The Best Time to Post on Instagram

Promo Team
By Promo Team
November 8, 2021 · 17 min read

Instagram can be a goldmine for social media success, brand growth, and recognition. Creators who’ve made a living off the platform are excellent proof of that, and many small businesses will attest that their IG presence was a key driver for their growth and success. But getting noticed on Instagram’s highly competitive feed is a challenging game to play, and without knowing the best times to post on Instagram, you might be missing out on some major exposure opportunities. 

You may have spent time creating the funniest GIFs, the most engaging Instagram stories or the most value-packed carousels – but if you don’t know what the best time to post on Instagram is, you might be wasting time and effort on a lost cause. 

While there isn’t one definitive answer to the question of best times to post on Instagram, there are several key pieces of research around the subject that we will share with you in this article. From there, it’s more of a trial and error process until you find the times that work best for your business and best engage your audiences.  

instagram engagement

Why is it Important to Find the Best Time to Post on Instagram?

Like most social media platforms, Instagram offers its users a lot. But there’s one thing it doesn’t promise: overnight success. Gaining visibility, increasing impressions, and enhancing engagement on your IG will take time and consistency. 

Indeed, Instagram growth is difficult to hack. The platform uses numerous algorithms to decide which content to highlight in users’ feeds, making it even more complex. However, it is a known fact that score of interest is a determining factor, and it is largely influenced by when you post on Instagram. So, if you put in the effort to time your Instagram content according to the peak usage times of your audience, you will be much closer to hitting your engagement targets and fast-tracking your growth.

Don’t leave your painstakingly created content to chance. Your best bet to grow is to analyze your network, read this guide to find the best Instagram posting times for your page, and ensure your content gets the attention and engagement it deserves.

Best Time to Post on Instagram in a Nutshell

Each business and Instagram account caters to a different audience. Some focus on one time zone, while others are global. With so many variables to take into account, there is really no definitive answer to this question that will fit the needs of every person. However, we can provide you with the bottom line after reviewing research on the subject conducted by Later, Sprout Social and HubSpot.

The overall best time to post on Instagram is 6 AM in your audience’s local time.

This is the conclusion reached in the research conducted by Later that analyzed over 35 million Instagram feed posts. If you are wondering about time zones, we recommend going for 6 AM in the time zone where the largest portion of your audience resides. 

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Day 

Now that we know the general best time to post, let’s dive deeper into insights on the optimal posting times according to the days of the week. It is a well-known fact that user activity also varies according to the days of the week, so taking the time to completely understand these days will be to your advantage. 

The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Monday

In most countries, Monday is the first day of the work week. Research suggests that many people check their phones first thing on Monday morning, making 5 AM in your audience’s time zone the best time to share an Instagram post. Your post will be the first thing they see in their feed when they wake up. 

Instagram post ideas for Monday:

Being the first day of the week, any morning content you publish should have a pick-me-up attitude to start the week off right. You can offer a special discount to beat away the Monday blues, post an inspirational quote, or share your Monday mood. 

Here are some other post ideas to make a fantastic Monday morning IG post: 

  • An affirmation to start your week
  • A sneak peek into your targets for the week
  • A positive, forward-looking insight  

Pro tip: Check out our inspirational ready-made template collection, already packed with inspirational quotes to kick-start the week. Customize, brand, and publish in minutes. 

The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Tuesday

With the Monday blues gone, Tuesday is often the busiest day of the week for many people and one of the best days to post on Instagram according to research by Social Sprout. An IG post at 6 AM EST can get you significant engagement compared to other time slots.

Instagram post ideas for Tuesday:

On Tuesdays, we suggest tapping into topical content for popular hashtags like:

  • Taco Tuesday
  • Tuesday Tips
  • Tuesday Motivation
  • Tuesday Thoughts
  • Transformation Tuesdays

The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Wednesday

Wednesdays come mid-week, and several researchers point to it as the most important day to post on Instagram in terms of engagement. Best Wednesday times to post can range from 5AM-11AM, with a key peak of engagement being at 3 PM Central time. 

