Remember the good old times of Instagram’s chronological feed, when all you had to do was find the right time of the day to post on Instagram, stick to it, and get a ton of engagement?
Well, it seems that those days are over.
Now, you have to wait and see if the gods that control the Instagram algorithm will decide you’ve suffered enough and reward you by showing your post in your followers’ feeds.
That’s especially tough on businesses trying to stay top-of-mind with their audience:
The algorithm is more likely to show content from friends and family, leaving out branded content – especially if it contains links that direct Instagram users away from the app.
If you want more people to follow you and engage with your content, you have to ensure that they’ve seen your posts in the first place. And that’s where things get tricky. Businesses now need to work twice as hard to succeed on social media:
They need to find the optimal posting time when their audience is active on the app – and ensure that it doesn’t overlap with the time other users are posting.
So, how do you win the content timing battle? How do you determine the best time to post on Instagram in 2023? What’s the optimal posting time for your target audience?
We’re breaking it all down in this guide. Read on to find out when to post on Instagram to ensure maximum reach and engagement!
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Why It’s Important To Determine The Best Time To Post On Instagram
Building a serious following on your Instagram business account takes time; we’re sure you’re aware of that. It’s a highly competitive platform – and if you want to stay top-of-mind, consistency should be a key ingredient of your social media strategy.
Post consistently, and you can expect good engagement from your Instagram audience; it’s as simple as that. We know it can be hard to post every day, though – which is why we recommend that you schedule posts ahead of time to stay afloat.
Determining the right time to post content on Instagram is a good starting point – but why? How does it correlate to audience engagement?
Let’s find out.
If you want to increase your reach and get your content in front of a larger audience, it’s crucial to find out when is the best time to post on Instagram and take different time zones into account, too.
If you use a good social media management tool, like Flock Social, you can schedule Instagram Stories to appear on Monday mornings or during lunch breaks to ensure more people see your post on Instagram.
A Boost In Engagement Rates
Maximum engagement is the goal every social media manager hopes to reach. However, as we mentioned earlier, your engagement rate will depend on many factors – and the best time to post on Instagram according to your following is one of them.
If you’re hoping to boost engagement, keep track of relevant engagement metrics in Instagram analytics and, most importantly, post compelling content.
Building A Loyal Following
Posting at the right time can help you build a loyal following.
Well, social media posts published in an optimal time frame will ensure that your content reaches most of your followers. It keeps you top-of-mind and shows that you’re consistent and willing to engage with them – and they might just return the favor, making your Instagram campaigns a social success.
Optimized Posting Schedule
Tracking how your posts perform and spotting engagement patterns will help you figure out an optimal posting schedule. So, be sure to track Instagram Insights for existing posts to see what’s the peak time for your audience members – even across multiple time zones.
Obviously, you still want to post regularly, but it will save you a lot of time if you know that Friday night, for example, is perfect for high engagement.
How To Determine The Best Time To Post On Instagram
If you want to get super-precise data for your specific audience, the best route is the one less traveled. In other words:
You should take the manual approach and do a thorough analysis.
That’s the only way to pinpoint exactly when to post on Instagram and ensure your target audience is up-to-date on your most recent posts.
Although time-consuming, this approach yields the most accurate results.
You can craft a monthly content plan and schedule your posts within specific time frames, seven days a week. Then, analyze your engagement to determine potential patterns in engagement spikes. Those will be your best Instagram posting times.
Here are a few things that can help you figure out the right time to post on Instagram:
Use Instagram Insights. Insights allow you to keep track of your own data and determine when your followers and niche audience are most active.
Track your competitors’ posting times. If your competitors’ posting time works for them, they might work for you, too, since you technically share the same audience.
Experiment with different posting times. If you’re having a hard time spotting patterns and figuring out the right post time for your audience, then try a couple of different posting “windows” to see what your followers respond to and what results in a significant amount of engagement.
Be mindful of time zone differences. If you have a lot of followers in the Eastern time zone, for example, you’ll need to adjust your posting schedule to suit them.
If you don’t have enough time or resources to conduct this analysis, don’t worry; there are experts out there who did the work for you and determined the best Instagram posting times.
Overall Best Time To Post On Instagram
Search Engine Journal and several other credible resources have reached the same conclusions regarding the general best time to post on Instagram. These experts have analyzed customer data in an attempt to answer the million-dollar question:
When’s the best time to post on Instagram?
And the verdict is in:
The best times to post are Wednesday at 11 am and Friday between 10 and 11 am.
Of course, it’s important to note that these are average results gathered from analyzing millions of posts in different time zones worldwide from various-sized accounts. In other words – be sure to take this data with a grain of salt.
While these are just rough, general guidelines, these findings make perfect sense when you think about it:
It seems that mid-day and mid-week are when most users would interact with content on Instagram – which is precisely when most people would decide to take a break from everyday obligations and scroll for some escapism and entertainment on Instagram.
Though probably not the most precise data for larger, business Instagram profiles, this could be super valuable for Instagram beginners.
