When is the best time to post on Instagram in 2022?
Social media is a powerful marketing platform, with the potential to reach millions of scrollers who fit your audience. In 2021, 1.21 billion people worldwide actively engaged in Instagram monthly. However, to reach your audience, you need to know how to use the platform for marketing and develop a strategy that works for your business.
While creating engaging and eye-catching Instagram posts is necessary, you also need to know the best time to post on Instagram. Unfortunately, there is no simple rule that works for everyone, though there are trends that can help you determine your posting schedule.
What to know about the best time to post on Instagram
When we talk about the best time to post on IG, we are making a broad generalization about typical users. These generalizations help you narrow down how to think about when you post based on trends and norms. Your posting strategy will likely change over time as you analyze and understand your audience’s behaviors better.
If you had to choose the very best time to put your content on the app, it would be 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Posting at Instagram peak times is more likely to get you more likes, comments, and follows than at any other time. The best time for each day of the week are as follows:
- Monday: 12 p.m.
- Tuesday: 9 a.m.
- Wednesday: 11 a.m.
- Thursday: 12 p.m.
- Friday: 2 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m.
- Sunday: 7 p.m.
However, every day of the week has multiple options for when to post to reach a broad audience who will engage with your content. Additionally, you should consider nuances before deciding when your best posting times are.
How understanding the algorithm helps you know when to post
One of the first steps to figuring out a good time to post on Instagram is understanding how algorithms work and what that means for getting your content in front of the right people at the right time. The algorithm, your outstanding content and your posting schedule all work together to put your business in front of the users who will get the most from it.
What does the algorithm do?
An algorithm is an analytical tool social media companies use to determine who sees which of the millions of daily posts and in what order. The algorithm incorporates multiple types of data to assess whether viewers will enjoy any given post. The information it analyzes includes:
When logged into the platform, the algorithm uses this information to match posts to viewer behavior and interests. The goal is to ensure users enjoy the experience enough to spend time on Instagram and keep coming back. Tapping into the algorithm helps you learn the best time to post on Instagram.
How does it work?
When you post on IG, you want viewers to see and engage with your content. The more views and higher engagement your posts get, the more likely the Instagram algorithm will keep putting your content in front of people. Creating a consistent content schedule and sticking to it helps the algorithm understand your behaviors as a poster and can influence how often viewers see what you post. Additionally, the following factors contribute to whether a user sees your post:
- Relevance: Are you creating posts that Instagram users want to see? Relevance also includes a time factor. More recent posts are given preference, making it essential to know the best time to post on Instagram and to do so frequently and regularly.
- Individual interests: The Instagram algorithm determines whether your post matches a specific user’s interests based on the viewer’s history of engagement with similar content. The more your content appeals to the audience you want to attract, the more likely the algorithm will show it to those users.
- Relationship: The algorithm assesses whether you have a relationship with individual viewers. If you are already connected to a viewer, then Instagram places a higher value on your post for that user. However, having millions of followers doesn’t necessarily improve your views.
- Engagement: Engagement does more to boost your standing with a follower, so when followers like or comment on your posts, they are likely to see more of them – and increase their Instagram engagement time overall.
- Competition: Your posts vie for space with every other account users follow. They also compete with Instagram suggestions. Understanding your audience and your competition helps you determine what content to create and the best time to post on Instagram.
Though these basic factors generally play a big role in whether your desired audience sees your posts, the algorithm isn’t static.
Like all other social media platforms, Instagram frequently modifies its algorithm to reflect changes in posting and user behaviors, interests, and trends. Layered on top of these factors is Instagram’s increased move toward video content and Reels, as well as individual settings that allow users to choose to view posts in chronological order. The latter increases the importance of knowing the best time to post on Instagram.
How to know which posting schedule works for you
One of the challenges for businesses and individuals trying to broaden their reach on the popular social media platform is overcoming the algorithm hurdles to get in front of followers and new users to grow their brand and business. Knowing when your audience is online is critical, but cutting down on the competition is also important. Finding the sweet spot between times when your target audience is most likely scrolling and when it seems everyone else is also posting can be challenging.
