If you’re a content creator or business owner, you’ve likely wondered how to get more engagement on your Instagram posts. The Instagram algorithm is notoriously tricky to figure out, so it can be hard for those out there who want to grow their following. If you’re wondering if there’s an “ideal time” to post on Instagram, the short answer is “yes.” The long answer is a bit more complicated, but we’ll walk you through it. Here is our step-by-step guide for figuring out the best time and day to post on Instagram.
Determine your audience and their time zone.
Your audience’s geographic location will be a big factor when it comes to timing your Instagram posts. By switching your Instagram account to a business or creator account, you can gain access to valuable insights such as your audience’s location, demographics, and times (as well as the days of week), when they’re most active. If you don’t have an audience yet, think about your target audience and go from there.
Save your best content for weekdays.
While there’s a lot of differing information out there on exact times you should be posting on Instagram (6 am on Monday, 2 am on Tuesday, etc.), one thing is clear: weekday posts receive significantly more engagement than weekend posts. People usually spend their weekends out and about and, as a result, are not on their social media as much.
Most people check their social media when they wake up in the morning and before they go to bed, as well as a quick check in the afternoon during lunch. Late mornings and early afternoons appear to have high engagement rates, with some suggesting that Wednesday morning at 11 am (in your target time zone) is the best time to post on Instagram.
Maximize Reels and Stories.
Reels are hot on Instagram right now. In addition to making a daily post, Instagram recommends 4-7 reels per week. If you’re wondering when is the best time to post reels on Instagram, the same rules apply as for regular posts. Midweek morning posts appear to have the best engagement.
Stories are a bit more flexible since they are available for 24 hours. Research shows that when brands post stories, users respond well as this makes the brand appear friendlier and more relatable. Make sure you’re using all of the tools that Instagram has to offer in order to keep your account well rounded and up-to-date.
Create a content calendar.
Any brand or content creator knows that if they want to maximize their exposure, they need to be active regularly on several social media platforms—not just Instagram. Taking some time at the beginning of your week or month to brainstorm and plan out your content can save you from feeling overwhelmed midweek. Not only can a content calendar help you with consistency, it can aid in determining your optimal times to post.
Remember that Instagram recommends no more than 1 regular post per day, 4-7 reels per week, with stories sprinkled throughout the day. If you follow Instagram’s best practices for posting, that's 47 to 59 pieces of content per month, not including stories. So yes, it’s safe to say you’re going to want a content calendar.
Use an app to schedule posts.
There are a lot of apps out there to make navigating the rocky waters of social media a bit easier. For Instagram management, Later, Sprout, Social Bee, and Planable are apps you should be considering. We have a great post listing some of the features of Sprout, as well as other popular social media management apps in our roundup of the best social media management tools.
It’s worth mentioning that Later has a “Best Time to Post” feature included with all of its paid plans. A lot of the apps mentioned have free trials, so it could be worth it to experiment with several—just don’t forget to cancel your trial before the grace period ends!
Perform your own tests.
There are certainly paid apps that can help you with testing, but for those who have a tighter budget, testing and tracking your post engagement via a spreadsheet is the easiest way to get started. The most important thing is to post similar pieces of content at different times. Though this may take you a few weeks, you should be able to see a pattern.
While there do seem to be some best practices as to when to post, (weekends are a no-no), the best time to post on Instagram will be completely unique to you. Your audience and their geographic location are the best pieces of data to go off of when experimenting with posting times. From there, focus on posting daily but saving your best content for the middle of the week. Remember to use regular posts, Reels, and Stories in your content as well as apps and a content calendar to help you with scheduling. With hard work and a little luck, your Instagram account will be trending in no time.