Last Updated: March 25, 2021
Instagram launched in 2010 and was that rare instant hit that takes everyone by surprise.
Of course, now we all take it for granted. Everyone and their aunt have accounts there. The expression “Do it for the ‘gram!” is now a natural part of pop culture.
Some take that call to action to the extremes. Well, at least we get to be entertained by the insane things people do for a cool selfie.
And, while an insanely cool selfie will attract attention, there are ways to optimize that. You only need to find the best time to post it on Instagram.
It has not only become a part of our daily lives, but it’s also a vital piece of the marketing puzzle.
Nowadays, social media and influencer marketing are riding the wave as one of the most popular marketing channels. People remember photos better than words, which makes Instagram a top choice for many marketers.
Influencers or not, we all want to get the best experience with Instagram. Living for the likes and all. In that line of thought, have you ever wondered what is the best time to post on
Let’s kickstart this article by answering this question.
- Sunday is the worst day possible to post on Instagram.
- Studies recommend posting during lunchtime, between 11 a.m and 1 p.m, as well as evenings.
- Instagram users tend to engage more during the week, from Monday to Friday.
- Wednesdays and Thursdays are the days with peak engagement.
- Mondays and Tuesdays generate the highest engagement for tech companies.
- Avoid Fridays for anything education-related.
- Stories generate two to three times the engagement of a regular post.
The New Algorithm
The Instagram algorithm has changed. If you want to get the most from the app, the next few insights will be a gamechanger.
Alright, so the old algorithm used to show the newest posts first. Now… not so much. The time of posting still matters, but it’s far from the only factor in play.
The photos and videos you’ll see on top are from the accounts, with which you’ve interacted the most. Likes, tags, DMs (and active stalking) are all key factors for Instagram to determine which users are important to you and which to show you first.
What comes after the posts of the people you’re ‘close’ with depends on what Instagram thinks you want to see. For example, if you like a lot of photos with puppies, you’re more likely to see dogs on top of your feed.
Which leads us to posting schedules.
Is there a point in posting on certain days and times at all?
Well, yes, there is.
If you want users to see more of your content, you need a carefully planned schedule.
You’re probably now sitting there, wondering about the best time to post on Instagram.
And this is where I come to your rescue. Keep on reading and I promise you, at the end of this article you’ll know for sure the best times to post on Instagram and how to get the most of the app.
Best Days and Hours to Post During the Week
To establish the best time to post on Instagram, you need to know your audience’s habits. The good news is theirs are likely weirdly similar to yours.
People usually scroll down social media while drinking their morning coffee or during or right after their lunch break. Most people reach for their phones at the end of the working day too, when we’ve run out of energy and just need a distraction.
Monday is not the best day to post on Instagram, studies show. The most hated day of the week tends to be the most hectic, so people don’t really have time to surf social media. In other words – avoid Mondays.
What’s more, people tend to spend the first hour in the office drinking coffee and chatting up with colleagues., This means posting around 10 a.m should get you the desired results. A study by Later supports this claim, as the research showed that posting between 9 a.m – 11 a.m EST time would get you the highest engagement.
Hubspot, on the other hand, claims the best time to post is between 2 p.m and 3 p.m CDT (Central Daylight Time). According to them, however, workdays are not all equal.
So let’s break it down.
Who likes Mondays?
That’s what I thought.
Mondays are hectic. They are stressful. People have hardly had the time to enter the office and they’re bombarded with tasks.
That’s why Monday is not the best time to post on Instagram. If you absolutely must post on a Monday, choose a time around 11 a.m or 5 p.m.
Tuesday might not be as hectic, but it’s still one of the busier weekdays. This shows when it comes to Instagram engagement. Studies claim 9 a.m – 6 p.m CDT are the best Instagram post times for Tuesdays.
Wednesday is way more benevolent to social media than Monday and Tuesday. Sprout Social found out that Wednesday is actually the best day for Instagram posts. The best hours are again during the lunch break – between 11 a.m and 3 p.m.
Labeled by Hubspot as the best day to post on Instagram. The lunch hours are again the ones generating the most engagement, so Wednesday’s advice works here as well. Surprisingly, 4 p.m on a Thursday also gives good results.
Everyone’s favorite day. While there are better days for posting in general, Friday gives you a bigger time frame for posting – from 9 a.m to 4 p.m CDT. I guess we all get that weekend feeling and we all are calmer and easily distracted on a Friday.
People tend to be out and about during Saturday, catching up with friends or taking care of personal tasks. 11 a.m CDT time is the recommended best time to post on Instagram on Saturday as well. Right after you’ve gotten out of bed and before you’ve gone out to regain your sense of personal life.
Later have found out that Sunday is possibly the worst time to post on Instagram. If you definitely need to make a post though, you better do it between 10 a.m and 2 p.m CDT, which is the best time to post on Instagram on Sunday.
All of this comes to show that the best time to post on Instagram for likes is 11 a.m CTD on either a Wednesday or a Thursday. Users seem to engage more from Monday to Friday than they do on the weekend.
Oh, the things we do to procrastinate working.
Now there’s another important question we have to ask.
Do different industries have varied best times to post on Instagram?
