Ah, the million-dollar question.
Everyone's looking for the perfect formula: "If I post at exactly 12:04 on a Tuesday, my post will go viral, I'll gain thousands of followers, and I can finally just sit and binge Netflix while my platform grows."
Pinch me. Unfortunately, this isn't how social media works. Platforms and audiences are constantly changing and the perfect time this week may not be the perfect time next week.
So when is the best time to post on Instagram?
TL;DR: It depends on your unique audience. To discover the best time for you, start posting and keep an eye on your Instagram analytics. A good place to start, though, according to data from industry leaders, is before noon on weekdays.
Let's get into some stats and discuss how to find that sweet spot posting time for your specific audience.
Why Can't I Just Post on Instagram at Any Time?
Great question! Sure, you're free to post on Instagram whenever the mood strikes you. But if increased engagement is your primary goal, you have to show up when your audience does.
Otherwise, you may spend countless hours posting only to see no growth in your platform. Not only is this a huge bummer, but it can lead to social media burnout (yes, it's a real thing).
Best Instagram Posting Time Stats
Luckily, we're not alone in our quest for the perfect Insta post time. Industry leaders have performed numerous surveys and tests to try and find it.
Recently, social media management platform Hootsuite completed an analysis of over 30,000 Instagram posts to see what time was best. The result? 11:00 a.m. on Wednesdays.
Of course, the analysis also showed what time was best for other days of the week too (in Pacific Time):
- Mondays: 12:00 p.m.
- Tuesdays: 9:00 a.m.
- Thursdays: 11:00 a.m.
- Fridays: 2:00 p.m.
- Saturdays: 9:00 a.m.
- Sundays: 7:00 p.m.
Times from an analysis completed by Sprout Social seem to fall in line with Hootsuite's analysis. Sprout Social found that the best days to post on Instagram were Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And on Wednesday, the best time was between 10 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (CST).
What About the Best Time to Post on Instagram Reels?
There are stats for that too. According to Hootsuite's data, 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. (PST) Monday through Thursday is the best time to post a Reel.
What's the Best Time to Post on Instagram for You?
Here's the thing: while these days and times are a great place to start, they may not be the perfect time for you. After all, your audience and content are unique.
The best way forward is to determine the best time to post on Instagram for you. How do you do that?
Check Out Your Instagram Analytics
If you're using a business or creator account on Instagram, you have access to Instagram Insights. This tool helps you dive deeper into your audience, including when they're most active.
To access Instagram Insights on mobile, select the hamburger menu in the top right corner of your profile. Then, select Insights. Or you can select Insights right from your profile.
Here, you'll find information about your audience and posts, including which posts had the most engagement. You'll also find audience demographics, including their most active times.
Test, Test, Test
With an understanding of Instagram Insights, it's now time to test. Start posting on different days and times, and check your Insights to see what's working and what isn't.
Keep track of the data you uncover so you can see any patterns. A spreadsheet works nicely for this, but so does good ol' pen and paper. You do you.
Once you find a pattern, use it! Start posting based on that pattern and see if engagement increases. If it does, keep it up. And if it doesn't, start this process over again until you find what clicks.
Remember to stay flexible: You might need to tweak your posting strategies as both the Instagram algorithm and your own audience change. You can always come back to your testing method to rediscover the best time to post on Instagram.
Instagram is just one of the many social media platforms out there you may use. Luckily, these tips work for all platforms, including Facebook and TikTok.
It's true that social media is like the wild west, but you don't have to navigate it alone. If you're looking for more Instagram tips and tricks, check out our Resource Library. It's packed with great info and inspo made with creators like you in mind.