The Best Time to Post on Instagram [Updated May 2019] | More Likes & Follows!
Whether you’re a fly-fishing guide, a prodigy on the piano or you’ve made a career out of traveling the world, being an expert in your industry means that people look to you for advice on where to go, what to buy and how to step up their own game. Social media has made it easier to connect with hundreds, thousands, even millions of people who want to follow your story. And with more than 1.1 billion people around the globe registered — and 500 million checking in every day — Instagram is the perfect platform to share your expertise (and show off every once in a while). To make the most of your social media efforts, you should know when your Instagram posts will reach the most people and be the most effective.
Best Times to Post on Instagram by Day of the Week
- Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Monday: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday: 5:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Wednesday: 5:00 a.m.,11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- Thursday: 5:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
- Friday: 5:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 11:00 a.m.
In general, posting between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. during the week generates higher engagement. But you will see peak engagement at specific times throughout every week.
Why These Are the Most Effective Times to Post
If you consider your own schedule, you'll know that your routine may shift from day to day. These subtle changes can affect when and how you engage on social media platforms.
Many active social media users check their phones when they wake up during the work week. Since Monday mornings tend to be more hectic, an early morning posting time Tuesday through Friday tends to generate higher engagement.
During mid-day lunch breaks, people are also apt to check in on social media. And late afternoon is another peak time, since people's mental energy starts to fade and social networking can provide a welcome respite.
Saturday morning is another prime time with lots of traffic on Instagram. Whether they’re at a kid’s soccer game, hanging out with friends and family or catching up on the latest episodes of their favorite show, these morning weekend hours drive a lot of traffic to the social media app — making them more likely to see your content.
Know the Best Time to Post on Instagram Each Day and Study the Trends of Your Industry
While these general posting times are a good starting point, it's essential to establish your social media brand strategy so you can target your specific audience with curated and relevant content.
Industries such as technology, healthcare, travel and tourism, media and entertainment and education — as well as non-profit organizations — all have different peak times.
If you want to reach your target audience in your industry, you should seek out relevant data to make the right decisions. This way, you can be aware of the best day and time to post on Instagram and make the most of your social media promotion budget.
Understand How Instagram's Algorithm Impacts Your Views
When considering the best time to post to Instagram, you should understand how Instagram's algorithm affects what people see. Focused on "recency" so new posts are more likely to appear in users' feeds, this algorithm influences if and when your target users see your posts, meaning you should ensure your posts are "recent" when your audience is most likely to visit Instagram.
Instagram's algorithm also evaluates the engagement of the post when determining whether to present it to your audiences. The more likes, comments and shares, the more the platform is going to present your post to your followers in their feed. If you post during optimal hours, you will foster engagement and help each post reach even more of your audience.
Do Time Zones Matter?
If your primary audience lives in a specific region, such as the East Coast, be sure to use the suggested times of their local time zone.
Likewise, if you’re catering to a non-U.S. audience, you should take their time zones into consideration. Even if your followers are spread across multiple time zones, you can still follow the same essential guide to post at the most optimal times.
For example, you may want to post to Instagram at the common wake-up time, schedule another post during mid-day, and line up one more in the late afternoon in your target time zone. If you're audience spans multiple time zones, you may have some posts do "double duty," meaning they can work as a wake-up post in one time zone and a mid-afternoon post in another.
How to Find Out When Your Audience Is Most Active
If you have a business account, you can use Instagram Insights to analyze your follower demographics, engagement and activity trends. This high-powered analytics tool can help you make deliberate decisions about the best time to post for your unique audience.
You can access your personalized Instagram Insights data on your account page in the Instagram app. Simply tap on the bar graph icon near the top of the screen. Here you’ll gain valuable information about the performance of individual posts and stories, discovering details on impressions, comments, shares and the number of followers you gained or lost. These insights help you understand the type of content that resonates with your audience; and can gauge the success of your social influencer and brand ambassador campaigns.
Also, the Instagram Insights Followers section provides you key information on when your audience is most active on the social network. There’s a graph that shows when your followers are most active each day with a second graph that displays which days your followers are online. This information will help you discern patterns of activity for your key audiences. Knowing days and times of high usage will support your targeted posting efforts.
It's important to watch your Instagram Insights trends closely. As your audience grows, their peak activity times will likely shift as well. Be sure to adapt when you notice changes in peak engagement times; you don't want to miss connecting with your community as it grows and changes.
How and Why You Should Schedule Instagram Posts
We know, it sounds like a lot of work. And honestly, maintaining relevance and engagement on Instagram does require some research and effort. But great news! You don’t to tend your account 24/7 in order to reach your audience. Instead, you can use scheduling tools like Buffer and Hootsuite.
Most of these scheduling tools are user-friendly. And while some focus exclusively on scheduling, others have built-in audience analysis features. These handy features will give you additional insights on audience activity and engagement, along with recommendations for best posting times customized to your specific audience.
This can cut down on the amount of manual analysis you need to do, allowing you to focus on creating high-quality content with strong audience appeal. And it will help you always know the best time to post on Instagram. to cater to your followers.
By scheduling your Instagram posts, you can streamline your social media marketing efforts. Instead of posting each day (unless you want to post every day, in which case, go for it!), you can schedule posts ahead of time — sometimes weeks or months in advance. This allows you to maintain an active social presence with significantly less effort. Also, if you create high-value content like badass videos, you can schedule them at peak times for the widest possible viewership.
Another advantage of scheduling tools is how easy it is to repurpose content. You can take a post that performed well on Instagram and share it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other social channels. Or you can set up multi-layered campaigns that drive your audience to take action — like redeeming a special offer, attending a webinar or signing up for your email list.
