Posting your Instagram content at optimal times can boost engagement and reach. In conjunction with the contributing factors we have highlighted, this can improve your all-around performance on the platform.
Net Influencer brings you the facts about posting on Instagram during the researched and recommended prime times. We also plot out the schedule to follow. We share the benefits of this for content creators. Additionally, we highlight the contributing factors you should consider when posting content at any time. Content aligned with these factors, posted during Instagram’s prime times, have a better opportunity of reaching their target audience.
A fundamental misstep in your marketing campaign and strategy could be the times you post content on Instagram. Blindly posting at less optimum times, when your audience is not interacting online, results in most of your followers missing the post.
Instagram’s Algorithm plays a role here too. It boosts engagement- heavy posts to the top of feeds. Posting outside of Instagram’s prime time will result in less engagement and swimming against Instagram’s algorithm. Therefore, you should post during the platform’s prime times to improve your engagement stats on Instagram.
Instagram’s Prime Time Posting Schedule (for your local time zone)
We have compiled the Prime-Time Posting Schedule using verified information from surveys and research. These studies were conducted on actual Instagram accounts and posts by Hootsuite, Later, and Sprout Social. The prime times documented here have a majority consensus from these publications (at least two of the five publications noted the time as a “highest engagement” or “high engagement” time to post on Instagram)
- Monday: 5 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m.
- Tuesday: 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m.
- Wednesday: 5 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.
- Thursday: 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Friday: 7 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m.
- Sunday: 1 a.m., 7 a.m., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Instagram’s Prime Time Posting Schedule for Different Industries
Content posted during the optimum times for that specific industry/niche performed relatively better. This is a recommendation and an excellent departure point for new content creators. Creators must monitor and adjust if necessary.
- Consumer goods: Sunday (3 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
- Finance: Wednesday (6 a.m.)
- Media and entertainment: Tuesday (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)
- Tech: Wednesday (8 a.m.), Friday (10 a.m.)
- Non-profit: Wednesday (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.), Sunday (9 a.m.)
- Education: Tuesday (10 a.m.)
- Healthcare: Thursday (7 a.m.)
- Travel and tourism: Wednesday (12 p.m.)
- Restaurants: Wednesday (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
- Hospitality: Thursday (11 a.m.), Friday (10 a.m. and 3 p.m.)
When is it Best to Post on Instagram – Night or Morning?
Posting during the day or at night can result in different outcomes. Research indicates that morning posts generally generate more engagement.
This may differ from niche to niche and across brands and industries. It can also be narrowed down to the type of content you post. For example, posting content with breakfast recipes in the morning, just before most people have breakfast, may engage better with the intended audience. However, the same content posted at night will not reach the same audience. You must know who your intended audience is, and what the content is about.
The Overall best time to post on Instagram?
While this is a broad category, it is a recommended starting point for new content creators, with no data from previous posts to compare.
The best time to test the waters is early on weekday mornings. Most people reach for their mobile devices as soon as they wake up. These morning posts will capitalize on this practice.
The next overall best time to post is during lunch breaks and in the evening when people generally scroll through social media to unwind or relax.
When to NOT post on Instagram?
This is just as important as knowing when to post.
According to research, Saturdays are the worst time to post. Content posted on this day generates the lowest engagement. Again, this is niche and audience-specific. It is worth testing the theory for your niche or brand and collating your own data.
Contributing Factors to Consider When Posting on Instagram (Prime Time or Otherwise)
Altering your posting schedule will not miraculously maximize reach and engagement if you have not considered and optimized the contributing factors highlighted here:
Researching your audiences’ habits, responses to your previous posts, and schedules (wake-up time, lunchtime, vacation periods, etc), can further elevate your success. Establish what works and incorporate this data in your posts and Instagram prime time posting schedule.
With an Instagram business account, you can access your followers’ demographics. Information such as their age, gender, and location will provide you with invaluable parameters to deduce your target audiences’ habits, schedules, and preferences.
This assists in scheduling your posts at the most optimum time for your audience.
When selecting the best times to post, consider:
- What is the content of each post about?
The niche or product
- The desired outcome of your Instagram post
Is it to inspire, drive sales, and increase brand awareness?
- Does the content of the posts involve activities or interests that align with particular times of the day?
For example, posting fitness content early in the morning might motivate early risers to follow a fitness regime. Posting Corporate or business content on weekends may be ignored by your target audience, who have switched off for the weekend.
Time Zones and experimenting with posting at different times
This applies especially to global brands that must consider the global time zones. While this is an exercise in trial and error, early morning posts appear to perform best. It targets an international audience with greater reach than random posting.
Instagram analytics provides practical insight and data that help strategize the best times to post when reaching international audiences.
Consistency and Quality of Posts
The quality and frequency of posts contribute to greater engagement and reach. This coupled with optimum times posting, will maximize your outcomes. For new content creators, one to three posts per day should suffice. However, if frequent posting compromises the quality of the content, the outcome could be negative. It is imperative to deliver better-quality content.
Monitor your Competitors’ Social Media Strategy
Competitor analysis keeps you ahead of the curve and clued up on what works for your competitors. Ensure you monitor competitors with a high engagement rate, and who are similar to your brand or niche. Your analysis must be conducted over some time. Limit your competitors to a select few, and try not to chop and change between too many.
There are apps to assist with this process, analyzing competitors’ posts based on the number of comments and likes, engagement rate, and when posts were published on Instagram.
Schedule Posts for Prime Times
This step requires pre-planning and some research. You will never always be online when your audience is active on the platform. Determine your posting schedule based on your optimum posting times and contributing factors highlighted in this article, and program your posts in advance. Monitor the performance of these posts and make adjustments where necessary.
This article should help you structure your posts according to the optimal posting times. And this will improve your content’s performance and maximize its reach and engagement.
However, experimenting with and researching the contributing factors will boost your success. Monitoring and measuring performance is mandatory to reap the maximum benefits of posting on Instagram during prime times.