Let’s find out.
Best Times to Post for Different Industries
A study, carried out by Hootsuite, shows that the best time for tech companies to post on Instagram is on Mondays and Tuesdays at 2 p.m. Other researchers claim that Wednesdays from 9 a.m to 11 a.m will get tech companies the most likes. Either way, everyone agrees Sunday is the worst day for tech posts.
Media and entertainment
Lunch break hours are once again the clear winner here. The time slots between 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and then – between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m on weekdays are the clear winners here.
Fridays and the weekend are generally the worst time to post anything education-related.
The kids in schools can’t wait for the day to be over, while university students are already planning the weekend bash.
Researches show that Thursdays between 4 p.m. or 5 p.m would be the best time to post on Instagram. The rule for lunch break hours applies here as well.
Retail and ecommerce businesses would get the highest engagement rates, if they post on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Weekdays, as well as Saturdays, are also recommended. The lunch break rule and the end-of-the-day thesis are fully valid here as well.
Wednesday is the winner once again, with 2 p.m being optimal. Weekdays and lunch hours naturally generate the highest engagement. Sundays see the least traffic.
The best day for people with healthcare accounts to post is Tuesday. The recommended hours are from 7 a.m to 4 p.m, with 1 p.m generating the highest engagement.
Brands focusing on makeup win the most from posting in the early afternoon at the end of the workweek. Ideally, this translates to Thursday or Friday, around 3 p.m.
Food and beverages
In the beginning, Instagram was popular as the platform that people used to document their lunch before eating it. Most people still do it. Fridays at lunch are the best time to post a photo of your meal, according to researchers. (The kinds of things people research!)
The lunch and early afternoon hours generate the most engagement, no matter the industry. You have the best odds at success if you post between Monday and Friday, at around 12 a.m.
What About Stories?
The same rules apply here. Know your audience and know their habits and you’ll get the highest possible engagement. The hours before work, as well as lunch breaks and late afternoons get you the most views.
While people post more stories during the weekend, they are less likely to go through other users’ stories. After all, most of them are out and about during the weekend – which results in more stories generated and fewer stories read.
After all, you can’t really scroll down Instagram, while you’re busy having fun, can you?
So if you want more views, post stories during the workweek, around lunchtime.
Another thing about stories you should know is that they get two to three times the engagement of normal posts. So, if you’re a brand owner, stories are your friend.
How to Make the Best of Instagram
You know, learning how to post on Instagram is science, in a way. It’s not only down to timing.
It’s about hashtags, too.
But choosing the right ones can be a drag. Use a very popular one and your post will get lost in the sea of photos. Come up with one yourself and you’ll get zero traffic.
Hashtagfox to the rescue.
This incredibly easy-to-use tool lets you search for a hashtag and lists all related ones. For example, you want to post a fancy pic of your coffee. Open the site (desktop use is recommended) and search “coffee”. Hashtagfox will then show you all options, separating them into 4 categories:
You can save collections for easy access. But the cherry on top is the so-called Nerd Mode. It shows you how much and what types of engagement you can get from each of the listed hashtags. Neat!
If you need help or don’t know where to begin, you can see the “How-to” video or talk to the support team via the live chat.
Now that you know all about the Instagram peak times and you have Hashtagfox on your side, there’s nothing stopping you from getting those likes!
What’s the most important thing to take from this article?
Weekdays are best for engagement. When it comes to the best times to post on Instagram, in all honesty, you need to pinpoint the time when people are getting bored. That’s usually the time they scroll down their social media feeds.
We usually chat with our colleagues and drink coffee before we start working, so around 9 a.m is a good time to post.
The ultimate best time to post on Instagram is hands down during the lunch break. We’ve all become so obsessed with our phones, that we can’t have a proper meal without being on social media simultaneously. So any time around 11 a.m – 1 p.m is guaranteed to get the best engagement rates.
At the end of the workday, at 5 p.m, people usually run out of mental energy and turn to their phones once again. It’s another habit you can rely on.
Although Instagram changed its algorithm and made it more difficult to pinpoint the exact best time to post, relying on people’s force of habit is our best bet. Think about all the times during the day when you’ve reached for your phone, looking for entertainment. You’re hardly the only one who does it. Take those daily patterns into consideration, when planning your next post.
Hopefully, this article’s helped you navigate the craziness of social media. Till next time!
It varies, depending on the social platform, but the best answer would be – when people get tired or bored. We all have a daily pattern and certain habits, that are not as unique as we’d like to think. Keep them in mind when posting on social media and you’ll do well.
Since Instagram changed its algorithm, it’s become harder to give an exact answer to this question. Still, you can’t go wrong if you post between Tuesday and Friday, during lunch hours.
It’s the same as with regular posts. Although do avoid the weekend, because people are usually too preoccupied to watch stories. Oh, and keep in mind that stories generate more engagement than regular posts, so they have their place in your arsenal.
There’s no exact answer to what’s the best time to post on Instagram. Still, there are patterns of behavior you can use to optimize your social media presence. There are times of the day, where a post has a much higher impact and benefit to your brand.
If those times are inconvenient for you, there are numerous apps out there that can help you schedule posts and put your account management on autopilot.