Ultimately, it may take a little experimenting to discover what works for you. While you could flood the platform with numerous posts daily to see when your posts get the most views and engagement, it’s unlikely you’d be able to maintain such an intense schedule. Additionally, if you want to create posts with high-quality designs, you want the time and creative energy to do so. Knowing the best time to post on Instagram based on overall trends gives you a place to start testing.
What are the considerations for when to post on Instagram?
Making blanket statements about the right timing for IG is so tricky because there are multiple important aspects to decisions about when to post. These elements vary across brands and accounts and their target audiences. Developing strategies based on your goals and your viewer’s needs is essential. You can spend a lot of time researching the colors and content for the perfect post for Instagram, then creating amazing content, but if you put it up and no one is around to see it, it’s likely to get buried.
➡️ Learn about the best colors for Instagram designs in this article.
They say timing is everything, and while it may not actually be the only thing that matters, it’s near the top of the list when using a social media platform to reach a broad audience. However, there are several aspects of timing on Instagram, and you should consider each one when creating your content calendar. Before determining the best time to post on Instagram, consider how the following timing elements impact your strategies.
The day of the week
If you are only posting once a week, you certainly need to know which is the single best day to post on Instagram. However, even if you post daily, knowing the viewer trends for each day can make a huge difference.
Natural breaks in the day
While the results of surveys for mobile usage vary widely, there is little doubt that people check their phones regularly throughout the day. In 2021, one survey found that 46% of respondents spent around five to six hours on their phones.
Checking a phone is different than spending time on it, though. You want engagement. It doesn’t do to post if the primary reason people are picking up their phones is to check notifications and messages. The best time to post on Instagram is when your viewers spend enough time on the app to see, like and comment on your posts. Consider the natural breaks in the day for your audience. Breaks are different for different population segments, so it’s crucial to think about what your desired viewers are most likely doing throughout the day.
The impact of time zones
The time zone is less of an issue if your viewers are local. You don’t have to translate your posting time to your audience’s scrolling time. However, it can impact your posting strategy even if you have potential customers a single time zone away.
For many brands and businesses, the goal is to reach a broad audience across multiple time zones. In North America alone, there are seven commonly recognized time zones. The European continent has four. If your viewers live in multiple zones, we recommend a strategy that includes posting multiple times daily to reach different audiences during their peak viewing times.
Frequency of posting
As you consider the best time to post on Instagram, how often you post is important. Do you intend to post once a week, once a day or several times daily? Each approach has a different impact on when you should put your content out there.
The more you post, the more likely you are to reach a wider target. You increase the potential for getting in front of active people at varying times and getting more engagement. The algorithm also rewards active posters and accounts with higher engagement rates. The fewer followers you have, the more frequently you should post to grow your account.
Your audience location
An essential component of understanding your current and potential audience is knowing where they are. Location is vital in part because of the time-zone factor. However, it’s also critical to understand the behaviors and habits of your viewers. Different regions and countries may have variations on the best time to post on Instagram.
School schedules and work schedules aren’t consistent worldwide, and likewise for other daily habits people have. For instance, people in Italy tend to eat dinner between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. If your audience resides in Italy, you won’t want to post at 8 p.m. on a Saturday, though it may be the best time to post on IG in other places.
Your industry or sector preferences
Just as regions and countries may differ in their daily schedules and habits, so too do different industries and population sectors. If an essential target for you is teenagers, you might want to wait a little later to post on Saturday mornings, as teens often sleep in as late as their caretakers allow on the weekends. However, if your audience tends to work a typical Monday-through-Friday schedule, your best posting times may look more like the ones we identify here.
Not all industries follow the same schedules, so it’s important to look at what your viewers do with their days. The healthcare industry doesn’t sleep, so some viewers may be most active during the overnight hours, while others work during the day or late evenings. The education industry has a schedule that varies over the year, and the tech sector tends to keep late-night hours.
What is the best day of the week to post on Instagram?
It’s easy to see why many people assume the weekends are the best time to post on Instagram for likes. It isn’t uncommon to see a flurry of activity from accounts when Saturday rolls around, but this approach won’t likely get you the reach you desire if your audience tends to have the weekends off. While the logic is that people have more leisure time to spend on social media on the weekends, the truth is that they use that off time to run errands, do chores and recreate. When engaged in any of these activities, they are less likely to scroll on Instagram.
