HomeBlogThe Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 [For Every Scenario]

The Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 [For Every Scenario]

Author: Rob Glover
Last Updated: April 16, 2024 | Social Media

We believe, without hesitation, that social media is still one of the most powerful marketing channels available. But the competition on social feeds is high and getting higher—you have to jump on anything that’ll land your post on more screens.

Knowing the best time to post on Instagram is one of those little hacks that’ll help boost your visibility and engagement with customers.

There are approximately 10,000 opinions on the best possible moment to push “publish” on a post. But really there are just two steps:

  1. Before you have your own Instagram data: Test using times suggested by well-respected studies.
  2. After you’ve gathered your own Instagram data: Tweak your posting schedule to fit your audience’s habits.

The tricky bit is gathering the most recent studies about Instagram posting times and then knowing how to gather and respond to your own data. Lucky for you, that’s what we’ve done here:

Best time to post on Instagram - graph of the best times to post on Instagram

Skim through and you’ll find the best Instagram posting times based on multiple studies, an explanation of those studies, and a list of ways to find the best time to post on Instagram for your business.

Contents

Does it matter what time you post on Instagram?

It sure does and here’s why.

While social media feeds aren’t strictly chronological, the platforms do want to share fresh content. If you post around the time your audience is most likely scrolling, you’ll have a better chance of catching their likes, shares, and comments.

Even better is the kickstart that early engagement can give your post with the Instagram algorithm. Instagram loves to show popular posts, so if you can nab a few interactions right in the first hour, there’s a much better chance your post will show up on feeds throughout the day.

Of course, you need to create good content that’s a match for your audience. Quality and relevance beat even the best posting schedule on social media.

❤️ Build an emotional connection with your audience on social. Get our free guide with 135 of the best words and phrases to get started!

TLDR: The best time to post on Instagram according to 4 studies

If you’re ready to get posting and just need a place to start, here it is.

We plucked the data from several recent studies and placed it on the convenient graph. Push some posts at these times and see which works best for your unique audience.

Best time to post on Instagram - graph of the best times to post on Instagram

These are the studies we used to build our TLDR chart. For you data nerds (guilty!), it’ll be interesting to see how they came to their conclusions.

Later

Later’s report from 2022 is based on a study of 11 million posts including image, video, carousel, and Instagram Reels posts.

What’s surprising is how early in the day some of their top times to post are.

Best time to post on Instagram - graph of the best times to post by Later

Source

Later says that for most businesses their Instagram marketing strategy is to post when their audiences are most active (9 a.m.-1 p.m.), but this is when competition is highest. So if you post prior to that, you are likely to get more engagement, which will lead the algorithm to favor your post and give you a head start in showing on the feed.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social’s best times to post on Instagram come from a study on over 20,000 of its users’ accounts. Its findings are opposite of Later’s, as it takes the traditional approach of posting while engagement is high.

Best time to post on Instagram - graph of the best times to post on Instagram by Sprout Social

Source

It’s interesting to see that engagement in the evening starts to trail off earlier and earlier as we go from Monday to Sunday and that engagement starts earliest on Tuesday and Friday.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite’s study combines a review of 30,000 Instagram posts with their own experience posting on their popular IG account.

Best time to post on Instagram - graph of the best times to post on Hootsuite

Source

Hootsuite’s data jives with Sprout Social’s, suggesting that late morning and early afternoon are the best times to post. The conclusion is that people like to take a little mid-day Instagram break at work or school.

HubSpot

HubSpot’s report spices things up by saying the best time to post is between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Now, they do back it up with a huge data set of 110 million posts (85 million from North America).

Best time to post on Instagram - graph of the best times to post on Instagram by Hubspot

Source

If you’re feeling a little confused with all this conflicting data, that’s okay. It just proves the point that the ideal time to post on Instagram won’t be the same for all. You’re just using these times as an educated guess to start your own experiment.

The best time to post on Instagram by day

Even if Wednesdays or Fridays are the days you get the most post engagement, you’ll still post on other days. So it’s good to know what time each day is best to start experimenting.

Since there’s so much variation in the data, we’ve condensed and listed the best option from each study per day. Seeing them all side-by-side really helped us digest the information.

The best time to post on Instagram on Monday

Later: 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Sprout Social: 11 a.m.

Hootsuite: 11 a.m.

HubSpot: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Mondays, you may want to try a post later in the morning. It’s possible this is catching people as they break for lunch.

The best time to post on Instagram on Tuesday

Later: 12 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Sprout Social: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Hootsuite: 8 a.m.

HubSpot: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Notice how three sources nearly overlap in the morning? Seems like 8:30 a.m might be a good time to post on Instagram.

The best time to post on Instagram on Wednesday

Later: 2 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Sprout Social: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hootsuite: 11 a.m.

