Maybe you thought you had it all figured out. You worked really hard on building a branding strategy, complete with that beautiful logo. You also secured that awesome handle on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube — the one that matches your store domain.
On top of that, you’ve done the homework and read everything you could on how to enhance photos of your products, so you know your photo game is strong. And yet…
Your posts don’t get a whole lotta likes. Your engagement metrics are lower than you’d like. And you just can’t really reach a good engagement rate with your followers.
It’s tough, no doubt. But sometimes the solution is easier than you might think: You’re just not posting your content at the right time. In fact, figuring out the best time to post on Instagram can actually help you reach your target audience at the right time and encourage them to engage with your posts on a new level.
Today, we’re taking a look at everything you need to know to post on Instagram at the right time and really captivate your audience. Keep scrolling to find out more!
⏱️You’re interested in finding out the best time to post on Instagram, but you’re also looking for other Instagram-related content? We can help!
Why bother with the best time to post on Instagram?
You’re probably thinking: Why, exactly, should I bother with finding out the best time to post on Instagram? How can knowing this kind of data help me increase sales and get more followers?
Well, it’s true that the connection might not look so evident right from the start. But the truth is that having this kind of data will help you not just reap better results, but also reach a wider Instagram audience. Here’s why:
It’s relevant for your social media strategy
If you’re set on having a social media presence, you probably know that you can’t just “go with the flow” and post whenever you feel like it.
In fact, the truth of the matter is that a brand’s presence on Instagram revolves around a very specific strategy that takes into consideration elements like:
- Brand identity: Having posts that are not aligned with your brand identity can confuse followers and visitors.
- Tone of voice: If your brand normally treats customers and followers in a more informal tone, it’s important to keep that tone every time you reply or engage with Instagram users.
- Target audience: Who is your target audience? Instagram is a huge place, and you can’t target everyone all at once.
- Visual consistency: If you’re going for a colorful pallet, don’t post random black-and-white content just because you thought the visual looked better.
- Written content and overall message: You’ve probably already taken your time in learning how to write a mission statement, correct? Well, put that knowledge into your written posts, too.
- Storytelling: Yes, of course you want to make sales — but that doesn’t mean you should be shoving products down the users’ Instagram feeds. Remember: Your Instagram posts, Stories and reels need to tell a story.
Apart from all of those aspects, a social media strategy is also built upon (and adjusted according to) how posts perform after they’re live.
Meaning: After you post, you need to keep track of what went right and what went wrong, so you can better adjust your content. And, because the Instagram algorithm looks at recency and posting time as ranking factors, your posting strategy won’t be complete before you figure out the best time to post on Instagram.
It’ll help you optimize the workload
Creating content can be a hassle.
First, there’s the whole process of creating: Figuring out what you’re going to post and deciding if it’s going to be a photo or a reel, editing the content, captioning, selecting the right mix of hashtags.
But you actually still have a lot of work to do after you upload everything onto Instagram and hit “Post”. And here’s why.
First, you’ll still need to keep track of what's going on with that post — which means replying to comments, acknowledging the DMs that might pop up, and engaging with followers due to the posts' activity.
Second, your work doesn't end after one post alone, because your Instagram account is not made up of one single post, right? In fact, you’ll likely be posting with some frequency. And while that exact frequency will depend on your target audience’s specific online behavior, it’ll probably be something like:
- 3 posts per week + Daily Stories + 2 reels
- 2 posts per week + 2 reels + Stories every other day
- 4 posts per week + Daily Stories + 1 reel
This likely means that you’ll be constantly cranking out new content for Instagram posts, right? Which means that you’ll be constantly posting content, too.
To make your life easier and ensure you won’t spend too much time on those kinds of tasks, you can automate that part with a tool to help you schedule posts. And to properly set those tools up, you’ll need to know the best time to post on Instagram, right?
⏱️Having a posting schedule is also a great productivity boost, and it can also help you stay on top of your daily operations.
It’s a secret to cracking the algorithm
Knowing what is the best time to post on Instagram is also meaningful data to have if you want the Instagram algorithm to work in your favor.
Like we mentioned earlier, the algorithm favors recency. This means that Instagram users tend to view first those posts, Stories and reels that are fresh and were posted within the hour or even less.
You know. Like when you open the Instagram app on your phone and you see a Story from one of your friends, but when you click on it you find out that it was posted just 40 seconds ago.
