Best Times to Post on Instagram cover image
Guides

Best Times to Post on Instagram — A Guide for Marketers

March 25, 2020

Updated March 2020

You work hard to create brand content for Instagram, so shouldn’t you give it the best chance of getting seen?

Find out when to post on Instagram so your content appears higher in your followers’ news feeds and generates more engagement.

Learning when your audience is most open to engaging with content gives your brand a competitive edge, and we show you exactly how to take advantage of that.

Keep reading to find out the best times to post images, videos, and Stories on Instagram (we’ve also got some industry-specific posting guidelines that you’ll love).

Have you ever wondered what time zone you should follow when posting? We’ve got you covered on that, too!

Let’s get started!

Best Times to Post on Instagram (for Most Brands)

We analyzed several recent studies and research, based on tens of millions of Instagram posts across the globe, from Unmetric, Oberlo, Hubspot, Later, Sprout Social, Coschedule, and Hopper HQ.

Optimize your Publishing time

Since Instagram shows the most recent content first in its news feed, posting at strategic times gives your brand an advantage because more people will see it.

Tip: Sharelov’s Best Time to Post feature
Using artificial intelligence, the tool analyzes your audience’s behavior and recommends posting times —
as you’re creating content — — so you never even have to deal with metrics or screen-flipping!

best times to post recommendation sharelov

Use the best posting times below as a way to begin experimenting with your audience.  Don’t limit yourself to the most-popular posting times, though! In many industries, your best times to post may vary dramatically from other brands.

The #1 Best Time To Post On Instagram Is 11 Am On Wednesdays.

It’s rare that several studies agree on anything. But the largest number of studies on best posting times for Instagram agree that 11 am on weekdays is a sweet spot for brands, and Wednesday is the best day of the week.

#2 The Second-best Time To Post On Instagram Is During Weekday Lunch Hours.

The exact time for lunch hours fluctuates depending on your audiences’ location and their work habits. 

Many studies agree that 11 am – 1 pm weekdays is an excellent posting window, with some research pointing toward the 12pm – 2 pm lunch window instead.

Some research points toward Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as the best posting days (particularly Wednesday) however, most studies agree that any weekday lunch hour is an excellent time to post for engagement on Instagram.

#3 The Third-best Time To Post On Instagram Is 4 – 5 Pm Weekdays.

Between 3 -4 pm on weekdays, there’s a lull between posts, which is no surprise — people are working to wrap up the work day and stay as focused as possible. 

After their midday break, there’s a surge in popularity between 4 -5 pm, before people leave for the day.

#4 The Fourth-best Time To Post On Instagram Is Anytime Before 3 Pm Weekdays.

Instagram’s audience remains steadily active throughout the workday, with many users logging on during pre-work hours. 

For example, 4 am, 6 am, and 9 am are popular times for Instagrammers.

Worst Time To Post On Instagram – Sundays

Nearly all Instagram studies agree that the worst time for brands to post content is on Sundays.
Best Times to Post on Instagram in 2020 infographic

Keep in mind that certain niche industries thrive on the weekends.

industry recommendations
Later in this article, we explore the best times to post
by industry so be sure to scroll down and check whether your industry is different!

As social media continues to integrate more thoroughly into the lives of businesspeople and their…

More and more, people are interacting with brands at all hours of the day — including late nights and the earliest of morning hours.

Best Times to Post Photos on Instagram

Over 50 billion images have been shared on Instagram, and followers love them! In this section, we show you the best time to publish your photo posts on Instagram.

Unmetric’s study of the connection between engagement rates and photo posting times revealed a clear preference: photos posted between 11 am – 12 pm received massively more comments than at any other time of the day or night.

The best time to post photos on Instagram is between 11 am – 12 pm.

Photos posted outside the hours of 11 am – 12 pm earned far less engagement, and include:

  • The 2nd-best time to post photos on Instagram: between 5 – 6 pm.
  • The 3rd-best time to post photos on Instagram: between 7 – 8 pm.

The worst time to post photos on Instagram is between 10 pm – 8 am

Engagement with photos between 10 pm and 8 am was so low, that it’s probably safe to say: don’t waste your efforts, unless you’re in an industry with very late hours.

unmetric best times to post images Instagram
Best time to post photos on Instagram, chart by Unmetric.
brands audience on Instagram

Best Times to Post Videos on Instagram

Video, video, video! If there’s one thing Instagrammers love, it’s engaging videos! Here are some tips on the best times to post videos on Instagram.

  1. The best time to post videos on Instagram is between 9 – 10 am.

According to Unmetric statistics, the greatest number of comments posted to videos happens between 9 – 10 am.

  1. The 2nd best time to post videos on Instagram is between 1 – 2 pm.
  2. The 3rd best time to post videos on Instagram is anytime between 8 am and 7 pm
  3. The worst time to post videos on Instagram is between 10 pm – 7 am.

