If you’re struggling to figure out when to post on your account, we’ve broken down the best times to post on Instagram so you can reach your followers when they’re most active.
You always want to maximize engagement where possible. The more people that see your post, the more likely you are to receive likes and follows. The first step towards ensuring a high amount of views is posting when your followers are active. We can’t always be online when our followers are, so most Instagram users schedule their content.
The dreaded question while scheduling your content for Instagram: What’s the best time to post so the most amount of people possible will see this? We’ve been there. Trying to figure out the time when your followers are most engaged can be tricky … Are they more likely to comment and reply in the mornings? Afternoons? Late at night? If you’re struggling to figure out when to post on your account, we’ve broken down the best times to post on Instagram so you can reach your followers when they’re most active.
What is the best time to post on Instagram?
Early In The Morning
The best day to post on Instagram is Wednesday between 9-11 am CST.* It’s also been shown that posting early in the morning (6 am) can have a huge jump in engagement, as people tend to check their Instagram accounts as soon as they wake up in the morning.
The Importance Of Feeds
While it used to be the best bet to post AS SOON as your audience was most active, it’s definitely not the only factor that contributes to engagement. It was thought that the most interactions a post got in the first 30 minutes determined how it ranked in a feed, yet according to Adam Mosseri (head of Instagram), “the feed is roughly, but not strictly, chronological.” While a post can show up in your feed before a more recent one, it’s based on if that post has a higher interest to that user over the other.
After a period of time, however, the interest factor is outweighed and the algorithm will start showing you newer posts. So what does that mean for posting? While Wednesday between 9-11 am is a great time to post, what about the other days? According to Hootsuite and Sprout Social stats, posting early in the morning around 6 am is another great time to post on Instagram. While a number of your followers might not be up yet, it’ll likely be at the top of their feed when they log in for their early morning scroll.
*According to data collected from Hootsuite and Sprout Social.
Why Are Posting Times Important?
So why is finding the best times to post important? We know it’s a good practice when it comes to Instagram, but we haven’t really delved into why it’s so essential. There are many benefits to making posts during high-activity hours, and without further delay, here they are:
When activity is high on Instagram, users are more likely to come across your post regardless of whether they follow you. Instagram usually recommends recent posts to users on the explore tab. Your followers can also easily find your post near the top of their feed.
The more people that view your post, the higher the engagement rate. When your view count is high, you’re usually guaranteed a lot of likes and comments. Posts that receive high engagement attract more attention as likes can determine how valuable a post is for Instagram users.
You can make your posts more accessible to your target audience. Different people have different activity times on Instagram. You can specifically target certain demographics and grow your audience. For example, if you want your post to reach the eyes of teenagers, post during school break times or after-school hours.
Creating a consistent posting schedule can cultivate loyalty among your followers. They will go online during your usual posting times and expect to see your content. If you continually meet those expectations, you’ll become part of their Instagram routine.
Taking the Stress Out Of Scheduling Posts On Instagram
Always posting during the best times can be very tiring if you do it manually. It takes up a lot of time and energy – that’s why most people turn to scheduling posts instead. Instagram doesn’t have a native scheduling feature, so you’ll need to use an external Instagram tool to help you schedule posts, such as Flick. Flick is a manager and analytics tool for Instagram, which comes with its own Post Scheduler.
Flick’s Scheduler makes it easy to post during the top times of the day.
Now that you know the best time to post on Instagram, you need to make sure that you can keep up with that schedule. There is just one problem – life can get in the way. Therefore, you need to make sure that you can automate the scheduling of your Instagram posts in order to get the best level of engagement.
This is where Flick’s Scheduler app comes in handy. With Flick’s Scheduler, you simply create your posts and then send them to the schedule app to be posted at the times when you will get the best engagement.
