Interactive content is the heart of a massive Instagram following. Your audience yearns for it. But if you don’t publish it at the right time, your audience won’t even know your content exists.
Back in the old days, businesses assumed and experimented with different times to post on Instagram. Things have changed with Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm.
You can’t post randomly on Instagram and expect people to see your content. Overflowing users’ feeds and algorithms will always be a barrier.
So how do you identify the best time to post on Instagram?
In this guide, you’ll get the answers to all your best-time-to-post-on-Instagram questions, including universal time to post, the best day of the week, the best time of the day, and the best industry-specific time to post on Instagram.
Additionally, we’ll help you figure out your peak times to post on Instagram, helping you engage the audience when they’re most active. By putting our tips in action, you’ll get the most out of Instagram tools and be posting like a pro.
Let’s get started then.
Worldwide Instagram Engagement
If 2020 showed us something, it’s that we live in an interconnected world on a global spectrum. Your social media strategies should align with these new changes if you want to accomplish your business goals.
It means that along with being specific with your social tactics, you have to keep global life in mind.
The graph below by Sprout Social gives you a fair idea of the best global time and day to post on Instagram. Remember, It’s a CDT (Central Daylight Time), which means you won’t post at midnight for each timezone separately—12 AM CDT works well with Instagram posts published for a worldwide audience.
When is the best time to post on Instagram?
According to Sprout Social, a social media management tool, the best time to post on Instagram is:
11AM – 2 PM CDT
11 AM to 2 PM CDT
These are the ideal period for the highest engagement.
However, the best day of the week to post on Instagram can change the engagement you receive simultaneously.
Take a look at the slight changes in your daily routine and mood—the ones impacting your online behavior. A minute of boredom may result in a quick Instagram scroll. The same is true for your audience.
No matter how much we deny it, our hands automatically reach for smartphones to catch up on social media updates first thing in the morning. Then, a lunch break leads to a social media scroll. Finally, one last before-bed peek is saved for the ongoings of our friends, influencers, and favorite brands.
No wonder the highest engagement is in parallel with the way audiences live their lives.
Now let’s check out the Sprout Social insights about the best time of each day to post on Instagram.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram Each Day
Considering your followers are on a lunch break and are more likely to scroll through Instagram out of habit or catch up on updates from friends, influencers, and brands. This is also the time when people are free to share engaging content.
11AM – 12 PM CDT
Of course, lunch break is a peak time to share content. But a long time frame brings a broader opportunity to share long-form content like going live or publishing Instagram TV videos.
11 AM – 2 PM CDT
For brief Thursday lunch breaks, publish Instagram stories coupled with engagement enhancers like questions, quizzes, and polls to obtain fast responses. This will make users come back later to check out the results.
11 AM CDT
Note! For maximum Instagram engagement, posting on the same hours each day may not work. Better to combine both the day of the week and your industry-specific time for optimum results (more on that later)
Pro Tip: If you want a vague idea of the best time to post on Instagram, try between 7 AM – 10:30 AM CDT from Monday to Friday. You will receive constant engagement as your content will be ready to steal views, likes, and share during high engagement hours around 11 AM CDT.
The Worst Time to Post on Instagram Each Day
All businesses have unique audiences belonging to different cities and time zones. So considering the worst time to post Instagram is essential to save your content from falling on deaf ears.
While figuring out the worst Instagram posting times is unique to each business, certain times are directly associated with decreased Instagram engagement.
As per Later’s 35M global Instagram posts studies, the worst times to post on Instagram each day are:
So what does it tell us?
Posting later in the evening doesn’t generate maximum results.
Instagram algorithms do consider timeliness, but not as much as the good ole days. Instagram recently confirmed that engagement in the first 30 minutes of posting does not affect a post’s ranking in the Home Feed.
So you can take a break from the pressure of timing your posts in the moment of need. Instead, take part in the “early to rise & early to post” strategy.
