” because people are asleep and not using social media. Posting during these times is a waste because no one will see your content.
With more than one billion active monthly users, Instagram is a powerful platform with a lot of potential for businesses and individuals alike. Posting at the right time can help you reach more people, get more engagement, and even get more sales.
But how do you figure out the best time to post on Instagram? There are several ways to determine when the optimum time to post is for your account specifically.
First, take a look at your own engagement patterns. When do you tend to get the most likes and comments? If you post at a time when you’re already getting good engagement, that’s a great sign that it’s a good time to post for your followers in general.
Second, use an analytics tool. If you have a business account on Instagram, you can access insights showing you when your followers are online. This valuable information can help you determine the best time to post.
Finally, experiment! Try out different times and days of the week to see when you get the most engagement. Once you find a pattern, stick with it for a while and see if you continue to get good results.
There are generally ideal times to post on Instagram, but it all depends on your audience, the content you create and which time zones you are targeting.
No matter when you post on Instagram, as long as your content is engaging and you’re using hashtags, you’ll be bound to reach new audiences and bring in more followers. Keep these tips in mind next time you go to post, and experiment with different times to see what works best for you!
Sometimes, posting at the right times is not enough. Perhaps you simply need more people to see your content! When it comes to likes, views, comments, and followers, SocialShaft can help you elevate your Instagram game. Contact us today!