Instagram post ideas for Wednesdays:

Here are some trendy ideas for an engaging Wednesday post:

  • Happy hump day
  • Quote of the week
  • A snapshot of your grind
  • Wine Wednesdays

The Best Time to Post on Instagram Thursday

With the workweek just about to end, Thursday brings happy vibes for many. So, there are three slots in the day when you should post on Instagram on Thursdays—2 AM, 4 AM, and 6 PM EST. Any activity around these slots can get you high traction.

Instagram post ideas for Thursdays:

Thursday is a great day to make Throwback Thursday posts. Additional ideas include: 

The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Friday

According to some research, Friday brings the highest levels of activity on Instagram, with people bustling at the end of the week and ready to start off their weekends. The 2 AM to 6 AM EST slot is the best time to publish Instagram stories and posts.

Instagram post ideas for Fridays:

  • Easily one of the most popular themes to post on a Friday is TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday). So, show your audience how you relax.
  • Another great way to celebrate Fridays is with a roundup of your week’s accomplishments or a set of your goals for the next week. And how can we forget the infamous Black Friday posts that won’t just amp up your reach but also your sales—it’s a win-win!
  • Encourage your viewers to get out there and get active on #FitnessFriday

The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Saturday

Saturdays are for relaxation and bring up Instagram engagement especially during the wintertime because the weekend gives users the time to scroll mindlessly on Instagram. Ideally, you want to publish IG posts from Saturday at midnight onwards, precisely at 3 AM or 6 AM EST.

Instagram post ideas for Saturdays:

  • Let your audiences know you’re all about #SleepySaturday
  • Ask your viewers what they do to get them into #SaturdayVibes
  • If you want to start any giveaway, then Saturday is a great day to announce it because a large portion of your audience will be hanging out on Instagram.

The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Sunday

Sundays don’t get as much user activity as the weekdays. Most people prefer to spend the day off social media, and if you go by the Instagram algorithm, then Sundays will bring you the lowest engagement. But if you do wish to make a post, 6 AM and 7 AM EST are ideal time slots.

 Memes and relatable posts are the best content ideas for a Sunday post because nobody wants to consume an information-heavy piece of content on a weekend that’s otherwise meant to relax and blow off some steam.

Instagram post ideas for Sundays:

Here are some great concepts you can choose for a Sunday post:

  • Lazy Sunday
  • Sinful Sunday
  • Sunday Funday
  • Encourage your viewers to get personal by posting a #SelfieSunday
  • Promote a #SundaySale

The Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry 

The best Instagram posting times are not decided randomly; instead, many factors come into play. While the location is an important aspect, the timing will also vary based on your industry.

You can experiment with different timings and review the activity on your page to decide what timing works specifically for your industry. However, to simplify it for you, we’ve compiled a list of industry-specific Instagram post timings.

When to Post on Instagram for Real Estate

The real estate industry can benefit from Instagram in many ways. Clever Estates’ thriving IG account is a great example! 

But what’s the best time to post real estate pictures and videos on Instagram to get the best traction? Ideally, the time slot from 10 AM to 3 PM EST performs the best for real estate posts. Wednesdays are also considered to bring the highest engagement.

Now that you’ve cracked the code about the best timing, what are you planning to post?

Here are some tried-and-true ways to build your IG audience as a real estate account:

  • Define a personality for your Instagram page. The Broke Agent, for instance, creates funny content revolving around real estate.
  • Take professional photos in great lighting to make every property appealing and more share-worthy for your audience.
  • Use carousels as much as possible to show a property from different angles and retain users on your profile for longer.
  • Create educational content related to investment, tips for buying, and décor. Grant Muller does this perfectly.

When to Post on Instagram for Restaurants

From food bloggers posting cute food pictures to chefs and restaurants sharing recipes, the food industry is booming on Instagram. Restaurants—old and new alike—can tap into all this IG energy to become famous and get more visitors.

 The best time for restaurants to post on Instagram is between 10 AM and 12 PM EST. 4 pm on Wednesdays is also ideal timing for IG activity.

Restaurants have a great scope to get creative on Instagram. You can use reels to give a sneak peek of the kitchen or present a montage of your dining area. IGTV is also an excellent place for covering a big day or for showing a particular recipe tutorial. 

