When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022?
Did you know that 1 in 2 people use Instagram to discover new brands?
Couple that with the fact that Instagram recently surpassed the 2 billion user mark, and it just goes to show how powerful the platform is in 2022.
But to truly unleash Instagram’s revenue-shifting potential, you have to reach your followers first — and that means knowing when to post.
So here’s the million-dollar question: when’s the best time to post on Instagram?
In this guide, we break down:
- The best Instagram posting times by day, week, location, and industry.
- How to test the best posting time for your audience
- How to win back time with post scheduling
- How to increase your organic engagement on Instagram with posts, stories and reels
By the end, you’ll be a social media pro who knows exactly how to make Instagram work harder for your business.
When is the best time to post on Instagram?
According to Sprout Social, the best time to post is during the middle of the day on Tuesday between 11AM and 2PM CDT (or between 4AM and 7AM AEDT).
Meanwhile, Later conducted deep research into more than 35 million global Instagram posts and found the highest average engagement on Instagram was on Sunday at 6AM in the local time:
Hootsuite’s experts, on the other hand, say the best time to post is on Wednesday at 11AM. According to Hootsuite Analytics, users are most likely to interact with content in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week:
Last but not least, Influencer Marketing Hub found the best times to post were either Wednesday at 11AM, 2PM to 3PM on Thursday, or 10AM on Friday.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive ‘best’ time to post on Instagram. Various social media management platforms have all reported different findings based on their analysis of Instagram engagement.
Best time to post on Instagram by time of day
Early morning between 6AM – 7AM
Most users hop on social media as soon as they wake up in the morning, which is why this is one of the best times to post on Instagram. Regardless of whether it’s a weekday or weekend, the bulk of surveys into Instagram engagement found that activity on the platform starts to pick up around 6AM to 8AM.
Lunchtimes between 11AM – 12PM
Lunch breaks are by far the most popular time to post during the day. Why? Because people like to scroll through social media and check out Instagram Ads while eating their lunch or waiting to pick up their food. The ideal posting time on the majority of weekdays falls between 11AM and 12PM, right as users are starting to head out from the office.
Evenings between 10PM – 11PM
While we technically should avoid our phones right before sleep, a significant chunk of Instagram users still browse their feed as part of their pre-bedtime routine. 10PM on Tuesday or Sunday is the sweet spot if you’re going to be posting at night, as well as 7PM on Monday evenings.
Best time to post on Instagram by day of the week
Alongside the best universal time to post on Instagram, the highest engagement rate for Instagram posts differs depending on the day of the week.
On weekdays, the most engagement occurs either first thing in the morning, during the middle of the day when users are scrolling through on their lunch break, or in the evening just before bedtime.
Best time to post on Instagram on Monday
The ideal time to post on Instagram on Monday is generally first thing in the morning at 5AM or in the middle of the day between 11AM and 12PM. This is when most of your followers will likely be catching up on the latest from their friends, family and influencers over the weekend, which means more opportunities for engagement.
Best time to post on Instagram on Tuesday
On Tuesday, the prime time to post is either at 6AM or in the middle of the day between 11AM and 2PM. The great thing about Tuesday lunchtimes is there’s a larger window of opportunity to post long-form content, such as IGTV or Instagram Live videos.
Best time to post on Instagram on Wednesday
If you want to reach and engage as many users as possible on hump day, share your posts at 6AM or between 11AM and 12PM. However, even if you post outside of those hours, you’re still likely to get a decent chunk of likes, comments and shares: Wednesday has the longest duration of consistent engagement of any day in the week, with good performance on posts shared from 6AM until 11PM at night.
Best time to post on Instagram on Thursday
With the weekend in sight, most Instagram users have a shorter lunch break on Thursdays. This makes the perfect time to post either at 11AM, although engagement still remains pretty high between 10AM and 4PM.
Best time to post on Instagram on Friday
Unsurprisingly, Instagram users are fairly active on the platform on Fridays. The prime time to post on Friday is Friday morning between 11AM and 12PM, but engagement stays fairly consistent between 7AM and 5PM. On the flipside, it’s best to avoid posting in the evening after 5PM: Friday nights have the lowest engagement rate of any day of the week.
