The Best Time to Post on Instagram for the Most Engagement

We wish we could just look into a magic crystal ball and tell you the best time to post, but unfortunately there is no magic number. The best times to post is widely debated, and depends on your audience. But don’t worry, because we are here to help you find the best time to post on Instagram!

One thing that everyone seems to agree on is that weekdays are generally better than weekends to post. However, if you are looking to grow your account, we recommend you aiming to post once per day. In this case, we wouldn’t recommend skipping out on weekend posts.  How often you post also has an impact on your reach.


When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?

Our research shows the best times to post on instagram are when people look for distractions from work or have some down time.

  • Early Morning – Many people check Instagram when they wake up
  • Lunch time weekdays – 11am to 1pm
  • After work hours – 5pm to 8pm
  • Weekend in the afternoon – most people sleep in


The key is scheduling your posts right before these times so you are in the feed at the right moment for maximum reach. You should also consider the worst times to post.

Best Day to Post on Instagram

Depending on the day of the week, there are better and worse times to post. Research has shown higher engagement rates based on time and day, so we’ve compiled the leading theories on when to post.

A study by Later looked at 12 million Instagram posts globally and picked the best three times per day to post. The results appear in this graphic:

when is the best time to post
Source: Later

Sprout Social conducted their own study of over 25,000 users engagement and found the days and times with the highest levels of engagement on Instagram. Their results were as follows:

when should i post on insta
Source: Sprout Social

You may notice that these two comprehensive reports contradict each other in some of the results. It’s difficult to say when the absolute best time is, because it differs depending on your followers, their activity, your niche industry, your content, and more.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Saturday

According to the above graphics, the best times to post on Saturdays are as follows:

      • 11 AM
      • 7 PM
      • 8 PM

Saturday is most people’s day off, so ideal posting times are different than during the week. The idea is to post when people are most likely checking. Many users check Instagram when they wake up, which may be later on Saturday since they can sleep in.

11 AM makes sense as a good late morning time, before many people are out running errands or having fun. Don’t post later than ~8 PM on Saturday, because after that many people may be out for whatever their Saturday night plans and are less likely to be checking Instagram.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Sunday

Many people cite Sunday as the worst day to post overall. Based on research from various sources, it seems that the best Sunday posting times are:

      • 7 AM
      • 8 AM
      • 11 AM
      • 12 PM
      • 4 PM

Sunday is also the typical weekend day off for those who work normal business hours, so theoretically people could be checking their phone all day. Even though it’s been said that Sunday is a bad day to post, that shouldn’t stop you from trying these times.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Monday

Monday’s tend to be everyone’s least favorite day, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad day to post. Try out these ideal posting times on Monday:

      • 6 AM
      • 8 AM
      • 10 AM
      • 10 PM

Many people check Instagram during their morning commute, so it may make sense to post early on weekdays.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Tuesday

Weekdays aren’t all so different, if you consider the standard 9-5 Monday-Friday work schedule. Keep that schedule in mind, and try these times to post on Tuesday:

      • 2 AM
      • 4 AM
      • 5 AM
      • 9 AM

Interestingly enough, studies have shown that even earlier hours are better on Tuesday compared to Monday. It’s hard to say for sure if this is accurate, but give these times a try and see if it improves engagement!

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Wednesday

Wednesdays are considered by many to be the best day of the week to post on Instagram, along with Thursdays. Try out these Wednesday posting times:

      • 5 AM
      • 7 AM
      • 8 AM
      • 3 PM
      • 4 PM
      • 11 PM

Mid-afternoon has been called the best overall time to post, so we recommend trying the 3-4 PM time slots first if you’re testing out best posting times.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Thursday

As we’ve said, some experts claim that Thursday is the best day for posting. Test out the theory with these best times to post on Thursday:

      • 5 AM
      • 9 AM
      • 11 AM
      • 12 PM
      • 3 PM
      • 4 PM
      • 7 PM

Again, it’s been said that mid-afternoon is the most ideal time to post on Instagram. For this reason, we suggest posting around the 3-4 PM time slot for maximum engagement.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Friday

Friday’s aren’t always the best time to post – those with a standard work schedule are getting out for the weekend, looking forward to plans, and may not be spending as much time on Instagram. Still, most of us probably check the app daily, so there’s no such thing as a bad day. Try these times on Fridays:

  • 5 AM
  • 1 PM
  • 3 PM

Late night Friday is probably best to avoid – people are out enjoying their Friday night and may not be liking your posts at that time.