Here are some great ideas you can use for your restaurant page:

  • Create an aesthetic for your page—that matches your restaurant’s theme and décor. Look at Sweet Green’s feed to inspire your own.
  • Make video content to highlight your specialties, like Piada Italian Street Food.
  • Repost user-generated content from when visitors post pictures and stories of your restaurant.

When to Post on Instagram for eCommerce companies

Instagram is the ultimate magic bullet for success for all online retailers. Whether you run a small, in-house business or a well-known brand, Instagram can help you scale higher and grow bigger.

 But what’s the best engagement time for Instagram eCommerce? You can play safe and post between 5 AM and 9 AM to get decent traction. However, 11 AM and 4 PM EST are the best slots for great engagement since these are less competitive hours.

Avoid posting on Mondays since the week starts with low activity around consumer goods.

 Now, if you’re wondering what exactly you should post on your IG page to grab eyes to your content, let’s look at some ideas:

  • Create high-quality, aesthetically pleasing visuals of your products, like Madewell.
  • Add a mix of Instagram videos, like reels and IGTV, to make your feed more interactive. Use Promo.com’s templates to flaunt your collection through pre-made videos.
  • Create informative and relatable content to increase your follower count.

When to Post on Instagram for Beauty and Cosmetics  

Instagram is big on beauty tips and tutorials. So, if you run a beauty and cosmetics brand, creating content consistently can bring you some great engagement. 11 AM EST is ideally the peak posting hours on Instagram for beauty brands. Tuesdays and Fridays are among the most popular days for engagement.

 If you’re looking for some inspiration about what content to create, here are a few actionable ideas:

  • Make unique tutorials that set you apart from the crowd. Makeup Viibe, for instance, posts a collection of tutorials—both long and short.
  • Choose a color palette and create appealing visuals as per this palette, like Frank Body.
  • Post a mix of affirmations, memes, and videos to spice up your feed the way Glossier does.

When to Post on Instagram for Educational Niches

While education brands and schools have not leveraged the power of Instagram just yet, you can turn this low competition and low entry barrier in your favor. Instagram marketing for education is more about building awareness and authority for your brand.

The weekdays are among the best performers in terms of IG engagement for educational brands. The early morning hours of 5 AM to 6 AM EST and the later afternoon slot at 2 PM EST are great to get traction.

Once you sort out the timing, it’s time to create attention-grabbing content. Here are some ideas for you:

  • Showcase your program and university USPs or expertise through video content.
  • Offer a peak of your student community and their work.
  • Flaunt your campus aesthetics, like Dartmouth.
  • Host IG lives and IGTVs to create conversations around hot topics.

When to Post on Instagram for Retail

The retail industry is expanding rapidly, and Instagram has a pivotal role to play in this growth. Instagram’s continually burgeoning community has contributed constructively to many retail brands—from the world’s biggest retail brands like Nike to up-and-coming local businesses.

Late nights and early mornings are usually low-activity periods for retail brands. But the noontime, around 1 PM EST, brings active engagement. Moreover, Tuesday is the most popular day of the week.

 There’s a lot of scope for experimentation on Instagram. Take inspiration from these ideas to level up your IG game:

  • Mix aesthetics with information aligned with your brand voice. Haus presents an excellent example to inspire your own. 
  • Create shoppable posts and promote them through creative product videos.
  • Plan IG campaigns to push your sales and discounts, especially during retail holidays and festive occasions.
  • Make reels and IG stories to add a human touch to your feed and interact with your audience in a much better way.

Other Methods to Increase Instagram Engagement

You are consistently creating content for Instagram and engaging with other creators to build your network. You’re also using all the IG features to make a better connection with your followers and stay in the good graces of the algorithm. But your account is still growing at a snail’s pace—let’s change that!

Actively posting meaningful content—and posting it at the right time—is just one side of the spectrum. There’s a lot more you can do to unlock your IG growth.

 Here’s a roundup of the best practices and hacks you can use to boost your Instagram business

Use a scheduler

Once you’ve figured out the best timings for your IG page, use an Instagram scheduling app to your advantage. A scheduler automates the process of posting content on the platform and simplifies your work to keep track of posting time and day.