By posting in the early hours of the day, you are tapping into less competition (globally, most posts are published between 9 AM-1 PM) while leveraging the traffic from the first scrollers of the day—even if this occurs a few hours after you share the post.
In bonus, your content gets the best opportunity to be viewed by your targeted audience, despite when they are most active during the day.
Best Industry-Specific Time to Post on Instagram
As we discussed earlier, the best posting time differs by Instagram account; however, specific industries have their own audience with ideal times to post on Instagram. To get more granular, you should modify your Instagram posting times according to your industry.
According to Sprout Social, here are the best times to post on Instagram for industries like technology, food & beverages, entertainment, education, nonprofits, healthcare, and many more.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Technology Businesses
It’s tough to predict posting time on Instagram for the technology industry, considering each company varies. Still, here are some ideal times for technology posts to drive engagement:
10 AM – 11 AM
2 PM – 5 PM
10 AM – 1 PM
Note! Sunday is the worst day for the tech industry as people avoid screens or don’t like to check social platforms during weekends.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Food & Beverage Industries
It doesn’t take rocket science to determine when people are more likely to interact with mouth-water food and beverage images. It’s either during lunchtime or in the mid of the day to keep napping at bay.
Hence engagement rates for food and beverage industries spike during the noontime of the day.
When people check their phones.
The worst time to post on Instagram for Food & Beverages is outside mealtime or smartphone time.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Retail Companies
Instagram posting is highly vital for the retail industry as shopping outlets often influence people for purchase.
Here are the best times to post on Instagram to acquire attention from your audience:
11 AM – 12 PM
Sundays are the worst days for retail businesses as people are already on their way to make on-foot purchases in stores. They also do it for refreshment purposes. Late nights and early mornings are also the low-engagement time as these are sleep hours or non-active social media time.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Educational Institutions
After passing the day in studies, students and faculty enter social media later in the day. Thus, the best time to post on Instagram for educational organizations are:
4 AM – 5 AM
Sunday is about taking part in physical activities for students and faculty, which means a lack of online activities. So it’s the worst day to post on Instagram for educational institutions.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Media & Entertainment Companies
Instagram posts are no less than an outlet for media and entertainment enthusiasts. So it’s more crucial than ever to figure out the best time to post on Instagram and stand out from the competitors.
1 PM – 5 PM
8 AM – 9 AM
Saturdays and Sundays are low-engagement as people like to spend these days in real-life activities; thus, they remain inactive on social media.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Healthcare Organizations
Health care people may not be big fans of social media networks, but your audience generally visits Instagram more often like others. Even if the audience waits outside your clinic, social media is their best passing time. So it’s worth using Instagram to promote your healthcare practices and find the ideal time to post.
5 PM – 8 PM
8 AM – 9 AM
Saturdays are the worst days for the healthcare industry to post on Instagram.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Nonprofit Organizations
Instagram is a remarkable social media strategy for nonprofits. You can encourage people to participate in your nonprofit activities with your emotional content. Here’s the best time to post your nonprofit content on Instagram:
10 AM – 6 PM
As usual, Saturday and Sunday are the worst time to drive engagement on Instagram.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Professionals
People offering professional services generally post educational content accompanied with links to blogs, videos, ebooks, and other marketing assets. Professional posts boost Instagram followers’ interest first and then direct them to other content.
Here’s the best time to post on Instagram for professional services:
9 AM to 10 PM
People don’t like to consume educational content during weekends, so Saturdays and Sundays are the worst days to post on Instagram.
Best Times to Post on Instagram for Travel & Tourism Agencies
Only a few have the desire, budget, and means to travel. It doesn’t mean that they don’t like to engage with travel content. In fact, those who can’t go out would like to read about new places from the comfort of their home.
I have personally noticed people getting bored in companies often turn to read about new places to freshen up. Even vibrant pictures of different places also cheer them up.
Here’s the best time to post on Instagram for the travel and tourism industries:
11 AM – 3 PM
Saturday and Sundays are the worst time to post on Instagram for travel and tourism agencies.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram by Location
Another aspect of posting at the best time on Instagram is location. Different areas have different audience behaviors affected by time zone variants.
