7 mins read

Find the best time of day to post on Instagram

As social media becomes more and more entrenched in our daily lives, it’s no surprise that people are constantly trying to find the best ways to get likes, hearts, and favorites. It is this behavior that begs the question: “What is the best time of day to post on Instagram?” This is a question that has challenged individuals and businesses large and small alike for years. The reality is that the answer is somewhat vague and can change at any time.

Why it is important to find the best time to publish

Increasing your Instagram following requires you to push engaging content that one or more people want to see over and over again. Creating such content is a completely different article, but for many people who create content that people crave, if you don’t post it at the right time of day, most people will never see it. This is especially true for marketers who continue to rely on paid media to get in front of potential customers rather than relying on organic content to appear in their feed.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive time to post as there are too many variables, not to mention that timing can be split between the best time for influencers, for retailers, for B2B, for education, and more.

Using your own analysis tool

When it comes to identifying the best time of day to post on Instagram, know that there is no single answer to that question. Each tool you try will likely identify different times of day when you should post. To help identify them, you can use a variety of tools.

The first of which is Buffer, one of the most popular social publishing tools. Buffer requires a workaround, but if you connect your Instagram account, you can click on your “Posts Tab” and sort your account’s recent Instagram posts as the most popular. It takes a little bit of manual work to figure out, but once you do, you can start identifying times to experiment with in the future.

Alternatively, you can look at tools like SquareIcon, which are certainly more for hopeful or established influencers. Take advantage of the two-week free trial and let Iconosquare help you identify a wealth of tips and analysis for your account. That will include identifying the best times of day to post on Instagram. In fact, it will do better and not only tell you the best day, but also the best moments of that particular day.

Iconosquare’s custom dashboard will help visualize this metric in an incredibly easy to read and understand way. Use that data now, then check back in a month and see if it has changed.

The view of skyscrapers from the Instagram post

Given the difficulty of pinning down a time of day that works for everyone on Instagram, it’s a little easier to look at the view from above. Let’s call this the skyscraper view. Almost every social media analytics or publishing tool has its own opinion on the best times for Instagram engagement. In the case of Sprout Social, they look at the best times by industry that will elevate you above the noise. For example, they see the best times for global engagement as shown below.

  • For individuals, the best times are Wednesdays at 11 am and Fridays from 10 to 11 am. They consider the worst time to post on Sunday and the best time on Wednesday.
  • For media companies, Sprout has a completely different take on the best moments. They consider Friday at 9 am the best day and also identify Friday as the best day overall. Saturday and Sunday are, as expected, the worst times.

On the other hand, Later.com has a completely different take on the best times to post on Instagram. Where appropriate, they provide results of the overall best times they have identified. after seeing 12 million Instagram posts with followers of one hundred to one hundred million.

  • In this case, Later.com identified Mondays at 6am, 10am and 10pm as the best times to post. On Sunday, that changes between 7 and 8 am and again around 4 pm How about during the week? Wednesdays at 11:00 p.m., while Thursdays at 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. look good. If this shows you anything, it’s that times can vary greatly, and the same schedule will probably look very different next year.

The good news is that Later.com can help you the same way Iconosquare can individually and identify your seven best posting times. As a publishing tool, you can schedule your posts in advance to ensure you don’t miss these times and the best opportunities to increase your engagement.

If you decide to become an influencer through Instagram, changing your post to a business profile opens the door to analytics tools, better known as Instagram Insights. Once you’ve opened that door, you’ll be able to, among other things, look at your followers’ most active times and use that data to help you identify the best times to post.

So what do you do now?

There is no shortage of tools to help you identify the best times to post on Instagram. The problem is that almost none of them agree with each other, which puts you back at square one. Using the manual solution method through Buffer may sound tedious, but you’ll rest assured that you can visualize the trends that work for you. Paying Iconosquare or Later.com will be very helpful if you want to do business with Instagram. And if Instagram stops working for you, these tips will help you get back in the photo game.

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