When is the best time to post on Instagram is an age-old question without a definitive answer. Things like time zones, demographics, and industry all come into play when it comes to finding your perfect posting time. At Dash Hudson, we gathered data from hundreds of brands to try and help you find the right answer.
While there is no exact best time to post on Instagram, there is a range. Typically, brands experience higher engagement in the mornings and evenings. This means the best time to post is between 9 PM and 4 AM. While this time frame may seem odd, it makes total sense. During this these times, Instagram users typically have more downtime, while during the day they are often busy at work, or with other tasks.
Monday, Saturday, and Sunday are the best days of the week to post, while posts on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday tend to see slightly lower overall engagement.
Knowing the best general time to post on Instagram is helpful, but it's even more valuable to know exactly what time you should be posting based on what day of the week it is:
The best time to post on Sundays is between 7 PM - 11 PM. This timing is quite unique in comparison to other days of the week, where posting later in the evening or early in the morning is best.
Between 12 AM - 2 AM on Mondays is when you may see your best engagement.
Similarly to Monday, 12 AM - 1 AM is the best time to post on Instagram on Tuesday.
Interestingly enough, the best time of day to post on Wednesdays is at 11 PM sharp.
Thursdays are where we begin to see some options. For the early birds, 5 AM - 9 AM is a great time to post. In the evening, 9 PM – 11 PM sees great levels of engagement.
On Fridays, it’s best to catch the late crowd with 12 AM and 9 PM - 11 PM being the best times to post on Instagram.
Consider holding your scheduling your Saturday posts for very early in the morning or late at night. The best times to post are from 12 AM - 1 AM and 10 PM - 11 PM.
The best time to post Instagram reels is typically in the morning, between 9AM and 10AM.
While global best times to post are a good rule of thumb, it’s even more valuable to know exactly when exactly that translates to in your time zone or the time zone of your target audience:
If you’re located in GMT-4 or more specifically New York or Toronto, the best times for you to post are Sundays at 11 PM, or Saturdays at 3 AM or 11 PM.
Sundays at 10 PM are the optimal time to post for those located in LA, Vancouver or within GMT-7.
London, Dublin and those within GMT+1 will see better engagement on Instagram if they post on Sundays at 1 AM, Mondays between 12 AM - 1 AM, Tuesdays at 1 AM and 6 AM, and Thursdays at 5 AM.
We worked with Dash Hudson's Research and Development team to gather and analyze the data for the best times to post. We included nearly 700 brands and grouped and analyzed data in specific time zones to understand each unique engagement. The data set contains brands' performance from the first half of 2022.
There are many sources out on the internet discussing when the best time to post on Instagram is. Naturally, they do not all line up to one perfect posting time. But fortunately, there is some interesting crossover between experts. Let’s take a look at a few studies and their findings.
According to Later's analysis of 35M global posts, the optimal times to post each day on Instagram are: Monday and Thursday at 5 AM, and Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 6 AM.
Sprout Social has identified Tuesday and Thursday at 9 AM or 10 AM as prime posting times for Instagram.
Based on global data Hubspot found the most successful time to post on Instagram is Tuesday between 11 AM and 2 PM CDT.
At ExpertVoice, they calculated the best times to post on Instagram every day, the results are as follows: Sunday between 10 AM and 2 PM, Monday between 11 AM and 5 PM, Tuesday at 5 AM and between 11 AM and 3 PM, Thursday at 5 AM, 11 AM, and between 3 PM and 4 PM, Friday at 5 AM, and between 9 AM and 4 PM, and lastly Saturday at 11 AM.
If there is one thing to denote from this data (including Dash Hudson’s), there is no single best time to post. But why is that? While there is no way to know exactly why early mornings are impactful according to some experts, and not to others, there is one major factor that contributes to these numbers: work. Many Instagram users find themselves scrolling their feeds after waking in the early morning or during their commute. This is prime engagement time for many users. But it is also possible that users find themselves scrolling aimlessly during the workday to pass time. Either way, it's important to test out a range of posting times to really know what works best for your brand.
Although we have provided in-depth data from ourselves and experts alike, there are still multiple factors you need to add to the equation in our to find your perfect time to post on Instagram. Here are just a few of them:
When it comes to posting on not just Instagram, but any social media, location is everything. It may be what you consider prime posting time in your time zone, but it could be the middle of the night or the beginning of the day for the majority of your audience.
Learning where your audience is located will help inform you of what the actual best time to post on Instagram is for your followers.
Beyond location, it’s also important to consider the age and lifestyle of your followers. If your followers tend to fall below a certain age range, it could be more beneficial to be posting at night, as they are more likely to be awake and active on social channels like Instagram. If your followers are of an older demographic, the morning hours may be the optimal time to get engagement and likes from this audience.
Identifying the goal of your post is just as important as knowing when to publish it. Things you should think about include: who do I want to see this post? How do I want them to interact with this post? What call-to-action will I be providing? And lastly, how does knowing the best time to post on Instagram impact that? Depending on what you’re looking for, the time you want to post may fluctuate.
We know it’s hard to hear, but there is never going to be the absolute perfect time to post. Yes, we have found the best times based on real-time data, but that doesn’t mean your posts are going to get copious amounts of likes and high engagement every single time. Once you know this, it’s easier to take your post performance day by day, and not take the results so personally. As long as you maintain a tight posting schedule, engage with your followers and share meaningful, informative content that resonates with your audience, you’re doing everything you can.
If you’re still not seeing the results you want, it could be time to take your strategy to the next level with advertising.
Optimizing your Instagram posts for time and location is one thing, but why shouldn't your audience just scroll past if you don't offer content that's entertaining, engaging, or eye-catching? If users aren't engaging with your content, it might be time to go back to take a look at your Instagram or Instagram story insights to determine which posts resonate with your audience, so you can make more of them — and spend less time on the posts that don't improve engagement (or conversions).
Now that you have an idea of when is the best time to post on Instagram and you have considered your audience and post needs, it's time to capitalize on this data. Begin by building your strategy around what you know. Tweak your language to resonate with your audience and the time of day you will be interacting with them. Don’t forget to work short-form video into this strategy through your Instagram feed, Stories, and of course, Reels. Lastly, put this content strategy in action using a scheduling tool. This will give you the opportunity to see your strategy as a whole and allow any adjustments to be made easily.
Dash Hudson’s multi-channel scheduler gives social media managers the ability to schedule posts in advance with two options. The first being through post notification, meaning that you will be notified with your prepared asset that it is time to post manually. The second is with auto-publish. With this option, your work is done after hitting confirm. You will be notified that your post was published at the scheduled time. Whichever option you settle on, it has never been easier to stay on top of your content strategy and post at the best times of day or night.
While it is dependent on the day you want to post, a good rule of thumb for more likes and engagement is posting in the early morning. This may sound odd, but many people are on social media first thing after waking up or during their daily commute.
Typically, Instagram users are the most active before and after work. So, in the morning from 6 AM to 9 AM, and in the evening from 7 PM to 9 PM.
Yes. While it’s possible for your post to get views at all times, there are specific windows that are most successful than others if you’re looking for high rates of engagement and likes.
Instagram has made finding this information extremely easy. All you have to do is navigate to the Audience section of your account Insights. Once you scroll down, you will see days and times that your followers tend to be the most active on Instagram.
The worst time to post on Instagram is between 12 PM and 5 PM. Avoid posting at this time because users are typically busy during the day, which means they won’t be on Instagram and able to interact and engage with your post. By the time users do log on, your post will be lost in all the others that have come throughout the day.