Generally, it’s better to post during the week. Though the single best time to post is Wednesday at 11 a.m., there is a little more engagement over a longer time on Thursday. If you post a few times during the day on Thursday, you may see a little more activity than if you posted the same number of times on Wednesday.
When is the best time to post on Instagram today?
Peak engagement time varies across the week. If you only post once daily, you may want to begin by posting during these times for each day. If you opt to post multiple times daily, try to hit the target for peak engagement time and then at least one other popular time each day.
After you have data about post performance at different times, you can tweak your schedule. Every day is different, but each day gives you multiple times when activity levels are higher, boosting the potential for increased engagement.
The best time to post on Instagram on Mondays
Generally, Mondays get off to a slow start on social media. It’s the beginning of the work or school week for most. Your viewers may be a little more focused on the week ahead and not spend as much time on the app until later in the day. You may want to save your strongest Instagram story, Reel or post for lunchtime. Noon is the best posting time on Mondays.
By the time Instagram viewers hit lunch, they’re ready for a break from work and likely to turn to social media for a diversion and a head break. If you post more than once, you may get additional engagements by posting at one of the other popular posting times. The best time to post on Instagram on Monday to reach those who tend to spend a few minutes scrolling as they wake up is 6 a.m., while those who take midmorning breaks may see your posts if you put them up at 10 a.m. Viewers who manage to stay away from social media for most of the day may check their phones before bed, making 10 p.m. another good posting time for Mondays.
The best time to post on IG on Tuesdays
Instagrammers are often ready for a break earlier in the day on Tuesdays than they are on Mondays. You may reach your audience anywhere from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. during the second work or school day of the week; however, peak time is around 9 a.m.
As with most weekdays, secondary posting times depend on daily work and school schedules and habits. When posting multiple times daily, try to get content up at lunch and then again at around 7 p.m., when many finish their evening routines and settle in to do homework or relax.
The best time to post on Instagram on Wednesdays
By Wednesday, IG users anticipate the end of the work or school week and are ready for more engagement with social media content. Energy and focus begin to wane, and many start to look to plans for their weekend off. While 11 a.m. on Wednesday is the overall best time to post on the platform, it’s a great day to put up multiple posts, as it runs only slightly behind Thursdays as the best day overall to put out content.
Posting between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. is another good time to get engaging content out there. Anyone checking their feeds before work or during a morning break may see and interact with your post. Any likes or comments give you a boost with the algorithm, helping your post gain traction and momentum as the day progresses.
The best time to post on Instagram on Thursdays
The best time to post on Insta on Thursdays is similar to posting times on Wednesdays. As the most active day for IG activity, we recommend putting up content that draws in viewers and promotes liking, commenting and sharing. While this should ultimately be your goal for every post, you will likely have some weekly content that stands out from the rest of your posts. Save these for prime-time posting.
You have an additional option for high engagement on Thursdays that you don’t have on Wednesdays. The afternoon slump tends to be most pronounced on Thursdays. People often are just trying to get through the day and looking forward to their weekend plans. You may reach a wide audience if you post between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. when Instagrammers are scrolling while waiting for the clock to tick down on the workday.
The best time to post on Instagram on Fridays
By Friday, many of your audience is likely already in a weekend state of mind. Though they may have plans right after school or work, you can usually catch them midafternoon. The best posting time on Fridays is 2 p.m. However, if you have more than one post to put up on the last day of the work or school week, you can also get your content in front of users earlier in the day.
Mornings between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. are good times to post on Instagram. If you can tie it to what your audience is interested in as they wind down their week, you may get a lot of activity throughout the day. As with the other weekdays, the best time to post on Instagram includes the lunch hour.
The best time to post on IG on Saturdays
When Saturday rolls around, Instagrammers are busy meeting obligations at home or off having fun. They tend to take longer breathers from social media, and so can you. Though posting at least once a day is still a good idea, it’s easier to back off multiple postings to participate in other life activities.
Posting in the mornings on Saturdays is best. Depending on your target audience, aim for between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. You want to catch people before their plans are underway. If you wish to post a second time, try reaching viewers between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The best time to post on Instagram on Sundays
Instagram activity is slower on Sundays than any other day, but it remains consistent throughout the day, starting at 7 a.m. and winding down at 9 p.m. However, the best posting time is 7 p.m., as Instagrammers grab a few minutes to catch up on what their friends and favorite accounts and brands have been up to over the weekend. It’s also when they are most likely to be enjoying the last hours of downtime before the work or school week begins.