Awkwardness aside, what this means is that your content will have a higher chance of being seen by your target audience if you post right when those people are most active. Which translates to — you’ve guessed it — identifying the best time to post on Instagram.
✒️ A fair warning, though: The Instagram algorithm also takes other elements into consideration when deciding what it’ll show to a user (and in what order those contents will be). These include, for instance, previous engagement with that account and relevancy.
What can I post on Instagram?
Currently, an Instagram business account is allowed to post four different types of content to connect with their audience:
- Instagram post: The more traditional format and the one that the platform used since its inception. An Instagram post is displayed on the user’s feed and can be made up of photos or videos.
- Reels: The newest format of the list. Reels are Instagram’s reply to TikTok and YouTube Shorts, which means they’re short videos that can be edited with special effects.
- Live: Instagram lives were all the rage during lockdown, and they’re basically a live streaming of any kind of content. From music concerts to poetry readings and interviews, it’s a format that’s extremely versatile.
- Stories: Businesses and influencers already know how to use Instagram Stories, and it’s hard to deny that they have become a mainstay of the platform. Stories last for up to 24 hours and they vanish completely from the platform — unless you save them to your Highlights.
What is the best time to post on Instagram?
Now that we’ve covered why it’s a good idea to know the best time to post on Instagram, it’s nice to actually get those numbers, right?
Well… Here’s the thing: There isn’t just a one-size-fits-all answer. In fact, each day of the week has its own “best time to post on Instagram”.
And, to make matters worse, each type of business niche will likely have their own best time to post on Instagram — after all, the best time is when your followers and customers are online.
We know. And we feel you. Honestly, we do.
But we have good news too! In fact, there has been plenty of research about the topic, and there is now some general consensus about the best time to post. We’ll also share some tips on how you can find the best time to post for your business, in particular.
The best time to publish Instagram posts (overall)
Below you’ll find the general estimate with the best time to post on Instagram. The data was pulled from tons of different marketing research and has proven to be reliable in the past:Monday: 9 am to 10 am, and then again on noon
Tuesday: 9 am to 2 pm
Wednesday: 9 am to 1 pm
Thursday: 12 pm and then again on 5 pm
Friday: 9 am to noon, 2 pm, and then from 5 pm to 6 pm
Saturday: 8 am to noon
Sunday: 10 am and then 7 pm
On that note, let’s keep the momentum going with other important insights. Here are some special tips to make sure your posts reach your Instagram audience.
Hot tips about the best time to post on Instagram
- Lunch breaks are usually when people open up their phones to catch up on their Instagram feed, which is why noon and early afternoon are solid posting times worth considering.
- Apart from the lunch break, another great moment to post is during the early morning. That’ll make sure that people catch your content right when they’re getting ready to commute — or while they’re drinking coffee before firing up their computers (we’re looking at you, home office people!).
- A few different researchers found that Wednesday is one of the best days to post on Instagram.
- Monday mornings also rank among the best time slots to post, since people are usually starting their work hours and in dire need of some quick social media fix to get them through the week.
What is the best time to post reels on Instagram?
It couldn’t hurt to check out the best time to post reels too, right? After all, the format has been growing in popularity ever since its first release back in 2020.
Plus, having content on reels is also great if you’re planning on repurposing those videos in TikTok or YouTube Shorts later on. This sort of strategy can help you cultivate a unique aesthetic to your social media posts, since you’ll be able to create a consistent façade across the internet.
Generally speaking, though, the best time to post on Instagram reels is between 9 am and 12 pm, during the weekdays.
Here’s a breakdown of the best posting times:Monday: 3 am and 7 am
Tuesday: Midnight and 6 am
Wednesday: 4 am, 6 am and 9 pm
Thursday: 6 am
Friday: 11 am and 1 pm
Saturday: 9 am and 5 pm
Sunday: 8 am
Hot tips about Instagram reels
As you’ve noticed, the best time to post on Instagram reels tends to be early morning. And really early in the morning, if we might add.
Why is that so, you ask? Well, this discrepancy is due to the fact that the people tend to engage with reels in a different way then they do with posts and Stories.
Meaning: reels are more likely to be shown as recommended posts or to show up in the Explore tab — especially for people who aren’t really accustomed to engaging with this type of content. This tends to be the case for brands that are dealing with an older target audience, for instance.
The second thing to notice is that, when it comes to reels, the best course of action is to create something that is not necessarily sound-dependent.
This will help people who are commuting to engage with your video even if they don’t have earplugs on, people who don’t like to keep the audio on and even people who have some sort of hearing impairment.