Creating a stock of content beforehand is the best way to distribute it on various social networks. So, when you have the content for multiple posts ready, you can put them into an Instagram scheduler and publish content at all the best times of the week.

This puts your content posting process on auto-pilot, so your content is posted at the right time of the day, even when you’re sleeping—all you have to do is batch create and schedule content.

To simplify the process for you, here are some of the best Instagram scheduling apps you can try:

  1. Later: an all-in-one social media marketing platform with a dedicated Instagram scheduler tool.
  2. Hootsuite: schedule, analyze, and collaborate with your entire social media team on this tool with integrations for Slack, Monday.com, and Zendesk.
  3. Buffer: an intuitive scheduler to plan multiple posts in a day and throughout the week with features to directly add a shop grid and first comment with tags. 
  4. Sprout Social: a robust social media management tool that recommends the optimal posting times to maximize engagement. 
  5. NapoleanCat: schedule posts tailored to every platform with a detailed content calendar. 

Invest in Analytics tools

While you work hard to ideate, plan, and create content for your Instagram, analyzing your posts’ performance is equally important. Review what’s working best for you and what’s not to iterate your IG strategy and improve it for more optimized results.

 Instagram analytics tools give you a crystal-clear view of your progress. You can check granular insights for each post while tracking your daily, weekly, and monthly performance.

 Some good Instagram metrics to track your growth and plan your strategy include:

  • Number of impressions and reach
  • Follower growth and demographics
  • Engagement and growth rate
  • Conversion and amplification rate

You can also find some great account-specific insights on Instagram’s own analytics platform. Try a specialized Instagram analytics tool to access the most granular and accurate data for your account.

Here are some great options for an Instagram analytics app:

  1. Hootsuite Analytics: offers a 360-degree view of all social media activity with actionable insights and suggestions to optimize performance combined with Hootsuite Impact.
  2. Keyhole: brings data for campaign ROI, hashtag activity, and extensive reports to track your progress.
  3. Iconosquare: manages multiple profiles with an eye for meaningful insights and competitor analysis with a powerful reporting tool.

Use Hashtags

Instagram hashtags can make a huge difference—posts with hashtags get 12.6% more engagement than posts with no hashtags.

Hashtags work wonders to enhance your discoverability, reach new audiences, increase impressions, and ultimately grow your community. Besides mainstream hashtags, relevant and targeted ones can significantly blow up your account.

 You can use a maximum of 30 hashtags on a post and 10 hashtags on stories.

 

Source: Flick

Here are some comprehensive tips to better get the hang of using hashtags for your IG account and get ready to level up:

  • Use hashtags to describe and promote your products or services.
  • Find the most popular hashtags related to your industry. For instance, #foodblogger and #makeupartist are two great industry-specific hashtags.
  • Target IG communities relevant to your work. So, if you’re a photographer, use #photographersofIG or #bakersofinstagram for pastry chefs and bakers.
  • Leverage day-wise hashtags to add your posts into the bigger directory of posts for top Instagram hashtags like #throwbackthursday and #mondaymood.
  • Create a hashtag unique to your brand that compiles all your posts in a single directory.

Before starting with hashtags, it’s best to perform meticulous research for Instagram keywords relevant to your business. Once you have this list, follow these tips, and you can increase your engagement meaningfully. 

Conclusion

There’s no magic wand that can bring you Instagram success. It’s all about consistent planning and content creation. But your efforts can go down the drain if you underestimate the importance of posting content at the right time.

The Instagram algorithm pushes content that gets good engagement in the first few hours, making it vital to post when your followers are active on the platform. So, instead of just winging your IG posting schedule, focus on research and surveys for the best Instagram timings, and use the data in this article to create a content calendar for yourself.

In addition to posting at the best hours, leverage tools for scheduling and analyzing your posts. Follow these best practices and watch your Instagram activity soar like never before! And as always, we’re here to help you create the most engaging and amazing content for your feed. Our easy-to-use editor, amazing video library, and suite of creative tools are ready to help you boost your Instagram presence today!

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About the author

Promo Team

We believe that words shape thoughts and inspire action. Promo's content team is fueled by the motivation to help you to transform your words and ideas into powerful videos that help you communicate better with your audience and grow your reach.

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