In this guide, you’ll find out the best time to post on Instagram to get likes and followers.
But because you and your audience are unique, it’s also important to find out the best time for you personally. So we provide a free app to do just that!
We know from the analysis of tens of millions of posts made by accounts across 70+ countries that the best time to post depends on the day:
A lot of advice online on when to post on Instagram is US-centric. This applies to your own Instagram marketing strategy if you have a US-focused Instagram account. However, it also depends on what your followers want.
If you already have followers, use the time zone that most of your followers are in for most of your posts.
Why? Instagram tends to prioritize posts based on how much engagement it receives soon after it is posted. So, when you post based on the timezone of your primary audience, it gets shown to a lot of people soon after you publish it. This increases engagement and pushes it further up to other followers. More on Instagram’s algorithm later on in this article.
So, how do you know where your largest followers come from? Here’s how:
1. Make sure you have an Instagram business account
2. Open the Instagram app menu
3. Go to “Insights”
4. Go to the “Audience” tab and see what your top audience locations are
If you have a brand new account, use the time zone that most of your target audience is in! If you’re targeting the entire world, use EST as it’s a good balance between the US (which has the largest number of users) and Europe.
Weekdays tend to see the majority of users online during the morning commute. Lunch hours and the end of the day are also peak hours for Instagram activity.
9 – 11 pm EST catches European Instagram users at the end of their workday, and the majority of the United States users on their lunch breaks, which is great for businesses with a global audience.
Weekend lie-ins, brunches, and hangovers mean users are on their phones in the late morning. Mid-afternoon is also a time of high engagement.
Keep in mind that a lot of people are out socializing on Saturday nights, and so depending on your demographic you may want to avoid posting late on a Saturday.
Again, it may differ for your particular account. Do experiment with different post times before you decide when to post on Instagram.
Engagement on Instagram is also notoriously bad on Sundays. Do not prioritize the weekend
All of that being said, these times might not be the best time for you to post on Instagram…
The average best times listed above are a great starting point for when to post on Instagram, but you and your followers are unique!
The best time to post depends on the audience, day of the week, and timezone…
So here are the two simple ways of finding out the best time for you personally:
You can test posting at different times and track the results in a spreadsheet to see which posts get the most engagement.
However, there is a large problem with this:
Engagement is obviously also heavily impacted by the content itself.
This is why we recommend using our free Best Time to Post app, because it blends all the factors together.
Our app works out the best time to post on Instagram for you and your audience based on follower activity and post engagement.
Here’s how it works once you connect your Business Instagram account…
1. The tool finds all of the users who follow your account 👥
2. It then scans to see which followers are active at each hour of each day 🕑
This provides the data which allows you to see when the most or fewest of your followers are online! Our software processes these times to tell you when to post on Instagram.
Publishing your posts at the time when the majority of your followers are online increases the chance of more people seeing your post and engaging with it quickly — giving a big thumbs up to the Instagram algorithm 👍
3. The tool also looks at your post history 📱
4. It notes what day of the week and hour each of your posts were published 🗓
5. It then looks at the engagement (total number of likes and comments) for each post in each hour of the day, and divides them by the total number of posts in that hour 💖
This allows you to see which hours have the average highest post engagement based on your post history. While this is a very valuable insight, it is important to consider other factors — such as the quality of the content — which can also influence engagement.
The big debate about the best time to post on Instagram is all to do with optimum engagement, and the answer has changed as the Instagram algorithm has developed.
Many articles online declare a specific day and time as the official ‘best time to post on Instagram’.
However, from managing thousands of Instagram accounts on best time to post , we know that it completely varies by the user depending on audience demographic and location — so what’s important is finding the right time for you.
Naturally, if you post a video when the majority of your audience is asleep, it will get fewer likes and comments than it would when people are awake and using the app!
In order to explain why the best time to post on Instagram is important, we need to learn more about the Instagram algorithm…
First and foremost, Instagram is all about engagement. Not only likes and comments but saves, shares, direct messages, and turn on post notifications – Instagram is tracking all of it.
Every new update enhances the way we engage with content, and Instagram is prioritizing content we are likely to enjoy based on all of this data.
When Instagram discarded the chronological news feed, they began prioritizing ‘the probability of you liking a post’ as a ranking factor over ‘the most recently posted item’.
On this basis, we know that the algorithm:
▪️ Evaluates how ‘good’ content is based on engagement
▪️ Prioritizes that ‘good’ content to users likely to also engage with it
These algorithm changes made it crucial that we receive instant engagement from our followers. As a result, we saw the ‘New Post’ craze in Stories emerge, where users direct their audience to go and view/engage with their most recent post the moment it’s uploaded.
Here’s how the algorithm works:
1. When you post a photo or video to Instagram, it is only shown to a small percentage of your followers. This is estimated to be as low as 10% 😱
2. The algorithm then tracks how quickly those followers engage with it . So there’s not only pressure to get likes, you’re against the clock too ⏱
3. It also evaluates the post against the rest of the content on your feed, basing its ‘success’ on your average engagement rate and speed 📊
4. If the post is performing well, the algorithm deems it as ‘good content’ that people want to see. It is therefore shown to a larger percentage of your audience, is featured higher up in other users’ feeds, and will potentially even appear on the ‘Explore’ page 🎉📈
So the most crucial factor of getting fast engagement on Instagram?
⭐️ Posting when your audience is online and most active ⭐️
Connect your Business Instagram account using the tool at the top of this page and find out the best time to post on Instagram for you!
Find the best time to post on Instagram
Track your follower growth overtime
Understand your post engagement