Best time to post on Instagram on Saturday
Saturday is the second-worst day of the week to post, but this doesn’t mean that you’ll be putting your message out to an empty social platform. Instagram users do spend time scrolling through their newsfeed during the day, making the best time to post on Saturday anywhere between 10AM and 1PM.
Best time to post on Instagram on Sunday
Instagram engagement is at its lowest on Sundays — so if there’s any day you should press pause on your posting, this is it. However, if you do want to post, the best time is either between 9AM and 4PM or just before bedtime at 10PM.
Worst time to post each day:
Later also rounded up the worst times to post based on days of the week. If you want to get the most engagement on your content, avoid these Instagram posting times:
- Monday: worst day to post at 2PM
- Tuesday: worst day to post at 1PM
- Wednesday: worst day to post at 10AM
- Thursday: worst day to post at 11PM
- Friday: worst day to post at 9AM
- Saturday: worst day to post at 8PM
- Sunday: worst time to post at 4PM
Best time to post on Instagram by location
Your location can also significantly impact the ideal time to post on Instagram.
If your audience is based in the same time zone, this isn’t too much of a hassle — all you need to do is figure out when they’re most likely to be on Instagram and tailor your social media strategy to suit.
But if your audience is based in a different time zone or you have a global audience in multiple time zones, you need to take this into account when planning your posts. The last thing you want is to schedule a post for the 6AM AEST time zone when the bulk of your audience is based in Perth, and vice versa.
Users can also have dramatically different Instagram habits and behaviours, depending on where they’re located.
For example, Instagram posts in the Pacific typically have higher engagement rates in the evenings, while Instagram posts in the US have higher engagement rates in the mornings.
According to Later, here are the best times to post for different time zones:
- US and Canada (West Coast): 12AM-6AM
- US and Canada (Central): 6AM-8AM
- US and Canada (East Coast): 4AM-9AM
- South America: 4AM
- United Kingdom: 4AM-6AM
- Western Europe: 6-8PM
- Eastern Europe: 5AM-7AM
- Africa: 6AM
- South Asia and Middle East: 3AM
- East Asia and Southeast Asia: 11PM-4AM
- Australasia: 11PM – 2AM
Best time to post on Instagram by industry
Do different industries have different best times to post?
You bet they do.
Some industries see higher engagement in the mornings, while for others user activity spikes at night.
Understanding the best time to share a post for your industry is essential if you want to get the most out of your Instagram account.
So what’s the best time for each industry to post on Instagram?
Best time to post on Instagram for IT and tech companies
- Best day to post on Instagram: Monday
- Best time: Monday between 10AM – 10PM
- Most consistent engagement: Monday to Friday between 8AM – 6PM
- Other good times to post: Monday between 11AM – 12AM, Monday between 8PM – 9PM, Tuesday between 11AM – 12AM, Thursday between 12PM – 1PM, Friday between 11AM to 12PM
Best time to post on Instagram for restaurants and cafes
- Best day to post on Instagram: Monday
- Best time: Monday between 9AM – 1PM
- Most consistent engagement: Monday between 9AM – 1PM
- Other good times to post: Tuesday between 10AM – 2PM
Best time to post on Instagram for non-profit organizations
- Best day to post on Instagram: Wednesday
- Best time: Wednesday between 10AM – 6PM
- Most consistent engagement: Monday to Friday between 11AM – 8PM
- Other good times to post: Wednesday between 5PM – 6PM, Thursday between 11AM – 5PM
Best time to post on Instagram for the healthcare industry
- Best day to post on Instagram: Monday or Tuesday
- Best time: Tuesday between 8AM – 12PM or 5PM – 8PM
- Most consistent engagement: Sunday between 8AM – 9AM
- Other good times to post: Monday between 9AM – 10AM, Monday between 2PM – 3PM, Monday between 5PM – 6PM, Tuesday between 8AM – 9PM, Sunday between 8AM – 9PM
Best time to post on Instagram for educational institutions
- Best day to post on Instagram: Friday
- Best time: Friday between 4AM – 5AM or Thursday at 2PM
- Most consistent engagement: Friday between 4AM – 1PM
- Other good times to post: Thursday between 2PM – 3PM
Best time to post on Instagram for entertainment brands or the media industry
- Best day to post on Instagram: Tuesday
- Best time for media companies to post: Tuesday between 1PM to 5 PM
- Other good times to post: Wednesday between 11AM – 12PM, Thursday between 8AM – 9AM
Best time to post on Instagram for travel brands
- Best day to post on Instagram: Thursday
- Best time: Thursday between 7AM – 8AM, Monday between 11AM – 4PM
Best time to post on Instagram for B2B brands
- Best day to post on Instagram: Monday
- Best time: Monday between 4PM – 5PM
Best time to post on Instagram for financial institutions
- Best day to post on Instagram: Wednesday or Friday
- Best time: Wednesday or Friday between 10AM – 4PM
Best time to post on Instagram for consumer goods brands
- Best day to post on Instagram: Weekdays
- Best time: Monday to Friday between 9AM – 5PM
Best time to post on Instagram for non-retail e-commerce brands
- Best day to post on Instagram: Weekdays
- Best time: Monday to Friday between 4PM – 9PM
Does it matter what time you post on Instagram Reels?
