The Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2019
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 time 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.
- 1 When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?
- 2 Best Time to Post on Instagram by Day
- 3 Effect of Posting Time on Organic Reach
- 4 Here are some general rules to follow about the best time to post on Instagram:
- 5 Best Times to Post on Instagram for Small Businesses
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 Time to Post on Instagram by Day
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:
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:
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.
The best way to truly discern the best time to post is to consider your audience and try out different times. Keep track of which posts receive better engagement and what time you posted them, and repeat successful patterns. Consider who your audience is and when they’re likely to be scrolling through Instagram.
Effect of Posting Time on Organic Reach
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.
If you want to get more specific times to post based on your followers:
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:
- Go to your profile
- Click on the insights icon at the top right
- Click on “audience”
- 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).
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.