What’s the best time of day to post on Instagram?
Today, posting on Instagram at the right time is crucial. After all, you can put all the time and effort in the world into creating a stunning image for your followers, but if no-one’s going to see it, then you’re not going to get the results you need.
It turns out there’s a lot more to gaining #InstaFame than knowing the right dimensions and photo sizes or even using the most popular hashtags. You also need to get your timing right, or even your best pictures could end up missing the mark.
When is the Best Time of Day to Post on Instagram?
There are plenty of studies that discuss when the best time of day to post on Instagram is, but the truth is that most of them don’t match. That’s because every account has a unique audience, so what works for one company won’t necessarily work for you.
If you look at studies from the Pew Research Centre, for instance, you’ll see that half of all Instagram users access the app every day. That would suggest that you should be able to post on Insta every day of the week and still see engagement.
However, the truth is that if you want to get the most out of Instagram, you’re going to need to get a little more refined with your posting. The new Instagram algorithm doesn’t just look at how much engagement each post receives; it also looks at how quickly you get engagement after posting. If you gather likes and comments from your followers moments after you post a new photo, then Instagram is more likely to see your content as “high quality.” This means you have a better chance of getting to the top of the Insta Explore page.
Figuring out the best time of day to post on Instagram for your audience is the easiest way to hack the algorithm.
The Best Time of Day to Post on Instagram: Why Focus on Weekdays?
Every day is a new opportunity on social media.
Ultimately, the best time of day to post on Instagram will always be when your followers are active online. However, it’s not still easy figuring out what your fans want from you. Whether you’ve got a brand-new Instagram account to work with, or you’ve been on Insta for a while now, it’s going to take some time to get to know your audience.
If you’re looking for a way to increase your Instagram followers quickly and organically, then you need to start by getting your schedule right. After all, nobody wants to spend a fortune on their social marketing just to discover that they’re posting information at the wrong time.
According to Adespresso, weekdays naturally lead to higher engagement than weekdays. People have plans that they want to pay attention to on the weekend. Through the week, your audience is full of people who are just trying to get through until the end of the workday.
Importantly, the best time of day to post on Instagram varies according to two things: the day of the week, and the industry you’re in. Let’s look at each day in a little more depth.
The Best Time of Day to Posts on Instagram on a Monday
Monday is the first day of the working week for around 83% of the population. It can also be an excellent time to post on Instagram.
Leading brands like Hubspot believe that Monday is tied with Thursday as one of the best days for engagement and interactions, as long as you don’t post between 3 pm and 4 pm. Elle & Co, as well as Neil Patel, also think that Monday is the best day for #IG success.
So, how do you choose the best time to post on a Monday?
TrackMaven suggests sticking to times between 9 pm and 8 am for your videos and pictures. However, MarketingProfs disagrees. They think that between 1 and 2 pm is the best time to get social on a Monday. Often, your results will vary according to your industry. Studies suggest that Technology and education brands fare best with Monday posts:
- For Technology brands, Hootsuite recommends posting on a Monday or a Tuesday at 2 pm. This is when the most popular tech companies are already online.
- For Education companies (universities and schools), Sprout Social recommends posting at 8pm on a Monday. The Sprout Social Index found that Monday has the highest level of engagement for education, driven by students looking for updates.
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Hashtags to Help Your Monday Posts
Whenever you’re posting content on Instagram, one of the best ways to increase engagement is through hashtags. As you’re working on your schedule, you’ll notice that different days of the week have their own trending hashtags to consider. For instance, on Monday, you have:
- #MondayMotivation – Help your followers get through the pain of yet another Monday with some inspirational images.
- #MondayBlues – Show your solidarity with your followers by letting them know that you’re just as miserable at work as they are.
- #ManCrushMonday – Take your mind off work by checking out some of the most attractive men on social media today.
- #ManicMonday – Join your followers in lamenting the craziness of a Monday morning!
Best Time of Day to Post on Instagram on a Tuesday
According to most studies, Tuesday isn’t necessarily the best day to post on Instagram when you want views and engagement. However, it is still a weekday. As we noted above, weekdays have the edge over weekends when you’re building your social presence.
Although Tuesday might not drive as much attention as Mondays and Wednesdays, it’s still a good day to keep people engaged as they’re getting into their work week. You’ll also find that Tuesday has the lowest cost-per-click of any other day in the week. That might be why CoSchedule believes the best time of day to post on Instagram is 2 pm on a Tuesday.
Once again, your industry will affect your results. Healthcare, Technology, Non-Profit, Retail, Professional services, and media brands all do well on Tuesdays:
- For Healthcare companies, Sprout Social’s index suggests that the best time to post is on a Tuesday at 1 pm. You can also spread your posts out between 9 am and 4 pm on a Tuesday too.
