Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2020

31 January 2020

Many brands have already gathered that need to consistently create compelling content to grow their Instagram following. But the trick is to post photo and video content, as well as stories, at the right time. Otherwise, the majority of your audience will not be able to see it.

Before deciding when to post on Instagram, brands need to take into consideration multiple factors. Your unique audience may consist of followers in different time zones; there are peak engagement times for specific industries; days of the week vary significantly, etc. This article explores the essential considerations about when to post on Instagram.

Here are some insights we found for the best/worst times to post on Instagram in 2020:

  • Best times: 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Friday
  • Best day: Wednesday
  • Consistent engagement peaks: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekdays except for Monday; plus, particularly active streaks at 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Wednesday and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday
  • Least engagement: Every day at 11 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Things to Consider when Looking for the Best Time to Post on Instagram

There is optimal posting time for every audience, specific region, and business segment. Therefore, SMM specialists need to determine this time and cater to a variety of factors to get the best results.

Days of the Week

If you look at Instagram engagement throughout the week, you will inevitably find significant differences. For example, there are the busiest days like Wednesday or Friday, and there are quieter days like Saturday and Sunday.

Most people work Monday through Friday, and there will be correlations in people’s social media use. Mondays tend to be the days when people are engaged in their work more intensely and have less time for Instagram. As the week goes by, people finish handling tasks that piled up over the weekend and get more active. But the weekends themselves are far from the best times to post on Instagram since people are involved in activities other than social media.

You should prioritize your content and plan accordingly. For example, you should post your best, meticulously generated content on days when people check their phones the most. It doesn’t necessarily mean that no one will see your posts on other days. But you aren’t advised to schedule your top-notch content when there are few people online.

Breaks during the Work Day

Statistics show that a lot of people go on Instagram during their work breaks, especially during lunch. Some people can’t afford to take social media breaks at work, so they patiently wait until lunchtime. So, if you post around midday, there will be more eyes to views it.

Additionally, analysts noticed that people often take more Instagram breaks in the late afternoon. Perhaps, it’s because t of the work for the day is finished, and there is more time to unwind. If you have a general idea of when your audience might take breaks, target that time.

Holidays

Remember that holidays heavily affect the engagement rate and you should always factor in what kind of holiday it is. For instance, people tend to be passive when it comes to social media during major holidays. They are traveling, hanging out with their friends and family at gatherings, or even just enjoying downtime at home. Scrolling Instagram is not one of their top priorities.

Interestingly, Instagram receives high traffic just before holidays so you may want to capitalize on that. If you have a compelling Christmas Eve post, you should publish it in the morning for better success. If you share it in the evening, most people are going to be too occupied with festive activities to see your Instagram post.

Time Zones

If you know the time zones for your most active or important audience, it will be beneficial in finding the best time to post on Instagram. Your social media marketing campaign can benefit from engaging with users at certain times, such as their wake-up time or after work. By finding out top locations, you will be able to adjust your schedule accordingly.

Let’s say a brand has a large audience on the East coast but posts on Instagram based on the working days on the West coast. Then they will be losing a big chunk of potential customers. Accounts with a wide geographical spread, of their audience, can share several posts per day to reach every major time zone.

Instagram statistics


If you are unsure where your audience resides, use Instagram Insights for native analytics. Find an icon on your profile and browse whatever categories are of interest. Preferably, you should gather as much user data as you can, so explore all available categories.

Instagram analytics


Frequency of Posting

Your choice of the best time and day to post on Instagram also depends on how many posts a day/week you have planned. As mentioned in the previous point, you can spread multiple posts across different segments of your audience. On the opposite end, if you are not about bulk quantities, you should be more deliberate about when to publish them. No matter what approach you take, share a mix of different post types, and make every post count.

Audience Type

Your specific audience may not follow conventional patterns of Instagram behavior. If it is different, then traditional posting times will not be as relevant. These unspoken rules are still important, but you need to be flexible to make the most out of your posts.

Instagram Insights offers a look into what kind of audience you have. The more information you can discover about your audience and when it is most active, the more accurately you will structure your posting practices. You may find that your audience type prefers an untraditional Instagram schedule, which proves to be effective for your goals.

Instagram analytics


The Best Time to Post on Instagram by Day of the Week

Many people have established routines and express consistent patterns in terms of when they check their social media. There are subtle changes here and there, but the average high-engagement times for individual days of the week remain quite consistent.