HubSpot: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Wednesday is a bit of a wildcard since there’s very little overlap in each recommendation. If you don’t post every day, maybe skip Wednesday. Or try at 11 a.m. since that’s one of the few times suggested by more than one source.

The best time to post on Instagram on Thursday

Later: 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Sprout Social: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Hootsuite: 11 a.m.

HubSpot: 9 p.m.

HubSpot narrows down their evening window on Thursday, which suggests they’ve found a sweet spot for posting on Instagram on this day.

The best time to post on Instagram on Friday

Later: 5 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Sprout Social: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Hootsuite: 2 p.m.

HubSpot: 9 p.m.

There’s absolutely no consensus among the four studies about when to post on Friday. Shoot your shot at a few different times and see what sticks.

The best time to post on Instagram on Saturday

Later: 3 a.m.

Sprout Social: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Hootsuite: 8 a.m.

HubSpot: 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Weekends are a dead zone for Instagram engagement according to most of the data. If you have a weekend deal or one-day menu, post it early in the day.

The best time to post on Instagram on Sunday

Later: 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Sprout Social: 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Hootsuite: 6 p.m.

HubSpot: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday is similar to Saturday for its general lack of social media engagement. There’s less at stake if you want to test a few different posting schedules.

The best time to post on Instagram by vertical

Sprout Social broke out their data by vertical, so we can see the best time to post on Instagram for several industries. If any of these are your fields, give these time slots a try for your next posts.

Vertical Best time Best day(s) Worst day(s)
Consumer goods Thursday, 2 p.m. Tue., Thur. Sunday
Healthcare Thursday, 1 p.m. Tue., Thurs., Fri. Sunday
Hospitality Tuesday, 10 a.m. Tue., Wed. Sunday
Media Monday, 11 a.m. Mon., Wed., Thurs. Sat., Sun,
Nonprofit Wednesday, 11 a.m. Wednesday Sat., Sun.
Restaurants Monday, 2. p.m. Monday Thurs., Sat., Sun.
Education Tuesday, 11 a.m. Tuesday Sunday
Travel & Tourism Tuesday, 10 a.m. Tue. and Wed. Thur., Sat., Sun.

Data source

Notice the spread in data between industries? And also, see how it differs from some of the overall data? It really shows that the best time to post on Instagram is specific to your business. We’ll show you how to figure that out in a bit.

Best time to post on Instagram by time zone

Later also broke out the best time to post by time zone, which is a great help for those of us with customers around the world.

Day EST CST/MST PST
Monday 8 a.m.; 2 p.m. 4 p.m.; 7 p.m. 3 a.m.; 8 p.m.
Tuesday 11 a.m. 9 a.m.; 6 p.m. 6 p.m.
Wednesday 3 p.m.; 9 p.m. 4 p.m. 9 p.m.
Thursday 6 a.m.; 11 p.m. 10 a.m. 6 a.m.; 11 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m.; 3 p.m. 6 a.m. 8 a.m.; 3 p.m.
Saturday 4 p.m. 3 a.m.; 6 a.m. 4 p.m.
Sunday 8 a.m. 12 p.m.; 4 p.m. 5 a.m.

Data source

Notice the wide spread of best posting times. The implication here is that lifestyles vary geographically, which explains the importance of understanding your target audience.

The best time to post on Instagram Reels

Instagram’s short-form video feature Reels is a great option for brand building. In their study, Influencer Marketing Hub provides the best time to post Reels based on over 100,000 global Instagram posts and engagement rates.

Day Best time to post on Instagram Reels
Monday 6 a.m.; 10 a.m.; 10 p.m.
Tuesday 2 a.m.; 4 a.m.
Wednesday 7 a.m.; 8 a.m.; 11 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m.; 12 a.m.; 7 p.m.
Friday 5 a.m.; 1 p.m.; 3 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m.; 7 p.m.; 8 p.m.
Sunday 7 a.m.; 8 a.m.; 4 p.m.

Source

It looks like people are up early watching Reels on Tuesday!

How to find the best times to post on Instagram for your business

The whole goal here is to improve engagement on Instagram posts for your business. So while existing studies give us a good starting point, we really need to figure out when your posts will be the most successful.

These tips will help you use anecdotal and concrete data to create an engagement maximizing Instagram posting schedule.

1. Use Instagram Insights

Instagram’s native analytics platform tells you a lot about your audience. There’s a “most active times” metric that tells you when your audience is on Instagram, for example.

There are also demographic and location chargers so you can see who’s engaged with your account and there they’re from. Location is great because it clues you in on which time zones you should target.

Best time to post on Instagram - screenshot of instagram analytics

2. Think through your personas

Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your customers as human beings—their lifestyle, occupation, hobbies, family, education level, interests, and more. This is essential for identifying the best times to post on Instagram.

