Instagram is currently the most popular social media application.
The app that launched in 2010 now has over 1 billion users. Yes, that says billion. It’s no surprise that more and more companies are migrating to Instagram in hopes of building their audience and advertising to the masses. Instagram has hugely impacted the social media landscape and has projections to continue growing far into the future.
Naturally, entrepreneurs, marketers, and business owners alike all begin to wonder the same thing. Is there a best time to post on Instagram?
The best time to post on Instagram on weekdays is during morning commute hours from 5 AM - 9 AM. If you miss the morning time slot, 11 AM - 3 PM is another hot spot for maximizing engagement, with the lunch hour around 11 AM being specifically high. The best day to post on Instagram is on Thursdays at 5 AM, 11 AM, 3 - 4 PM. Statistically, the worst day to post is on Sunday.
*All times are timezone agnostic
Here’s the thing, those guidelines are pretty vague and will work for most users who use Instagram for personal reasons. If you’re on the app as a business owner, the factor that will determine the best time for you to post is the industry your company is a part of.
The short answer is no. The long answer is: it depends what you’re posting, who your audience is, what you’re advertising, and what day of the week it is.
The question of when to post became especially fuzzy when Instagram switched to an algorithm-based feed in 2016. Since then, Instagram has favored recency over chronological order. This means that you won’t see posts from people you follow chronologically, rather, you’ll see posts that are newer at the top of your feed.
|Related: If you are looking to repost something on Instagram, the same rules apply.|
So what does that mean from a business standpoint? In order for your audience to have the chance to see your posts and ads, you’ll need to make sure you’re posting when they’re the most active. That way, you give your audience the best chance of seeing your content.
One of the best ways to find out when your audience is most active is to look closely at your Instagram analytics. If you have an Instagram business profile, you can look at Insights to get a general sense of when your audience is online.
By clicking the ≣ button at the top right corner of your Instagram profile, the sidebar will pop up on the right. Click on Insights.
In the Activity tab, you can see the actions taken on your account during the previous week. The Interactions measures the actions people took when they engaged with your content. Under it, you can see Profile Visits. These metrics can be a good indicator of how effective your content is. You can track your process week over week to make sure you’re posting the best content possible.
In the Discovery tab, you’ll be able to observe how many people see your content and where they find it.
Now, click on Audience. This is where you can monitor the Top Locations your followers live in, broken into cities and countries, as well as their Age Range and Gender.
Just like advertising on Facebook, Instagram provides you with important demographic information you can use to target your audience more efficiently. If you know that most of your audience lives in Chicago, advertising there heavily would be a smart move.
The section that will be most useful to find out when your audience is active is the Followers section. Organized by Hours and Days, you can tap through to see which day would be the best to post on and what hours the majority of your followers are browsing Instagram. You can use these times as a starting point as you continue experimenting with different days and hours. By doing this, you adjust your marketing strategy and will find your business’ best time.
According to data collected by Sprout Social, the best time to post weekly are as follows:
Source: Sprout Social
Every brand, company, or business will be different, so the answer to this question isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Let’s go over a few industries and their “best times to post.”
*All times are timezone agnostic
|TIP: Now that you know the best time to post based on your industry, learn how to sell on Instagram!|
If you’ve determined when your audience is most active, you can try your hand at scheduling your Instagram posts for your personalized best times. Scheduling your posts will save you time and ensure you’re not waiting around to post an important piece of content. By sitting down and planning your posting schedule, you can boost traffic and engagement while not stressing if you posted on time.
Test out some scheduling software yourself to see if it enhances your productivity.
Instagram has an incredibly large marketplace. As you begin to build your Instagram audience, remember that perfecting your posting time will be a learning process. There is no one size fits all time for any social platform.
So, conclusion? There’s no best time to post on Instagram, but if you reference your Insights often while testing a variety of post times, you’ll be sure to find your personalized answer.
If you're eager to learn more, discover how to best use Instagram filters or check out our social media marketing hub to learn everything you need to know about posting, analytics, and current best practices.
Alexa is a former Content Marketing Associate at G2. Born and raised in Chicago, she went to Columbia College Chicago and entered the world of all things event marketing and social media. In her free time, she likes being outside with her dog, creating playlists, and dabbling in Illustrator. (she/her/hers)
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