As the famous adage says, timing is everything. And that’s certainly true when it comes to posting on Instagram.
You could have the most inspiring Instagram posts that would rock your audience’s world, but if you’re posting at the wrong time, nobody will see your genius.
The times you post on Instagram directly affects the engagement that you’ll receive. And as we all know, more engagement, more conversions.
However, not all Instagram timings are the same for each industry.
Read on to catch a glimpse into the best 2020 Instagram posting times for your sector, so your audience never misses an update again.
Why are Post Timings Important on Instagram?
What’s the main reason you post on Instagram in 2020? For engagement.
As someone who teaches people how to start a blog, I am constantly researching and comparing ways to drive more traffic and engagement for brands.
And Instagram is one of those ways.
Each post you fire out is aimed at engaging your target audience. The more impressions, likes, comments, and click-throughs you receive, the more your brand awareness grows.
It seems that where marketing managers are turning away from Facebook, Instagram is picking up the slack when it comes to growing your brand. The social media platform offers a killer opportunity to capture, nurture, and convert leads with each post.
As uSERP’s business growth expert, Jeremy Moser puts it: “There’s plenty of ways you can grow an Instagram following from scratch organically by posting consistently and choosing hashtags wisely.”
But that’s not all there is to it.
Instagram’s algorithms will favor posts with higher levels of engagement. These posts will appear on more people’s feeds and higher up on those feeds. This gives you more opportunities to convert followers.
But how do you get those high levels of engagement in the first place? Here’s a hint… hashtags aren’t everything. Timing is important too, as well as an overall growth marketing strategy.
To interact with the highest number of customers, you need to post when your potential customers are likely to be watching.
This means you need to understand when your target audience is on the app or you’ll miss your window.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to be glued to your smartphone 24–7, as luckily there are plenty of different social media tools you can use to schedule and publish your posts for you.
It’s important to remember that posting at the right time helps you to better gauge what your audience wants. If your posting times are all over the place, you may misread the meaning behind high activity.
For example, imagine that you post three products over three days to see which is the most popular. You may find that Product A gets the most responses whereas Products B and C get hardly any feedback.
This could be because Product A is just so darned great. But it could also be because Product A was posted at the right time.
Read on to find out the best times to post on Instagram to foster high engagement.
What are the Best Times to Post on Instagram?
Wouldn’t it just be so simple if the answer was Thursday at 8pm? Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward.
Like many things in life, the answer to the best Instagram posting time is: “It depends”.
Mostly, it depends on the industry your company falls under as this shapes the type of customer you’re aiming your social media content toward.
Here’s a rundown of the top times to post on Instagram by industry.
What’s the best time to post on Instagram in general?
As a general rule, the best time to post on Instagram is between 9am and 11am Eastern Standard Time (EST).
While you’d think that the weekend would be Instagram’s most active time, this isn’t the case — weekends are the dead spots. It seems that people spend more time scrolling away on Instagram during the working week than they do in their free time.
When you dial down a little further, it’s clear that Wednesday is the best day to post on Instagram, with the 11am slot as the prime time for maximum engagement. However, feel free to post at any time between 9am and 4pm on Wednesdays, as you’ll see pretty good responses throughout the working day.
Fridays are also a great day to post on Instagram, but keep your posting to the late morning. The most fruitful posts on Fridays are released between 10am and 11am.
There are also a few odd times that receive a hum of activity on Instagram. Try posting on Tuesday at 7pm and on Thursdays between 10am and midday.
Without question, Sunday is the worst day for posting. It seems that people take Sunday as a day of rest from social media, not just the working world.
When should global businesses post on Instagram?
If you’re running a global company, it’s vital to plan a 24-hour Instagram posting strategy. If you’re only posting during US waking hours, you’re missing out on your international audience.
If you’re running a global Instagram campaign, try posting at these times throughout the week:
- Monday at 6am, 10am, and 10pm
- Tuesday at 2am, 4am, and 9am
- Wednesday at 7am, 8am, and 11pm
- Thursday at 9am, noon, and 7pm
- Friday at 5am, 1pm, and 3pm
- Saturday at 11am, 7pm, and 8pm
- Sunday at 7am, 8am, and 4pm
Remember that while these are the best times to post for each day, not every day gets the same level of engagement. If you’re only posting a few times a week, focus on Wednesdays and avoid the weekends.
If you’re a visual person like myself, try mapping out your content calendar using a tool like Combin Scheduler so you can easily see which posts are scheduled for when and on which platform:
What’s the right time for tech firms to post on Instagram?
If you’re in charge of the Instagram marketing campaign for your tech firm, focus on posting during the morning periods on Monday through Saturday. Don’t worry about Sunday, nobody’s watching.
Wednesday is the best day to post for technology companies, with 6am, 9am, and 10am taking the top spots for high engagement. You’ll also get great responses posting on Friday between 7 and 10 in the morning.
Interestingly, there’s a spike in Instagram activity for tech firms on Mondays at 11am and Tuesday at 8am. Aside from these times, both days see very little activity.
Take a look at Freshbooks’ Instagram account:
This post was released on a Friday and managed to garner 68 likes. When you compare this to Freshbooks’ overall Instagram performance, this is a pretty healthy response.
Now contrast it to this post released on a Tuesday:
As you can see, this post only has 31 likes. That’s 55% more engagement on a Friday than a Tuesday.
