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Best Time to Post on Instagram

By Team Rigi

July 17, 2024

Finding the best time to post on Instagram can be an absolute game-changer for your engagement and reach. With Instagram’s algorithm favoring content that receives quick interaction and appeals to a mass audience in the fastest manner – timing is everything. Whether you’re an influencer, a brand, or just a casual user looking to grow your account – understanding the exact days and timings when your audience is the most active can significantly boost your posts’ performance. 

Most people are not aware of these optimal timings to post on Instagram – since this information is not readily available on the platform. It is nearly impossible to crack the algorithm to online success without timing your posts perfectly and we’re here to help you do exactly that. 

Best Time to Post Globally: Explained! 

If you desire consistency in engagement – likes, comments, shares, etc. on your Instagram post – you must schedule your Instagram posts during the following time windows :

Day of the WeekBest Time to Post on Instagram (in CST)
Monday11 AM to 1 PM
Tuesday10 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday 11 AM to 1 PM
Thursday11 AM to 12 PM
Friday 11 AM to 1 PM
Saturday 10 AM to 1 PM
Sunday 9 AM to 4 PM

On weekdays, a consistent rise in engagement starts at around 8 AM and continues till 8 PM – because most users’ commutes to and from workplaces align with these timings. The time most folks spend with families or at home also acts as a time to “decompress” or “detox” from social media – and hence results in significantly lower levels of engagement rates. 

If one makes full use of the understanding of corporate timetables – it will be very easy to predict that most online engagements will pour in around lunch break timings i.e. around 1-2 PM. These are the best timings to get the conversation going around your content, and gain the most traction out of the algorithm. The age groups of people most social media users are surrounded by, the mind-space they are in, and the financial environment they are a part of at the moment – all play a pivotal role in the decision-making and engagement processes of these users. 

The quality of audience interaction is not optimal over the weekend due to a variety of factors such as family time, recreational activities, screen-free detoxes etc. Hence, Saturday and Sunday are the worst days to post on Instagram if you want your content to gain the exposure it deserves. 

Most social media users often focus on solely posting over the weekends – it is because of the personal environments they are involved in, and the recreational energy they are surrounded by. This barely leaves any time to engage with any content or brand messages in a manner that will boost them in the algorithm. 

Best Time to Post Reels and Videos on Instagram 

Posting good quality Reels while optimizing the platform’s algorithm is a viable shot at success on Instagram. Based on the analytics of more than 100,000 Instagram creators analyzed by statusbrew.com, the following are the best times to post Reels on Instagram : 

For Weekdays – 

6 AM to 9 AM

1 PM to 2 PM

6 PM to 8 PM 

For the Weekend – 

10 AM to 6 PM 

These timings are indicative of user habits during the work week – of interacting with relatively longer form or more engaging formats of content before arriving at workplaces, during lunch breaks and on the way home. This is when one is close to their social media-enabled devices and is in the right headspace to consume content, perceive its relevance and act accordingly. They are not extremely rushed during these time windows or are not surrounded by social groups that demand their immediate and active attention – and can hence engage with the pace of the Instagram Reels to watch it until the end and take relevant action. 

Reels, which are short, engaging videos, often receive higher visibility in the Instagram feeds and Explore pages because the app’s algorithm favors video content that generates high engagement. This increased visibility can lead to higher reach and more followers. The format encourages quick consumption and sharing, which can rapidly increase a creator’s exposure. Additionally, Instagram provides robust editing tools and music libraries within Reels, making it easier for creators to produce high-quality content that stands out. 

Best Time to Post Stories on Instagram 

Instagram Stories are the window to your account’s soul and are often the attention-gainers for most viral posts. These are the most quickly accessible visuals and are often consumed on the go. Hence it is crucial that the visual appeal and scheduling of the post pull the right strings to audience engagement. 

Appearing at the top of your page – Stories ensure prominent visibility and immediate access. They leverage Instagram’s algorithm to boost your overall engagement metrics, such as views, clicks, and interactions. By offering more interactive features like polls, questions, and swipe-up links, fostering real-time engagement and direct audience interaction – these tools can be used to gather feedback, promote products, or drive traffic to other content, providing valuable insights and opportunities for creators. Hence, it is crucial to post Stories at the most optimal time possible. 

The golden rule to posting stories is the same as for reels – the workweek brings the maximum engagement. The hours before work, lunch breaks, and late afternoons between 4PM and 5 PM see the most significant rise in Instagram traffic that engages with Stories and does NOT swipe through them within seconds. These are the windows when users are most likely to read, watch or listen to what your Story intends to convey or promote. 

While most people POST a lot of Stories during the weekend – they are less likely to ENGAGE with others’ Stories. This follows the same pattern of being in recreational or detox energies and yet maintaining a digital footprint. 