This allows you to stay on top of your Instagram posting schedule even if you have unexpected interruptions in your day. Additionally, you don’t want to spend all day having to go to your Instagram app to post at just the right time. Here are some tips on how to make the most of the scheduler function:
Create a batch of posts
Batch scheduling will ensure that you consistently publish content, stay on top of your content calendar, and focus on other tasks throughout the week. From there, you simply sit back for a few weeks and monitor the engagement. This will take lots of stress out of your life.
Adjust your schedule to optimize engagement
You may notice that certain times may lead to better engagement. While we have laid out some of the best times to post on Instagram, you will want to make your own adjustments to see what works best with your account.
Don’t be afraid to experiment a little
Finally, if you have some extra posts ready to go, then don’t be afraid to experiment with some different times to post. You may be surprised by the types of engagement that you may get by posting during certain times of the day.
When are more people on Instagram?
One of the most asked questions is when more people are on Instagram and that can change quite a bit depending on where in the world the person lives. However, the habits of people state-by-state and country-by-country are pretty similar.
It really depends on the type of people you’re looking at. Adults or teenagers with traditional 9 to 5 jobs usually share a similar day-to-day routine regardless of where they live. However, that isn’t to say that everyone has a traditional job these days, especially considering the increase in freelancing and remote jobs.
People who work from home often have more flexible work schedules. You also have to take into account parental responsibilities, hobbies, and other factors that affect someone’s free time.
Factors To Consider When Determining High Engagement Times
There are many factors to consider when deciding the best times to post on Instagram. It mainly comes down to determining when your audience is free to browse social media. These can be during breaks, meals, etc. You have to figure out when your audience is most likely on their phone or PC, and aim to post during those times.
When we talk about lifestyle, we’re referring to daily habits and routines. This includes their eating habits, exercise regimes, parental obligations, outdoor activities, and more. You need to look at how your audience spends their days to determine when they’re free.
Day Of The Week
Someone’s free time is often affected by the day of the week. On average, work and school days are Monday to Friday while the weekends are free of obligations. This means that people have more time for Instagram on Saturdays and Sundays. However, this average can differ depending on the country and industry you work in.
For example, if your target audience consists of medical professionals, you have to consider their busy work schedule. People in the medical field usually have to be on-call, so weekends are not guaranteed to be work-free. In these cases, it’s better to treat every day of the week like a work day and post during lunch hours or early in the morning.
Best engagement times are affected by your location. Different locations have different time zones, so you should look at your average audience demographics according to location. For example, if most of your followers are from the UK, use GMT to time your posts.
Finally, the most important factor to consider is your audience demographic. Look at their average age to determine their online engagement times. If they’re young, they probably have a curfew due to school, so you should aim to post when they’re awake (9am to 9pm).
However, if they’re older, they may have kids that affect their free time. If they have young children to take care of, they probably stay up late (past 10pm) and wake up early to make breakfast (8 to 10am).
How To Make Use Of High-Engagement Times
Now that you know how to determine high engagement times, it’s time to put that information to use. Note down the best times to post on Instagram and start making a schedule.
Here are some examples of how to make the best of high engagement times:
Posting early in the morning will generate some of the highest engagement for your account because people usually check their phones right when they wake up.
Posting in the afternoon (11 am-3 pm) during the weekday can also cause an increase in engagement because people are checking their phones during lunch (or while at their desk trying not to fall asleep!) and are running out of energy to focus solely on work.
As for the weekends, posting in the late morning when people are with their friends for bottomless brunch is always a good call. I mean, who hasn’t scrolled through their Instagram feed while out with friends?
How to find the best time to post on Instagram
While it’s nice to know on average when users across the board are most active on Instagram, it’s even more important to know when YOUR followers are most engaged. Some of the key things to do when you’re trying to figure out the best times to post for yourself?
Identify Your Goals
Identify what you want to achieve by posting on Instagram. For example, are you looking to increase your likes or comments? Or do you want to expand your reach and target specific audiences, such as parents or even certain countries. Deciding on specific goals can make it easier to choose the best times to post.