When do consumer goods posts get the most attention on Instagram?
If you’re selling goods directly to the consumer, you’ll also want to post most of your content on Wednesdays. 3pm is your prime time for posting, but you’ll also see decent interaction at 1pm.
Consumers also respond well to posts on Fridays between 11am and noon.
Aside from these popular times, you should spread your consumer goods Instagram posts across Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 11am and 2–3pm.
What’s the perfect Instagram posting time for financial firms?
If you’re running the Instagram campaign for a financial firm, it’s best to stick to Wednesdays and Fridays — but you only have a quick window.
On Fridays, posts should go out at 11am, while posts should release between 10am and 11am on Wednesdays.
You’ll see a fair response if you post on Tuesdays between 11 and midday, but avoid Mondays, Thursdays, and the weekend.
You can see this in action when you look at Monzo’s Instagram:
This picture was posted on a Friday and managed to clinch 1,188 likes and 50+ comments.
Now compare it to this picture that was posted on a Monday:
This post only has 296 likes and 21 comments. That’s 75% less engagement on a Monday than a Friday.
If your company offers a FinTech service, and you find you don’t get much Instagram engagement, try posting on the same schedule as technology firms to appeal to the tech-heads.
What time should educational companies post on Instagram?
If you’re running an educational business, you’ll have to seriously think about your target audience. The type of education you deliver will determine the best times to post on social media.
In general, Fridays are the best day, with 10am coming in as the top time to post. That said, you’ll see relatively good responses when you post any time between 9 and midday on Fridays, and again at 2pm.
However, if your main target audience is teachers, you’ll have to reconsider timings as teachers won’t see posts in the middle of the school day.
Instead, Saturdays are a prime time for educational companies, particularly at 6pm and 8pm. If you target school teachers, post late Saturday evening.
Is there an ideal time for recreational companies to post on Instagram?
For travel, leisure, and recreational firms, Wednesdays and Thursday are your ideal posting times. Try to aim for 1pm on both days as this is the most interactive time for recreational companies.
Aside from these hot zones of activity, try posting on:
- Mondays at 2pm
- Tuesdays from midday until 3pm
- Wednesdays from midday until 4pm
- Thursdays between midday and 1pm
Don’t bother posting on the weekends as you’ll see very little activity.
Things to Consider When Timing Instagram Posts
While the above times serve as a great guideline for the best times to post on Instagram, they’re not written in stone.
Instead, the times you post should refer directly to your target audience and how they behave. Since not all companies within an industry sector have the same target audience, there are a few other factors you should consider when timing your Instagram posts.
1. Audience age
This may seem obvious, but if you’re aiming your posts at a younger age group, don’t post during school times.
Teenagers will be in class during the school day and won’t have access to their phones. Posting during these times is a waste of effort.
Instead, post before or after the school day. Think about when younger followers may have time to browse Instagram, such as when they’re on the school bus in the morning and after school.
Equally, don’t post too late as younger audiences will have an earlier bedtime.
2. Time zones
Time zones are very important. If your business is working in multiple time zones, you’ll need to think about the ideal time to reach each audience.
Referring to the times above, it may be wise to split your posts to target the most popular times as they occur in each timezone.
For example, say you sell software to the US, UK, and Australia. You may choose to post three times on a Wednesday at 9am for each timezone. Working on Eastern Standard Time, you would post at 6pm on Tuesday, 4am on Wednesday, and again at 9am on Wednesday.
If posting in multiple time zones, keep track of your remote employees and try to have a team member in each time zone who can interact and engage whenever the posts go live. According to Hailey Lucas, engaging during the first 20–30 minutes of a post going live is crucial so that your post gets boosted in the algorithm and seen by more people.
3. Workday breaks
Workers are most active on Instagram during their workday breaks — that’s why lots of activity clusters around lunch time.
Try to consider other times when workers may be taking a break, such as for a mid-morning coffee or a mid-afternoon cigarette.
4. Attention span
If you’ve ever worked an office job, you know how much your attention flags toward the mid-afternoon — especially on hump days and at the end of the week. That’s why you’ll find odd spurts of activity around 2–3pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Think about when you get bored at work and schedule your Instagram posts at these times.
How to Decide the Best Time to Post on Instagram
The times above are based on studies of millions of Instagram posts. While this gives you the best times on average, these aren’t specific to you and your business.
To find out when your Instagram posts perform best, head to the Insights section on your Instagram account.
This will tell you how many accounts your posts reached per day. By monitoring your week-on-week progress, you can begin to pattern the days when your posts get the most impressions.
Don’t forget when creating your content to make it easy for others to share by using engaging graphics and a call-to-action in the caption, such as “tag three friends below” or “don’t forget to share/repost”.
Got a better idea of when you should be posting on Instagram? Consider the audience you serve and tailor your Instagram timings to match your industry sector.
Remember that while Instagrammers have the most free time on the weekends, this isn’t when posts get the highest engagement. Try to keep your posts to weekdays, especially at the start of the workday and during the lunchtime period.
If you’re having trouble finding the best time to post on Instagram, don’t hesitate to contact the Combin team.
About the author
With over 500,000 monthly readers, Adam Enfroy’s mission is to teach the next generation of online entrepreneurs how to scale their influence at startup speed. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.