If you’re an aspiring influencer or a business with a relatively small following on Instagram, you can try and implement this posting strategy.
It’s great to have something to start with, as you probably don’t have enough user data to analyze in the beginning. And then, later on, as you build your follower list, you can do more testing and see what specific times work best with your audience.
And, if you need help on the follower front, you know who to turn to:
Flock Social is your all-in-one solution to fast, organic, laser-targeted Instagram growth. Join our growing community of 9,000+ users that use Flock to accelerate their Instagram growth, increase their organic engagement, and boost conversions.
And for those of you still trying to figure out the best Instagram posting formula for your specific audience, be sure to read on. We’ve got more data to analyze to help you make a more informed decision – and craft the perfect posting schedule that fits your specific niche and audience.
When NOT to Post on Instagram
While you will find that certain times during the day (and week) seem to work like magic for your followers, there will, of course, be some that work rather poorly.
For example, posting on Mondays can be a bit pointless; most people are busy getting to work and getting back into their routines after the weekend.
On a related note, you should generally avoid posting on Sundays; that’s, hands down, the worst time to post on Instagram.
The same can be said for late afternoons; lunch breaks are over, and most people are still at work, meaning they’ll probably miss your posts.
Best Time To Post On Instagram By Day Of The Week
Sure, Wednesdays and Fridays are settled – but what about when to post on Instagram during the rest of the week?
Here’s the lowdown on the best Instagram posting times by day of the week according to Search Engine Journal’s report:
Mondays: 6 am, 11 am, 1 pm
Tuesdays: 8 – 10 am, 2 pm
Wednesdays: 9 – 11 am
Thursdays: 11 am – 2 pm, 7 pm
Fridays: 10 am – 12 pm, 2 – 4 pm
Saturdays: 8 – 11 am
Sundays: 6 – 8 pm
Sprout Social had fairly similar findings:
Mondays: 11 am – 2 pm (within each time zone globally)
Tuesdays: 10 am – 3 pm and 7 pm for the super-high engagement
Wednesdays: 7 am – 4 pm – the highest engagement between 11 am – 2 pm
Thursdays: 10 am – 2 pm, 6 – 7 pm
Fridays: 9 am – 2 pm (engagement peaks at 9 am)
Saturdays: 9 am – 11 am
Sundays: 8 am – 2 pm (usually a day with the lowest engagement)
You’re probably hoping to score some easy engagement wins from this data. If that’s the case, we’d say that you’ll probably get the most optimal results if you post on Instagram between 9 am and 4 pm Monday to Friday.
If you want to get more intentional with your Instagram posting time, though, don’t worry; we’ve got more data to share. Next up, we’re breaking down the best time to post on Instagram based on your specific industry.
Best Time To Post On Instagram By Industry
Here’s something to keep in mind:
A beauty blogger’s audience isn’t necessarily active on Instagram at the same time as people who follow tech companies, for example.
So, if you’re looking to amplify your Instagram efforts by consistently showing up in your audience’s feed, you should figure out the best time to post based on your specific industry.
Best Times To Post On Instagram For The Retail Industry
If your Instagram account is dedicated to a retail business, it’s crucial to share Instagram posts when your target audience is most likely to shop.
Best time to post: between 12 -2 pm on Thursdays, 8 – 11 am on Saturdays
Consistent engagement opportunities: between Friday afternoon to Saturday morning, Wednesday mornings
Worst time to post: Sundays
Best Times To Post On Instagram For The Tech Industry
If you’re a tech company, here’s some info you’d want to mark into your posting schedule for more engagement on Instagram:
Best time to post: 6 am and between 9 – 10 am on Wednesdays, between 7 am – 10 am on Fridays
Consistent engagement opportunities: between Tuesday evening to Wednesday afternoon and Fridays between midnight to 10 pm
Worst time to post: Sundays
Best Times To Post On Instagram For The B2C Industry
Take notes, retailers, food shops, clothing boutiques, and all of you B2C folks. Here’s how you can get more granular about when to post on Instagram and make sure your audience engages:
Best time to post: 3 pm on Wednesdays
Consistent engagement opportunities: between Tuesday and Friday from 11 am to 3 pm
Worst time to post: Sundays
Best Times To Post On Instagram For The Healthcare Industry
Here are the best times to post on Instagram and jump to the front of your audience’s mind as a healthcare business:
Best time to post: 8 am on Tuesdays
Consistent engagement opportunities: varying depending on the specific niche
Worst time to post: Saturdays and Sundays
Best Times To Post On Instagram For The Travel & Tourism Industry
If you want Instagram users to see your travel and tourism-related posts, your social media strategy needs to include the following posting periods:
Best time to post: Wednesdays at 12 pm
Consistent engagement opportunities: Tuesday mornings and Saturday evenings
Worst time to post: Mondays
Best Times To Post On Instagram For The Media & Entertainment Industry
If you post Reels and other content related to the media and entertainment industry, your Instagram engagement could suffer if you’re not posting in the right timeframe.