Best Times to Post Videos on IGTV

IGTV, Instagram’s long-form video app, was launched in June 2019

Statistics for best time to post to IGTV aren’t widely available yet, but one report by hashtagie suggests the following best posting times:

The #1 best time to post to IGTV is Wednesdays at 8 pm.

The #2 best times to post to IGTV is between 8 – 10 pm Monday through Thursday.

While we don’t have a lot of data on IGTV posting times, because the app is so new, we think the above suggestions are a good starting point for IGTV content. 

Make sure to measure your own IGTV results along the way,so you can discover what times produce the most engagement for your brand.

We’d love to hear what IGTV posting times work best for your brand! Tell us about it in the comments below!

Should your brand launch an IGTV channel? Find out everything you need to know in the

Marketer’s Guide to Instagram TV

Best Times to Post Instagram Stories

500 million people use Instagram Stories every day, and one-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses.

So, when is the best time to post your brand’s Instagram Stories?

  • Stories only last 24 hours, so don’t restrict your posts to the “best times.” 
  • You can post at any time of the day or night, including late-night and into the wee hours of the morning. 
  • Your followers will see your stories in their feed the next morning.

Remember to archive and pin your best Stories to your profile as Highlights, which remain visible until you remove them.

According to Facebook IQ, 37% of users in the U.S. agree that Instagram Stories help them to be “more authentic in their communication with their friends and family.” 

Did you know? 62% of Instagrammers say they’ve become more interested in a brand after seeing it in Instagram Stories.

Learn how to create relevant, high-quality Instagram Stories in the

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories for Business in 2020 cover image

Best Times to Post Instagram Live Videos

Instagram Live videos disappear when the broadcast is finished. For that reason:

  1. The best time to post on Instagram Live can only be determined by knowing when most of your audience is online.
  2. To extend the life of your live video, share it to Instagram Stories, then add that story to your Highlights.

According to Shopify, some of the best ways to use Instagram Live are to:

  • Run a contest
  • Host a Q & A or Ask Me Anything session
  • Share moments from live events
  • Host a talk show or live vlog

Get Instagram Live tips, tricks, examples, and ideas to help you create videos your audience can’t resist:

Instragam live cover art

Best Times to Post to Instagram for Your Industry

Like any social media platform, Instagram’s engagement rates rely on the routines and habits of your audience.

If your industry operates during non-traditional hours, there’s a good chance that your best posting times will differ from the standard recommendations above.

Below is a listing of the best times to post for specific industries, to help you get a jump on finding the most-engaging time of day for your audience.

CONSUMER BRANDS

According to a study by Sprout Social, the best times to post for consumer brands are as follows:

  • The #1 best time to post: Wednesday at 3 pm
  • The #2 best time to post: 11 am – 5 pm weekdays
  • The #3 best time to post: Saturday 10 am.
  • The worst time to post is on Sundays

B2B BUSINESSES

B2B companies achieve high clickthrough rates on Instagram at several points throughout the day, according to HubSpot:

  • Best posting times for B2B businesses 12 – 1 pm and 5 – 6 pm
  • Also good: after hours until 9 pm.

PERSONALITIES

There’s a conflict between when most personalities post to Instagram and when personalities receive the highest engagement rates.

  • Best time for personalities to post to Instagram: Wednesdays between 12 – 4 pm.

Personalities receive the highest Instagram engagement rates when posting on Wednesdays.

However, personalities post most often on Thursdays and Fridays, despite lower engagement rates.

  • 2nd best time for personalities to post to Instagram: Weekdays 12 pm – 4 pm

NON PROFITS

The best time for non-profit organizations to post to Instagram is Friday at 2 pm.

The worst time for non-profits to post to Instagram is on Saturdays.

HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY

The #1 best time for healthcare brands to post on Instagram is Tuesday at 1 pm.

The 2nd best time for healthcare brands to post is 9 am – 4 pm Tuesday through Friday.

Weekends are the worst time for healthcare brands to post on Instagram.

TECH INDUSTRY

The #1 best time for tech brands to post on Instagram is Wednesdays at 10 am.

The 2nd best time for tech brands to post is 10 am – 5 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.

The worst day for tech brands to post is Sundays.

SPORTS INDUSTRY

According to Unmetric’s statistics:

  • The best time for sports brands to post is on Sundays between 4 – 5 pm.
  • The 2nd-best time is 8 – 9 pm any day of the week.
  • Other good times to post are between 6 – 10 pm on any day.
  • If you’re posting sports photos, 7 – 9 pm is best. 4 – 5 pm and 10 – 11 pm are also good times to post photos.
  • If you’re posting sports videos, 1 – 2 pm is best.
  • The worst time to post for the sports industry is on Fridays.

RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

The best times for restaurants to post on Instagram are during your peak hours. 

You might think mealtimes are the best times for restaurants to post on Instagram, but eating schedules have become so flexible that the time-worn tradition of breakfast, lunch, and dinner times aren’t reliable as posting times.