Top Instagram Scheduling Tools to Consider
Here are some of the best Instagram scheduling tools you should consider working with. While some have free starter plans, you may need to cough up some cash for the best plans that provide the most valuable data. Often, tools like these offer a free short-term trial. Be sure to take advantage of those "try before you buy" opportunities to find which is the best fit for your needs.
- Autogrammer: Through Autogrammer, you can schedule content across three major social platforms: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also bulk-upload and edit images.
- Buffer: With Buffer, you can schedule posts across six social networks. It also features browser extensions and a mobile app to help with staging content.
- Hubspot: A multi-facet platform, Hubspot includes social scheduling and other resources to support business growth.
- Later: An Instagram-only tool, Later features drag-and-drop scheduling and an easy-to-understand calendar interface.
- Schedugram: With Schedugram, you get a post scheduler and photo editor, all in one.
- Sprout Social: A sophisticated social media calendar for businesses, Sprout Social lets you schedule posts and measure user engagement. Also, the tool has social listening features that help you identify commenting trends across your social footprint so you can include hot topics in your content planning.
- Tailwind: Catering to bloggers and small businesses, Tailwind helps you post to Instagram and Pinterest. It also supports hashtag research and bulk image uploading.
How to Schedule Instagram Posts
The software you choose for scheduling your Instagram post will provide specific, step-by-step instructions. Before you can start scheduling posts, you'll need to establish an account with a third-party tool and link it to your Instagram account. Processes across each third-party tool will vary somewhat, but you can still expect to follow certain essential steps:
- Create an Account
Once you've selected a post scheduling tool, you'll need to create an account. Typically, this step requires you to provide an email address, password, and personal identifying information. If you select a paid plan, you'll need to add credit card information for billing.
- Select a Plan
Instagram tools typically offer several plans. If only one person will be managing your Instagram account, a basic plan should fit your needs. Often these base level plans are free or low cost.
If you have more complex needs or will have multiple parties managing your account, a paid or premium account may be preferred. These can be a good choice if you need to post across several social networks or want to take advantage of sophisticated audience analysis features.
- Connect Your Instagram Accounts
After registering with your chosen software, you'll need to connect your business accounts. Your software tools should provide you clear guidance during this step. Often, this process asks you to provide your Instagram account name and password and authorize the connection between your Instagram account and the third-party tool. You may need to follow additional steps for an Instagram business account.
- Verify Your Account
Your software provider may ask you to take additional steps to verify your account. In many cases, you'll receive an email with a special verification link to confirm these details. After you follow the appropriate steps, you may receive a follow-up email confirming that you are ready to schedule posts on Instagram.
- Upload and Prepare Your Instagram Posts
Third-party Instagram scheduling tools typically offer you a personal dashboard where you can schedule your content. You may see options to create new posts or bulk upload content or files from your computer, Google Drive, or Dropbox, or other sources. In addition, you may be able to edit photos, write captions or add first comments to your schedule posts. Some tools let you research and add hashtags and decorate your posts with emojis to boost their visual appeal.
- Schedule Your Posts
Once you're satisfied with your photos and captions, you're ready to schedule your post. Some tools let you select "post now," which sends the post to your Instagram account right away. You can also select a date and time for a future post. At this point, your content is placed into a queue and will automatically post to your Instagram account at the allotted time.
With some tools, you may have the option to drag-and-drop content if you want to adjust the timing of scheduled posts. Other tools may have a preview of your Instagram account page. This helps you visualize the appearance of your Instagram page and perfect your aesthetic.
How Often Should You Post on Instagram?
Posting regularly is necessary to grow your following and keep your messages in front of your audience. If you want to keep your Instagram feed vibrant and engaging, you can follow the lead of major brands. Research has found that top-name companies post on Instagram an average of 1.5 times per day.
What does this mean for you? Aim to post one to three times a day. And once you’ve established a posting cadence, it's critical to keep it up. Consider what would happen if you posted every day for several weeks, then quickly scaled back to one or two times per week. Your audience could lose interest and may see a drop in engagement.
To avoid this problem, it's better to start at a slower pace. If three times per week is manageable at first, start there and plan to grow over time. Always focus on quality over quantity. You'll win more engagement with outstanding photos and clever captions than by flooding your account with subpar content. You can always post more often as you master the nuances of your scheduling tool and grow more comfortable with sourcing and creating content. Once you’ve established a regular cadence of awesome content, your audience will be happy to see more frequent posts from you.
Find the Best Time to Post on Instagram and Connect with Your Followers
Each social media platform has different audience norms and engagement, so the best time to post on Instagram may not be the same as on Twitter or Facebook. Fortunately, you can use social media tools to help you understand and adapt to the nuances of your audiences across the varying channels to share content at the best times and extend your reach.
With more than one billion global users — and growing rapidly — Instagram should be an essential component of your social media marketing mix. To make the most of your presence on the platform, you should know the best time to post, utilize Instagram Insights and if it’s right for you, partner with a third-party tool to boost your knowledge and streamline your content management efforts.
Knowing the best time to post on Instagram is the foundation of a successful presence on the popular social platform. You can use this know-how to present the right content to the right followers at the right time. Soon, you'll have an engaged, passionate audience that looks out for your posts and shares them enthusiastically, helping you grow even more.
You don’t have to stop there. Take your expertise to the next level by joining the community of more than one million experts who share qualified, authentic product recommendations and get to connect with hundreds of top brands, enjoying behind-the-scenes access and discounts up to 60% off. Learn more at ExpertVoice.com — and happy Instagramming!