Here are the best times to share your Reels, broken down by day of the week:
- Monday: 5AM, 9AM and 9PM
- Tuesday: 1AM, 3AM and 8AM
- Wednesday: 6AM, 7AM and 10PM
- Thursday: 8AM, 11AM and 6PM
- Friday: 4AM, 12PM and 2PM
- Saturday: 10AM, 6PM and 7PM
- Sunday: 6AM, 7AM and 3PM
Ever since it launched in April 2021, Instagram Reels has been picking up in popularity — particularly given the rise of TikTok and other short forms of video content.
Sharing Reels and Instagram Stories can have a huge impact on your brand’s visibility and overall engagement rates, which is why most brands should aim to post between 4-7 Reels per week.
But if every Instagram account is posting an average of one reel every 1-2 days, that’s a WHOLE lot of content that users have to sift through.
That’s where having a social media strategy on posting times can make all the difference.
How to find the best time to post on Instagram through testing
We’ve gone through the peak times of day and the best day of the week to post on Instagram, and how engagement rates vary based on your location and the industry you’re in.
These are a great starting point, but the truth is it’s going to be different for every brand.
That’s where you need to do some sleuthing to find the optimal times to post for your brand and your audience.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
1. Open up Instagram analytics (a.k.a. Instagram Insights)
Instagram’s native insights are the perfect place to find basic information on your followers, such as their demographics, where they’re located, and — you guessed it — their most active times.
Simply log onto Instagram on your app and navigate to Insights > Audience or hop into your Instagram Creator Studio dashboard. Scroll down and you’ll see your audience’s most active times like so:
You can break this customer data down by hours in the day, or by days of the week.
2. Start A/B testing your posting times
Once you have a baseline established for when your audience is online, it’s time to start testing. Your best bet is to begin with the window of the day where your audience is the most active — i.e. 8AM – 1PM between Monday and Friday — then schedule different posts at different times within this window.
For example, you might choose to schedule Monday’s post at 8AM, Tuesday’s at 9AM, Wednesday’s at 10AM, and so on.
After you’ve done this in the first week, switch up the posting times in your second week. You might instead choose to reverse the order and post on Monday at 1PM, Tuesday at 12PM, Wednesday at 11AM…you get the idea.
This process will take a few weeks, but it’s worth it to figure out what works best for your Instagram followers.
3. Track your results
Tracking is arguably THE most important part of your A/B testing.
Without it, you don’t have a point of comparison to see which time works best.
Set up an A/B testing spreadsheet for all of your posts published, and use it to track your likes, comments, shares, and saves:
At the end of the testing phase, you should start to see clear patterns emerge as to when you should post for maximum engagement with your followers.
How to schedule Instagram posts using the most popular scheduling tools
The beauty of having your brand on Instagram is that there are plenty of tools to automate the posting process. These allow you to schedule your content in advance and build up your posting consistency to stay top-of-mind with followers.
Thankfully, this process is incredibly simple to do using the most popular scheduling tools: Sprout Social, Later, and HootSuite.
Note: Auto-publishing scheduled posts are only available if you have an Instagram business account. If you have a personal account you’ll need to go via the notification publishing route.
With notification publishing, your scheduling platform will send a push notification to your phone once it’s time to post. After that, you’ll be able to send your content to Instagram to publish.
Scheduling Instagram posts on Sprout Social is a pretty straightforward process.
