Creating viral content is only half the battle when it comes to increasing engagement on your Instagram posts — timing is important too. Figuring out the best possible time to publish your IG posts in order to maximize the exposure they get is vital to the success of your posts. After all, it doesn’t matter how amazing your photos and videos are if your audience isn’t even around to see them and interact with them.
There are two ways to tackle the problem of timing: You can either rely on the research of social media experts who can give you one-size-fits-most estimates of the best possible days and times to post on Instagram (not ideal in terms of accuracy, but quicker and easier) or you can get the analytics data of your Instagram account and figure out the best possible publish times for your unique account and audience (might take longer but will likely be more accurate and effective).
In this guide, we’ll go over both options. We’ll show you what some of the experts have to say (including their general timing predictions), and we’ll go over how to access your Instagram account‘s own analytics so you can determine which publish days and times will work best for your specific account and audience.
If you’d rather follow the advice of social media experts (and their research) instead of using your own Instagram account’s analytics, you can do so, but you should know that such advice can vary among those experts and may not be as applicable to your audience as your own account analytics would be. That said, we’ve gathered some of their best timing advice so you can try out their suggested publishing times to see if they work for you.
According to Hootsuite (a social media management platform), the best possible time for anyone to post on Instagram is Wednesday at 11 a.m. Other optimal times include 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays and 12 p.m. on Mondays. Before trying these times out for yourself, you’ll want to note that these times are in U.S. Pacific Time.
Social media management software company Sprout Social reported that overall, the best days to publish Instagram posts are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Sundays are considered the worst days to post. And if you need specific times, here are some of the best ones: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 11 a.m. on Mondays. Sprout Social’s timing advice is written in Central Time.
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. If you have a business or creator account, you can use Instagram’s analytics tool, which allows you to see where your followers are from, when they’re usually on Instagram, and how well your content performs in terms of engagement.
To find your analytics on a business or creator account: Navigate to your profile in the mobile app. Select Professional dashboard (which is just above the Edit profile button). On the Professional dashboard screen, select See all (which is to the right of Account insights). On the Insights screen, you can select different types of metrics, like Accounts reached or Accounts engaged for more detailed metrics and demographics data. If you select Total followers, you’ll be able to see useful information like your followers’ top locations and the various times they’re actually on Instagram (both of which can help you choose an ideal posting time). For this option, though, you’ll need to have a minimum of 100 followers before you can view the analytics.
If you don’t have a business or creator account: You can switch over your existing account in just a few steps. Go to your profile page in the mobile app and tap on the three lines Menu icon. Then select Settings > Account > Switch to professional account. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish setting up your business or creator account.