Below are the top times when people check their Instagram accounts and, by extension, the best times for brands to post:

  • Monday: 11 a.m., 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 11 a.m.
  • Thursday: 10 a.m., 12 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9-11 a.m.
  • Sunday: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Best Time to Post on Instagram


Best Time to Post on Instagram on Monday

Monday morning is often a bit too hectic for many people to check Instagram. More users tend to check their feed between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. That said, there is some moderate influx of users between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. So, you have an opportunity to catch your audience’s attention right at the start of the week.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Tuesday

Optimal posting time looks different on Tuesday – the engagement rate stays pretty consistent from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Statistics also show that users tend to be particularly active during lunch (the reason does not need explanation) and around 7 p.m. when most people get off work.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Wednesday

Wednesdays are one of the prime times for Instagram engagement and receive a dynamic inflow of users. This day is characterized by the most consistent high engagement of the entire week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. peaking at 11 a.m. There are some users left between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., but you are recommended to plan your posts earlier.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Thursday

You can see great statistics on Thursday engagement as well. The pattern loosely resembles the one on Wednesday but without such a rush at midday. Try posting between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and you should see a great number of people interacting with your post.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Friday

Friday is another peak time and arguably the most crucial time for big announcements. 10-11 p.m. is the busiest time during the week. There is a solid user base between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., after which people’s Instagram involvement starts to fade. Friday night is not a great time to post since many people are enjoying their time off.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Saturday

On Saturday morning, people mostly check their phones between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., so you want to focus on that bracket. There is some activity at 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. -1 p.m. But other than that, there is little engagement during the rest of the day.

Best Time to Post on Instagram on Sunday

Sunday is the quietest day in terms of Instagram user activity. People are likely relaxing and spending their day in the real world, so brands won’t have much luck engaging them. You can try posting between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. but don’t schedule the biggest posts on this day.

Best Time to Post on Instagram for Different Industries

Use general peak times as a starting point, but you can also go further and be more specific. Your social media content can do better if you consider patterns inherent to your particular industry. Different industries have different preferable posting times. If you want to reach your audience precisely, you need to explore the relevant data industry by industry.

Best Time to Post on Instagram for Technology Companies

  • Peak engagement period: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday to Friday
  • Best time: 11 a.m. EST on Wednesday

Tech Instagram accounts get the most engagement, on average, on Thursday, and it seems that most people in this industry do not check their social media on Sundays.

Best Times to Post on Instagram for B2C Companies

  • Peak engagement period: Every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST
  • Best time: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. EST on Saturday

The top-performing day for B2C Companies is Wednesday, and the worst-performing one is Monday when people mostly concentrate on work.

Best Time to Post on Instagram for Educational Organizations

  • Peak engagement period: Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST
  • Best time: 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. EST on Thursday

In general, the best day to post is Monday, and it seems people prefer consuming this content fresh out of the weekends. Most users tune out on Sundays.

Best Times to Post on Instagram for Healthcare Companies

  • Peak engagement period: Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST
  • Best time: 2 p.m. EST on Tuesday

Tuesday is always a good day to post, and weekends are usually the worst-performing days for healthcare companies.

Best Times to Post on Instagram for Non-Profit Organizations

  • Peak engagement period: Monday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST
  • Best time: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST on Tuesday, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Thursday

Your posts should receive more attention and engagement on Thursdays and, on the opposite, are likely to be missed on Saturdays.

Best Time to Post on Instagram for Artists, Musicians & Photographers

  • Peak engagement period: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. on Friday
  • Best time: Wednesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Users seem to be more tuned to entertainment on Fridays and stay away from social media on Saturdays and Sundays.

Instagram Peak Times: Different Studies Comparison

There is a lot of information to take in, and social media monitoring platforms don’t always provide the same results from their research. Overall, they provide a good framework for choosing the best time to post on Instagram. We’ve compared the biggest studies and compiled a summary table:

Source Best Time Best Day Worst Day
Hubspot 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. EST Thursday Sunday
Sproutsocial 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. EST Wednesday, Friday Sunday
Later 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. EST Wednesday Monday, Sunday



Schedule Instagram Posts: Why It Is Important

As one of the most crucial steps in Instagram growth strategies, you need to post consistently. And you can use automation tools not to let it disrupt your daily workflow. It allows you to use the desktop version to post content, saves a great deal of time, and helps you manage your schedule and feed your aesthetic.

It’s essential to keep in mind all recommendations described above to take advantage of Instagram peak times. Since you don’t have to be at your computer when the post goes live, you can target specific time zones, times during holidays and weekends, and other times when you are unable to post them on your own.

How to Schedule Instagram Posts with Onlypult

Onlypult Publish is an example of an automation tool used for planning and scheduling your Instagram content. There are options to upload files as normal or carousel posts. You will only need to follow a few steps:

  1. Open the Posting Tab and click Add Post;
  2. Click Add Media or drag the photos onto a special field in the bottom or use media library with free photos;
  3. Trim the video if it is not consistent with the video length guidelines;
  4. Write the caption, and hashtags if you need;
  5. Select the exact date and time when you want the post to be published and click Schedule.
Best Time to Post on Instagram


FAQ

Is Sunday a Good Day to Post on Instagram?

No. An overwhelming majority of analytical platforms agree that Sundays is one of the worst days to post. Weekends, in general, get some of the weakest engagement.

How Many Times a Day Should You Post on Instagram?

Aim to post 1-3 times a day. Accounts that receive the highest engagements average around 1.5 a day, so you may want to mimic that model. However, even if you post more often, you are unlikely to see a drop in engagement. Overall, stick to a number you can keep up with consistently.

Where are Instagram Insights?

Instagram Insights show you basic analytics about your account, such as follower demographics, actions, growth rate vs. follower count, website clicks, engagement on individual posts, etc. They are available to all Instagram Business accounts.