While uploading high-quality content is crucial, posting at the wrong time may not yield the expected results. The timing of your posts is extremely important; otherwise, you might set yourself up for failure.
The optimal posting time may vary for different brands. Some studies suggest specific times of the day that are ideal for posting, but these may not necessarily suit your brand. Therefore, it’s advisable to experiment with different times to determine the most effective posting schedule for your content.
Similar to other social media platforms, Instagram utilizes constantly changing algorithms, making it challenging to pinpoint the best posting times. Even if you discover the optimal times, it’s essential to stay ahead by continually fine-tuning your techniques.
Given that the Instagram algorithm considers the engagement and speed of user interactions with your posts, enhancing your technique becomes crucial for maximizing reach.
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What is the best time to post on Instagram?
The optimal time to post on Instagram depends on factors such as the day of the week, time zone, and your audience, among other considerations. For example, if your audience consists mainly of college students, they may have more time to spend on Instagram compared to a demographic of business professionals.
Nevertheless, certain days of the week are generally favorable for all audiences and brands.
- 7 – 9 am: When most people are on their way to work.
- 12 – 2 pm: Lunch breaks.
- 5 – 6 pm: The period when work is closing.
- 9 – 11 pm: Bedtime scrolling.
According to research by ShareThis, most people visit Instagram while on their way to work. Other peak periods of Instagram activity include lunch breaks and the close of the workday.
The average ideal time to post during the weekend (Saturday and Sunday)
- 9 – 11 am
- 2 – 5 pm
People tend to pick up their phones later in the morning, especially due to weekend hangovers. Another period of high engagement is in the middle of the afternoon, as weekends are typically work-free.
When is it not a good idea to post on Instagram?
According to Later, Saturdays are the least favorable time for posting. Their research indicates that Instagram posts receive the lowest engagement on Saturdays.
The research doesn’t specify the industries involved, which could influence the results in favor of particular products and brand categories.
That’s why you need to do your own research to determine the best posting time for your specific audience. Moreover, keep in mind that while Instagram is a fantastic platform for selling products and engaging potential customers, not everyone is constantly looking to shop on social media.
How to figure out the best time to post on Instagram for your brand?
You can foolow the findings from secondary research as a starting point for deciding when to post on Instagram, but remember, it’s just that: a starting point.
These so-called “best times” are derived from a large number of posts to create an average, and this may not be the ideal time for every type of brand. You might discover that the 6 a.m. time slot doesn’t suit your audience, but at least you’ve given it a try and can rule it out as a suitable posting time.
Understand Instagram algorithm
When trying to determine the best times to post on Instagram, you must consider the Instagram algorithm and how it influences what users see.
The Instagram algorithm favors the newest posts, increasing the likelihood that the most recently posted content will appear in users’ feeds. This algorithm plays a crucial role in determining whether and when users will come across your posts. This implies that you should make your posts as recent as possible at the time when followers visit Instagram.
The algorithm also analyzes the level of engagement a post receives when deciding whether to make it visible to users or not. The more comments and likes your post garners, the more Instagram will prioritize showing that post in your audience’s feeds.
Posting at optimal times encourages people to engage with your posts, helping each post reach as many members of your audience as possible.
Take note of time zones
If a significant portion of your audience resides on the East Coast, be sure to utilize the recommended times based on their time zones. This is also applicable if you are engaging with an audience outside the United States – you must consider their time zones.
You can still follow the guide provided above, regardless of whether your followers are spread across different time zones. How can you achieve this?
Suppose your followers are situated in various time zones; in that case, you can schedule your posts so that a morning post in one specific time zone serves as a midday post in another time zone.
In this way, your posts will fulfill two roles simultaneously. While this may sound a bit complex, there are numerous tools available to assist you in this process. Instagram itself provides built-in tools, and you can also make use of third-party applications.
Consider the content of your posts
The content of your posts have a much bigger impact than time. Bad posts do badly anytime, while great ones usually do well. Of course, the timing of your posts also affects how engaged people are.
For instance, if your post is about something people usually do in the evenings, it’s better to share it in the late afternoon or evening. A wine company might get more attention on a Friday or Saturday evening than on a Monday morning when people aren’t thinking about wine.
When deciding when to post, think about:
- What your post is about
- Your goal (Do you want to inspire, sell something, or make your brand known?)