Best time to post: Mondays at 8 am, Thursdays at 10 am
Consistent engagement opportunities: Monday and Wednesday mornings
Worst time to post: Saturdays and Sundays
Best Times To Post On Instagram For The Education Industry
Educational organizations will notice the peak engagement happening somewhat later in the day compared to most other industries. Here’s your guide to a posting plan if you want to catch your students at their most active time on Instagram:
Best time to post: 10 am on Fridays
Consistent engagement opportunities: 9 am to 10 pm on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
Worst time to post: Sundays
Best Times To Post On Instagram For The Food & Beverage Industry
If your Instagram account features and sells food and beverages, the right time to share a mouth-watering Instagram post is pretty obvious; you should aim to post during lunchtime.
Best time to post: Sundays between 2 – 4 pm, Thursdays 6 – 9 pm
Consistent engagement opportunities: Mondays afternoon and Friday nights
Worst time to post: Saturdays
Best Times To Post On Instagram For The Non-Profit Sector
Non-profits can amplify their social media efforts with the strategic posting plan on Instagram, too. Read on to find out when’s the best (and worst) time to post on Instagram for non-profits:
Best time to post: between 1 and 2 pm on Tuesdays, and 2 pm on Wednesdays
Consistent engagement opportunities: between 10 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday
Worst time to post: Sundays
Best Times To Post On Instagram Based On Content Type
We’ve already established that Instagram business accounts can benefit greatly from posting at a specific time when their audience is most active. That said, you also have to consider that different types of Instagram content require different posting schedules:
Some perform better when posted during work hours, while other content formats benefit from posting later in the afternoon.
Here’s what you need to know about posting times and Instagram content types:
Best Time To Post Instagram Story
If you want to post Instagram Stories, keep an eye on Instagram’s Stories-specific analytics. On that note, they generate the most engagement during lunch hours on work days. So, ideally, you want to post your Instagram Story between 11 am and 2 pm Monday through Friday.
Best Time To Post Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels generate far more engagement for Instagram accounts compared to regular videos – and they can reach more users, too. That said, it can be hard to define the right time to post Reels; engagement tends to vary throughout the week.
We can offer you some general guidelines:
Monday: 6 am, 10 am, 10 pm
Tuesday: 2 am, 4 am, 9 am
Wednesday: 7 – 8 am, 11 pm
Thursday: 9 am, 12 am, 7 pm
Friday: 5 am, 1 pm, 3 pm
Saturday: 11 am, 7 – 8 pm
Sunday: 7 – 8 am, 4 pm
As you can see, on some days, early morning works better; other times later at night is the way to go.
Best Time To Post Videos
Videos can generate lots of traffic on your Instagram account and help you reach your target audience, but you need to catch people on their lunch break – between 11 am and 1 pm. If you plan on posting later in the day, aim for the 7 to 9 pm window.
Keep in mind that Wednesday is the worst day to post on Instagram.
Best Time To Go Live on Instagram
Going Live on Instagram can do so much more for your Instagram engagement rate compared to regular Instagram posts – and in real-time, too. But since it’s live, you need to be absolutely sure that you’re streaming at the right time. Otherwise, you won’t have that many people join in.
If you’re going live during the work week, do so around lunchtime (around noon) or late evening, between 7 and 9 pm.
Instagram Posting Times FAQ
Q: What day of the week is Instagram used the most?
Instagram is used the most on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – particularly during work hours and later in the evening, around 8 pm – but the app shows fair engagement at the beginning of the week, too. That said, it all depends on your specific audience.
Q: What time of day is Instagram most active?
Instagram is active at all times of day, but most users are online and ready to engage between 9 am and 1 pm – making it a great time to post. On the flip side, users aren’t particularly active between 12 am and 4 am, so we advise you to avoid this time frame – provided you post for followers in the same time zone. Keep in mind that the highest average engagement can vary greatly from industry to industry, so be sure to check Instagram Insights for more reliable information.
Q: What is the best time to post on Instagram for likes?
If you’re hoping to boost your Instagram engagement and get more likes on posts, you should aim to post on weekdays, preferably during the lunch hour. We’ve found that posts that were published on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays tend to perform the best likes-wise. So, be sure to schedule and publish your Instagram content accordingly.
Q: Are Sundays a good day to post on Instagram?
Generally speaking, Sundays are considered the worst days for posting on Instagram due to the lack of activity. Most people don’t use the app as much on Sundays. That said, if you need to post on Sundays, then be sure to do it between 6 and 8 pm; engagement is higher later in the afternoon.
Post great content, and your audience will see it, right? Well, not quite. Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t follow this simple formula. There’s a lot of strategic thinking and planning that goes into reaching your goals through Instagram.
But here’s the good news:
Now that you know when’s the best time to post on Instagram, you can use the tips outlined in this guide to craft a winning strategy on Instagram and stay top-of-mind with your audience.
Want more followers and a boost to your engagement rate? Then be sure to sign up for Flock Social! We offer real, targeted followers, top-tier Instagram analytics, post-scheduling – and so much more!