Research Best Times To Post
After identifying your goals and target audiences, research the best times to post on Instagram based on those factors. Research has been conducted on the best times to post according to things like industry and country. For example, the best time to post for healthcare industries is every Monday at 9 to 10am, 2 to 3pm, and 5 to 6pm.
The best times to post also differ depending on the type of content you want to produce. For example, the best time to post reels on Instagram is Monday to Thursday from 9am to noon, while the best time for normal posts is Sundays from 12pm to 8pm.
Look at your best posts from the past
You can also decide the best times to post by looking at your existing content. Find your most popular posts and ask yourself:
What time did you post that photo? What day was it posted? As we’ve mentioned before, take a look at your analytics either on Instagram Insights or Flick’s analytics page to determine the most successful posts. Are there any patterns across the board for your highest-engaged photos? Start keeping track of that information to build an idea of when the best time to post for your audience.
Look at your followers’ activity times
Find out when your followers are most active on Instagram by looking at their account activity. There are Instagram activity trackers you can use to monitor your followers’ activities, such as SnoopReport. You can get weekly reports on their likes and follows.
Aim to post during your followers’ active hours.
Check out others who are killing it
Be sure to check out the people you consider to be your competitor and do an analysis on their top-performing posts. What time are they posting? What day of the week? Are they doing something completely different from your own strategy? One of the most important things when it comes to being seen on Instagram (or social media in general!) is to be sure to keep an eye on the competition. Sometimes you learn new tricks of your trade and sometimes you learn what NOT to do. It’s all useful and can majorly up your own strategy online.
Test, test, test
There’s nothing like a good test to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your content. Whether that’s testing new timings, different captions, days of the weeks, etc, it’s always important to continue to test ideas when it comes to your online strategy. While your content can be doing well, are you sure it’s doing the best it can? Without testing, you’ll never truly know.
Post in your audience’s time zone.
Being sure to post content in your audience’s time zone is incredibly important for engagement. You wouldn’t want to post something that might be 9 am your time, but 3 am for your audience.
It’s best to be consistent with your posting times and build a routine. It allows your audience to become familiar with your posting schedule, which will motivate them to be online whenever you’re supposed to post.
Once you’ve made a posting schedule, you should stick to it when you can. If you need to make any schedule changes, you should post about it beforehand and notify your audience. It builds a sense of trust between you and your followers.
Create a Posting Schedule
After researching the best times to post, make a posting schedule for your normal posts as well as a separate one for your reels. Keep in mind the day of the week, time zones, and audience demographic. Planning ahead makes posting more efficient.
Here are some example schedules:
Normal Posts Schedule
Once you’ve created a schedule, start scheduling your posts using Flick’s Post Scheduler.
Flick’s Best Time To Post Feature Makes It Even Easier For You
Flick’s Best Time To Post helps you put your best posts at times when you will get the best engagement rates.
You will want to optimize your Instagram posting times in order to get the best engagement. With Flick’s Best Time To Post feature, your past Instagram posts are rated by their engagement. This will make it easy for you to analyze when you should be timing your posts in the future.
How it works:
With this feature, your post times will receive a star rating. Post-times that have the lowest engagement rate will receive one star. Post times with the highest rate receive five stars. This will help you see the best times of the day and best days of the week to schedule your most important Instagram posts.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say that you are posting three times a day using Flick’s scheduler function. Your current schedule has you posting at 9AM, 2PM, and 8PM. Looking at your past month’s performance, you discover that you are getting your best engagement on Friday and Saturday evenings.
With that knowledge in mind, you may want to consider saving your best posts for that time of day. Perhaps you may want to reserve your Friday and Saturday evening Instagram posts for promoting a product or service that you would like to offer your audience.
The great thing about the Best Time To Post feature is that it begins to take the guesswork out of what is working for your account. As you begin to organize and put your best posts during the most engaged times of the day and the week, you can begin to really prioritize your posts.