What do you need to know about best times for posting Reels vs. Stills?
Reels are now a prominent feature on Instagram. After its introduction, the platform set its algorithm to prioritize this short, creative video format. Reels posts are no more than 30 seconds long. The tool allows posters to edit videos inside the app, but you can also post pre-formatted videos to Reels to create more eye-catching and engaging videos than the in-app features permit.
If you want to up your engagement and gain followers, you may want to try out posting Reels. These videos can reach a broad audience at the same time of day as posts and stories. However, the best time to post video on Instagram is in the mornings, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Monday through Thursday also seems to get a little more activity than Friday through Sunday.
Understanding IG usage statistics helps you plan your content calendar
Instagram is just one of several social media platforms, but if you use a cookie-cutter approach to posting across all your accounts, you will likely be disappointed in the results. Like other platforms, Instagram has a distinct user and usage profile. To effectively post on the platform, you need to understand who uses it, how often and when.
While all age groups have some representation on Instagram, it tends to be a younger person’s platform. 70.8% of all users are aged 34 and younger. 25-34-year-olds are the largest group, at 31.7%, though 18-24-year-olds are close behind at 30.2% of all Instagrammers. When determining the best time to post on Instagram, it’s worth considering when people in these age groups are most likely to be active on the platform.
Though the percentage of male and female users is nearly split, there are slightly more male users than females. 50.7% of IG users identify as male, versus 49.3% of users who identify as female.
India leads as the country with the most Instagram users, with 230.25 Instagrammers. Other countries you may want to target if you want a global reach include:
- The U.S., with 159.75 million IG users
- Brazil, with 119.45 million Instagrammers
- Indonesia, with 99.15 million people on the platform
The app is also popular throughout Europe, with multiple countries making the list of the 20 countries with the highest number of Instagram users.
Knowing usage trends is essential when determining Instagram peak posting times. Though the number of social media platforms continues to grow, Instagram still has a strong showing, with users actively engaged in their accounts. According to SocialPilot, 60% of Instagrammers open their accounts one or more times daily, and only 16% visit the site less than once per week. Viewers also enjoy Instagram stories, with more than 70% of users viewing them daily.
SocialPilot also found that:
- Instagrammers spend an average of 28 minutes daily on the app.
- 130 million people tap on monthly posts that take them to a shop.
- Posts with hashtags have a 12.6% higher engagement rate than those without.
- 67% of IG users watch stories posted by brands.
- Instagram business accounts post an average of once daily.
Ads and boosted posts are another way to increase your audience reach on Instagram, and approximately 75% of all users engage in at least one ad.
What to consider before getting started
Before you create a content calendar based on the best time to post on Instagram, a few considerations can help you hone your strategies.
What are your goals for posting?
Clear goals are essential to use Instagram as an effective marketing or audience engagement tool. Your goals should drive your posting strategies. You also want to prioritize those goals. For instance, while most brands want to grow their accounts, if you are just beginning your IG journey, this goal will have a higher priority than someone who already has tens of thousands of followers.
Growing your Instagram account may also mean you need to post more often, so you would want to look at more than one best time to post on Instagram for each day. If you want to expand your reach to new geographic locations, your strategies for when to post will depend on active times in those areas. Your goals will also impact the types of posts you create, the hashtags you use and the accounts you choose to follow and engage with.
How can you increase engagement?
It isn’t enough for your audience to see your posts. You want them to engage. The more they engage, the more the algorithm rewards you. Engagement gives you a better idea of what your followers like, so you can tweak your posts to give them more of what they enjoy seeing.
Engagement is any active interaction with your content. Likes, comments and shares are the three prime examples. Of those, likes are the least informative, but they still tell you something, while shares are excellent for organic growth. To increase engagement, you will likely need to do more than find the best time to post on Instagram, respond to comments, and engage on posts from other accounts.
How can you create compelling content?
There is content, and there is compelling content. You can post at all the best times, but if you don’t create posts your followers want to see, you won’t get the responses you are looking for. Your Instagram posts need to look like you cared enough to spend some time on them. They also need to reflect content your target audience is interested in seeing.
