To get the most traction and engagement with your social media posts, it’s critical to post your content at the right time. The right time will be based on when your specific audience is most active.
You can find this information in your Instagram insights. they will show you data for the times of the day and the days of the week your audience has been the most active on Instagram over the past seven days.
Research shows that the best time to post on Instagram is between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. eastern standard time. But this is a broad generalization based on 12 million Instagram posts. Even though that’s what the data shows, it very well may not be the best time for you to post on Instagram.
Every Instagram account has its own unique audience with followers located across time zones so it is important to find the personalized best time to post on Instagram.
Keeping an eye on your analytics for an extended period of time will help you zero in on the best times for your audience. Watching patterns of engagement in terms of the number of likes comments and shares your content receives based on the time of day or the day of the week it was published helps you determine the best time to post in the future.
Scheduling your Instagram post for those optimized times is proven to help you reach more followers and increase engagement on your post.
What the Research Says
data from Instagram scheduling tool later shows that the best times to post on Instagram are as follows:
- Monday: 6am, 10am, and 10pm EST
- Tuesday: 2am, 4am, and 9am EST
- Wednesday: 7am, 8am and 11pm EST
- Thursday: 9am, 12pm, and 7pm EST
- Friday: 5am, 1pm, and 3pm EST
- Saturday: 11am, 7pm, and 8pm EST
- Sunday: 7am, 8am, and 4pm EST
You should use this information as a benchmark to help you get started if you don’t have enough data form your own unique audience to personalize your schedule.
Timeliness has always been an important factor for the Instagram algorithm, but ever since the algorithm was updated in 2018 when you post Instagram more important than ever.
“Your feed will feel more fresh and you won’t miss the moment you care about,” Instagram said in their press release.
As a result of this change, if you want to beat the algorithm, you must optimize your posting time for when the majority of your followers are online.
Since Instagram is placing a priority on new content in people’s feeds, your best shot at getting your content in front of your followers is by posting your content a time when most of them are actively scrolling on the app.
Finding your own personalized best time to post on Instagram allows you to hack the algorithm to increase your reach for more followers than likes.
How to Find Your Best Time to Post on Instagram
If you’re not interested in paying for a third-party Instagram analytics and scheduling tool that can help you find the best times to post on Instagram, you can manually calculate them yourself using Instagram’s native analytics tool, Instagram Insights.
Within Instagram insights, you can see where your followers are located, their age, their gender, and most importantly for optimizing your posting times, when they are most active on Instagram.
Remember, to access Insights, you must set your Instagram profile as a business or an Instagram creator.
An added bonus of switching to create a profile is that you will also get access to the Instagram Creator Studio dashboard which adds more valuable insights including advanced data about when your followers are online.
Experiment with Posting Times and Track Your Progress
Create a spreadsheet to track how much engagement you receive when you post at different times on different days.
Begin by choosing five different times throughout the week.
For instance, if you noticed that your followers are most active between 5 and 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, schedule your post to appear at 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 pm.
And your spreadsheet, track the number of likes and comments every post received along with the date and time that you posted them.
The next week, change the timing of your posts every day. For example, if you posted at 5 p.m. on Monday in week 1, Post at 6 p.m. during week 2.
Though it may take a few weeks, you can use this information to help you choose the best days to share to specific social platforms based on your audience, along with the time set work best for getting traffic on those days.
Different audiences will, of course, be active at different times so there is not a hard-and-fast rule about the best time to post on Instagram. However, there are some general rules to keep in mind.
Post for your most active time zones. You may be located in New York City but if most of your followers are located in Los Angeles, you should be posting with the Pacific Standard time zone in mind. If you have followers in North America and the UK, you may find the posting it odd times in your time zone actually perform well for you because of the differences in local time between your followers.
Save the important posts for during the week. Though there is only a slight difference, the average Instagram engagement does shift depending on the day of the week. For instance, B2B companies get more engagement during the week while their audiences at work whereas bloggers get more engagement on the weekends when their audience is more likely to have time to read the post.
Post more outside standard business hours. Typically, the best time to post on Instagram can be lunchtime and evenings. Rather than posting while you’re at your desk, schedule your Instagram posts during the workday so you don’t have to worry about it during your free time.
No matter what you find the best time to post on Instagram to be, experimenting is crucial to learning more about what works for your brand and audience. Leveraging the analytics data that’s free with your account will go a long way toward developing a winning strategy.