With that in mind, remember to always create captions for your video content. Like this:
Is there a bad time to post on Instagram?
Unfortunately, yes: Sundays, those saddest of days when you’re getting ready for the week ahead but you’re still living up the weekend mode, are the worst days to post.
This doesn’t mean that you are forbidden to post on Sundays, though. Brands that post on Instagram around 10 am or later, around 7 pm, can still reach good results. However, the Instagram engagement levels will likely be a bit lower than what you’d get during the lunch breaks on Wednesday.
Instagram Insights: Are they helpful?
Now that we’ve covered the more general part of the “best time to post on Instagram” topic, we should also take a look at how you’ll find the best time to post for your specific target audience.
There are at least two ways you can find this information out: The first one is conducting a market research to gather insights about customer behavior and preferences.
Having this kind of data will help you make informed decisions when it comes to creating new marketing strategies both for your Instagram account and in other channels too, like email and even strategic ads on platforms like Google.
The second alternative, however, can give you data that is even more relevant because it’ll come directly from your Instagram account: Instagram Insights.
This feature, which is currently available for businesses and creators, allows you to gain insights about your profile’s overall engagement. You can use it to identify how your audience reacted to and engaged with every piece of content you posted — live videos, reels, Stories and official posts.
Because Instagram Insights provides specific data about your Instagram engagement rate, you can use it to identify your brand’s very own best time to post on Instagram.
Pro tips to up your Instagram engagement game
To make sure you make the best out of your posts, it’s always a good idea to pair up the best time to post on Instagram with some pro tips and best practices for businesses. After all, social presence is all about building your brand image and managing your e-reputation.
With that in mind, try to create a social media strategy that allows you to:
- Post on Instagram regularly. Whether you want to post reels, Instagram stories or traditional posts, make sure you post regularly. The algorithm tends to dismiss profiles that post every once in a while without a lot of consistency.
- Post consistently (i.e., be “on brand”). On the other hand, you don’t need to overflow your followers with tons of different content everyday — especially if that content is not on brand for you. Whatever you choose to post, make sure it connects with your brand identity.
- Engage with followers. Like we mentioned before, your work doesn’t stop after you post on Instagram. Make sure you acknowledge comments, reply to followers and repost reels or stories that mention you (these are also great sources of user-generated content, by the way).
4 Social media management tools that can help
Phew, we’re almost done: We went through all the most pressing questions about the best time to post on Instagram, how to find the best posting times for your brand and how to make your content stand out from the rest.
There’s just one thing left to cover: social media management tools.
A social media management tool will help you manage and optimize the way you post on Instagram. You can use it to define posting times, schedule posts, track the overall engagement rate of your posts and identify opportunities to reach the highest engagement possible.
The best part is that a tool like this can also be useful to recalculate and adjust the best time to post on Instagram, since it’ll provide you with tailored insights about your Instagram activity.
Later is one of the best tools to help brands and creators manage a media presence. You can use it to schedule almost a month’s worth of posts and reels, and it even helps you find the right hashtags to use with each content you create.
Currently, Later offers three different pricing plans starting at $ 18/month, but you can use their 14-day free trial before you commit.
Buffer is another great alternative for small business owners who want to take their social media game to the next level. It has a free subscription plan to help you get started, and you can use it to schedule Instagram posts and generate some new content.
The down side of the free plan is that you can’t use it to generate data and insights about the best time to post on Instagram, though.
Hootsuite is a social media manager powerhouse. It offers tons of different resources for business owners, like a content calendar that integrates all scheduled and published content. It also generates immediate insights about the best time to post on Instagram.
Their pricing is a bit on the higher end, though, starting at $ 99/month — but they do offer a 30-day free trial period which makes them worth checking out.
4. Post Planner
Lastly, there’s also Post Planner — a very simple and easy to use social media tool that will help you automate posts, identify the best time to post on Instagram, curate memes and gifs from the internet and design posts to make sure you always post compelling content to wow followers.
You can get started with Post Planners spending just $ 5/month on their monthly plans, which is a great offer.
What time is it? It’s posting time!
Feeling ready to post on Instagram? We know it can be a bit daunting at first, but remember: You don’t need to get it right the first time.
A good starting point is to post in the early morning, during weekdays (especially on Wednesday), and slowly work towards achieving that high engagement rate you’ve been dreaming about.
Also, don’t forget to make sure you stick to your follower’s time zones!