When is the best time to post on Instagram? As much as we would like to give you a quick answer, the real answer is, “it depends.”
Every Instagram account is different and that makes it difficult to gather accurate and reliable information. Still, regardless of your account’s unique following, there seem to be at least a few numbers to go by.
Later, an Instagram scheduling app, analyzed more than 60,000 Instagram posts in 2015 and the numbers revealed enough information to draw basic conclusions. By no means are these stats the final say, but they give you a general idea of when are the best times to post your photos and videos.
Time of day
Although it varied from day to day, the general consensus from the Later survey is that 2 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET were the best times to post for the most interaction, while 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. were deemed the worst times to post. There is no definitive reason as to why these times seem the most opportune. But Matt Smith, Later’s founder, believes it’s because these are two times when people are most active on Instagram.
In the case of 5 p.m., Smith hypothesizes that it’s because people are spending the last few minutes of their workday browsing through their feeds before the final moments wind down. He makes no specific comment on why 2 a.m. is a peak hour, but it is not much of a stretch to assume it’s because a fair number of people are browsing through Instagram in bed late at night. Generally speaking, it’s best to share during off-work hours, rather than throughout the work and school day.
Day of the week
Much like the best time of day to post to Instagram, finding the right day of the week is also a challenge. Some research suggests Wednesdays and Thursdays promote the most interaction, while more anecdotal evidence from social media managers sometimes suggests otherwise.
Weekends tend to be hit-or-miss depending on the type of Instagram account you’re running and the type of followers you have. For example, if your Instagram account is more directed toward your friends and family, you might get better interaction on weekends than if you’re looking to gain the attention of businesses and companies that tend to be closed throughout the weekend.
Finding your sweet spot
Ultimately, the only way you can ensure the most accurate data for your posting needs is to keep track of and manage your own analytics.
Using Instagram’s own analytics tool, you can figure out what time of day and what days of the week produce the most interaction.
In addition to timeframes, you can also learn other details about your followers. Instagram also breaks down their location, gender, and age — vital pieces of information for better understand what content will work best across the board.
If you want to take it a step further than Instagram’s own analytics, start charting them yourself in a spreadsheet. Using a tool like Google Sheets or even something as simple as a piece of gridded paper, mark down your posts, what time you shared them, and how many likes/comments they received after 24 hours or so. The more data you have, the better informed you will be.
If you’re looking for other Instagram tips and tricks, check out our guide. In case you are looking for a place to start on who you should follow, we also have a roundup of the best Instagram accounts to follow.