For example, Sydney is 1 hour ahead of Queensland—but businesses located in Sydney will still have Instagram followers from both regions.
Later analyzed the best local times to post on Instagram as per different time zones:
11 PM – 2 AM
Western US and Canada
12 AM – 6 AM
Central US and Canada
6 AM – 8 AM
Eastern US and Canada
4 AM – 9 AM
4 AM – 6 AM
6 PM – 8 PM
South Asia and Middle East
11 PM – 4 AM
While these local times combined with industry-specific times are the best way to kick off your engagement, you still need to personalise your post time as per your unique audience. It’s a surefire way to hack the Instagram algorithm, increase your likes, boost your followers, and obtain higher engagement.
How to Find Your Brand’s Ideal Time to Post on Instagram?
Among the limitless advantages of using Instagram for business is to gain insights on the peak time of your audience. Many Instagram tools out there reveal higher and lower engagement times of your audience to help you align your post timings.
Posting at the time of your unique audience enhances your reach and engagement, which leads to more Instagram followers.
Here are three tips to tap into your unique post time:
1: Instagram’s In-built Analytics
Instagram gives you access to native insights via its analytics showing the location of your audience and their most active time.
You can connect these data points to determine the best time and day to post on Instagram for your brand.
For example, if a large number of your audience lives in Australia—you should schedule your posts on Thursday at 9 AM ACT.
However, you need to create an Instagram business account and set up an Instagram business profile to access these insights.
2: Track Your Best Times to Post Manually
If you want to track the number yourself, you can create a spreadsheet to record different times of different days.
Pick up different times during the week for posting. Monitor the likes and comments received on these posts on a particular date and time.
Next week, alter the posting time for each day. For instance, if you posted at 4 PM on Tuesday last week, post at 5 PM in the current week.
It may take a month or two to get accurate information. However, once you get the data, you can use it to optimise your post time.
3: Tools to Uncover the Best Time to Post on Instagram
If you want to get out of the guessing game and want quick access to accurate data, a good social media analytics tool or Instagram analytics tool can do all the hard work for you!
For instance, Hootsuite Analytics offers metrics on specific time periods to obtain historical data like past engagement, reach, and click-through rate. This data helps you unearth the best time to post on Instagram based on your audience’s preferences.
Once you have a clear picture of your brand’s best times and days to post on Instagram, it’s time to optimize your Instagram content strategy.
How to Harness Your Best Time to Post on Instagram?
Once you discover your brand’s time to post, you can alter your Instagram strategy to get the most out of your Instagram insights.
Here are a few actionable tips:
Tip #1: Schedule Your Posts for Optimal Times
Scheduling your posts in advance keeps you worry-free from waiting for the time and day to come and jump on Instagram for posting. Your posting schedule works wonders when you are fast asleep, allowing your posts to generate engagement and reach.
Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social are some of the best tools to schedule your posts, map out your social media calendar, and get analytics.
Tip #2: Prioritise Your Posts
Your best time to post on Instagram is the indicator of when to post important content and what to keep for low-engagement days.
For example, you may want to show up on lower engagement days like weekends. You can post something casual while saving the critical content for peak engagement days.
Tip #3: Put Reels and IGTV Videos in Line
Your best time to post on Instagram isn’t limited to feed posts. It applies to Reels and IGTV videos as well. You can leverage these visuals to spike your engagement and reach. Although Instagram Stories have a 24-hour lifespan, you can still use your best days to go live.
Boost Instagram Engagement on Your Schedule
Instagram content strategy and the best posting time go hand in hand. Scheduling posts for the right time and maintaining your content calendar supports your overall strategy. Each business has its own highs and lows of engagement throughout the day, week, and month. It means your Instagram strategy must flow according to the time. Use the above data to plan your Instagram content and watch your followers soar.
Don’t forget to tell us what worked for you.