When is the best time to post on Instagram? In a recent poll by Later, over 50% of social media managers said that evenings from 7-9pm was the best time to post on Instagram. But because every account has a different audience, in different time zones, each business will have a unique best time to post on Instagram.
In this post, we’ll show you how to find the best time to post on Instagram for your account, so you can beat the Instagram algorithm by scheduling Instagram posts for when your posts will drive the most engagement.
When to Post on Instagram: How the Algorithm Changed the Game
Earlier last year, Instagram announced that they would be replacing the chronological feed with an algorithm that gives priority to posts with higher engagement, which means the more likes and comments your post receives, the more people will see your post!
If you’re able to generate a lot of engagement on your Instagram posts shortly after posting, this signals to Instagram that your post is quality, engaging content and your post will move to the top of your followers feeds and be shown to more users. There are a handful of ways to increase Instagram engagement, but one of the best ways is to post when your Instagram audience is most active.
Think of it this way: If you post when your audience is most active on Instagram, you’re more likely to drive engagement on that post. That engagement will translate into Instagram bumping your post higher up on users’ feeds and getting on the Instagram Explore page, which, in turn, will result in even more engagement on your post. It’s a cyclical process: higher engagement leads to more visibility, which leads to higher engagement, which leads to more visibility… and it all starts with when you post on Instagram.
This is why scheduling Instagram posts is so important to your overall Instagram strategy, and if you aren’t doing this already, now is the time to sign up for Later and start scheduling your Instagram posts!
When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?
So now that you understand why posting when your audience is most active is important, it’s time to talk about the best time to post on Instagram. Here are some general rules about posting to Instagram in 2017:
- Post more during off-work hours than during the day. According to Later’s recent poll of social media managers, generally the best times to post on Instagram are lunch time (11am-1pm) and evenings (7-9pm). Think about it: when do you find yourself checking Instagram the most? Probably not during the work day, even though that may be when you want to post! Tip: schedule Instagram posts during the work day so you don’t have to worry about it during your free time.
- Weekends can be hit-or-miss depending on your audience. B2C companies will likely see better results when posting on weekends than B2B companies, since many businesses only operate during the week.
- Save the important posts for weekdays. The differences are slight, but average Instagram engagement does shift depending on the day. According to our own research, Wednesdays and Thursdays tend to drive the most engagement, while Sundays drive the least. Experiment with A/B testing the best days to post on Instagram (more on that below).
- Avoid 3pm, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Weekdays between 3 and 4pm typically drives the lowest engagement, likely because most users are busy at work at that time. However, we did receive feedback from some social media managers with large audiences on both the west and east coast that 4pm EST was their best time to post on Instagram. It’s a sweet spot that is near the end of the work day for east coast, and also lunch time on the west coast. 8pm EST would be another sweet spot to test out if your audience falls into this category!