How to Calculate the Best Time for You to Post 

Method #1 – Social Media Scheduling 

Use social media management tools to thoroughly analyze all your previous posts and derive a calculated report of the best times to post on your Instagram. This analysis will be specific to YOUR account, audience and your mutual requirements and engagements. Curating content and its specifics to suit the best interests of your specific audience is pivotal to social media – Post Scheduling Tools help you do exactly that. 

Scheduling posts only during peak hours optimizes the full potential of the Instagram algorithm – it puts your content on the very top of your users’ feeds and prompts maximum engagement. Tools like Statusbrew and Creatosaurus present such post-analysis on a regular basis that enable you to take necessary course-correction measures if required. 

Mothod #2 – Experiment with Posting Times and Measure the progress

Once the research is complete – the experiments with global posting times must begin! The engagement analytics of these posts are crucial to understanding your audience and their schedules. This can be accomplished in multiple ways – by running data through social media management tools or by simply putting all data into a spreadsheet in a timely manner and then analyzing the numbers. 

Based on what you gather from your experiments and their analytics, you can further try out different posting schedules or experiment with content-specific scheduling – to pinpoint when your reels perform best, when the stories get maximum engagement, when your links get the most traffic etc. 

A key to cracking the experimentation game is to derive knowledge of WHERE your key audiences are based geographically – and utilize their time zones to the fullest extent. It is not necessary for your content to be consumed most in your own region, or even your own country. Hence tweaking your posting schedule to suit the preferences of audiences geographically ensures maximum engagement. 

Method #3 – Check out your Instagram Insights 

Business profiles on Instagram get access to an exclusive feature on the app – that can significantly help boost your reach. It gets into the nitty-gritty of who your posts are actually reaching – and how they perceive it. Here’s how to access Instagram Insights : 

Step 1 : Go to your Instagram Settings -> Tap the three bars in the top-right corner -> Tap “Insights” 

Step 2 : Tap “Audience” -> “Followers”. A bar graph with figures revealing the amount of your followers online at that time. Whichever hour bar is the tallest – is your PEAK hour to post on Instagram. 

Step 3 : Select “Days” instead of “Hours” above the chart -> A similar DAY-wise report shows up. The Day bar, whichever is the tallest – is your best day to post on Instagram. 

Combining data from steps 2 and 3 will give you a curated understanding of when to post during the week to receive the best engagement. 

Factors Influencing Optimal Timings for Posting 

  • Target Audience : Where and Who 

The demographics of your target audience play a major role in determining the performance of your content based on when you will post it. Factors like age group, social backgrounds and geographic location are pivotal factors to consider when deciding an optimal time window to post. 

Different age groups have varying online activity patterns. Teenagers and young adults are more active in the evenings and late nights as compared to the professional adults who might check Instagram during mornings, lunch break or after work. Hence, make sure you know the age range of your audience when making time-related decisions about posting. 

Time zones also significantly affect optimal posting times. If your audience is spread across multiple time zones, you may have to post at different times to reach them all. Audience engagement analytics on Instagram provide a holistic insight into this demographic and can be utilized to tweak the posting schedule accordingly. 

  • Instagram Insights (Analytics) : What and Why 

Key metrics analyzed by Instagram Insights such as Follower Activity, Engagement Rates, Demographic Data etc help you understand when your followers are the most active – so you can use those windows to their fullest potential. 

Knowing the hours and days of maximum engagement, tracking the posts that have gotten the most likes, shares and comments, identifying trends in content-specific and time-specific posting schedules, and being aware of the age, gender and the location of your followers helps you tailor content and posting windows to serve exactly what the audience needs, and when they need it – for maximum impact. 

  • Different Posting Times 

Conducting experiments with posting times is essential to alter courses of actions as per momentary requirements. Experiments with A/B Testing – by posting the same type of content at different times in the day or during the week to identify maximum engagement windows – should be done. You must consider the impact of regional holidays, festivities, disturbances, or politics on your audiences’ activity. These factors have a profound effect on one’s work schedules and on their Instagram schedules too.

  • Frequency of Posting

How often you post can affect the optimal times you choose for your content. If you post once a day, everyday – maintain consistency by posting at similar times. This builds a routine for your audience and makes them EXPECT your content and hence engage with it too. 

If you post multiple times during one day, space out your content across multiple optimal windows. For instance, one post in the morning before work hours and one in the late evening. This ensures that different active periods of your audience are catered to, and all arms of the target audience are reached. 

Struggling with engagement rates on social media is a rite of passage for most content creators – we just hope to nudge you in the right direction, so you adopt the most optimum posting practices and make the most of the what’s online!

By Team Rigi

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