Use the Best Time to Post on Instagram for Likes and Engagement

It’s been no secret in the marketing community that Instagram’s reach is not what it used to be. While you used to be able to reach 100% percent of your followers with every post, today that number is reduced as Instagram (and Facebook) has begun to place a greater emphasis on their paid advertising services.

Despite these changes, accounts with high engagement rates and a loyal instagram following can still reach a large percentage of their audience and grow organically today.

While the entire Instagram algorithm isn’t public, one major factor Instagram uses when determining the quality and organic reach of the post is the engagement and response it gets when it is viewed soon after launch. The speed at which the post gets positive engagement is a huge indicator that Instagram uses when determining if it’s high quality and should be spread across other feeds.

This makes it important for you to know your audience and what days and times they are most likely to be on Instagram and engage with the post.

Here are some general rules to follow about the best time to post on Instagram:


  • Know Your Audience’s Time Zone: If you are a local business you likely know the timezone of your audience based on your location.  An exception to this guideline is if you are located in Las Vegas or operate a business related to tourism that is mostly supported by travelers.
  • Understand Your Audience’s Schedule: If your audience is still in school or works a standard 9am-5pm workday than you may want to post around lunchtime (11am – 1pm) or 5pm – 7pm when most people are getting off of work and driving/taking public transportation.
  • Weekdays vs. Weekends:  Studies have shown that engagement is slightly higher on weekdays as people are in their daily routines and use social media during downtime and long commutes.  Based on our experience with clients of SocialBuddy, we see weekday afternoons as the optimal time to plan posts to maximize engagement and reach.


Best Times to Post on Instagram for Small Businesses

Typically for most local businesses the best time to post on Instagram is during the midday and early evenings.  Some specific businesses may benefit from focusing on days near the end of the week (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) like bars, restaurants, and nightclubs when people may be thinking about making their weekend plans.

Upgrade to a Business Profile to Find the Best Time to Post:

We suggest upgrading your Instagram account to a business profile. With a business profile, Instagram provides you with specific insights about your page, your posts and your followers. It will provide you with the top cities and states where your followers are located out of, and the days and hours in each day when your followers are on Instagram the most. 


Use Instagram Insights to Find the Best Time to Post:

      1. Go to your profile
      2. Click on the insights icon at the top right
      3. Click on “audience”
      4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see “top locations,” (where you can see the cities or countries where you have the most followers) and “followers” (where you can see the hours and days when your followers are on the app most often).

Find the best time to post on instagram

Once you have access to these insights that are personalized for your specific account, you can simply choose to post at those peak hours given.

Find Out When to Post on Instagram Through Trial and Error

If these tips don’t work and you aren’t sure about your audience’s schedule, simply try out different times to see what works. Create a calendar of what days and times you post and the likes, engagement rate, and comments you receive. Track different times to find the best time to post for your specific account and followers!

Can You Schedule Instagram Posts?

Maybe you found the best time to post on Instagram, but you’re normally busy at that time or can’t be on your phone at work. Is there a way to schedule Instagram posts?

Yes! It is possible to schedule your Instagram posts. You can set filters, captions, and schedule it to automatically post while you’re busy living your life.

How to Schedule Instagram Posts

Instagram does not have a scheduling option within the platform, although they do allow it through third party apps or websites. There are various websites or apps you can try to schedule and automatically post your content for you. Most of these apps aren’t free, however. Check out the best social media management tools to find one that will help you schedule posts.


Written by Erin

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