- When your followers would find your content most useful
For example, if you’re sharing an art print with an inspiring quote, Monday morning could be a good time when people might need some inspiration to start their week.
Keep an eye on your competitors
To figure out the best time to post on Instagram, check out similar brands in your industry. Focus on your main competitors and see when they post. Choose three or four brands like yours or with a similar audience. Look at the times they post and which posts get the most likes and comments.
If you don’t want to do this manually, there are apps that can help. NapoleonCat and Preview are two examples. They analyze your competitors’ posts, showing the number of comments, likes, and engagement rate. They also reveal when these posts were published. It’s like spying on your competitors without the effort!
Use Instagram insights to understand your followers
If you’re using Instagram for your business, the Instagram insights tool is your go-to. It helps you understand your followers’ distribution, activity, and engagement trends.
Here’s how to use it:
- Open your Instagram app and go to your account page.
- At the top of your screen, look for a bar-graph icon.
- Tap on it, and you’ll find all the info about how your posts and stories are doing – comments, impressions, follows, and unfollows.
This data helps you figure out what content your audience likes and how well your campaigns are doing.
Now, head to the Followers section on Instagram. It gives you key data about when your audience is most active. You’ll see a graph showing peak activity times and when your followers are online.
Keep an eye on your Instagram insight trends. As your followers grow, their peak activity times might change. So, adjust your posting times accordingly.
Schedule posts for prime time
You won’t always be online when your followers are. If your post’s success relies on you being there to engage with comments, that can limit when you plan to post.
In the digital world, your presence isn’t important. You have handy scheduling tools like Later and Hootsuite at your disposal. Many of these tools are user-friendly. Some even offer built-in features for studying and monitoring your audience. These features help you gain a better understanding of your audience’s activity.
As long as you’re consistent with your posting schedule, you’ll be able to evaluate whether your chosen times are effective or if there’s room for improvement.
While researching optimal posting times is important, the process should be flexible. As you gain more followers, keep measure results and experiment with posting times to promote your products.
What is the best time to post on Instagram for different industries?
While the mentioned times are favorable, you need to develop a strategy for your brand to precisely target the audience you want to reach with your content. Sectors such as tourism, entertainment, healthcare, and technology may not share the same peak times.
If you want to get your target audience in your sector, you may have to do some research so that you can make the best decisions.
This Sprout Social research reveals the best times to post on Instagram across various industries. Keep in mind that these findings include posting schedules from over 20,000 brands, and the listed industries encompass numerous niches and segments.
These suggested posting times can serve as a helpful starting point if you’re unsure where to begin. However, remember that they should only serve as a starting point.
- Finance: Wednesday (6 a.m.)
- Education: Tuesday (10 a.m.)
- Healthcare: Thursday (7 a.m.)
- Media and entertainment: Tuesday (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)
- Tech: Wednesday (8 a.m.), Friday (10 a.m.)
- Restaurants: Wednesday (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
- Travel and tourism: Wednesday (12 p.m.)
- Hospitality: Thursday (11 a.m.), Friday (10 a.m. and 3 p.m.)
- Non-profit: Wednesday (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.), Sunday (9 a.m.)
- Consumer goods: Sunday (3 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
How often should you post on Instagram?
To grow your audience and keep them engaged, post regularly. Look to successful brands for inspiration on keeping your Instagram feed lively.
On average, companies upload about 1.5 times a day. So, why not aim to post once or twice daily? Once you set a rhythm, stick to it. Changing suddenly can make your audience lose interest. Imagine posting daily for weeks, and then suddenly going silent for three days – not a good move.
To avoid this, start slow. Maybe post twice a week at first, then build up over time. Quality beats quantity, so focus on great photos rather than just filling your page with subpar content.
Once you’re comfortable with your scheduling tool and creating awesome content, you can increase your posting frequency. As you establish a rhythm of quality posts, your audience will crave more.
The ideal time to post on your Instagram account varies based on factors like your audience, content, industry, and post intent. To find the best times, you need to conduct your own research and experiments.
To get started, use Instagram analytics to learn about your followers. Then, analyze the posting times of your biggest competitors to determine what works best for your niche. Lastly, post regularly using scheduling tools and experiment with different positing time to optimise your results.
When you have a good understanding of the best times to make posts on Instagram, you can generate loyal customers and also enhance your Instagram presence. This knowledge will help you deliver your content to the people who need it at the right time. Once you have mastered this art, you will marvel at the rate of growth in your followership.