For example, maybe lunchtime isn’t the best time to post for your audience if they’re more likely to eat with others or work out on their lunch break. And evening is probably not best for parents who are busy with putting their kids to bed.

More questions to consider:

  • Why do they go on Instagram?
  • How much time do they spend on Instagram?
  • Who else do they follow?
  • Do they follow 100 accounts? 1000?
  • When are they likely to actually engage with posts vs just scroll through
  • How many times a day do they check Instagram?

This information can help you to identify the best content to publish and when.

3. Use a third-party tool

There are a number of social media management platforms out there that offer more analytics than Insights, and even allow you to schedule your Instagram posts. These include Later, Buffer, Hootsuite,  and Sprout Social, among many others.

Some of these tools even have a feature that suggests posting times.

4. Know the algorithm

In June 2021, Instagram published an update explaining its algorithm works. It gathers together all of the recent posts shared by the people that person follows and then ranks them according to thousands of signals, including:

  • Your post: content, location, video length, likes, interest metrics.
  • You: who is engaging with you and how.
  • Their preferences and behaviors.
  • Their past interactions with you.

So if you want to show up in the Instagram Feed, recency pales in comparison to engagement. The post says, “In Feed, the five interactions we look at most closely are how likely you are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, save it, and tap on the profile photo.”

Which leads to the next suggestion.

5. Go for engagement

Clearly, we can see that posting at the optimal time isn’t the biggest success factor on Instagram. It’s much more important to create the best posts. This increases your engagement signal strength over time which wins you algorithmic favor.

Here are some ways to optimize for those five interactions mentioned above.

To get them to:

  • Spend a few seconds on the post: Draw them in with a compelling visual, get them reading with a great caption, and keep them engaged with a carousel or video.
  • Comment on it: Ask questions, like would you rather/what would you do, here’s mine/what’s yours, what’s your take, fill in the blank, caption this photo, and more.
  • Like it: Make the post useful, emotional, unique, visually appealing, and in line with your core values.
  • Save it: Share useful information, like tips, tutorials, and ideas they’ll want to refer back to.
  • Tap your profile pic: Use the ol’ link in bio, and make it a nice pic!

Focus on creating engaging and interesting content first, then optimize by posting at the right time. Posting the right content at the “wrong” time is much better than posting the wrong content at the exact right time.

For more Instagram marketing tips and (lots more awesome) post ideas, head to Local Social Media Lab—it’s a gold mine!

And don’t forget, you can also repost on Instagram, drawing from others’ content that is already getting engagement.

6. Learn from your previous posts

The best predictor of future outcomes is previous success, so keep track of which of your posts get the most engagement and when you’ve posted them. You can do this directly in your Instagram analytics dashboard.

Best time to post on Instagram - screenshot of Instagram Insights

Some final tips:

The best time to post on Instagram FAQs

Here’s the lightning round of Q&A to help you home in your Instagram schedule.

1. What’s the best time of day to post on Instagram?

Trick question because it depends on your goals and audience’s behavior. However, if you look at a cross section of available data, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. would be a good start.

2. Is it best to post daily on Instagram?

Yes, if possible. Posting daily steadily increases your engagement which improves your credibility with Instagram’s algorithm. Can’t post every day? At least be consistent. If your cadence is three times per week, then post three times every week.

3. Is it better to post on Instagram at night or in the morning?

Most data suggests that late mornings are a better time to drive engagement on Instagram posts. The logic is that people like to take brief breaks to flip through their IG feed. Contrast that to the best time to post on YouTube, where viewers tend to wait until after work to watch longer videos.

4. How do you check peak time on Instagram

To check peak time on Instagram, look for the “most active times” graph on your Instagram analytics dashboard.

The best time to post on Instagram reviewed

There’s a lot of data available about the best time to post on Instagram. It’s useful to help you pick when to post early in your Instagram journey. Then, it’ll be your audience that tells you when to get their attention.

To get the most engagement at the best times on Instagram:

  • Make sure you post quality, relevant content
  • Post consistently
  • Use the data in this guide to schedule your first posts
  • Use the data from your early posts to tell you when to post in the future
  • Review your Instagram analytics regularly and adjust your schedule as needed

If you want to master all social media, check out these other guides to the best times to post:

Join 683,369 other marketers that receive our weekly newsletter!

Loading...
Meet The Author

Rob Glover

Rob is a Senior Copywriter for LocaliQ and WordStream where he uses his content marketing experience to write about all manner of advertising, sales, and adtech topics. When not turning phrases, Rob loves to travel, cook, and spend time outdoors (especially hiking and mountain biking) with his wife and dog.

Recommended for you

Comments


Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Unlock your business potential

We offer innovative technology and unparalleled expertise to move your business forward.