Take the time to understand what your audience wants. Once you know how to create compelling posts that deliver, combine that knowledge with your understanding of the best time to post on IG. The two approaches work best together, so it’s a good idea to get a handle on both aspects of successful IG posting.
How to find your best time to post on Instagram
Understanding the trends for optimal posting times gives you a great foundation to launch from. However, it’s important to remember that these times are generalizations. If everyone posted at these times, your posts would likely get lost in the deluge. Take these trends as loose suggestions, and then do your homework to create your own content calendar.
We’ve put together a few tips to help you determine when you should post. You may want to refer to these periodically to review and reassess your account’s performance.
Analyze your post history
If you are already an IG user, analyze your post history. You can use Instagram’s “View Insights” tool to learn more about engagement and activity for each post. You can find the button under each of your posts. Determine which posts are the most popular and look for trends in the posting days of the week and times of the day.
Once you know when your posts received the most attention, you can compare that information against the general trends for the best time to post on Instagram. If they match well, you may want to create your first content calendar with posting times that stick close to our suggestions.
Assess your audience’s viewing habits
You also want to look at your audience’s viewing habits. Use the information we provided and conduct your own research about how your ideal Instagrammer uses the platform. You can also check out your posts to see which ones have the highest reach. This information tells you which posts are getting in front of the most users and what percentage of those who see them engage.
In analyzing the data from Instagram’s insights, you can tell whether your audience prefers to see Reels, images or videos. You can also determine the best time to post on Instagram based on when you see the highest number of impressions. The data also show how many followers and non-followers see and interact with your posts, giving you a better idea of whether your posts reach more than just your current audience.
Determine how time zone impacts your audience’s viewing
While Instagram does not provide data on location for who sees and interacts with your accounts, you should still consider the impacts of time zones on the likelihood of your audience seeing your posts. The best time to post on Instagram CST will not necessarily be the best time to post on Instagram EST because of the difference in daily schedules. Your content calendar should reflect posting times that match with when your ideal followers are active.
Research your competitors
No matter what aspect of marketing you look at, researching your competitors is always recommended. This includes posting on Instagram. By analyzing your competitor’s posting habits, you can learn a great deal about the best time to post on Instagram.
Take the chance to explore your competitor’s posts, comparing posting dates and times for their most successful content. You can dive deep to analyze how their habits have changed over time and what it’s meant for their success. You may also want to look at less-successful competitors without as broad a reach. You can learn a lot from their habits and growth trends, too.
Experiment with posting
Once you establish a schedule, don’t be afraid to experiment. Put up a post at a time that runs counter to recommendations. Switch up the type of content you post at different times of the day or week. Post a little earlier or later than usual.
When you experiment, try making only one change at a time. Otherwise, you won’t know for sure which changes were successful. For instance, don’t change both the type of content and the posting time. Likewise, experiment with a single post. For example, don’t post early for every time slot; just pick one to do differently.
Adjust based on performance
Over time, your best time to post on Instagram will likely change. As your account grows, or when an experiment seems to be successful, adjust your content calendar to adapt to reflect what works for you. Your results should drive your strategies more than any outside recommendations. However, it’s also essential to stay on top of broader trends.
Keep up with what competitors are up to and watch for changes in your sector. It also doesn’t hurt to maintain a broader perspective on Instagram’s performance. The platform changes its algorithm (and features) regularly. Try to stay ahead of the curve by staying up to date with what Meta is doing to advance its goals for the platform.
Our last tip for you is to maintain consistency. After you set up your schedule for the best time to post on Instagram, stick with it. Posting regularly is good for the algorithm and your audience. Remembering to post can be the most challenging aspect of maintaining consistency.
Instagram does not allow you to schedule posts ahead of time, but there are ways you can preschedule. If you have a Facebook account, you can use the business suite to schedule posts in advance on Instagram. Your other option is to use a third-party service that allows for prescheduling.
➡️ For example, VistaCreate allows its users to schedule Instagram publications for later. Learn more about VistaCreate Social Media Scheduler in this article.
Consistency doesn’t mean never changing when or what you post, but it does mean that your audience should have some idea about what to expect from you and when.
How to prepare content for the best time to post on Instagram
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