Here’s another tip, take your Best Time to Post and use that time to really engage with your audience. Going back to the example, if you are getting the most likes and comments on Friday and Saturday night, then you may want to spend an hour responding to comments. Additionally, you may want to consider these times to go on Instagram live and engage with your audience.
As you can see, Flick’s Best Time To Post feature can really transform the way that you engage with your audience and it can lead to transformative growth for your Instagram account.
Here at Flick, a lot of our audience is in the US so we make sure to keep our timings around the US time zones.
However, if you don’t have the time or resources to test your content by yourself, using Flick’s analytics will help you estimate exactly what time to schedule your content each day. In your analytics, you can get a breakdown of exactly what time most of your followers are online and when they are more likely to engage with your content.
How to make the most out of your best time to post on Instagram
Once you’ve figured out the best time to post for your personal Instagram account, it’s time to get your content strategy on point to make sure you’re making the most out of your account.
So how do you do this? By ensuring all of the content you’re putting out there is doing one of these things:
1) Posted during your prime time.
Making sure that your Instagram post is going live on your feed at the time you’ve discovered is best for you is PARAMOUNT. Why in the world would you spend so much time collecting data for your account and not post at the best time possible? Answer: You wouldn’t.When you post to your feed during a prime time, and it gets a lot of engagement, Instagram will bump your post higher up users’ feeds. Not only that, but it could end up in the Instagram Explore page if you’re getting enough attention. So always post at the most optimal times and you may be rewarded.
2). Start posting videos!
We know that switching to video-related content on Instagram can be a tough transition for some, but it’s SO important to start posting videos on IG. When posting a Reel, be sure you’re posting it at an optimal time because, as stated before, Instagram is prioritizing videos at the moment and you could go viral if you choose your timing wisely enough. Best part? You can schedule out your Reels using Flick’s Scheduler and use our Best Time to Post feature to make sure your Reel is being posted at the best time for your audience.
Making Sure Your Future Posts Look Their Best
Flick’s Instagram Feed Preview shows you how future posts will appear on your timeline
On Instagram, it is all about aesthetics. Therefore, you want to make sure that your posts go up at the right time and that they all mesh together properly. Once you have set up your future posts, you can use the Instagram Feed Feature to see how your post will appear on your account.
So what does this have to do with Instagram posting time?
Chances are that you are going to create your posts ahead of time and then use Flick’s Best Time To Post to arrange your schedule. However, some of your posts may not make any sense during certain times of the day, or the batch of scheduled posts may not look aesthetically pleasing in your feed. For instance, let’s say your best time to post is in the evening and you have daylight-themed photos. Your Instagram Feed Preview will help you create a look that works well with your posting time.
Additionally, as you arrange your posts, you want to make sure that you don’t have two similar-looking posts next to each other. For instance, you may have four food posts in your weekly upload set. However, you don’t want all four food posts to appear right next to each other. With Instagram Feed Preview, you will have an easy way to see how your Instagram feed will look over the next couple of days.
Here are some helpful tips on how to make the most of Instagram Feed Preview:
Make sure there is a proper balance of images – You may want to balance out photos of places along with photos where you appear in the photo. This will make sure that your Instagram account is properly branded with your face so people remember whose account they are viewing.
Consider colors – Some colors clash while others complement each other. As you time your posts, use Instagram Feed Preview to ensure that red and green colors are not on top of each other. Some complementary color combinations include orange and blue along with red and white.
Compare next week’s post to last week’s post – While you want your Instagram account to evolve, you don’t want it to change too radically. Make sure that your upcoming weekly posts look somewhat connected to last week’s posts.
Important Instagram stats to think about before posting
If you’re looking for even more ways to track your analytics and know exactly the right time to post on your Instagram account, be sure to check out our latest blog post all about Instagram Analytics tools you should be using. Want to go deeper into the analytics you have and everything they mean for you and your overall online strategy? We broke down all the Instagram Analytics you need and why they’re important to your strategy in our Ultimate Instagram Analytics Guide.