- For Technology companies, Hootsuite recommends 2 pm either on a Monday or a Tuesday.
- For non-profit companies, Unmetric data also shows that 4 pm on a Tuesday is an excellent time for engagement. However, statistics also show that content with the most engagement is usually posted at 10 am.
- For professional services, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Wednesdays all work at between 9 am and 10 am.
- For retail companies, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are a good shout – usually around lunchtime (noon).
- For media and entertainment, stick to Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12 and 3 pm.
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Hashtags to Help Your Tuesday Posts
Once you’ve chosen the best time of day to post on Instagram on a Tuesday, and you’ve listed your brand-focused hashtags, try some of these trending tags too. The most popular tags on a Tuesday right now include:
- #TransformationTuesday – Where you can share the progress you’ve made towards personal or professional goals. Usually, these pictures are fitness-based.
- #TipTuesday – Useful for brands that want to share a little advice or guidance with their Tuesday posts.
- #TakeMeBackTuesday – Similar to Throwback Thursday, this hashtag allows you to get nostalgic about days gone by.
- #TravelTuesday – If you’re heading somewhere new this Tuesday, show off your location with this simple hashtag.
Best Time of Day to Post on Instagram on a Wednesday
#Humpday is the day of the week that we all want to get through as quickly as possible. We tell ourselves if we can just make it to Thursday, then the weekend will almost be here. When it comes to choosing the best time of day to post on Instagram, Wednesday is a good day to start with. Research suggests that people love browsing through beautiful pictures to launch them into the second half of the week.
According to Sprout Social, Wednesdays at 3 pm are the ultimate day to post on Instagram – regardless of which industry you belong to. The social media scheduling service “Later” agrees with this advice, but they suggest posting between 2 am and 5 pm all day.
The industries that see the best outcomes on a Wednesday are Professional Services, Technology, and Pharma/Healthcare:
- For Technology brands, Sprout Social believes that the best time of day to post on Instagram is Wednesdays at 10 am. You can also stretch your posts out to 5 pm if you don’t want to post too early in the day.
- For Professional Services companies, Wednesday is another good day. Once again, it’s best to post between 9 am and 10 am, when your followers are just getting out of bed.
- For Pharma/Healthcare companies, Wednesdays and Sundays are the most popular days of the week. Usually, fitness-focused followers will come to you for motivation at around 8-9 am.
Hashtags to Help Your Wednesday Posts
The most obvious trending hashtag to use with your posts on Wednesdays is #Humpday. However, you can also accomplish better engagement and brand reach by experimenting with other popular tags too. For instance, some of our favorites include:
- #WomenCrushWednesday – Celebrate some of the most beautiful and impressive women on social media, similar to #ManCrushMonday.
- #WednesdayWisdom – Show your thoughtful leadership and help your followers to learn a thing or two with some relevant wisdom.
- #WorkoutWednesday or #WellnessWednesday – We mentioned above that Wednesdays are great for health brands. Make sure you’re celebrating your followers by drawing attention to their wellness and fitness efforts.
- #WayBackWednesday – This is another semantic option for companies that want to make the most of the #ThrowbackThursday trend.
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The Best Time to Post on Instagram on a Thursday
Hubspot found that Thursday is one of the ultimate posting days – particularly if you hit the morning commute (between 8 am, and 9 am). However, Hubspot also believes that you should avoid posting between 3 pm and 4 pm on a Thursday.
Hubspot isn’t the only expert that believes in the value of Thursdays. Sprout Social also found that engagement levels were particularly high on Thursdays between 5 am and 11 am. However, unlike Hubspot, Sprout Social found between 3 pm and 4 pm to be an excellent engagement time.
Studies from Unmetric offer some overviews on the best time to post on Instagram on a Thursday, depending on your niche and brand.
- For Entertainment and Media, the best days are Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12 pm and 3 pm. The top 20 Instagram accounts in this niche have the best results in the early afternoon.
- For Retail companies, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are the best days, often at noon. In the retail industry, most people will be checking their phone around lunch-time.
- For e-commerce (non-Retail) brands, try posting between 4 pm and 9 pm.
- For Personal Care companies, particularly those in the cosmetics space, make the most of Thursdays and Fridays between 1 pm and 3 pm.
- For Education brands, consider giving your weekly update to students, investors, and parents on a Thursday. The best time of day to post in this industry is usually around 5 pm.