The best times for restaurants to post to social media are changing rapidly because our food…

Instagram reports a rise in “snacking behavior” that’s challenging breakfast, lunch, and dinner patterns. 

Mealtimes have become fluid, and are often determined by people’s lifestyles instead of traditional mealtime habits. 

U.S. consumers are 63% more likely to snack in place of a meal and 84% of them snack in-between meals.

Since over 45% of people use a smartphone while in restaurants and bars, use your peak hours to encourage customers to share to social media.

BEVERAGE INDUSTRY

The best time for beverage brands to post on Instagram is between 3 – 6 pm.

According to Instagram, this is the best opportunity, when viewers are thirsty and impulsive.

Tip: Beverage companies should post more videos than photos, since beverage Instagrammers watch twice the number of videos compared to the average global user.

A recent Instagram in-house study revealed that mobile users are more impulsive when it comes to purchasing beverages. This means photos and videos are powerful ways to influence beverage purchases.

EDUCATION INDUSTRY

The best time for educational organizations to post on Instagram is Mondays at 8:00 pm.

The 2nd best time for educational organizations to post on Instagram is between 11 am and 4 pm on weekdays.

The worst day for educational organizations to post on Instagram is Sunday.

How To Find Your Brand’s Ultimate Best Time To Post

The schedules above are based on the highest-engagement times for businesses. 

If you’re new to Instagram, they can be very helpful in making decisions about when to post your content.

If your engagement rates need a perk, the best posting times can also help you discover times that may improve your brand’s performance on Instagram.

The ultimate best times to post on Instagram depend on your audience, though.

Learn to master Instagram analytics with the

Sharelov_Blog-Ultimate-Instagram-Analytics_Cover

Sharelov’s Best Times to Post feature takes the guesswork out of when you should post. Just toggle it “on” and you’ll automatically get suggestions based on your audience.

get suggestions based on your audience with sharelov

How Often To Post on Instagram

Should you post on Instagram as often as possible? 

Probably not.

Here are some tips to help guide your posting frequency:

  1. Publish posts only as often as you can create high-quality, interesting content that your audience loves to engage with. 
  2. Post Stories as often as possible.
  3. Post content more often during special events.

Remember — quality has more power than frequency!

When deciding how often to post to Instagram, remember:

  • The quality of your Instagram posts are far more important than how often you post.
  • Keep your content interesting with a healthy balance of video, photo, and stories  – but only according to your ability to consistently publish quality material.
  • Be sure to size your photos and videos correctly to achieve the highest-quality images.

Did you know you can post to Instagram from your computer? Find out how:

Cover - How To Post On Instagram From a PC or Mac

What Time Zone To Post In

Now that you know the statistics on what works best for posting different types of content on Instagram, you may be wondering what time zone those suggestions refer to.

If you’re a local business you should apply the best posting times to your regional time zone.

If you’re a national or global business, you should post according to the time zone that most of your audience lives in, if that exists.

If all else fails and you’re still not sure what time zone to follow, post in Eastern time because it houses the greatest number of people:

  • Nearly half of the U.S. population (47.8%) lives in the Eastern time zone.
  • About 30% of Americans live in the Central time zone.
  • 16.6% of Americans live in the Pacific time zone.
  • Only 6.7% of Americans live in the Mountain time zone.

Global brands should try posting at 9 am EST, when the greatest number of people, globally, are…

Get information, guidance and examples to help you market your brand on Instagram in the

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing

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Tips for Increasing Your Instagram Post Engagement

How often and when you post on Instagram is only the first step in boosting your Instagram engagement rates. 

Check out our step-by-step Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing & find out EVERYTHING you need to know to build, engage, and sell to Instagrammers!

Here are a few more tips to help you get your audience interacting with your brand more often.

  1. Make your posts irresistible.

Publish the most compelling photos, videos, and stories your brand is capable of. 

When people interact with your posts, this tells Instagram that your brand is sharing quality content, and then more people will see your posts.

  1. Consistency is more important than frequency.

Develop a posting schedule based on how often you can publish quality material, and then stick to the plan. 

  • It’s better to post 1 compelling image a day than 6 that get ignored. 
  • Publishing on a consistent schedule shows reliability and helps build trust between your brand and its audience.
  1. Work in teams.

Instagram’s demand for quality is high, and successful content is usually produced by a team of people working together.

Collaboration can dramatically improve a brand’s chances of success because:

  • Teams can create original, engaging content week after week.
  • Teams can quality-check photos, videos, and messages before they’re published.
  • Teams help avoid errors in messaging that might harm a brand’s reputation.

Move to AI-Driven, Metrics-Based Scheduling for Best Results

Brands without much history of posting content, and brands who aren’t generating enough engagement can use the posting times in this article to begin testing their audience’s reactions.

AI-driven scheduling or decisions made based on analytics, are the best way to determine what posting times will work best for your brand on Instagram.

Build Instagram campaigns faster