Just log on and navigate to Sprout’s Publishing toolset, and upload your image or video. After this, you’ll be able to edit the image and compose a caption to accompany the post, as well as tag any users who might be featured in your content.
When you’re happy with your post, select which of your Instagram accounts you want to post to. You’ll be presented with five options:
- Submit for approval
Hit ‘Schedule’ and select your desired time. Once it’s time to post, you’ll receive a mobile notification to send your scheduled content to Instagram.
Posting on Later is equally as simple as posting on Sprout Social.
Just navigate to the Quick Scheduler Tool, select your time, then drop your posts into the calendar:
Depending on your type of profile, you’ll either receive a notification when it’s time to publish, or your post will automatically be published at the scheduled time if you have a business Instagram account.
Head into your Hootsuite dashboard and click the Create Icon, then select Post:
From here, you can select the account you want to post to, upload visuals and compose copy:
You’ll also be able to see a draft of your post as a preview on the right;
Once you’re happy with your post, select the time that you want to post and click “Schedule”. You’ll be able to see all of your upcoming posts as well in Hootsuite’s Planner:
3 tips for increasing organic Instagram engagement in 2022
1. Adapt your posting schedule so it makes sense for your Instagram audience
If your Instagram Insights don’t line up with the times above, don’t worry — stick with the insights that are sourced directly about your users.
You can also use your social media scheduler to find more information about your Instagram account audience and see how your posts are performing at different times of day.
For example, HootSuite also has a ‘Best Time to Publish’ feature that will show you the ideal time for an Instagram post based on your unique audience and historical post performance over the past 30 days:
Likewise, Later has a “Best Time to Post” feature that highlights the top 7 posting times for your target audience based on your best-performing posts from the past month.
2. Experiment with different content formats
On top of when you post, what you post has a significant impact on how much engagement your posts get.
Don’t be afraid to mix up your Instagram post content to see what works best for your specific audience.
Do they prefer an Instagram post that features a photo with text? Videos? GIFs? Short captions? Captions with quotes?
Add a column in your Instagram engagement testing spreadsheet to track the performance of different types of social media posts, and you’ll quickly start to see some interesting trends emerge.
Don’t forget to create compelling content for Reels and Instagram Stories either. In a survey by Omnicore, more than half (58%) of Instagram users say they’re more interested in a brand after seeing it in their Stories.
Best of all, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to do any of this.
There are plenty of digital marketing tools you can use to create eye-catching Instagram content that will drum up more comments and saves. These also come in handy if you want to create Instagram ads to reach even more people on the platform.
3. Get to know the Instagram algorithm
All social media platforms have an algorithm — and if you want to succeed on Instagram, you need to know how it works.
While Instagram used to be a chronological feed, it now relies on an algorithm to determine which posts come up first.
There are four factors that go into ranking posts in the Feed and Stories:
- Information about the post, such as how many people have liked it or when it was posted.
- Information about the person who posted, such as engagement rate and degrees of separation between the account and the user.
- User activity, including the type of content that person normally engages with or the brands they like to hear from.
- The user’s history of interacting with someone, as this shows Instagram how interested the user is in seeing content from that account.
Instagram then calculates a score of interest, which determines how likely someone is to interact with that content if it appears in their feed. The posts with a higher score will be displayed first in the feed, while those with a lower score appear further down in the feed.
Instagram also considers the likelihood of someone interacting with a post as part of its feed ranking. These interactions are:
- Time spent reading or watching the post
- Taps on profile
Dominate Instagram, skyrocket sales
Here’s the bottom line: engagement compounds on Instagram, so it’s important to put yourself in the best position possible by posting at the right time for peak engagement.
This creates a snowball effect with your posts. Once you start to get more engagement, this will lead to your post being shown higher in the Instagram feed, which leads to more engagement — and so on.
And the more people that are seeing and engaging with your brand, the more you’ll grow your reach.
But it’s not just about the number of people who see your post.
You need to reach the right people for Instagram to have a tangible impact on your business. That’s where having a social media advertising strategy can make all the difference.
With Instagram Advertising, you’ll grow your leads and sales; not just your followers and likes.
Want to take your Instagram strategy to the next level with social media ads? Claim your free audit and 6-month game plan today, and we’ll show you precisely how to use Instagram to crush your revenue goals.