Hashtags for your Thursday Posts
Thursday has some pretty significant hashtags associated with it. Remember, you don’t have to limit yourself exclusively to #TBT. There are plenty of tags out there to explore. Listen to your audience to find out which of the following they use the most:
- #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday – One of the most popular hashtags on Instagram. Throwback Thursday is all about reminiscing with your followers about previous posts or experiences. You can even just use the term #Throwback if you prefer.
- #ThankfulThursday – If you’re thinking about the present rather than the past, let followers know what you’re grateful for right now. For instance, you might use #ThankfulThursday just to tell people you’re happy the weekend is almost here.
- #ThursdayThoughts – This is a basic hashtag you can use to share your musings for the day.
- #ThursdayThrowPillows and #ThursdayBoots are interior design and fashion-based hashtags for companies and brands from specific industries.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on a Friday
Fridays might be the best day of the week for your social life – but how good are they for your social media presence?
Well, that depends on who you ask. Friday is one of the most expensive days of the week for companies investing in Instagram ads. Cost-per-click prices can often jump up as you head towards the weekend. However, Sprout Social’s Social Index also suggests that Friday’s can be an excellent time to generate engagement, mainly if you post at 5 am. Posting at 5 am means that your images and videos will be ready online from the moment your customers log on in the morning.
The sectors that see the best results on Instagram on a Friday are Non-Profits, Personal Care, Professional Services, Travel and Tourism, Food and Beverage, and Retail:
- For Non-profits, the best time of day to post on Instagram is on a Friday at 2 pm, or 10 am. You can also get good results on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but Fridays often deliver the
- For Personal Care companies, the best time of day to post on Instagram is between 1 pm and 3 pm on a Thursday or Friday. People generally look for hair and beauty information towards the end of the week.
- For Professional Services brands, Fridays, Tuesdays, and Fridays are all excellent if you stick to the lunch hour (12 pm to 1 pm).
- For Food and Beverage companies, the best time of the week to post is on a Friday at noon, when people are indulging in a delicious lunch and planning weekend meals.
- For Travel and Tourism companies, Friday is an excellent day to take advantage of your customer’s dreams of jetting off and leaving work behind for a while. Try posting between 9 am and 1 pm.
Hashtags for your Friday Posts
While you’re making the most out of your timing, you might as well upgrade your Friday posts with some helpful hashtags too. If you’re not sure which #Tags work best on a Friday, here are some of our favorites:
- #FBF or #FlashbackFriday – Similar to Throwback Thursday. You post nostalgic content that reminds you and your audience of days gone by.
- #FridayReads – Ideal for people who like to sit down with a good book after a long week. Friday reads shares what you’re reading with your followers.
- #FridayNight – An obvious one. Friday night is all about sharing what you’re doing on the last night of the week. Share your fun with your followers (as long as it doesn’t harm your rep).
- #FridayFunday – Similar to the #FridayNight tag, this is all about showing the fun you can have on a Friday.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on a Weekend
As we outlined above, weekdays are much better than weekends when you want to earn engagement and followers on Instagram. Saturday and Sunday are two of the most expensive days to post Instagram ads. What’s more, because your followers are out taking their own pictures, they don’t necessarily have a lot of time to check out your feed.
Generally, you’ll get a much better ROI if you stick to weekday posts. However, there are exceptions to any rule. For instance, the Sprout Social studies we’ve referenced a few times in this post show that the best time to post in the consumer goods industry is on a Saturday between 11 am and 1 pm.
Additionally, Pharma and Healthcare companies can sometimes benefit from posting on a Sunday, when people in search of fitness and wellness advice need some extra motivation.
Hashtags for your Weekend Posts
If you decide to throw caution to the wind and post on the weekend, or you find that weekends are better for your brand than they are for most, you’ll need some hashtags. Some of the most popular options include:
- #SaturdaySwag – Show off your latest products or run a competition to help engage your audience and keep them coming back to you throughout the week.
- #ShoutoutSaturday – Give your biggest customers some love or improve your chances or a lucrative collaboration with a shout out.
- #Caturday – Get involved with the internet’s love of cats and throw some furry friends in with your content – as long as it’s relevant to your brand.
- #SundayFunday – Encourage people to make the most of the last day of their weekend with some Sunday motivation.
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The Best Time of Day to Post on Instagram In General
As we mentioned above, there isn’t any one-size-fits-all solution for choosing the best time of day to post on Instagram. Later, or Latergramme suggests that you should stick to times between 5 pm and 2 am. Although, we can’t see too many people checking their phones at 2 am these days. On the other hand, Sprout Social suggests that the ideal times for your Instagram posts are:
- Wednesdays at 3 pm
- Thursdays at 11 am or 5 am
- Fridays at 5 am
Sprout Social also ranks Sunday as the least engaging day for Instagram posts.
There are a few other golden rules you can keep in mind when you’re planning your schedule too:
Understand the Power of Recency with the Instagram Algorithm:
The new Instagram algorithm means that your posts won’t show up on the app chronologically. However, Instagram still favors “recency” when deciding where to place posts. In other words, the content you see at the top of your feed is made up of the most relevant and recent images that people
Try to concentrate on off-work hours:
Although the occasional follower will check out your feed during the work day, most won’t. Today’s professionals like to make sure that they’re getting the most out of their careers. That means that you’ll need to time your posts either for lunchtime or after work. Between 11 am and 1 pm are often good times, as are between 7 pm and 9 pm.
Know where your followers are:
Remember to pay attention to time zones. If you want to make sure that you’re waking your community up with a fresh batch of Instagram content, don’t just post when it’s morning for you. Make sure that you know where most of your audience comes from. You can find details on the location of your followers through Instagram Insights. From there, you’ll be able to adjust your posting schedules according to the best times of day for them.
How to Find Your Best Time of Day to Post on Instagram
Despite all the findings available online, there’s honestly no single best time of day to post on Instagram. Different customers and fans will appear online at different times, which is why it’s so important to conduct your own research if you want to get the best results.
Here are our tips for finding the right time to post.
1. Check Out Your Top Time Zones
First of all, you’re going to need to know where your customers come from if you want to know what the best time of day to post on Instagram is. Instagram’s native analytics tool is great for this purpose. All you need to do is go into your Instagram app and take a look at when most of your customers are online, and where they come from.
You will need to set up a business profile on Instagram if you haven’t done so already to get access to your Insights, but it’s completely free to do this. Once you’re set up, you’ll be able to see what part of the world your followers are in, their age, their gender, and also when they’re most active on Instagram.
If you want to boost your chances of success, you can also view follower location by city or country, so it’s easier to see which kind of time zones you need to consider for your posts. Using this data, you’ll have a foundation for what sort of times you should be testing your posts around.
2. Experiment with Different Posting Times
Once you know when your followers are most likely to get online, you can start getting into the scientific part of finding the best time of day to post on Instagram. You might see that your followers are more active between 10 am and 12 pm Eastern Time, but their engagement also picks up between 7 pm and 9 pm. To get the best results, you’ll need to try posting at both times of day, and see which option gets you the best results.
Schedule your Instagram posts to publish at the times when you know your followers are most likely to appear, then track the results you get in terms of things like comments and “likes.” Remember: Generally, you’re looking for the highest level of engagement possible with your schedule.
If you get a lot of likes at 10 am, but more comments at 7 pm, then it might be best to post twice a day or focus on the time when you get more actionable insights from your target audience. Comments are generally an indication that your followers are more moved by your photos.
3. Schedule Your Posts
With all the essential information that you need about your followers and their engagement on hand, it’s time to start scheduling your posts. As tempting as it might be to handle everything on your social media accounts manually, sometimes an automated posting option is better – particularly when you find that your engagement levels are highest when you should be out of the office or sleeping.
Since most of the studies into the best time of day to post on Instagram, suggest that it’s good to stay active through the week, working with an account manager could be particularly useful for business leaders who have other aspects of running a business to worry about.
What If You Have a Diverse Audience?
Up until now, we’ve told you everything you need to do to find the best time of day to post on Instagram for your target audience. But what if you have multiple different types of customer that you want to appeal to? What do you do if you’re going to engage with people from different time zones? There are a few options available here. You can:
- Stagger posts to a reach more diverse selection of customers: just remember that you post original content each time, so you don’t look like you’re posting the same stories all day.
- Adjust your schedule to the most valuable audience: if you know a specific audience gives you more engagement and conversions, then it makes sense to tailor most of your posts to them.
- Post multiple times a day: there’s no rule saying that you only have to post once a day on Instagram, various posts will allow you to reach out to audiences from different backgrounds with plenty of great content.
Keep Working on Your Strategy
Choosing the best day to post on Instagram for any day of the week can be more complicated than you think. Companies often assume that if something works for one of their competitors, it should work for them. However, that’s rarely the case with Instagram. You’re going to need to do some work and research if you want to find the right schedule for your community.
The good news is that it’s easy to test your posting assumptions with Instagram. The more time you spend on Insights, playing with your posting schedule, the easier it will be to figure out when you get the most interaction and engagement on your channel.
Just remember, the habits and demographics of your audience can change at a moment’s notice. On top of that, there’s nothing to say for sure that the Instagram algorithm won’t change either. That’s why social media can never be a set-it and forget-it concept. If you want to transform your business, you need to keep testing your Instagram strategy.